When I decided to go natural I wasn’t trying to make a statement or embark on some spiritual, self-defining journey. No, my reasoning was much simpler than that.

I went natural simply because I was tired of giving someone sixty-five dollars (or more) to burn my scalp. Half the time my perm didn’t take, and on the rare occasion that it turned out decent, it never lasted as long as it was supposed to.

Not once did my mane look as nice and silky as the chicks on the box. After forking over money for years, I eventually felt duped. My hair was a constant mixture of scabs, struggle hair, and a kitchen that refused to be tamed.

Something had to change. I decided to never process my hair again.

I’ve come a long way since making that decision, and it has definitely been for the better. However, over time, I’ve noticed tons of misconceptions concerning natural hair.

I’m here to set the record straight.

1. Having Natural Hair Is Less Maintenance.  

I remember thinking that my hair would grow right out of my scalp in the most beautiful curl patterns. Looking back now, I have to laugh at how naïve I was. While effortless curls may be true for some, my curl pattern is definitely not set up that way.

I have to put in work!

Twist outs, bantu knots, flat twist – I have to actually do something to give my hair the definition that I want. Luckily, that’s all a part of the fun!

2. Having Natural Hair Isn’t For Everyone.  

Seriously? So the hair that grows out of your head isn’t for you? I’ve had countless women come up to me and tell me how beautiful they think my hair is. Unfortunately, the statement is usually followed up with, “But that wouldn’t look right on me.”

*Deep Sigh* How you wear your hair is your business, and all kinds of styles look great, but please do not tell me that you would not look just as attractive natural. I’m pretty sure God would disagree.

3. Having Natural Hair Is Unprofessional.  

When I hear this statement the first thing I think is: the person making the remark must think my skin color is unprofessional too.

For many women of African descent kinky, coily hair comes with the territory. How can having the physical features of my ancestry ever be considered unprofessional? That type of thinking will NEVER make sense to me. As long as my hair is presentable and I execute my job proficiently, the word unprofessional should never come into play.

4. Men Don’t Dig Woman With Natural Hair.  

Well you know what? Their loss! If a man doesn’t like a woman simply because of the way she chooses to wear her hair, chances are he has issues. Leave him where he stands!

If wearing your hair natural, permed, or otherwise makes you happy, then by all means, DO IT! No one else has to walk around with your hair on their head. Don’t allow the opinion of others to dictate what you do.

5. You Must Be “Enlightened” If You Have Natural Hair.  

Who says? I hate the way people attempt to tie insignificant matters to real issues. To say that I’m enlightened because my hair is natural, is also to say that my permed sisters are not. Let’s not go there.

Hair is hair. It’s not indicative of your blackness, your support for the cause, or your enlightenment. While I am indeed an extremely proud black woman, you won’t come to that conclusion from simply looking at my hair.

6. You Must Have “Good Hair”.  

Can we just retire this phrase altogether? I mean, really, what is good hair? If by good you mean it doesn’t look a hot, unkempt mess, it’s only because I’ve combed my hair (see #1).

I love every kink, coil, and nap on my head. Yes, nap. I’ll let you in on a little secret too – if all of your hair is the same texture, nappy isn’t a bad thing at all. The coarseness of my hair is actually one of my favorite features. If you’re natural or decide to go natural, you’ll discover things you love about your hair that you possibly considered imperfections once.

Now that really is optimum.

At the end of the day, how you choose to wear your hair is entirely up to you. Just be confident. In the case that you decide to embrace your natural texture, try not to be discouraged. Learning (or relearning) your natural hair is a process, but it is one that is well worth the effort.

RELATED ARTICLE: Does Natural Hair Equate to Black Consciousness?

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