Can A White Girl Be A part Of The Natural Hair Movement? – Curly Nikki Post Controversy

Curly Nikki controversy

We cannot even sit here with straight faces and pretend like we have not noticed the controversial topic of discussion this week. To get you up to speed, basically Sarah of Curls & Blossoms shared her curly hair story with Curly Nikki. Sarah is a white woman. Since then both she and Curly Nikki have received a ton of  backlash for sharing that particular natural hair journey and the opinions are rolling in like an uncontrolled wildfire.

The team here on BHI have been talking about it as well, we have all seen the comments and we have tried to rationalized why black women feel so strongly as to why we cannot see the “curly hair struggle” as a united struggle beyond race and beyond texture.

I will share the same two comments Sarah shared on her blog here:

“Why do we need to make spaces for people who already have representation? Always so willing to accommodate and yet always being less accommodated. Making spaces for white women in the limited spaces made for women of colour isn’t going to change anything.”

“Still shaking my head at the black women on here defending this mess. Y’all are absolutely pathetic. I don’t want to hear any of you complaining when white women take over Essence and they change “Black Girls Rock” to “All Girls Rock”. We basically have nothing for ourselves, so we carve out a little space of our own in the beauty world and sellouts are ready and willing to hand this precious space over to white women. It’s amazing. And sad.”

Then there is this comment:


“You are free to call your hair whatever you want, but seeking inclusion in a space that was created to allow black women the opportunity to buck conventional ideals of western beauty standards, learn to accept and embrace themselves despite the images that we see in the media, and gain an understanding for our hair despite having few external examples to learn from, is the real issue. You cannot ignore the politics that exist surrounding black hair. Black children are being sent home from school for wearing their hair in afros.

Black men have to wear their hair shaved low otherwise it’s deemed unprofessional, and black women are told that the way that our hair grows out of our scalps is inappropriate for professional settings. These are real challenges that we uniquely face and the natural hair movement was created in part to begin to dismantle them. So please, call your hair whatever you wish, but quit seeking inclusion in a space that was created to challenge the very privilege that you apparently don’t even realize that you enjoy.”

Sarah’s responded on her blog…

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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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Comments

  1. Lisa LiGlisa Chae Kerns
    Lisa LiGlisa Chae Kerns

    Not trying to be discriminatory bcuz I’m not prejudice, but don’t we see caucasians dominating enough? The very few who may have similar hair textures…sure…but the ones who have had the most difficulties are the ones with the kinkiest driest texture who need the most help in learning how to manage their own hair. I’m not saying whites can’t get in on it if this is helpful for them also but do they really need to be the face on anything else?

  2. Janet Edwards
    Janet Edwards

    Anyone with natural curly hair; regardless of the texture, can be a part of the natural hair movement.

  3. Daisha Miller
    Daisha Miller

    Preach sista preach the struggle is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in no way does our hair compare to a white womans head IN NO WAY

  4. Martha Patterson
    Martha Patterson

    Natural hair is your own hair that God gave you, no matter what color you are. I have natural curly hair, might look kinky to some, but I can straighten it ,color it, braid it or perm it because its mine. I can buy a wig or wear a weave, make it long or short if want because its my business. We have to love the skin we’re in thank God for it and stop worrying about other peoples problem. And if we don’t like it well we know how to change it. They got the products in stores , convenient too.

  5. Jazzy Chin
    Jazzy Chin

    No because they don’t have thick hair like black girls. Yes we’re all women but we’re also different so stop including everybody that don’t compare to us.

  6. Zelekah McClam
    Zelekah McClam

    No. Everything we come up with they try to invade. Let us have something for ourselves. They didn’t have any of this until black people formed their own. Come on. We as black people will accept anything and invite everyone else in but clown and talk about our own. Let it go white people. We started having pride in our bodies, they started getting implants. Pride in our lips, they started getting biotic. Pride in our color, they started tanning. We started rapping, now they swear they are gangsters. Damn! And we just sit back like it’s ok. It wasn’t ok for us to use their bathrooms, eat at their lunch counters, etc. We settle for anything. Smh

  7. Shelly Allen
    Shelly Allen

    I say its fine but start your own group you haven’t got a clue to what black woman face with there natural hair

  8. Monique Jackie Morton
    Monique Jackie Morton

    Natural is natural, no matter the race. What about all of the interracial kids? Can they not be natural without being “Black”? Like I’ve commented before on a hair debate, people are blowing up about this because some Black women think that “being natural” is a trend instead of being a healthy lifestyle. This shouldn’t even be an issue in 2014.

