Interesting Story...

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Interesting Story...

Post by Juices-n-Berries on 28th March 2011, 3:41 pm

So today on Twitter (@JuicesnBerriez) I tweeted about Shea Moisture products being on sale. One of my followers RTed it and I asked her if she's tried the line. She replied back saying "No. I'm not natural. But many of my followers are. I have medium textured wavy/curly "typical Puerto Rican girl" hair". I didn't exactly know how to respond at first. I'm assuming that if she has wavy or curly hair, she must not have a relaxer. And if she did, I think she would have just said that she had a relaxer instead of describing her curl type. Also, even though she said she has Puerto Rican hair, I believe she embraces the "black" side of that nationality because we are in the same sorority (which is traditionally black) So, I found it strange that she did not identify herself as natural. I responded simply by saying that Shea Moisture products aren't just for natural hair and that anyone could use them. However, I will say this isn't the first time I've heard this from someone. While there are alot of looser textured from birth naturals that identify themselves as such (Ex. Tia and BajanPrincess) I have run into lots of loose curly haired African Americans (ie 3b/3c) who do not identify themselves as having natural hair. In my opinion, all unrelaxed or untexturized hair is natural, regardless of how loose or tight the curl. But I think some people still equate natural hair with afro textured (ie 4a/4b) hair. What are your thoughts on this? And what have been your experiences?
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by kulem on 28th March 2011, 3:56 pm

I've noticed that people with that type of hair usually just refer to their hair as being curly. My mixed friends just say that their hair is curly, not natural. We refer to our hair as being natural because it's the opposite of using a relaxer, which most Black women use. So we use the word natural to say we have no chemicals. Does that make sense?
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Juices-n-Berries on 28th March 2011, 4:02 pm

kulem wrote:I've noticed that people with that type of hair usually just refer to their hair as being curly. My mixed friends just say that their hair is curly, not natural. We refer to our hair as being natural because it's the opposite of using a relaxer, which most Black women use. So we use the word natural to say we have no chemicals. Does that make sense?

I think I understand what the mindset is. I just don't particularly agree. Through being on sites like CurlyNikki and NaturallyCurly, there are women with all textures here who identify themselves as natural. In fact, CurlyNikki herself has the type of hair that people might describe as "curly" instead of "natural". In addition, there are many people with a looser texture that still used to get their hair relaxed. And as stated in the original post, I've met many people on this site that have never had a relaxer, have a looser curl pattern, but still identify as natural.

My question is... Is curly hair not natural hair? Is natural hair not curly?
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by kulem on 28th March 2011, 4:59 pm

Yes curly hair is natural, and no not all natural hair is curly. My mother has no curl pattern at all, but her hair is still natural because she doesn't relax it.

My friends aren't trying to deny their blackness by calling their hair curly and not natural, that's just what they call their hair and I don't think it ever occurred to them to call it something different. Sometimes people just use different words for the same things. I think the word natural is widely used now, but it wasn't when I first went natural, so for some this is new.
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 28th March 2011, 5:13 pm

Interesting question. I have not run into this conversation in "real time" as of yet. I do think a lot of people equate "natural" mosty with type 4 hair for whatever reason. I certainly agree with you on that. I think there are a few reasons why one would not use that term specifically. I feel "natural" is deemed more of a black thing so maybe she feels the term does not apply to her due to being Puerto Rican (even if it is a part of her heritage somewhere along the line). It could be that natural seems to be used more often to set apart our real texture from our chemically induced texture. I don't know of any other race that uses this word to make that distinction. Ultimately I think its a matter of how someone personally defines natural. It is kinda weird that natural hair is not the norm and requires special categorization... scratch Its not like were born with perms... Personally I think any hair that hasn't been permenantly chemically altered falls under that natural category too. That goes for straight, wavy, curly, and kinky in my book.
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Juices-n-Berries on 28th March 2011, 5:15 pm

kulem wrote:Yes curly hair is natural, and no not all natural hair is curly. My mother has no curl pattern at all, but her hair is still natural because she doesn't relax it.

My friends aren't trying to deny their blackness by calling their hair curly and not natural, that's just what they call their hair and I don't think it ever occurred to them to call it something different. Sometimes people just use different words for the same things. I think the word natural is widely used now, but it wasn't when I first went natural, so for some this is new.

