6 Reasons You “Can’t” Go Natural

I’m pretty sure it’s clear to you by now that I LOVE hair. I’m that crazy excited person you encounter in the mall or hair salon that makes her way over to you simply to compliment you on your flawless hairstyle. Whether your hair has a poppin’ color, is loc’d up, wigged out, bone straight, coily, whatever. I love talking hair, discussing hair journeys, and hearing women’s goals.

One thing I hear a lot is “I can’t do the natural ‘thing’. It’s just not me.” Now, I’m not the type to throw shade on any woman’s hair choice but this particular comment rubs me the wrong way. I don’t understand how your natural texture can’t be “you.” Who, exactly, would it be? Here are 6 excuses you’ve probably used to talk yourself out of going natural:

1. “I’ve always had long hair.

This is something I can completely understand since my hair has been at least shoulder length all my life. The idea of doing the BC or even dealing with shrinkage makes me nervous. Then I remind myself that my hair journey ought to be about trying new things and working styles I’ve never before considered. If the idea of short hair just doesn’t rub you the right way, you can do a long-term transition and gradually trim off your relaxed ends. To avoid shrinkage, you can stretch your hair by banding or drying in twists. The possibilities are really endless.

2. “It’s more challenging than relaxed hair.

I think this is the excuse that I hear the most. I frequently stretch my relaxers for 5-6 months at a time so I know managing two textures can be difficult. What I also know is that relaxed hair can be just as challenging as being natural. Dealing with over- or under-processing, curbing breakage, dryness, overlapping relaxers, straight ends while styling, scalp burns and scabs; the list goes on and on! This isn’t to suggest that being natural doesn’t come with its own difficulties but relaxed hair isn’t a walk in the park for everyone either.

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About Ms. Tai Nycole


I’ve always admired women with the, what I thought, good fortune to have long, healthy hair. Now that I’ve embarked on a healthy hair journey of my own, I’m excited to share my successes and setbacks. Between long stretches, protective styling, and consistent cleansing and conditioning stretches, I've attained a fair amount of length. I’m currently relaxed but don’t subscribe to the natural versus relaxed division; I’m a proud member of Team Healthy Hair!

About Ms. Tai Nycole


I’ve always admired women with the, what I thought, good fortune to have long, healthy hair. Now that I’ve embarked on a healthy hair journey of my own, I’m excited to share my successes and setbacks. Between long stretches, protective styling, and consistent cleansing and conditioning stretches, I've attained a fair amount of length. I’m currently relaxed but don’t subscribe to the natural versus relaxed division; I’m a proud member of Team Healthy Hair!

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Andreanette Schaffer

Nice. !

Morgann
Morgann

I think it’s easier for people to say “love your own texture” when they have actual curly pretty hair. If you just have kinks and coils, for me, I can understand why people thinko it’s easier. I have 4C hair so I know it’s hard to handle and to me it’s not pretty in its very natural primitive state like when you’re coming fresh out the shower so I can kinda understand the last “excuse.” It’s taking me forever to learn to like my hair so I’m sure it’ll take me an eternity to fall in love with it.

BiscuitBunny
BiscuitBunny

Sorry, did you say ‘primitive’? I forgive you, but that doesn’t mean I’m not horrified.

I am 4C and transitioned by accident out of sheer laziness using braids about 3 years ago. Before I knew what the ‘natural hair movement was. Texture is something you learn to accept over time. I would say, seek out the YouTube girls like ‘4C Hair Chick’, ‘Evelyn From the Internets’ (a personal fave), Hallease- she does videos on her own channel and NaturallyCurly.com.

Also Jouelzy! She has an entire series on 4C hair and getting to love the texture! Acceptance is not instant- it’s a journey. YouTube has given me so much encouragement, I am very grateful to all the girls I mentioned. Many of them also show that 4c hair grows! And grows long! So don’t be discouraged.

What a lot of naturals get from their mother’s generation and society is a disapproval of natural hair that comes from FEAR. For society- it’s a fear that black folks don’t want to be seen and not heard. They want to be however they like and not fit into ‘our culture and norms’. For parents it’s a fear that their children won’t be accepted. Both parties are scared. And that’s why the ‘natural hair thing’ became a MOVEMENT. Because in the face of those FEARS and naysayers- black women did the opposite of fear. Which is what? FEARLESSNESS.

Do you girl- you’re the only one who knows how.

