What Does Natural Hair Mean To You?

African American woman with natual kinky hair smirkingIf 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.

Originally posted 2013-12-09 15:00:13.

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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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  1. Nidia

    Natural hair to me mean wearing it unaltered by chemicals or heat.

    It means that I can finally be myself, I can be real without any airs,flares or pretense.

  2. Rinae Kay

    I love mine!!!! Wore weaves n wigs for 20 years…I’m finally embracing my transitioned to natural hair and I love it!!!! I love the “is that all hers?” Stares!!!

  3. Charnell Scott

    Loving yourself from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet… No relaxers be real be yourself

  4. Doris StillStanding

    Hi. Im 15,my natural hair means everything to me. I grew up with the believe that straight hair rocks. For years,i’ve been laughed at for how big and stupid my hair was,but now i decided to not listen to jealous girls. I love my thick short hair. Im 7months into transitioning and its fun,cheap and healthy. You can see my hair on my profile pic. Ladies,our hair is beautiful. Can we please love it?

  5. Z WillBee RQueen

    Free to be 100% naturally me just being Bree! #no artfical flavor or color & no added preservatives, lol

  6. Gina Vanish

    Acceptance of how my hair grows from my scalp. Not destroying my hair with harsh chemicals to make it do what it’s not meant to do.

  7. Donna Coles

    Whether I chose to wear it kinky, braided or flat ironed, Natural hair to me is hair untouched by chemical straighteners.
    I personally find it easier to wash, condition, blow dry and flatiron my hair.
    I’ve done the braids (not becoming on my face and head) I’ve done the twist out (never looked anything like the ladies I’d see in pictures) just a hot mess. So my natural locks are flat ironed. It works for me

  8. Cherry Sapp

    It means that I am not ashamed of what texture God chose to give me . Also appreciate how he see me and not try to be like any one else . I love my hair I enjoy taking care of it and touching it .

  9. LaShawn Walker

    Hair that has not been chemical treated. No big deal. Women have been natural for years. It’s still hair composed of protein keratin. Each strand has a medulla, cortex and cuticle. Hair- a women’s grown of Glory.

  10. Savon Love

    Tender headed, Blow dryer combs not built to last, Pain killers, Hair that doesn’t last a week because it draws up so bad. It just shows other women u have natural hair. My budget doesn’t allow me to keep up with salons even tho natural hair requires more up keep. I can go on.

  11. Lasilia Imnottheonenottoday Thornton

    relaxer free hair———– but some naturals will try and argue that you cant color your hair either, which makes no sense to me , especially since the hair is still in its natural texture.

  12. Stacy Jenille Staton

    I liked this page because I wanted black hair information. But during that past week I’ve have only been seeing natural vs. relaxed debates. Can you go because to posting useful information about maintaining healthy hair whether relaxed or natural?

    1. Emily

      This is ‘black hair information’ , and very useful to some, the articles we choose to write about are based on the needs of an entire community, questions we get asked, comments we read ect. Just last week alone, we had everything from holiday hair to this article exploring the emotion behind natural hair. This is not an article that involves a debate between relaxed hair vs natural hair, this is an article asking the question about what natural hair means to you if you happen to have it.

      All of the information is useful to someone maybe the next article that you see will be useful to you but not so useful to me, thats the beauty of blogging, learning from each other and listening to each others thoughts and experiences. 🙂

  13. Jasmine Peterson

    It means ‘Natural Beauty’. It means I have excepted myself and no longer choose to be what society want me to be.

  14. Ashley

    Wearing my hair natural means no relaxer. For me, natural hair has also been a journey of self-discovery. I have so much appreciation for the hair that grows out of my scalp, and it saddens me to think of the generations of Black women across the globe who had nothing but disdain for their own naturally curly, kinky, coily hair.

    I am proud that not a week goes by without someone making a positive comment about my hair. I am proud of my African heritage and am glad that the world is now beginning to see our natural beauty! No one else has hair like us. We are blessed.

  15. Donna Campbell

    Freedom and knowing myself, being comfortable and happy with who I am, I am unique AND I LOVE IT

  16. Charice Underwood

    Hi Im Charice. Although i did a major change in my life i chopped my relaxed hair off and starting going natural, i support girls with relaxed hair too. When i had my perm i loved it but you know what i chopped it so it can grow. I think every woman is beautiful in her own way relaxed or not. ^___^

  17. Libby

    To me natural hair means to reconnect to my culture whatever it may be.

  18. Majorly_Mojo

    There are so many meanings behind the the term “natural” but I would have to agree with my dictionary which says “existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.” To me this means no alteration what so ever, pressed, perm, extentions etc. You wouldn’t walk around with these styles claiming you are natural because it’s not true. I call it like it is, if I am wearing a wig I say this is a wig, if am wearing my natural hair I say this is my natural hair. I think there are some people who are digging too much on the term…call it like it is it’s just hair lol.

  19. TMW

    Now that I’m past my transition and I’m 100% natural (for me that means no chemicals) I’m the happiest I have ever been with my hair… I actually smile at it every morning. Why did I wait so long to do this is beyond me. I had my 1st professional hair cut this past weekend after 2 years 4 months of transitioning. Today was a rainy day and instead of going straight or flopping around lifeless or dead my 4C hair looked EVEN better than it did when I was in the house and I didn’t use an umbrella all day. The rain just made my ‘fro softer. So for me natural = happy and also = freedom.

  20. Omo

    Being me. God-given gifts, accepted and appreciated by me.

  21. Malakah Angellia Gladston

    What does being black mean to you?
    There’s no difference between the two questions. I was born black, I was born with my wooly hair. That’s it.

  22. Cynthia Jimenez

    Yes a lot of work, I have to wet mine to pick it out 🙂 but best thing you can do a lot of styles as fros, twisties, braids, pick tail , pony tail 🙂

  23. Dominique Higgins

    It means I love where I come from and in turn my daughter will love where she came from. My hair is a part of my beauty so why not be a natural…

  24. Felecia Dunn

    I think it looks terrible, we have wonderful creations called perms and flat irons please use them instead of walking around with bed head all day, and calling it beautiful

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