I get what you are saying. And that does make alot of sense. Perhaps since more and more people are "going natural" the term is new to some people. You're right. They probably never thought to call themselves that. But it did seem from our discussion that she had some familiarity with natural hair and still distinguished herself from it. It's one thing to not identify as natural IRL. But if we are online having a discussion about a product for curly hair, I would think that you wouldn't separate yourself.

Btw. I wasn't at all suggesting that she denied her blackness. I was moreso thinking along the lines of the misconceptions about the differences yet similarities in black hair. For example, this video (racial dialogue aside) when the two women touch each other's hair and realize how similar it is...


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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Juices-n-Berries on 28th March 2011, 5:19 pm

Ambitious_Tiff wrote:Interesting question. I have not run into this conversation in "real time" as of yet. I do think a lot of people equate "natural" mosty with type 4 hair for whatever reason. I certainly agree with you on that. I think there are a few reasons why one would not use that term specifically. I feel "natural" is deemed more of a black thing so maybe she feels the term does not apply to her due to being Puerto Rican (even if it is a part of her heritage somewhere along the line). It could be that natural seems to be used more often to set apart our real texture from our chemically induced texture. I don't know of any other race that uses this word to make that distinction. Ultimately I think its a matter of how someone personally defines natural. It is kinda weird that natural hair is not the norm and requires special categorization... scratch Its not like were born with perms... Personally I think any hair that hasn't been permenantly chemically altered falls under that natural category too. That goes for straight, wavy, curly, and kinky in my book.

It could be a racial thing for her as she is Puerto Rican like you said. But I've heard this from African Americans (with unknown/untraced ancestry). The part I bolded was exactly what I was thinking. Also, I totally agree with you that our hair shouldn't require categorization. In fact, I stopped using the term "go natural" You don't go natural, you are born that way. I now say "I stopped relaxing". The end.
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by BajanPrincess82 on 28th March 2011, 5:35 pm

Hey J&B, you shouted me out! lol

I actually didn't use the term "natural" or describe myself as being natural until it started becoming more popular a few years ago (around '06). I have a friend who used to boast about how I'd been "natural" all my life and would have people coming up to me asking me all types of haircare questions. Usually the first thing they would say was "so you're natural?" and I would usually say something like "I've never gotten a relaxer if thats what you mean" (not being rude, I just didn't use that term). I would describe my hair as curly and say I never got a relaxer, but the phrase "I'm natural" never came out of my mouth.

So....now thats its a few years later and the term is more popular, I find myself using it. There's nothing derogatory as describing your hair as natural if its naturally curly, wavy, or straight. Really its just another descriptive word.
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 28th March 2011, 5:37 pm

Juices-n-Berries wrote:It could be a racial thing for her as she is Puerto Rican like you said. But I've heard this from African Americans (with unknown/untraced ancestry). The part I bolded was exactly what I was thinking. Also, I totally agree with you that our hair shouldn't require categorization. In fact, I stopped using the term "go natural" You don't go natural, you are born that way. I now say "I stopped relaxing". The end.

Now that says it all. Wink
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by BajanPrincess82 on 28th March 2011, 5:44 pm

Ambitious_Tiff wrote:Interesting question. I have not run into this conversation in "real time" as of yet. I do think a lot of people equate "natural" mosty with type 4 hair for whatever reason. I certainly agree with you on that. I think there are a few reasons why one would not use that term specifically. I feel "natural" is deemed more of a black thing so maybe she feels the term does not apply to her due to being Puerto Rican (even if it is a part of her heritage somewhere along the line). It could be that natural seems to be used more often to set apart our real texture from our chemically induced texture. I don't know of any other race that uses this word to make that distinction. Ultimately I think its a matter of how someone personally defines natural. It is kinda weird that natural hair is not the norm and requires special categorization... scratch Its not like were born with perms... Personally I think any hair that hasn't been permenantly chemically altered falls under that natural category too. That goes for straight, wavy, curly, and kinky in my book.
I agree that a lot of people equate "natural" hair with type 4 hair, or even just an afro. We have all different textures and hair types as evidenced on this board, hair blogs, youtube etc...
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by creolebeauty1 on 28th March 2011, 5:54 pm

