She makes me want a TWA…

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If you haven’t heard of Lupita Nyong’o then I now welcome you to planet Earth. How was your stay on Mars? 

Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen (and I dare you to argue with me about it). Away from her striking features and glowing skin tone, I cannot seem to stop myself from being obsessed with her hair.

I am natural with hair that is about shoulder length but I have never big chopped. I chickened out and transitioned until I was at a comfortable length. Although I am happy with my decision to transition, a part of me wonders what I would have looked like with a TWA.

A TWA, for those of you who don’t know, stands for ‘Teenie Weenie Afro.’ This is the stage in which your hair is cut really short. Lupita rocks her TWA almost perfectly and now she makes me wish that I had one.

I am glad that my hair is healthy and is growing faster than I can imagine, but a part of me wishes I had short hair so it would be less to deal with. being that my hair is very thick and I have a lot of it, washing, detangling and styling can sometimes be a hassle, especially if I am in a rush.

I am still thinking about it, but if I ever get frustrated enough, I just might chop all of my hair off. After all, it’s only hair–it will grow back.

Does my natural hair make me unqualified for marriage?

ImageEvery natural black woman has at one point or another been told that their natural hair will guarantee that they will be single forever. We are constantly reminded that black men do not like nappy hair and neither do any other race of men. But why should the way in which my hair naturally grows, eliminate me from finding true love?
      It is not uncommon to find many marriages on the rocks due to the natural hair movement. Men who claim to be turned off and disgusted by their wives decisions to return to their natural hair have practically threatened to end their marriages unless their wives turn back to getting relaxers. It is as if the influx of black women embracing their roots is seen as a threat to some black men. But why is this so?
    If we examine it from a historical aspect, generations upon generations of women were told that in order to be accepted in society and to be hired for jobs, one’s hair had to be neat and straight–the closer to European hair, the better. So in order to stay afloat in society and keep a roof over their heads, black women complied. However, this soon transferred over to the general view of black women as Eurocentric ideas of beauty became more demanding and visible.
   Now that the Eurocentric idea of beauty has taken over the black community, this is all that black men are used to seeing throughout their lifetimes. Thus in return, black men and women view their own natural hair as ugly and unkempt. Black men are also taught to only date and marry women with straight, long flowing hair as a form of high status level.
    With this ideology running rampant within the black community, it is no wonder that past generations of black people are against the natural hair movement. It is also a major part of the reason why it is believed that black women with natural hair cannot be chosen to be brides.
    Having natural hair does not make me unsuitable for marriage. What allows some black men to view me as unsuitable for marriage are their own insecurities. The idea that they will be considered less of a man if their woman does not have long flowing tresses and the idea that Eurocentric forms of beauty are what I should conform to are what clouds their mindsets not my kinky hair texture. Natural haired women can and do get married.

Kinky Hair Actually Grows

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   I don’t know about other countries, but I know that in America the idea of a fully black woman having long hair is a myth. There is a stigma that if a black woman has hair that exceeds ear or shoulder length then she must be of mixed heritage. Why do people think black people need to be mixed to have great healthy long hair?
   When I  had a relaxer, very regularly people would ask me what I am mixed with and were saddened when they found out that I am 100% black. And now that I have gone natural, the questions come more frequently. ‘Is it a wig or a weave because it can’t be yours.’ Why is this concept so hard to grasp?
   Unfortunately a lot of lies are fed to black women about hair care and have been passed down from generation to generation. Because the majority of black women try to achieve a Eurocentric look (having straight hair) to fit in, a lot of black women do not know how to properly take care of their own hair. Black women, put dangerous chemicals in their hair in order to conform but are actually damaging their hair. Kinky hair textures have the same growing ability as straight hair textures but a lot of black women are ignorant as to how to take care of their own hair. If we would take the time to learn about our hair instead of coveting someone else’s we could all have healthier hair.

Kinky is not the only definition

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   Under the umbrella of the natural hair ‘movement’ lies many different textures from wavy to curly to kinky. However, I’ve noticed that dreadlocks often get left out of this ‘movement.’ A lot of people have an idea of a puffy Afro and that is all they view as natural hair. Dread locks do fit into the natural hair community because dreads are created by palm rolling your hair (or whatever other methods one can use). I believe that because there is still a large stigma held against people with dread locks, they are often forgotten. Dread locks are a beautiful expressive way of wearing your hair and contrary to popular belief there are a lot of things that you can do with them. Hopefully as we are becoming a more progressive group of people, the stigma against dread locks will cease to exist.

Natural Nazi’s

Natural Hair Nazi’s have to be put to death in the name of natural hair. A natural hair Nazi is a person or group of people who have converted to natural hair and are so pro-natural that they offend others with their actions. These are the people who go around policing others based on how they wear their natural hair and to be quite honest it’s getting completely out of control. Whether a person straightens, colors or blow dry’s their hair is none of your business and it does not make them any less natural than you are. Some people take this ‘going natural’ thing a little too far. If you want to police someone, police yourself and learn how to mind your own business.Image

The natural hair “movement”

For all of those who are unaware, the natural hair ‘movement’ is the term used to refer to black women who have stopped relaxing their hair and growing out their original textured hair. This is the reason why you may have noticed more women walking around with Afros.
You can Google the term and find hundreds of pages on this topic–but why is it a topic to begin with? I don’t understand why black women changing their hair should be considered a movement. This creates the assumption that women are just cutting off their hair to support some form of cause when in most cases is not even true. Labeling hair changes as a movement just creates an ‘open season’ type of thinking for hair product companies to take advantage and try to sell us things that we don’t need.Image