If you were to do a search on Google for “African American natural hair”, the massive search engine would bring up roughly about 6.4 million results. Searching for “relaxed hair or “hair weave” it would be almost the same amount. But if you looked deeper into these two different topics, you’ll see that the hate is real on both sides.
There are a number of blog sites on both sides of the team natural vs. team relaxed aisle where users constantly comment on each other about which one is better. Yes, this still happens in 2015!
For full disclosure, I used to be one of those people. I used to wear relaxed hair down to my shoulders and wore it proudly, then one day after having my second child, I decided to go natural. It was for a number of reasons, but most of all, I wanted a change. So then when I crossed over to the other side, I became a natural hair snob–someone who looked down about anyone who wasn’t #teamnatural.
But then something interesting happened…
During the fall/winter holidays, Thanksgiving has always been my family’s favorite holiday. This one particular year, I was hosting. That meant, all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins were coming to my house for the big meal. Now, we don’t always get together much, but when we do, it’s like we are old friends: talking, laughing and just a great time.
It was during these times, that I looked up and saw that NOT ONCE did I even worry about what hairstyle they had or didn’t have. We talked about creating mentoring projects, recipe tips, planning family vacations and play dates for the kids. It made me realize that my view on pigeonholing someone because of their hair is short-sighted and naive.
Plus, there are three other revelations I had that made me give up the whole “team” thing and ditch both sides:
1. Black women are my sisters. Period. – I realized this when I was with my real sisters. We are as diverse as can be in careers, look, lifestyle, etc. And I still love them. And that’s who I feel about Black women around the world. All of them are my sisters and I love them because they represent me.
2. It’s none of my business, seriously – When you really think about it, how someone wears their hair is really up to them. Did I buy it for them? Did they steal it…