i think it depends on the person and their mind set , when people say they are natural before i knew the terms i use to think they meant they were totally green natural , like vegan , but i found out to many black people they are referring to chemical free hair , as far as looser curls people identifying as hair being curly but not natural i just had that discussion with my best friend she has curly hair maybe type 3c hair she never had a relaxer and straighten every now and than she refers to her hair as curly not natural either i wonder why that is but i think the fact that relaxers for kinkier textures is almost the norm and natural hair is the unpopular choice for many can be the reason but i think if your hair is not relaxed or chemically treated than you are a natural , a person with highly textured hair who chose not chemically change it that's all i got lol





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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 28th March 2011, 6:06 pm

BajanPrincess82 wrote:I agree that a lot of people equate "natural" hair with type 4 hair, or even just an afro. We have all different textures and hair types as evidenced on this board, hair blogs, youtube etc...

Girl why did someone ask me when I was going to start wearing a fro to work? Like I live a double hair life or something. When I asked her what prompted the question, she just said she just thought that's what naturals do, "represent" *holding up fist*. I couldn't do anything but shake my head and laugh.
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by curlytee on 28th March 2011, 7:13 pm

Sorry, I'm off topic, but Juices-n-Berries you hair is absolutely beautiful.


Juices-n-Berries wrote:So today on Twitter (@JuicesnBerriez) I tweeted about Shea Moisture products being on sale. One of my followers RTed it and I asked her if she's tried the line. She replied back saying "No. I'm not natural. But many of my followers are. I have medium textured wavy/curly "typical Puerto Rican girl" hair". I didn't exactly know how to respond at first. I'm assuming that if she has wavy or curly hair, she must not have a relaxer. And if she did, I think she would have just said that she had a relaxer instead of describing her curl type. Also, even though she said she has Puerto Rican hair, I believe she embraces the "black" side of that nationality because we are in the same sorority (which is traditionally black) So, I found it strange that she did not identify herself as natural. I responded simply by saying that Shea Moisture products aren't just for natural hair and that anyone could use them. However, I will say this isn't the first time I've heard this from someone. While there are alot of looser textured from birth naturals that identify themselves as such (Ex. Tia and BajanPrincess) I have run into lots of loose curly haired African Americans (ie 3b/3c) who do not identify themselves as having natural hair. In my opinion, all unrelaxed or untexturized hair is natural, regardless of how loose or tight the curl. But I think some people still equate natural hair with afro textured (ie 4a/4b) hair. What are your thoughts on this? And what have been your experiences?
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by curlywhirl on 28th March 2011, 7:25 pm

I do think that some people have a problem being associated with anything black (side-note i posted an article about Dominicans and their hair issues). So with the word natural becoming synonymous for black hair without the perm, some women of color might back away from using the word.
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by curlywhirl on 28th March 2011, 7:26 pm

Another side-note I just realized that I have 2 profiles on here, I'm Kulem from up above. I didn't even realize I had logged in under a different name. SMH!
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by LoveZaporiah on 28th March 2011, 7:34 pm

I actually didn't start describing my hair as natural until maybe a year ago. I've been relaxer free for many years but I always flat ironed my hair. When I started wearing it in it's natural state-curly- I still just said I had curly hair. Natural wasn't really a term for me.
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by A-Felice on 28th March 2011, 8:12 pm

Um... ok.. every one can refer to themselves as natural, as long as they aren't altering their curl pattern/hair texture. Whites, blacks, asians, latinos. Anyone
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Mangos&Bananas on 28th March 2011, 8:18 pm

I think most people don't associate themselves as 'being' natural because of the now popular phrase 'going natural'. They feel that because they never underwent any process, the 'movement' doesn't apply to them. & I understand.Why do we have to be catagorized as 'natural', when all we are doing is being ourselves. If anything, you would assume there would be a word for women with perms and relaxers as oppose to the other way around. I just think its so backwards. As you stated, you can't 'go' natural, because by definition it is your natural state. But you can.'go relaxed'.That would make more sense as far as im concerned. Women of puerto rican decent who don't typically use relaxers and have generally always been in their 'natural state' even before african american women coined the term 'natural' , but we never associated them with relaxed hair, so why should we associate them as having non-relaxed hair? Many white women don't use perms and relaxers, but we don't automatically deem them as natural. I think more women would associate with having natural hair if it was more of a description and less of a movement.

