I just learned of this term “militant natural” … evidently I’m kinda one … but not really sure …
I mean, I know that I’m a little bit of a “militant” … but the term “natural” is really the question here.
See, I know a lil’ sunthin’-sumthin’ about this stuff … but I’m a dude that is still learning about natural hair culture. So, occasionally I’ll ask Shelli about things that just seem to confuse me. Like … “Are you natural if you press your hair?” I mean, in my logic, if your hair is naturally curly but you straightened it, you’re not natural anymore. But I understand that you have just added heat and not any chemicals that are going to permanently alter the structure of your hair. So … ???
Are you still considered natural if you add synthetic hair or the hair of someone else to your head? Again … logically, you don’t call someone who wears a wig or has a lacefront natural, do you? BUT … I understand that this is done on occasion as a protective style so that you don’t damage your natural hair. So … ??
And, if it’s about manipulation of your natural hair pattern then … are braid-outs and twist-outs not natural? Or … if you even style, re-twist or tighten your locs, does that mean you’re not natural? I’m just sayin’ … natural is a kinda abstract term or idea.
I understand if you use natural products on you hair but … when you use natural products to do things like make your locs that are naturally black … have green, gold and red tips and/or highlights … that confuses me. If you use natural products to make your hair look un-natural. Ok .. maybe all that color stuff isn’t natural!?!
Please do not get defensive about these questions! These are questions that S.O.’s may have and I’m just letting you know … we’re a little confused! But we still love you … because honestly, we don’t really care that much about your hair. We just like the fact that you are happy. So … don’t even respond to this … just keep these things in mind and don’t go off on your S.O. when they timidly ask you questions like these.
I think that Natural is relative, since lace front wigs no need to relax hairline = nappy under wig thats natural just protected by wig. Extensions on non chemically designed hair is Naptensions = natural I think that Natural starts in the mind , extends to what is put inside the body, and encompasses an entire life style. Not just the first things we see about a persons exterior. Most of us first responders to the call of being natural have done so because we believe certain things. embrace certain lifestyles, have political and social beliefs that are ” natural” the next level of natural is fashion. Fashion + Style without any notion to the social, political, environmental, or culinary interest of the first group. I used to only see naturals at the organic food store, now I see weaves, relaxed, colored and shaved heads at the organic farmers market nuff said.
“We” are the only race of people that give each other so much crap when it comes to caring and styling our hair. If someone who’s natural decides to press their hair, big deal. If someone relaxes, big deal. If they are old enough to make that decision on their own, live and let live. 🙂
I never had a relaxer and I haven’t pressed my hair in 9 years for personal reasons, but if I decided to do it again (flat iron), I shouldn’t have to worry about someone giving me the side eye about my hair.