Sherry Cook
Sherry Cook

What’s wrong with her using the word primitive to describe HER hair? Get a dictionary. As an adjective, primitive simply means very basic or old fashioned. Damn hair mafia killing me 😠😠😠

Debra Stewart-Howard

Very encouraging

Morgann Shantle-Berinna Robinson

I still believe it’s easier to say “love your own texture” when you actually have a pretty curl pattern texture. 4C hair does not have the pretty curls automatically we have to manipulate our hair to do right. I have 4C hair so I know and my hair is healthy but that doesn’t mean that if given the choice I wouldn’t change it in a heartbeat. That’s why I keep my hair in braids or weaves it’s prettiest that way to me. But this is just my opinion. It’s taking me forever to just like my hair so I know it’ll take me an eternity to love it. This is not bashing girls with 4C hair this is just my opinion of my own hair.

Shay Carr

Theres really only reason. Shame as to how the white world will judge us. Black girls be scared deep down, & I can understand that. Just remember all that relaxed hair is chemical, & will NEVER actually grow from that root.

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum

I actually have curly hair, however when it comes to twist out or braid out it comes out best on 4C hair and I believe you can manipulate and do more with your hair. When you have curls it doesn’t come out the same. My old supervisor had 4C hair and her was always LAID and I was envious of her hair, but there’s pro’s and cons to every hair type.

Sulaika Martina

I have to say that it isnt the opinion of white people that let me relax my hair. I did it because its easy to handle that way. I have 4 C hair and all my respect for those with 4c hair who are natural thumbs up for you….I just cannot handle it. If I had had 3 to 4a hair I would never relax my hair Neverrrr. My 5 year old Daughter has 3b/3c hair and I will never allow her to relax it…LOL

Chelsea Mspeaches Hammond

I have type 4 hair and my curls are very tight. I wouldn’t change them for the world that’s what makes being natural soooo unique because we all are different and so are our curls. I would NEVER down my hair because it’s not a loose curl or type 1-3 and ect… It’s MY HAIR, MY NATURAL. I didn’t become natural because I wanted longer looser curls like others. I became natural because I wanted HEALTHIER HAIR. I embrace every thing that comes with my hair including the shrinkage. I have BOMB.COM Twistouts because of the texture of my hair. I don’t wear weaves as protective styles, I wear my own hair because I looovvvveeee it! I don’t care what anyone says. WE AS WOMEN OF COLOR NEED TO DO BETTER AND IGNORE THE NEGATIVITY OF OTHERS INCLUDING OUR OWN!

Sandra Sharp

Please !!!

Morgann Shantle-Berinna Robinson

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum that may be true there are pros and cons to every hair type but if you already have curly hair a braid out or twist out doesn’t matter. The reason we do a twist out is for the curls if you already have the curls then you don’t have to rely on the twist out.

Morgann Shantle-Berinna Robinson

And something I do not understand and have never understood is why do people care about the way I see MY hair!!! I do not look down on others so why do people care about the way I feel about MY OWN PERSONAL HAIR!!! If it’s not coming out of your scalp I personally feel you have no say in MY feelings for MY HAIR lol I’m just saying! I don’t understand why people feel the need to bash me about the way I feel about MY OWN hair!! Like it’s mine why do you care lol

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum

True, however like any hairstyle it can be boring. So it does matter, for me at least, because I want different styles that braid or twist would give vs my normal curl pattern. Like I said my supervisor had NUMEROUS different styles, idk maybe that’s my own personal opinion. I feel you to a certain extent because she was saying the same thing you’re saying. The only thing I like about my hair are ” wash and go’s”.

Morgann Shantle-Berinna Robinson

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum true and I agree with you to a certain extent as well and your boss is right but we can’t do wash n go’s very well at all. At least not until we get a certain length and even then we have no curl pattern to support the wash n go…..I believe to should love your hair it’s just telling me a lot longer to actually do it lol

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum

We’re both a work in progress lol!

Morgann Shantle-Berinna Robinson

Chelsea Mspeaches Hammond I’m not responding to you that’s just a general statement. I’ve said something like this before and got bashed for it I was trying to stop it before it started. And I just read your comment there’s nothing in it about me so why would I talk to you even more why would feel offended!

Cheryl Agyeman

I love my loc’s and before that i did the braid out because i hated to wear my hair permed its not good to put chemicals in your hair even if you do it to your hair and don’t do it on your children hair they will do it later in life because they saw you do it I’m pro choice but i do wonder when will we learn

Jamillah Davis

Morgan, giiiiirl, I feel your “pain”! Lol. I have 4c hair too and this super thick mass of hair is something else!! 🙂

Morgann Shantle-Berinna Robinson

Lol Jamillah Davis ain’t it though lol….it takes some prayer and some patience and TLC to get this hair to do right and even then it may not be enough.

