Thursday, July 12, 2012

All Naturals Are Not Created Equal

On the 4th of July, I attended Atlantis' Independence Day celebration for the guest. The event was very organized and well attended. Every year, the Atlantis in The Bahamas hosts a lavish 4th of July fireworks show,  along with plenty of entertainment for it's US patrons. There were cotton candy stalls, photo booths and people walking on stilts dressed up as Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam. It was a perfect evening for the firework display, as it was hot and humid.

I was wearing my hair in a twist updo much like the hairstyle from "Terri's Summer Hair Care Regimen" and thinking to myself, "I am glad I did not wear it out". The night was winding down and we were ready to throw in the towel. I decided to get rid of the extra tickets that we bought and treated everyone to some "Ben & Jerry's" ice cream. Standing in line, I could not help but notice two girls with natural hair standing in front of me. They appeared to be around 17 or 18 years old and were chatting and laughing away. The line was very long and there was only one person working the register and serving ice cream, so I decided to introduce myself to the ladies.

Usually when I see women with natural hair, I always smile or say hi. It's like when you buy a car and you start to see your car everywhere and your like "Oh there is my car's cousin or sister or something". Well I think that naturalistas share a bond. The struggles of dealing with this new found hair texture, what products to use, what styles work best and the confident of showing off your natural self to the world creates an unbreakable bond. I definitely got the shock of my life after introducing myself to these young girls. 

I started off with, "I really love your hair!" then they looked at me and said "Thanks!". Then I asked, "How long have you been natural?" They both said, "All my life." I said, "Oh wow, that's great. I have been natural since 2008." I proceeded to ask what products they used and if they followed any blogs. Both of them looked at me like, blogs? "No we don't follow any blogs." I felt that it was my chance to educate them on the vast amount of information that was available to women with natural hair but they were not interested. Then I realized that there is a difference between women/girls who have been natural all of their lives and us new naturals. 

These two girls were completely clueless of the "Transitioning Movement" (and it did not interest them at all) and the number of women who opted to wear their natural hair instead of getting chemical relaxers. Because they were not accustomed to relaxers their natural hair was not a big deal. It was very surprising to me because I eat, breathe and sleep natural hair. I am excited about my new found beauty and even more excited to share my love for my hair with other naturals. This experience was rather disappointing, as I have never met natural hair women who weren't as excited about their hair as I am. 

New naturals vs. Old naturals...Have you experienced a similar situation?


  1. When you and All U Natural hosted that event at Via Caffe, I noticed that many of the attendees don't follow blogs and things like that. I don't know many old naturals but ones who I've known to been natural for years don't really care about it like new naturals. :(

    1. Thank you for your comment. I just thought it was so strange that the girls were not interested in natural hair at all...To them it's just hair to most new naturals it's a lifestyle.

  2. I've been natural my whole life (thirteen years) but have just started caring for my own hair. I could be considered an "old natural", but I think I'm a "new natural". I still search blogs and am constantly searching for information on my natural hair.

  3. I've been natural for all 24 years of my life and although being natural is just a everyday thing to me. It doesn't stop me from checking out hair blogs or styling videos. Because I love learning new styles I can do with my natural hair.


  5. I don't think it should be disappointing at all. Being "new natural" doesnt' have to mean that other women that have known and embraced their natural hair all their lives should be excited and happy about the "new naturals" that just realized that they had hair that they could care about. It's not their fault really that they we "new naturals" have not realized the beauty of our hair earlier. It's like asking somebody who has always been eating healthy to share your new experience of no longer eating junk food, something that person has never known. And at the end of the day, I think it's just hair! Having been natural for about 5 years, I actually do not like being set apart by other natural hair ladies, as if we are forming a group or something, and it hasn't changed my lifestyle or anything... We should keep in mind that the bottom line is to be healthy.


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