It seems that for something so simple, people have many different definitions. Natural hair to me is the hair that grows from your scalp that hasn’t been chemically altered in any way.
Hair whose texture hasn’t been altered by chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers. An Afro hairstyle is sometimes referred to as “a natural,” but natural black hair can be worn in many other styles besides a short ‘fro. Pressed hair may still be considered natural because once washed, the texture returns to its unaltered state. Colored hair is sometimes considered natural, sometimes not, depending on who does the defining — some people believe that repeated hair coloring alters the texture, even in a slight manner. – via about style
Afro-textured hair is a term used to refer to the natural texture(state) of Black African hair that has not been altered by hot combs, flat irons, or chemicals (through perming, relaxing, or straightening). – via wikipedia
There is an ongoing debate about whether protective styles using weave takes away from being natural in any way. In my opinion what you choose to do to your hair is up to you, I think we sometimes place too much focus on what other people are doing. I am newly transitioning so I am finding what works for my hair and how to take care of it in order to achieve healthiness. I recently got weave braids referred to as “Senegalese twist” and it was brought to my attention that it isn’t necessarily considered natural because there is weave incorporated. While that is understandable and somewhat true, I was asked if I was still “going natural” which shocked me because I only looked at the twists as a break from having to roll my hair as often, and as what some call a protective style. I am also limited on what I can do to my hair and always wanted to give the twist a try, plus they’re cute.
There are many opinions out there about protective styling and while many can be done without the use of weave it is often added for length. Some prefer weave because of the low upkeep requirement and it’s an alternative to combatting split ends and breakage for a period of time. Everything is made up of opinions, and what works for some doesn’t always work for others. I am not an avid weave wearer, I have had about 4-5 weaves in my life and this is my first experience with weave braids. In my opinion, I like them and wouldn’t mind getting them a few times throughout my transition and beyond. I still consider myself to be “going natural” for the simple fact that I am not perming my hair or adding un-needed chemicals, or wearing weave 360 days out of the year but that’s my opinion to which I am entitled. I understand the concept of natural hair and what it means to be natural but when I take these braids out I will still have hair that grows from my roots as I have now which is on its way to being completely chemical free. I still take care of my hair as I would if I didn’t have braids, keeping it moisturized and oiled.
I have read articles about people referring to wearing weave as “protective styles” just to be considered natural but still be able to wear a weave. I do agree that some women proclaim themselves as being natural and wear weaves for several months out of the year which isn’t natural at all while some choose to switch it up now and then. I am just having a hard time understanding why what someone chooses to do to their hair and what they self-proclaim as is such a big deal to people. It is very weird to say “TeamNatural” while donning a 2o inch Brazilian weave or weave braids for that matter, the point of being natural is to embrace your natural hair texture. What I am trying to say is you can still be natural and embrace your hair but you are entitled to switch it up and do whatever the hell you want because it’s YOUR hair. Getting a weave or weave braids now and then doesn’t make you un-natural because under that weave what do you have? Natural hair. I just tend to get a little offended when I take my natural hair journey seriously, and people have to understand that not everyone’s journey will be the same and not everyone will make the same choices. Ultimately, it needs to be understood that this a very opinionated world that we live in and there will always be someone that will argue against anything you say.
I came across this article about weave and protective styling that I actually like “A Weave Is Not a Protective Style; It’s Just A Weave” but I still have my own thoughts about the topic.
What are your thoughts on natural hair and protective styling? Are weaves a protective style to you? Why and why not? Please share I would love to know what you think.
Feel free to read my post about Embracing My Natural Hair if you haven’t already.
Happy New Year! Be Blessed and Stay Humble.