Are You a Fake Naturalista?


I got in an argument with my husband the other day about this lady’s hair:

Real Time with Bill Maher

Here is how it went down.

“Her hair is really pretty.”

“That’s not her hair.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not, she is just trying to make a political statement.”

Wait … what?

Let me give you some background about my husband. He had locks back before it was trendy… in the early 90s. He wears his hair long because he can, and believes there is a clear difference between dreadlocks and locs, which he has once called “a candy coated, ice cream parlor foo-foo party.”

From his point of view, dreadlocks are supposed to be an extension of a natural lifestyle –something that is free from additives and manipulation. For him, she was not wearing authentic dreadlocks because they were too neat, colored and obviously done in a salon.

Now I, being a fan of perfectly cared for locs, took offense at his judgmental response. First of all, her hair looked awesome (and I wanted mine to look like that). Second of all, could you really judge someone by their hair?

But I considered his argument.

Now, let me first say – this is all hypothetical. I don’t know anything about this lady, her hair may actually be that color… and she may actually just be amazing with a single strand twist, but let’s say it’s the other scenario.

Why would someone chemically color their natural hair? Because it looks good

Why would someone have a beautician do their locks? Because it’s easier and looks better

Compare that to the motivation that most people have for wearing locs. You know, maintaining a natural lifestyle ……and it makes you wonder about the motivation of anyone who also has perfectly styled ones.

But does it even matter? Even if some people choose to use chemicals on their locs, or tools to create and maintain them, doesn’t the fact that they want to look like that say something? Is it the same as wearing an afro wig in the 70’s or buying organic labeled food nowadays because its trendy? Does it hurt the natural movement to have shortcuts and un-natural alternations, or does it help by introducing it to a larger community?

I still don’t have the answer to that question… and if I had a couple of hundred bucks, I’d be right in that stylist chair getting my hair locked and dyed.

Am I a fake naturalista??? Perhaps… Is it somewhat political???  Perhaps.

Do I care? Nope.

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8 thoughts on “Are You a Fake Naturalista?

  1. People call me a fake naturalista because I blow dry and flat iron my hair. Oh well! I’ve mastered the art of caring for my hair and the style the works best for me at this time. When I get my locs, I’ll be at the salon with henna and all so I guess I’ll be a fake naturalista then too.

  2. Enjoyed your post! I feel it is all about preference. People go natural for so many different reasons so everyone’s journey with their hair will be different. Some go natural just for the look, some for healthy hair, some for spiritual reasons. As a natural stylist, I see people obsess about length or texture and want to do whatever they can to achieve this look they crave, even if it means going back to a chemical relaxer. The style of the hair is just a temporary expression, IMO.

    • What a great way of looking at it. For me, my hair is just like my clothes – expression, and I like looking trendy.. but I also don’t mind using it to make a statement about my beliefs. As long as I am not doing my body harm, I don’t see the problem. I think my hubby was just hating, because her hair looks amazing and he’s still waiting for me to braid his.

      • Lol!!! Yes, as a stylist, I feel hair is the ultimate accessory! I agree with all you said especially about not doing your body harm! Can’t please everyone so you may as well rock what is flattering to you!

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