Chelsea Mspeaches Hammond

Well I can be woman enough and apologize for my statement since it wasn’t at me. But no one was bashing you for your feelings on YOUR hair

Morgann Shantle-Berinna Robinson

Chelsea Mspeaches Hammond
As am I. I deeply apologize if my statement made you feel as if I was attacking you because I wasn’t.

Mieshel Jett

I have 4c hair..I’m fine with it

Brandy Illuminated Booker

I wanna say this, I am not natural but I have been considering it. I have a 5yo daughter with beautiful natural i’m guessing 4c hair and I praise n love n teach her to love her hair. I tell her I wish I had beautiful curly hair like hers but between me n you guys, with me being honest, her shit is hard as hell to deal with. That’s the truth! I had to teach myself to braid, I had to learn about locking in moisture, I had to learn a whole different combing technique, and god forbid her hair dries before I get some oil in it. I have to damn near re wash it again just to be able to part it and that’s with my fingers. Bottom line is I would love to be natural, and I think my daughter’s natural hair is beautiful n gorgeous, but I WILL NOT go through that for myself everytime I haveto do my hair. It is not impossible, it is just something I am not willing to deal with. It has nothing to do with being afraid, or secretly hating my hair because I will get some rods n rock an afro in a minute but it is about me not having the patience to maintain natural hair. But when I do gain that patience it will be beautiful.(The pic is of my 5yo daughter Janae).

Lauren Anderson

Good article but i love stretching my perms it works for me

Lynette Copeland

I have 4c hair also, and although i did have a perm, it was never because of self hate or trying to for in with write society.it was more of a convenience factor.I can admit,im kind of lazy when it comes to my hair, and permed hair is just, overall, easier to manage…at least for me it was.now,i am growing out my natural hair again, and I’d be lying of i said it wasn’t a whole lot of work.my natural 4c hair takes patience…lots and lots of patience lol.but after the hours of washing, deep conditioning, stretching out, and styling,i love the way it looks….but i agree.sometimes i wish i had that 3b curl that could do a wash and go without ending up as a tangled mess lol but I’m slowly learning how to love my 4c hair, for all it is, both the good and the bad

MiSonia Moore

Having curly hair isn’t always as easy as people think. I have 4a hair that is very curly with shrinkage in the 90 percentile. I can do a wash and go almost every day, but it gets frizzy, curls get really tangled, and trying to stretch my hair to reduce shrinkage is an epic fail half of the time. It’s true that each hair type has it’s pros and cons, but we have to remember that one hair type isn’t better or worse than the others. We may have a hard time styling or managing our own texture, but I’m sure people with other textures have the same issues sometimes.

Kimberly Medina Courts

@shay Carr could you clarify your statement that relaxed hair won’t grow?? I’m texlaxed and stretch my relaxers and not only is my hair thick it’s waist length…..so I’m not sure if you know that ANY hair will grow…especially if it’s cared for!! I wish the Nats and relaxed would stop the bashing of one another…..can’t we all just ….u know the rest….lol

Vicki Steverson

I don’t know what type my hair is, I don’t care about what type. It’s health and I love it. 😉

Tiffany Anderson

How about cause I simply don’t want to and love my relaxed hair? Lol

Felicia Marchio

My only problem with MY natural was… those Damn Fairys 🙁 No matter how much I detangled &&& oiled &&& watered it down… those Fairys though 🙁 Smh

Kerimah Rogers

THANK YOU TIFFANY ANDERSON. Not everybody wants to go natural. Just because that grew out of my scalp doesn’t mean that’s the way I want to wear it. The same reason why white women might curl or color their hair. They may not have been BORN with it; but they wear it the way they want to!!!!

Sulaika Martina

It’s sad why people cannot just have respect for another person Just because they have relaxed hair. I have respect for those who are natural. Why bring another down…..You dont have to live with my relax hair I DO….And Lovin it!!!

Mysha Lofton

I have a mix of 4b & 4c and I don’t have to manipulate to get curls. It’s quite curly on its own. I love my hair.

Shantay Anderson

I have 4c hair and was using conditioner and curl activator on my hair and my hair seems to love the moisture from the activator. Shrinkage is an issue but … my hair is growing like a weed.

Kojo Aidoo

More disappointing self hate article’s smh

Raquel Jacquelyn Prescott

Not everyone will be natural. End of story. It’s just hair. I joined this page for hair care advice and ideas, not this.

Rivian Jones

Im so tired of these stupid articles talk about something else. It’s none of your business why ppl or choosing to perm. As I said if you’re bothered by somebody else’s decision you need a life.

Phalon Marie Colon

I find it interesting that people comment without actually reading the article.

Jamila Kelly

I find it interesting that the one pErson who thinks people didn’t read the article. ..
probably didn’t read the article because these comments make sense =_=;