I have visited numerous blogs raising the question, "Are you still natural if you color-treat your hair?" or similar questions. Some curl enthusiasts agreed that if you chemically alter your curls (including color), you are no longer natural. Others felt as long as you preserve your curl texture you are still natural. After reading a couple of posts I noticed a theme, texture vs. alteration.
So I have a friend that refuses to refer to her hair as being “nappy”. Even if her curls are dried out she will refer to them as a dried out curl, but never “nappy”. She hates that word. It made me think. Although I use the word I would imagine if I heard some one from another culture refer to my hair as nappy I would take extreme offense to it. I have overheard mothers refer to their biracial daughters hair as “nappy” and cringed.
Every Naturalista at some point made a decision that chemically altering her hair was no longer on the “hair routine” table. We were all shocked by the soda can melting while in a tub of sodium hydroxide (key component of hair relaxer), in Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”. Also things such as time, costs, and overall health of the hair likely influenced most as well. We all have our reasons for deciding to embrace a relaxer free hair routine. For me, as an example, going natural seemed like the only way to keep hair on my head. After years on hair breakage and chemical burns, I figured I would try anything to get off the rollercoaster that my relaxing addiction had me on. I had to get off…my sanity was at stake. Seven years later I have a full head of healthy non-chemically altered hair.