How Kinky Do I Have To Be To Be “Down”?


I told my friend Stephanie a looong time ago that I’d never get into YouTube because I hate hearing people’s opinions about anything because a lot of people are just plain stupid. AOL BlackVoices discussion boards taught me that REAL QUICK!  Differences make the world go ’round and all of that, but I choose not to subject myself to something I know is going to irritate the hell out of me.  Stephanie was always telling me about different videos she watches regarding hair care and I just KNEW I wanted no parts of the bullshit. See, along with politics and religion, I do NOT discuss hair. Especially with black women. Nothing good can come from it.

I have little patience and a short fuse when it comes to ignorance.  Get angry if you want to, but any time you have more than two black women in a discussion about hair, something ignorant WILL be said.  I’ve heard the bullshit my entire life. Everything from “you got good hurr” to people asking me what I’m mixed with. Even people outright LYING and saying my daddy is a mexican and/or white to “explain” my hair texture.  Cuz all black girls HAVE to have nappy/thick/coarse hair, right?? Wrong! We come in all different shades and with all different hair textures too. That should never be questioned. I’ve had women (my own mother included, although I know she was just kidding–I think) tell me that I make them “sick” because of my hair. A former co-worker used to yank my hair every time she walked past my desk and go “ewww”. I’ve even had an x-ray technician leap across the room and TUG a handful of my hair because she INSISTED it was a weave  and that I remove it before I messed up her x-rays. Why is all that foolishness necessary? Am I not “exotical” enough to have curly hair?  Are ya mad?? What’s the problem boo?

So, I’m getting relaxers every 6-8weeks most of my damned life just like every other black woman I know. Then it slowed to maybe 3-4 times a year. Until I move to southern Florida with a higher cost of living and a smaller paycheck; a day job I had to leave for at an ungodly hour because the traffic was horrendous; and humidity like a MUTHA! What does this all mean? It means I stopped relaxing as much.  I found this fabulous dominican woman who could blow my hair out LIKE NO OTHER (shout out to Damarys in Hialeah) and cut back to relaxing maybe twice a year. I’d get blow-outs when I felt like schlepping to Hialeah, which wasn’t very often; so I was a “wash n go” girl.  I’d wet my hair and run conditioner thru it in the shower every morning and leave the house with wet hair. Easy, breezy lemon squeezy.  Everything was LOVELY except for people insisting I was dominican or cuban and some of the cuss-outs I endured because of the misunderstanding. Before I knew it (or knew what it was) I was “transitioning” because at one point I realized it had been almost a year since I’d had a relaxer. I thought to myself  “why not just let it go?”.

So I started researching online about natural hair and how to care for it. I “went natural” a couple times before (also by accident) and had all of the relaxer cut out. I didn’t want to cut my (mid-back length) hair & I didn’t like the bushy dry look I got before when my hair was growing out  so I figured I’d better learn what I was doing. There is SO MUCH information online about caring for natural hair, I was lost and overwhelmed.  I found a few sites that I finally stuck to because I liked the “atmosphere” (no Nappy Nazis) and product suggestions.  CurlyNikki turned out to be a good resource for me because her hair is more like mine than other naturals I was seeing (still avoiding YouTube); and she’s a product junkie who fed my own habit lol. So I committed to the natural thing. Bought all the products. Did all the maintenance to preserve my hair. Then a bad “trim” led to very short and very lopsided hair. After that, I found a natural hair stylist and told her to chop it off. She was hesitant and talked me into mini-chops.  Then January 15, 2010 after not relaxing for over a year, I chopped all of my hair off. It was way shorter than I wanted it  and what it needed to be but whatever, it’s just hair and it always grows back.

At least that’s what I was telling everybody who had an opinion on my hair. My co-workers’ faces wore shocked expressions when I returned to work. I came home to VA for a visit and the first thing Daddy said to me at the airport was “What the hell did you do to your hair, child?”. Thank God I have a thick skin and really don’t care so that stuff didn’t bother me. What annoys me is people making ignorant statements like “you only went natural because you have good hair. If you were nappy-headed you’d still be relaxing”. Or “If I had hair like yours, I could do that, but I don’t”.  Ironically, I get more shit from baldheaded heffas with fucked up hair than anyone else. Sometimes I feel like saying “Umm I CUT my hair boo, what’s wrong with that shit on your head? Mine is growing but yours is never coming back”.  During this time, I coined the phrase “bitches with combovers shouldn’t throw combs”.  That might be ugly, but they stay on my nerves! As I’m trying to pass on advice and suggestions (mind you this is only when I’m asked) to these dry head, no edges having heffas, they’re giving me screwfaces saying “Oh I don’t want my hair like yours”.  Like what? Healthy? I’m looking at them & I CAN SEE SCALP WHERE SCALP AINT SUPPOSED TO BE! Or I’m looking right through their “long” hair because it’s so thin and brittle. But that shit is LONG though and we all know long hurr don’t curr. The very thing they should have wanted to do was “get like me”, but I understand, everybody aint able.

So I’m enduring all this stuff and getting tired of it and tired of the “natural hair community” because of all the hypocrisy.  People want to tell other people what is and isn’t considered natural.  Some are constantly talking down about women who CHOOSE to relax THEIR hair and it all gets so negative.  I can rock with a FEW websites and YouTube channels, but I limit myself. One of the YouTube people that I check out sometimes is Taren916. She has a GORGEOUS head of hair.  I picked up a few things from her so I check back to see what new stuff she’s talking about.  The other day, she puts up a video titled “Being Natural Means… Black & Kinky Only?? Huh??” and I was like “here we go”.  Evidently, some folks have appointed themselves the committee on who is and who isn’t natural.  Because Taren is mixed (white grandmother, I believe), light-skinned, and has a looser curl pattern, The Committee has deemed she isn’t natural. Say what now? She doesn’t have a relaxer  or color  (because some people want to take it THAT far) but she’s not natural because her hair isn’t kinky enough and she isn’t black enough. How much black do we need in us? More than the “one drop”? And how do we test for kink? The number of teeth broken out of the comb? This is all so absurd and I felt Taren did a good job addressing the ridiculous notion that we can judge who is and isn’t natural based on “blackness” and “kink levels”.