    If you thought of it as living a healthy lifestyle, then you wouldn’t be angry, upset, up in arms about another race wanting to embrace natural living.

    Hell, in 2050 humans will start looking this:
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/changing-faces/img/13-marshall-hosanha-150.jpg

    So if you want to keep the natural hair movement a “Black thing” then you might want to inform those people in the article I’m sharing (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/changing-faces/funderburg-text) that they aren’t black enough for the movement.

  9. Anna Ogonji Smith
    Anna Ogonji Smith

    Only if she experienced the hatred towards kinky hair that some of us are still experiencing. Being forced to relax her hair because straighter is supposed to be better. And finally when you have the courage to find your inner beauty and being forced to cut your hair to regrow it the way God intended it to look. If she experienced a real struggle then I’d say yes. If she’s just having a hard time styling her curly hair, because her mom was used to straight hair then NO.

  10. Daisha Miller
    Daisha Miller

    We get it azure you disagree you think we are ignorant for having a different opinion than yours. We get it! Are you done?!

  11. Amber Chike-Udenze
    Amber Chike-Udenze

    The struggle is different, but just as deep… Especially for the mixed curly girlies (myself included). The ones with white mamas be driving the struggle bus and have NO IDEA where they headed. Even some Caucasian curly girlies be having the worst time because no one in their family can help them manage their curls… so in conclusion… let the girl make it lol

    1. A
      A'sha Dozier

      You are beautiful. As a black woman, we need to uplift each other more instead of finding joy in misery.

  12. Brandy Illuminated Booker
    Brandy Illuminated Booker

    I highly doubt that white women are combing black culture looking for things to invade and steal. “Black women are starting a natural hair movement. Let’s take that too! MUAH HA HA HA!!!!!!” Obviously she found something in all this natural stuff she could relate to. Racism does indeed exist but when WE let it play a role in every fucking thing, who are the ones that keep really picking the scab on that wound?

  13. Kashmere Noel
    Kashmere Noel

    I’m going to try my hardest not to insult anyone here lol. I can understand both sides of this controversy. On the one hand, SKIN colour shouldn’t be an issue in a HAIR movement. However, it probably is easier in general (not always) for curly haired white people to get information and products for their hair than curly haired mixed or black people. Hence I understand people’s frustration over “the struggle”. And also, the natural hair community focused a lot on embracing a hair type that has been repressed specifically in black or mixed people. For example, my mixed race sister and white grandmother have the same “hair type” (2C/3A) however it’s my sister who receives more negativity about her curls while my grandmother receives compliments more often. Yes it’s stupid and ignorant, but I guess the issue is there regardless and that’s partly why skin colour is now being viewed in such a controversial light within the natural hair movement. It’s hard not to step on toes in such discussions, hope I expressed a fair outlook. Personally I don’t see the problem, in fact I’m trying to persuade my white mother to take more interest in the movement so that she can apply some hair care tips to her own regimen 🙂

  14. Kathryn Leger
    Kathryn Leger

    I don’t have “natural hair” it’s straight as can be m but I fully support the natural hair thing. I went to beauty school that focused on natural hair because I love it. I may not be able to be part of the movement but I support it fully. Also our hair is made of the same stuff…. keratin.

  15. Theresa Loscocco
    Theresa Loscocco

    The natural hair movement is about learning how to embrace not only the hair God gave you but learning how to love and be proud of yourself as a black woman! And showing the world how beautiful it is to be black, with our “nappy” , ” kinky” hair and all. White American culture traditionally has shamed our natural hair and discouraged us from even wearing it as God gave it because it has been considered ugly, unprofessional or “too ethnic”. As the dominant culture in this society, white women have never had to struggle with this issue, and NEVER to the extent black women have!! The natural hair movement encompasses SO much more than learning to love your natural hair; but only a Black woman would understand that. If white women are also becoming more inclined to use “natural” products, GREAT but they need to call it something else and stop trying to rob other people’s culture only when it’s “cool” or convenient to them. Where was their “support” and “encouragement” for natural hair before it became “in”???

