One would think being a member of the natural hair community is like being added to a super cool group of beautiful women who look like you, and even better, they’ll encourage you always. And heap praise on you when your hair grows, and give you tips when the struggle is real, right? Kinda. You see, everything I’ve said is true because that stuff does happen. There’s a lot of joy in these groups. But there’s the not so nice stuff. The name calling, or laughter when you have a problem with your tresses. Moments like this can make a girl literally shrink on the inside. Or the insistence that your hair isn’t natural… Girl what? So I thought I should give you a couple of tips to help you navigate the semi treacherous parts of this community.
1. Listen, BUT not all the time
One thing’s for sure, naturalistas are an opinionated bunch. With that comes so much wisdom, and assistance especially when our hair is on it’s own rampage. And listening and taking advice has saved my hair and given me so many cute hairdos. BUT, there is a point where one has to drown out the noise. I remember a post from one naptural on a big South African hair group. She was struggling with a hairline that was receding because of over braiding.
She had well over 50 women laughing at her, tagging their friends to come and join the laughter, guys, it was bad. Only two people responded with constructive advice. My point? Sometimes you need to develop a bit of a thick skin to get the info you really need. You may have to sift through some scraps to get the juicy tid-bits you really need. It’s sad that this is advice I need to give out but this brings me to our next point.
2. Drag them by their edges
You see the thing with some people, like bullies or napturals who think they were brought into this world with shea butter on their crowns and a mid wife rubbing their edges with castor oil, you need to double down, snatch them by the hairline and drag them by their eyebrows. Yes, you read right. You see, not everyone feels the importance of expressing their opinions respectfully. But that does not mean we have to accept it. Our mothers did not raise fools. Sometimes it’s important to snap back with a response filled with kindness, respect and truth but embued with the spirit of AIN’T NOBODY GAT TIME! Don’t accept the disrespect and don’t resort to name calling. Instead,speak the truth, state your point, shower them in love, but snatch them by their baby hairs when you do it. I said what I said.
3. Be a part of the solution
One thing, I’ve learnt is always strive to be a part of the solution to your problem. If you see another chocolate girl struggling with the unnecessary comments, stand up for her. DM her with advice and kind words so her confidence doesn’t take a knock. Report the nasty comments to the admins and always rest easy knowing you did the right thing. Remember, real queens fix each others crowns.
I would love to know your thoughts, experiences and tips! Pop them in the comments and let’s keep this convo going. Until next time, stay beautiful!