With the natural hair movement trend that has developed in recent years, more and more Black women are taking the leap and deciding to go natural. Tons of African-American women are abandoning their bone-straight, relaxed hair and are now sporting their highly textured, natural hair.
Other women secretly desire to join their fellow natural “sistahs” in “the movement”, but they are hesitant. Whether actual or imagined, deep down inside when it comes to going natural, some Black women have very legitimate concerns.
Here are 5 common reasons Black women may have a fear of going natural:
1. Unacceptable for work
Many women have stated that wearing natural hairstyles wouldn’t be acceptable at work simply because they work with mostly Caucasians. This is usually based on one’s own personal negative belief that being Black is somehow inferior. There might be factors relating to your job description or rules that may be specific to your work place that may affect your hairstyle. But just isolating the fact of being different from the majority of people who you happen to work with, is a fear that is very much perceived.
2. Disapproval from family
In the Black community hair is a big deal. Most issues with length, texture and whether or not your hair is genuinely your own are deeply ingrained beliefs first introduced to us by our family members. The real fear here is being openly judged by one’s hair length or “grade of hair” since these are directly associated with one’s level of attractiveness.
3. Rejection by men
This fear is both real and perceived. Here’s why: Some Black men tend to have the issues described in #2. Be glad these men will pass you by, they have the problem not you. On the other hand, various types men will find your natural beauty irresistible and they will make themselves known.
4. Looking less attractive
This is very much a perceived fear. We’ve all heard the adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. When you feel confident about your looks then others will always find you attractive. The first eye to behold your beauty is your own. Hair texture is not the reason for this fear, it’s your mind set.
5. Unfamiliar with your natural texture
This is where fear of the unknown comes into play. Many African-American women have had relaxers since being a little girl straight on into their adult years. In all that time, the only thing they remember is very kinky hair at their roots when it was time for a touch-up.
In that scenario, the drastic difference between the chemically straightened hair and your natural hair texture is greatly distorted. Go back and dig up some pictures of yourself pre-Relaxer to start to get an idea of what your natural hair texture was. If what you discover scares you, don’t be afraid take comfort in the fact that there have been many advances in hair care products since then…lol Your mom didn’t know what to do anymore with your hair back then that’s probably why you ended up getting a relaxer in the first place.
What is your main reason for not going natural ? If you are natural now, what was your biggest hesitation? Please share your comments.