  16. Sarina Evans Gardner
    Sarina Evans Gardner

    The mix races if mix with black are black. The melanin makes it so. I dont think that the ladies are talking about mix. The question says white. So if you have a biracial child that is mixed with black….YOUR CHILD IS BLACK.

  17. Cheresa Gary-Ralls
    Cheresa Gary-Ralls

    Is her hair natural them yes !! What some people seem to forget it’s that blacks aren’t the only ones with different textures of hair. What made natural hair only symbolize black hair ?

  18. Melissa Daughtry
    Melissa Daughtry

    I’m thinking of unsubscribing from this page. Why does it always have to be about black this and white that. There is no pure race. Everybody is mixed in someway. Everybody struggled in someway. Everybody dies and goes in the ground and turns to dirt. That’s as natural as you can get. If something or someone is altered, yes it/they can go back to it’s natural state depending on how it’s changed. If you chemically changed you hair for years, whether it has been permed or relaxed for years. So yes. But this white/black bigoted crap needs to stop.

    1. Ciani Nicole Johnson
      Ciani Nicole Johnson

      It frustrates to see Black people so disillusioned that they think race isn’t an issue anymore. Complacency is what’s going to keep us down at this point.

  19. Sarina Evans Gardner
    Sarina Evans Gardner

    Natural hair doesn’t just symbolize black hair but when your on a site that clearly states black hair information its clearly for black people #Chersa

  20. Dana London
    Dana London

    I agree and that remark by sarina offends me ! And is very ignorant! No my child is black and white! I’m not gonna deny either race. And just because I am white does not mean I won’t do her hair ; not to mention white curly hair can b as unmanageable.

    1. Tracienatural

      Dana, I think you’re talking about something a little different than what many of the commenters are saying. The issue is not whether you can log onto an open website and read it, comment, et cetera. That’s the internet; if it’s not membership only, then it’s an open site. The issue is when black hair sites change the content without notifying their current audience. If CurlyNikki wants to be inclusive of all curlies, then she should have probably let the current audience know. That way, they would not have been so shocked when they saw the profile of the young white lady. As for blackhairinformation.com, I can’t imagine anyone, black, white, latina, asian, native or otherwise, who would expect anything on the site but profiles of black hair, i.e. black people.

  21. Arica Heimlich
    Arica Heimlich

    Racism is real I see. Calm down. Last time I checked we were all humna beings. Why does it always have to be a them versuses us, with everything in this country. You keep bigotry going with your narrow minds!

  22. Vannie Cambridge
    Vannie Cambridge

    People love creating issues when old ones die out or get tired and fade- why can’t they? I say Yes they should!!

  23. Sarina Evans Gardner
    Sarina Evans Gardner

    Its not ment to offend you or your child…see this the type of stuff that happens when people of other races dont understand our communication. I never said deny that your child is white and black. To each its own. I have no time to waste to give you accreditation on the issue if your child is black or white. In my race he/she is considered black. #DANALONDON

    1. Raven Marie
      Raven Marie

      Exactly! Everything is catered to them. We can’t have our own now that they tried to keep us out of theirs?

  24. Melissa Daughtry
    Melissa Daughtry

    And I disagree with that bull of whites shaming our race about hair. Its 2014 and I still hear black women talk about nappy hair and what’s good and bad hair. Masta’ still telling you about how nappy your hair is now, in 2014?! Really?! Let’s talk about how I’m gonna leave a legacy for my children of success and prosperity regardless of their hair pattern. Let’s talk about how their inheritance that I’M leaving them is what’s gonna help them with God’s help.

  25. Nicole Symone J
    Nicole Symone J

    If someone has a problem with it, they don’t understand what it means to be natural, or human. She can be apart of the blog too any day. Come on down!

  26. Nikki Dove
    Nikki Dove

    Idgaf if u r in the “movement” i just know im not gonna take ur advice cuz ur hair texture aint the same as mine…hell i dont take advice from some black girls for the same reason. Come on white girl hop on board.

