The original comment was from a user who mentioned someone saying something offensive about her natural hair. My mother wears her hair naturally and I like it. My brother does, too, and I like his. I can see the beauty in natural hair as well as relaxed hair, and I unapologetically have no desire to not have a perm. It's a preference. But I thought the comment that was made to the person who started the forum was dumb. There's absolutely no logic in insulting someone for the way she chooses to wear her hair. If she likes it natural, she's not bothering you. If I like mine relaxed, I'm not bothering anybody either. But I made a couple points:
#1 I'm running into women who wear their hair naturally who somehow have convinced themselves they have the golden key to happy life, like women with relaxers are somehow lost and don't accept ourselves.
#2 I'm really getting tired of sistas spending so much time worried about their hair. I wish this type of energy would be focused on our health. I've seen too many women with beautiful hair and their health (sexual health, diet, blood pressure) are shot to shit.
Even on the very first day I have a perm, nothing about my hair is in anyway similar to someone who is of another race. There is this odd belief that people are trying to be accepted, when it's just a matter of being able to do certain styles with hair. I used to wack my hair off for years in order to get stacks and feathered hairstyles (folks who look in black hair fashion magazines know what I mean). You can't do these styles without a perm, and best believe not too many people can get these hairstyles but women with thicker hair. While natural hair may be easier to maintain without worrying about "harsher" chemicals, you're still using products to maintain it.
And while you're spreading rumors about it "frying your brain," you may want to take into consideration that once that hair is visible, it's dead. It comes from your scalp, you know, that thing protecting your brain. That's why you have to pull hair hard enough to reach the scalp in order for it to hurt. Nobody says "ouch" when you flick a ponytail. All of the horror stories about relaxer usually happen when someone doesn't know how to use it, leaves it on too long or uses it near a cold sore. (I read a snide comment about how Chris Rock's film shouldn't be taken seriously but the truth of the matter is a licensed medical professional did show what happens to chemicals when left on too long. Don't underestimate Chris Rock because he does comedy; the medical professional in the film was real. While the example was a little far-fetched because no one should leave relaxer on that long nor should they put it directly on flesh, it's not like they made it up.) Instead of battling about whose hair is better, try accepting that hair is hair. And constantly posting photos on Facebook to get confirmation that your natural hair is beautiful comes off incredibly insecure. When you're comfortable with something, the constant need for confirmation isn't necessary.
#2 I used to write a Black Hair & Health column online during my freelancing days. After about a month, I was bored out of my mind. I wanted to write something deeper and found that writing about more beneficial topics like news and relationships with other sites grabbed my attention far more. (Hell, I even liked writing about fragrances and entertainment were a thousand times more interesting to me.)
After spending over a decade in a beauty salon from the age of 5 or 6 until my teenage years and then again in my 20s, I realized several things--1) I was blowing money on stuff I could do at home for less than $10; 2) I despise all the gossiping in hair salons (as well as two beauticians who thought it was cool to smoke cigarettes while doing my hair--tacky!); 3) It's just hair. I think it's incredibly sad when a woman can run down every single homemade remedy that she can do to her hair and all of these opinions on what hair type is better, but you ask her a question like, "What's HPV?" and she's lost. (I'm using HPV because over 50 percent of sexually active people will get it at some point in their lives. Other STDs and STIs aren't this popular, and anything that can lead to cervical cancer [or any cancer] is going to catch my attention. But you can feel in any other STD or STI. Chances are many won't have a clue about it.) While there are those who believe a healthy head of hair means a healthy body, that's not always true. While it is true that hair can fall out when health is bad, I personally know women with a head full of hair who have weight issues, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
We need to know more about our health overall. If we dedicate the kind of time focusing on our health that we do on hair that's already dead by the time it's visible (that's why it doesn't hurt when you cut it; it's dead), stats for black women would be so much better. Yes, I realize hair is complimentary. I get it. I don't walk out of the house with mine all over my head. I still visit a beauty supply store here and there and make sure my hair is neat, but nothing bothers me more than a woman who won't exercise because she doesn't want to mess up her hair. We've totally got to get our health in order. We've also got to stop listening to these "experts" who swear they know everything about health and hair without a license to show for it. A certificate means you finished a class. Talk to someone who has an active, current license about your health and your hair before you start running down health advice. Better yet, visit credible sites and talk to credible, established companies to learn about your own health.
Whatever you do though, at least try to be well-versed on how to take care of yourself inside and stop worrying so much about the top of your head. I've seen some of the baddest sistas walking who are rocking short cuts or bald. Hair is cool, but it's just not the end of the world. My crown is my brain, not how long my ponytail is.