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I have been ‘natural’ (no relaxer or perm) for almost two years now.
At times I wasn’t sure how to adjust, so when in doubt, I did what everyone else does. I consulted the internet oracle to find out how I should proceed in managing my mane. Thankfully, I learned a great deal of useful advice on Youtube and Instagram from naturalistas like @eclarke6, @themanechoice, @chicandcoily, and @msrobin_nella. In my research, I also noticed something that did not sit well with me AT ALL.
I noticed there was this word I didn’t understand, but natural women were using it to describe their tresses. So after googling ‘hair typing’ I learned that it is basically a classification of one’s hair type on a scale of fine to coarse or coily to kinky. Now most people see no issue with this, but to me, it immediately appeared to be a cultural red flag. Upon further investigation, and to my dismay, I started finding Facebook groups and different blogs of black women celebrating (or blaspheming) which classification they fell into. *School Daze ‘good hair/bad hair’ plays in the background* They were comparing themselves to one another, some swooning over one particular type, others implying one was worse than another. It was sickening.
Many naturalistas are quick to berate or look down on a woman with a relaxer (which I am against). Some even brag about how proud they are of their afros and the things they can do with it. Which is all fine and good, but how is strand type or texture classification any different than the good old fashion good hair versus bad hair school of thought? It isn’t. Hair typing is the new age good hair/ bad hair complex and just because you only limit the classification within your own ethnic group does not make it any less heinous and damaging. Especially to little girls who may have to be subjected to this nonsense by texture obsessed mothers.
There will always be someone who has something you want and you will always have something someone else wants. As far as hair goes, there are cancer patients and people living with alopecia who would kill for ANY type of hair regardless of its classification because the truth is, as long as your hair is healthy, it is the right type.
I refuse to play a part in propagating this divisive foolishness. I refuse to follow, post, or join any of these online groups that use hair typing as a platform. Hell, I even refuse to bother looking into what type I fall under and I damn sure wouldn’t do that to a daughter or niece. It is culturally counter productive.