  27. Dana London
    Dana London

    That’s ashame for the ppl u know who cannot accept that a person is two races not one. If I called my daughter just white it’s not correct! I’m disgusted to see this racism! Cause that’s what it Is

    1. Tracienatural

      Dana, come on now. I’m sure you realize that the idea of calling a biracial child black has a historical basis, right? You know that historically this was imposed upon blacks, right? By, the ruling white classes during slavery/colonization (and reconstruction/jim crow), correct? Blacks assimilated the message and have come to see this as “normal.” It might not be accurate scientifically, though. In fact, you probably don’t agree because you look at it scientifically, as well as through the eyes of a loving mother. So, it’s not racism, it’s just two different points of view. None of these commenters are trying to denigrate you or your child. They are only expressing the unspoken rules of their culture. I actually agree with you to some extent; I don’t see biracial people as black–unless they affirmatively state that they are. But then again, I come from a Caribbean background, where biracials were historically known as mulattos and were part of the bourgeoisie class; in fact, many of them would never want to be called black (then or now).

  28. Stephanie

    “Can’t we have our own?”
    When we relax our hair, is that our own, or who are we imitating?
    When we bleach our skin, is that our own, or who are we imitating?
    When we sport our blue contacts, is that our own, or who are we imitating?
    When we date outside of our race, we justify it, but when our men do, we talk bad about the woman of the other race.
    Come on my sisters, let it go sometimes.

  29. Xandra Love
    Xandra Love

    Your right it’s not the same your hair may be much harder to take care of but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also go through stresses of keeping my hair natural not speaking of myself necessarily but in a General sense, I can only imagine the pressure everyone is put through to conform to the perms and weaves etc. That doesn’t mean tho that other people don’t have hair issues even.though they are not EXACTLY the same I don’t believe that anyone should be excluded just because of their ethnicity. I would feel the same way if this were pertaining to a group specifically directed toward my hair type.

  30. Helga Walpole
    Helga Walpole

    The very essence of “the natural movement” is self pride that was removed from us by a white power structure imposing white beauty ideals. So now that we are successfully freeing ourselves from such crippling beauty standards & taking charge of our own natural Black beauty, white ppl feel they must get a piece of the pie also? No. I don’t think so. Let us have something for ourselves just once. Please.
    For so long, “white” was the natural standard default. Now they want to forget about that & act like they’ve been in the 400 yr struggle with us. How about no.

    1. Chyna Mon
      Chyna Mon'et

      U r stupid! Not every black person has kinky hair therefore can identify with other races whose majority have fine/wavy hair. Natural isn’t a race but is hair in it’s “natural” state. Every race can have that!

  31. Helga Walpole
    Helga Walpole

    Lol, I’m just telling it like it is honey. The TRUTH. But you blacks are so stupid, always being blind to the TRUTH!!!

  32. Sarina Evans Gardner
    Sarina Evans Gardner

    Fyi I have a little brother that is half white and black never had to deal with these issues before he know his black family says he black and he is 21. I think that you have the issue on how someone sees your child. Really I could care less my brother knows both sides love him and thats all that matters y’all are making into mor than what it is…

  33. Nessa Rene
    Nessa Rene'e

    Yes. Most curly haired white women I know feel pressured to straighten their hair to look professional

  34. Shirley Badazz
    Shirley Badazz

    Just curious, ummmm since they wanna join the movement what dramatic change are you gonna make, no more dye, change shampoo, which I never seen a shampoo say for white natural hair? Just wondering. And yes if it grows out your scalp it’s natural, but our naturals are different, and if your mixed with kinks then duhhh your considered natural if you dnt use chemical, but if your hair looks likes water running down a faucet (straight) and you dont need edge control for those baby hairs then please you can not be in what we african americans call natural club.

    1. Jen

      There’s no shampoo that says for black natural hair either.

  35. Dionna Johnson
    Dionna Johnson

    My daughter is bi racial and she would have no business on her. She doesn’t have the same texture so she wouldn’t have advice to give. Me on the other hand I would. Because I’m allllllll black!!

  36. Jamie Carter-Bailey
    Jamie Carter-Bailey

    I thought natural was riding your hair or any chemical that would alter it’s natural stage. Now where did it say there were race stipulations? Cmon really? We as black women talk about how white women look at talk down to us but when we have the opportunity to rise above. What do we do?! Segregate ourselves … yep we’ve come a long way. Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, all these great women who fault so hard for equality amongst women smh. But we teach our children something other than what we do ourselves. Terrible just terrible

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