If you Google the question “what is natural hair?” one of the first websites to pop up will be Wikipedia, defining natural hair as
1. Afro Textured hair
2. Hair that is unadorned and uncolored, virgin non-chemically relaxed or otherwise in its natural state.
For me natural hair is not just afro textured hair; natural hair is any hair on any head that is virginal in composition.
If you prefer to use a general, almost raw perspective then picture a shaved head completely bald that is just starting to show a few little hairs peaking through the scalp, that hair is what is considered your natural hair.
It is built from your own personal DNA, the hair that you haven’t chemically or mechanically altered in any way. If you choose to relax your hair, you have decided to permanently change the way your hair looks as it grows out of your scalp making curly hair straight.
For me, the definition of natural hair is just that, it is hair that has not been altered to the point that it does not behave as your DNA dictates it to.
In our community and maybe in others as well there is a lot of confusion and chatter surrounding what is natural? Who is natural? Are you still natural if you use color? Are you still natural if you use heat?
Some of the questions sometimes come with a flare of arrogance mixed with a little drama and some of them are truly honest questions that many of us need answers to.
Defining natural hair from a practical or scientific perspective is not really what this post is about, but it is important to know what it means in its most basic form first before exploring all the surrounding additives that come with the concept of natural hair.
With that said, relaxing your hair does not change your new growth; all it changes is the structure of the exposed strand itself. If you use heat properly, there is no permanent damage to the hair strand and your hair remains natural regardless of you using a flat iron* or blow dryer*.