For instance bajan (gorgeouuuuuus hair by the way!!) Said she didn't initially associate with being 'natural' because she never 'went natural'. & I agree, being natural is more about something that you don't do (perm) than some sort of process movement type thing.

With that being said, I do often catch myself referring to people as 'being natural'. Smh.ill be sure to catch myself! Lol. Thanks alot for the enlightening post. Great discussion topic!
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Juices-n-Berries on 28th March 2011, 8:25 pm

@Bajan I'm glad you came on and responded. I was hoping you would.

@ Tiff I would've been lowkey pissed at that comment. But there's really nothing you can say when a person is that ignorant

@curlytee Thanks!!! Very Happy

@Kulem/curlywhirl Actually I was gonna say that. This discussion made me think of the post you made about the Dominicans. Very interesting.

I'm glad some people who didn't use the term weighed in. I can definitely see your point of view. And I understand why you didn't use to use the term.

Still I say, natural hair IS popular these days. And this person is obviously full well aware of what natural hair is or at least what she thinks it is. So I still think it odd that she would say she's not natural. Maybe she describes her hair as curly instead of natural to the outside world. And that's fine. It matters not to me. But to say I'm NOT natural is a definitive no. So, you know. Just saying. Just thinking.
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Etymology is fascinating

Post by A-Felice on 28th March 2011, 9:53 pm

BajanPrincess82 wrote:

I actually didn't use the term "natural" or describe myself as being natural until it started becoming more popular a few years ago (around '06).

I find this so interesting because the term natural has been popularly used where I come from (Trinidad) since I was like 12! If you stopped relaxing you were "going natural" and if you never did, or you had finished transitioning you were "natural". I suppose this could also count for the disparity in views of what is natural, since words mean different things in different parts of the world. When I came to America I was flabbergasted that the word perm, referred to a relaxer. I was honestly so confused at first. lol
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Spiralos on 28th March 2011, 10:35 pm

This is the first I've heard, too, that loosely textured curly women did not include themselves with the term natural. (I guess there's a first time for everything) I actually came across a video a while back by YouTuber Taren916 titled "Being 'Natural' means... Black & Kinky ONLY?? Huh??"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNEHddZw2ic&feature=channel_video_title

It is interesting because she is a person who has loose 3c hair texture and she embraces the natural hair movement and says it should not only be associated with tightly coiled/kinky hair. hmm??
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Juices-n-Berries on 28th March 2011, 10:38 pm

Mangos&Bananas wrote:I think most people don't associate themselves as 'being' natural because of the now popular phrase 'going natural'. They feel that because they never underwent any process, the 'movement' doesn't apply to them. & I understand.Why do we have to be catagorized as 'natural', when all we are doing is being ourselves. If anything, you would assume there would be a word for women with perms and relaxers as oppose to the other way around. I just think its so backwards. As you stated, you can't 'go' natural, because by definition it is your natural state. But you can.'go relaxed'.That would make more sense as far as im concerned. Women of puerto rican decent who don't typically use relaxers and have generally always been in their 'natural state' even before african american women coined the term 'natural' , but we never associated them with relaxed hair, so why should we associate them as having non-relaxed hair? Many white women don't use perms and relaxers, but we don't automatically deem them as natural. I think more women would associate with having natural hair if it was more of a description and less of a movement.

For instance bajan (gorgeouuuuuus hair by the way!!) Said she didn't initially associate with being 'natural' because she never 'went natural'. & I agree, being natural is more about something that you don't do (perm) than some sort of process movement type thing.

With that being said, I do often catch myself referring to people as 'being natural'. Smh.ill be sure to catch myself! Lol. Thanks alot for the enlightening post. Great discussion topic!

I'm glad you enjoyed the post!
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Re: Interesting Story...

Post by Jo Somebody on 29th March 2011, 7:23 am

Natural is a new term for me associated with 'going natural'. For the life of me, I forget what I used to call natural hair! Afro maybe?
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