Are You Natural If You Wear Weave?

“But what about those girls that drench their hair in products to make their hair have a different curl pattern?”. This was one of the many interesting viewpoints that was brought up during CurlyinCollege’s very first tweet chat Monday night. The big question of the night was “Are you considered natural even if you wear a weave?”. A question I once believed to have a simple yes or no answer quickly turned to be full of a bunch of gray areas, and it forced me to reconsider what being “natural” really meant.

While the twitter debate was beginning to unfold, I noticed that most natural women who wear their natural hair  on a daily basis considered women who wear weave not to be natural. As a young woman who wears her natural hair on a daily basis I can somewhat understand this viewpoint. Someone who wears a weave, especially if it is straight, is not the most accurate/authentic representation of what it means to be natural. While someone’s hair might be natural underneath their weave, the general consensus was that there is in fact something a little “unnatural” about someone wearing a weave.

Once the twitterverse decided that women who were weave aren’t completely “natural” bigger questions came in to play. Is there one definite description of what it is to be “natural” and who decides who is “natural” and who isn’t? Some argued that being natural ultimately means putting your natural curl pattern on display and obviously a weave doesn’t do this. So if putting your natural curl pattern on display makes you natural, what about the girls that use numerous products and style their hair in order to create or define a curl pattern? I am in fact one of “those girls”. I am a product junkie and I often style my hair in order to create a more defined curl pattern, but I never thought this made me any less “natural”. (Well until this tweet chat took place).

We here at CurlyinCollege decided to facilitate this tweet chat because we wanted to stimulate healthy conversation about natural hair on social media. Ultimately, I think we were very successful in doing so. We were able to contribute to the ongoing debate of what is actually means to be “natural”. More than anything this tweet chat really helped people to understand and accept the fact that there is not one, singular look for the natural woman. Being natural is not limited to just a huge afro sitting on one’s head, but in fact it is beginning to take on several different look as the natural hair community is rapidly evolving.

As I close out this post to actually get started on a twist out, I urge you all to keep this in mind. At the end of the day hair is in fact just that… hair. While it’s an amazing aesthetic that allows us to try out several different looks and help us to express ourselves, it does NOT define who we are. DON’T get caught up on trends and hairstyles or try to force yourself into a specific box. DO what makes you happy, and that includes styling your hair the way that you desire.

One Love

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