Having Natural Hair Is Serious Y’all…No Lye!

A young lady, who’s online name is Acting drama just posted the vid on the next page on YouTube. It’s a wonderful testimony to the feelings many of us have struggled with as we’ve made the decision to go and stay natural. Some folks’ decision may have been easier than others but make no mistake about it, many, many, many women agonize over their decision to stop slapping lye on their heads every six weeks to keep their hair straight. And with this, in many instances, these black women are ending a life long routine of conforming to a European standard of beauty that says straight hair is the epitome of beauty. For most women, and I’m comfortable saying this and am also including myself in this observation, the nappy stuff growing out of the heads is not “JUST” hair. That’s because first you have to make the decision to do it, then you have to deal with society’s perception (and it mainly comes from within our own community) that nappy hair is bad, ugly, unprofessional, unkempt and a whole lot of other ridiculous notions that have been drilled into us since slavery and still persist to this day. When you look beneath the surface, and really analyze and discuss these feelings and issues, you’ll find that from a broader perspective the scaring and the hurt and down right shame of having kinky hair runs gererations deep. So then I ask, how can anyone say, “It’s just hair…or it’s not that serious?”

Ok…that said, I’m going to leave it to Acting Drama to break it on down to ya. Her vid is in response to a young lady who also did a video on YouTube who says that natural women (on a certain website) hate women who perm their hair. I think what Acting Drama says is very well stated, insightful and thought provoking. So much so that I just had to post it here to share with those of you who don’t go “YouTubing” or frequent NP. Here are both vids. Enjoy.

How many of you went to the theaters to see TP’s new movie, “Meet the Browns”? If you did, you may remember the scene where one of the character (Jennifer Lewis) offers the mom (Angela Bassett) of a little girl (Chole Bailey) with gorgeous locs $10 to “help her out a little.” When mom refuses and leaves the kitchen, the other women tell her how rude her offer was. She proceeds to tell them that maybe she could go buy that little girl a box perm kit because there’s something wrong with her hair. “I’ve got one word for that,” she says with utter dismay and disgust, “N-A-P-P-Y, nappy!”

Of course, theater patrons scream in laughter. Perhaps because they felt the same way. Or, maybe they howled in laughter because Lewis’ character was the movie meanie and was always letting anything and everything fall out of her mouth, no matter how rude or hurtful. So that line was just keeping in character. It was meant to be outrageous and funny…TP banked that it would be, and it was to most people.

To that end, I’d love to see TP use more naturals in his movies…or at least they could wear nappy weaves. Ya think?

Now I’ll tell ya, that many hair boards are abuzz with conversations about that particular line with feelings ranging from, “Hey, it’s just comedy” to “I’m really offended.” No I won’t say that I was offended, but I didn’t laugh…primarily because it’s a sad commentary about the ill feelings black folks have about nappy hair. A bigger part of me hopes that TP wasn’t just going for the laughs, but that he was trying to subtly introduce the absurdity of black folk being offended by and rejecting our God-given natural hair. But even if that was his motive, I honestly think it went right over people’s heads. Comedy ONLY, in this instance was the bigger draw. The notion that our hair is something that shouldn’t be, is just tooo ingrained in most black folks for a “silly little joke” to actually plant a seed to the contrary.


10 Responses to “Having Natural Hair Is Serious Y’all…No Lye!”
  1. deb says:

    Thanks for your post. Our hair is not a laughing matter and I hope TP will find another way to bring humor about hair into his stories.

  2. Alexia says:

    Hi. First I would like to say that I really love your site. I live in Jamaica where if you don’t have “pretty hair” i.e. loosely curled or wavy, you are pressured to have it straightened. Even though my hair is relaxed (for about six months now), I adore afro textured hair so much. I notice that whenever I go up to a girl with very kinky hair, the look at me as if i am crazy. I think I appreciate nappy hair because my father taught me that we as Black people are the only people with nappy hair, so we are very unique.
    P.S. Don’t worry, i am planning to transition ’cause I miss natural hair. Just as how I would never follow the trend of bleaching my skin, I should have never relaxed my hair.

  3. nappyme says:

    Hi Alexia…welcome to Npp101!
    I’m so glad you’re transitioning back to natural. When you do your big chop send me a pic, I’d love to see you in all your natural glory!

    Take care,

  4. alice says:

    I m from Greece but I have also this African type of hair! Half people i know dislike it and the other half adore it. I think we should stay natural, and focus on keeping it moisturized. It can be so soft and cute if we treat it with respect!

  5. ProMiss_2me_4me says:

    the video was beautiful, im 3 months natural and i will not I REPEAT will not have my hair any other way. No matter how many stare, comments or negative reactions i get. I feel that natural WOMEN are the most bueatiful on earth…do you know why…Because there exposing their real selves and still are pretty! The video is right its definatly more than just stopping the perms.

  6. Theda K. says:

    Hi! I just found your site, and I’m so glad I did! I’ve gone back and forth between natural and permed for years now, and I totally agree with that second video.

    I’m actually looking for a job right now, and I really feel my hair being natural is affecting my ability to land a job (I live in Tucson, Arizona). My plan is to get it pressed, go for a job interview, get a job most likely, and then go back to my nappy look when I’ve settled in.

    It’s a shame I have to go through such measures.

    Also, I recently went to get fingerprinted at a local police station (for a job…no trouble), and the guy who did the fingerprinting, a white guy, had several comments to make about Black folks, and even mentioned my hair. I complained to his supervisor, who apologized and got an apology from the guy. I can tell you the story later.

    Anyway, I’ll be back! I came here looking for new ways to style my hair (which is probably shoulder length stretched out…ignore the picture on my blog…it’s permed there).

    Theda K.

  7. Che' says:

    I’ve heard everything from “You’re hair is beautiful” to “You look like a porcupine.” Sad thing about it is that most of the negative comments are from BLACK WOMEN. In fact all of the compliments have either been from men (white and black) or women of other races. This is a shame! Contrary to what has been said you are NOT your hair. Beauty comes from within. Humility, inner peace, happiness, godliness, good self care, and confidence. Remember that ladies!! This is true whether you are natural, permed, relaxed, weaved or whatever. PEACE!!!!!

  8. Dani says:

    Hey, if Theda K. is reading this, can she tell me how her job search went? My father is convinced that I will not get a job with natural hair, but I would like to think otherwise. Also, Theda mentioned that she would straighten her hair before an interview, but my hair is waaaay to short to straighten. Are there other options?

  9. Jellsmom says:

    I am looking for a job now armed with a newly earned BA degree. I have been a stay-at-home parent for the past 10 years. I am natural one year…I enjoy my hair natural. I wear it wash and go with a scarf or headband; twisted; twist-out; even strawsets when I have the time. It is now sprinkled with grey (I am 44) and I am not sure if I should straighten and even dye my hair for my job interviews. My hair is about five or six inches. Any advice? Is nappy and gray just too much for a midlifer to be chosen for a job? I feel that my hair might make me look even older to a younger interviewer. Help.

    • nappyme says:

      Hi Jellsmom,
      I’d say no. I have a good friend who has been full head gray since forever and she’s a couple years younger than me putting her at about 47 years old. She’s been natural for more than 16 years and has never had a problem finding a job. Just do you. As long as your hair is neat the interviewer won’t have a problem with your hair.

      Take care and good luck with your job search,

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