11 August 2011

Good Hair

“Good hair!”  Oh, please.  The hair you were born with is good hair.  It’s not about hair color, texture or length.  The only good hair is natural hair; not chemically altered or intertwined with some other form of hair.  In using the term good hair, we express our belief that natural is inferior.  Nature is not substandard.  If unnatural was so good, why is it that man cannot replicate anything in nature?  Man has tried, but cannot recreate, mimic or build anything better than what is natural.  Ask any scientist, engineer, chemist or doctor, “Can your constructed wetland function better than a natural one; can the arm you design work better than a human arm; can the drug you make work better than the plant; can the skin you alter work better than the original…. any of these without causing harm?
Natural hair is not a statement or rejection of the conventional.  It is real honest to goodness nature.  Embrace and celebrate your essence.  We have been indoctrinated to believe that straight, long, and vibrant colored hair is the best.   Your best friend didn’t tell you that.  Corporate media did and they want to make you spend money on their products so you can be the best you can be so they can be the richest.  We buy into this foolishness to the detriment of our self- esteem, health and finances.   Natural heads are the new corporate target.  There are conventions showcasing all kinds of creams and oils; shelves full of stuff to make your natural hair curlier or shinier; and take look at the magazine ads, whew!    Stop it already.  My head is not meant for you to make money, nor is it meant for you to claim value.  Nothing on the shelf is going to make me scream off the mountain top that I have found the best, most expensive elixir to turn my hair into gold.  I refuse to buy a fancy looking bottle of some concoction when I can use the same olive oil and coconut oil that I use to cook or the same shea butter that I slather on my skin.  Any of those ingredients alone or mix and match are used to moisturize my hair and skin; made at home and the do is done.  
We still embrace natural as scary.  We are scared to do the big chop; go through transition; or fear what to do once natural is done.  There are plenty of resources for natural hair.  If we learn anything, the most important is that we should ensure that our children know nothing other than natural.  Our children should know that we are no more presentable with hair opposite of our natural.  Some of us have straight hair and want it curly; curly wishing straight; and wavy wishing straight or curly; and some of us even have straighter hair in the front and curlier in the back and wish for the same consistency all over.  We even fuss over hair length … which is so ridiculous I’m not going to waste brain cells on the thought.
One question in the media sphere is whether flat ironing; blow drying; or braiding is considered natural.  In the strict sense, no; however, temporarily diversifying your look in a way that causes little to no harm is akin to animals temporarily changing coloring; fluffing feathers; or moving in ways to attract mates or ward off enemies.   These temporary acts to enhance do not disrespect nature.   There is simply no benefit to arguing the point of one being more natural than another.  If you think you are the most natural, go take a look at pictures of people who live in Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and those who inhabit the rain forest.  Say what now?
Others may be scared of or upset about our natural manes and they should be ashamed of themselves.  Older folks may proclaim that it looks a mess; it’s nappy; you can’t get a job; blah, blah, blah.  Guys may complain that they cannot run their fingers through it.  Sure they can…. gently.   They can playfully tug on a ringlet and watch it bounce back; tuck a few strands behind your bejeweled ear; pat a few stray curls into place; and smell the arousing scent of your wonderful locks.   As long as you are confident and express pride in your natural do, others will feel the vibe.  Stand up for yourself and call out the ill-informed folk for being ‘nattering nabobs of nat-happy negativity’.  This time, it  is all about you.  Our hair is not a joke; an agenda; cultural statement; or political talking point.  It is what it is… good hair.  Love it or shut it!

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