The natural hair movement has been steadily rising higher and higher with each passing year. The love for our natural tresses is reaching monumental numbers with women stepping over to the natural side of things daily. Facebook, twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, blogs and vlogs are filled with naturals sharing their tresses, their pride and their knowledge on the best ways to manage, love, and nurture our glorious strands. It’s sheer maddening how quickly this has created a tidal wave of support and desire with the fashion industry embracing and showing off the various styles that our natural tresses can achieve.
As always in life…there is an upside and a downside to all things and that does not exclude the ultra-popular natural hair movement. There is a dark side to the movement where bloggers and vloggers are fighting against one another, hate spewing about certain natural hair superstars, or women and girls being harassed over wearing their natural tresses to school or work. Then there are the label we acquire for being natural that are from hurtful to ridiculous. If you have natural hair you are a weed-smoking, afro-punk or reggae loving lesbian radical that is who doesn’t wash her hair. Not enough for you? Well, then let’s not forget my all time favorite…curl envy.
Curl envy, curlism, chasing the curl dragon (they all mean the same thing really) is detrimental to the natural hair psyche. Curlism is a discrimination based on hair texture. In a nutshell curls are better received and loved over kinks and as most kinks come from African American or black women…you see where I’m going right? As if we need another division within our community the drive to make your coils and kinks turn into curls is finding its way in the natural hair movement when what we really need is unity. This separation on the basis of physical features is nothing new but it’s maddening nonetheless that with such a beauty movement it finds its way into our realm.
Curlism has gotten women creating curls with styles that are worn daily instead of regular kinks. Twistouts, chunky Twistouts, braidouts, Bantu knots…they all creates waves in our tresses that would not normally be there if we wore them in its original state. Now, don’t get me wrong…they are gorgeous styles that many of us envy with their ampleness and splendor but if you are staying up late night after night to ensure your kinks disappear and you have lovely waves and curls instead, there’s a deeper problem going on than losing sleep.
Curlism has also gotten some women doing unspeakable things like putting texturizers in their hair. A texturizer is “a mild form of a relaxer which is applied for a brief amount of time in an effort to only slightly relax the curl instead of straightening it. This is a chemical-based straightener. A relaxer can be used as a texturizer; simply leave it on the hair for less time than designated for straightening.” About.com. I say they are unspeakable acts because many women will lie before they admit they have put a texturizer in their hair. Yes, many women sporting curls and coils are living a lye (pun intended).