Natural Hair impostors are among us. Lately I’ve been hearing discussions about what makes someone “natural” in how they wear their natural hair. By the most basic definition, it means the hair is worn in its natural state without it being chemically altered. The “Natural Hair” term is most often used to describe men and women of color who wear their hair in its natural curl pattern that is coily, kinky, wavy, or curly. And yes, natural hair that is colored counts as long as its curl pattern isn’t chemically straightened.
We always focus on that argument but bypass a small group of women who participate in the community knowing their hearts aren’t in it. They scream #TeamNatural but once they reach a certain length, they relax it again. Let’s call this group the “Temporary Natural”.
I was first exposed to the temporary natural shopping at my local beauty supply store. A woman with an impressive afro approached me. She said she liked my hair, then asked what I used to get it so thick. After speaking for a few minutes about the joy of accepting what grows out of your scalp, we talked about the support available for women going natural.
She asked how long I was natural, I told her I was natural for over 4 years. She then explained she was “starting over” by going natural, but only in hopes of perming again to have long “healthy” hair. Immediately after that statement, she looked ashamed, muttered a “Thanks, see you later!” and disappeared. I stood there in the aisle shocked. This woman had beautiful hair and posed as an active participant in all the natural hair community functions.
The imposter was only natural as a way to grow her hair in “quicker and thicker” to relax it. Sad.
At the end of the day, I believe in self-love and healthy hair. If you relax your hair because that’s what works for you or prefer wigs and weaves,it doesn’t matter. The point of hair care is to invest in keeping your hair healthy. What I can’t accept are the temporary naturals. These people will ultimately hold back natural hair acceptance from moving forward in society, because they aren’t committed to it. They are only in it for the perks or to be part of what they think is a trend. The more of us that proudly wear our hair in its natural state the better, so that over time the negativity attached to it will go away.
What do you think of temporary naturals? Do you know any? Are you one yourself? Lets talk about it! Leave a comment below.