I was waiting for the backlash and got it today in the form of a response video from a YouTuber named NaturallyLauriel who thinks that “natural” ONLY refers to black women, who did the Big Chop down to a teeny weeny afro, who also have kinky hair. Word? I’m black. I chopped down to about an inch. But I’m not natural because my hair isn’t kinky enough. For her. And I guess The Committee.  NaturallyLauriel seems to think that unless you have “struggled” in your natural hair journey: worn the short hair, been ridiculed for non-conformity, and had internal battles about relaxing to achieve hair like “others”, then you’re not worthy to call yourself natural.  First of all, I never had any of those internal battles about a damned relaxer.  I got them because my mother put them in my hair and everyone around me got them. I never gave it a thought. I never wanted to be white and never thought I’d look white or better because of a relaxer. It wasn’t that serious for me and for a lot of other people. It’s none of anybody’s business what motivates a person or what struggles they’ve been through. I grew up with a caucasian girl who had hair thicker and coarser than mine. They called her Busch Gardens. Today, she is still natural and (from what I see) manages her thick curls quite nicely. I’d call her a natural just like I’d call myself and Taren916 natural. I’d call anyone natural who has not chemically altered their hair from it’s original state/texture. I do agree that NaturallyLauriel, like anyone else, has a right to voice her opinion, but nobody has a right to tell another person who and what they are and define their “struggle” for them. It’s presumptuous and preposterous.

NaturallyLauriel also seems to think that people with a looser curl pattern don’t struggle enough because our hair is easier to take care of.  Ha! Come deal with this stuff for a few days and then we can talk about THAT! Just because I don’t have to detangle and all of that jazz doesn’t mean my hair isn’t difficult to manage. It’s a beast! And some days I LOOK like a beast! Don’t get it twisted, I love my hair and wouldn’t change it, but I admit that I used to want my sister’s coarser hair when we were younger.  She could get all the popular styles like asymmetrical bobs and stacks.  Mine would fall as I was leaving the salon. But now, I have accepted what I have and I make it do what it do.

That’s what I suggest everyone else does.  Accept what YOU have. Do what YOU do. Mind your own damned business and let other people tend to theirs!! It’s HAIR! Nobody is going to lose a limb or their life over some HAIR!

(Edited to Add) And another thing… I recently made an appointment at a natural hair salon where I live because I needed a trim and wanting some styling tips. The stylist was really nice but she immediately started with the “nice hair” stuff and asking me what I’m mixed with. *sigh* here we go…After shampooing my hair, she sat me in her chair and just kept running her fingers through my hair and finally said “I can’t do anything with this”. She explained that twists would come out; so I said let’s do a twist-out then. She said no because it would just look like it normally looks. I asked her to trim it so she blew it out and then said no because it didn’t need to be trimmed even though scissors hadn’t touched my hair in over 6months. So I finally told her to just do ANYTHING. Her only suggestion was a french roll.  I asked her what she was going to roll (because my hair isn’t long enough) and would she then roll me back to 1992 when french rolls were in style. She proceeded to get on the phone and call someone and tell me “You need to go down the street. See if they can do something with it. Even though you don’t have a relaxer, your hair feels and acts like it’s relaxed so I can’t do it”. Say what?? She told me the other stylist would meet me down the street at her salon and then had the audacity to ask me to stop back in so she could see my hair when it was done.  Waaaaaaait fooor it… Waaaaaait foooor it…  I think she’s still waiting. (the Katt Williams reference was on point because I left her shop looking like Katt after he has sweated out his perm!)

And now (because I want to and it’s my blog), a pictorial of my hair journey from relaxed to NATURAL:

 

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About What Looks Like Crazie...

What looks like CRAZIE, is just me. A perfectly flawed circus of contradictions: misanthropic people person; brilliant underachiever; ambitious slacker; tender-hearted bitch; thoughtful mean girl; prudish freak; crazed sanity; bold insecurity; adorable hot mess.
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6 Responses to How Kinky Do I Have To Be To Be “Down”?

  1. Ms. K says:

    So funny that we both blogged about hair yesterday. Hope you don’t mind but I linked this post to my blog. Very interesting that in everything Black people do, we have to have inside fighting. Crazy right?? *smh*

  2. Not only crazy but insane. Like the definition of insanity is doing the same things over again but expecting different results. Why do we do the same things that have been done to us collectively but call it something else? Bitching about “others” using divide and conquer against us, but then we feed right into it and take the bullshit to all new levels.

    I’ll go and check your hair post now? Are you still thinking about transitioning or are you doing it?

  3. Jay says:

    so I just read through a couple of your posts and I’m in tears laughing! I wish more people had this outlook on life in general. Especially this natural hair issue. Folks get hostile over the dumbest things. smh. keep posting!!! =)

  4. veryne says:

    I was lucky and appreciate that I have found this post. I spent an awful time trying to figure out what I was “mixed” with, since my hair is no where near kinky, and I am a natural head thank you! Then common sense on the matter came to light after a few years, I am as black as any other black person. The race of my grandparents is not my own. We all have diiferent hair, mine is wavy like ramen with a blowdryer it dries straight and thick, but my sister is curly like a poodle, and we are BLACK!! So yes I agree, STOP the NONSENSE!!!!!!!! We are diverse just as everyone and all things on this earth. Thank you:)

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