By Kanisha Parks

Lurking in the comment sections / dropping shade left and right
Mad at the world / always ready to fight.
They think they run the hair scene / their way or none
Natural Hair Nazis / mad since day one.


Seriously, cheesy poetry aside: Natural Hair Nazism is real and thriving. It’s unfortunate, really, because ultimately, it really is just hair. But Natural Hair Nazis take this hair thing to a wholeee other level. While being natural for seven years, I heard the term “Natural Hair Nazi” thrown around pretty consistently but since returning relaxed, the term instantly became personal. I never knew how much women cared about other women’s hair!

What’s more is, Natural Hair Nazis don’t just discriminate against relaxed ladies—they get mad at the hair choices of other naturals too! They feel as though “being natural” should be conducted a certain way, and anything contrary to their opinion of what it means to be natural is frowned upon.
So the question is (and be real)—are you a Natural Hair Nazi? Let’s find out!

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You don’t like it when naturals define their curls.
You feel like naturals should just let their hair “be,” and that if women prefer their hair defined it means they’re not happy with the way their hair naturally acts. You ride or die for the wash and go, and you mean that literally—not wash, define, and go. You get bothered when you see a natural who invests a lot of time in making sure her hair looks “perfect,” and think she’s doing too much.


You don’t like when naturals straighten their hair.
You think they’re “trying to be European.” (Insert exhausted eye roll). That they think beauty means sleek, straight hair. That they’re trying to “tame” their curls, coils, and kinks instead of embracing them. That they prefer the straight look because society’s beauty standards are still influencing their hair decisions.


You don’t like temporary straightening kits or hair dyes.
Of course if a Natural Hair Nazi is against straightening hair, temporary kits (like the Beautiful Textures Naturally Straight Texture Manageability System) are definitely a big no-no. You can’t stand words like, “tame,” or “manage,” so when you see other naturals gravitating towards those options, your claws come out. You think that anything that somehow alters the hair texture, even temporarily, is off limits. Even hair dyes are a no for you—henna is okay but anything remotely chemical and/or permanent means the person isn’t natural anymore.

You don’t like fake hair of any kind.
Weaves, wigs, extensions. You’re not for women who choose to protective style with weave. Especially straight ones. The only weaves you semi-tolerate are ones that are closest to the person’s natural hair texture. Even then, she better not have it in too long or else that means she’s trying to avoid dealing with her own hair which again, means she’s not comfortable with her natural hair.

You have no tolerance for women who relax their hair.
Last but most definitely not least, you feel like relaxers are ultimate sin. You don’t even want to interact with women who have relaxers and think they’re not “woke,” or aren’t tapped into their African heritage. You think they secretly want to be white and are going to damage their hair beyond belief. You’re ready to stage an intervention.

Sure, I may have exaggerated some of these, but real talk: please stop trying to dictate what another woman should or shouldn’t do with her hair and simply worry about what grows on your own head. That’s all.

Love, your friendly neighborhood former natural.

Serious question, are you a Natural Hair Nazi?
Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than CurlyNikki.com, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at [email protected]

By Veronica Wells

When I was first hired on at MadameNoire, I quickly learned that if we needed a traffic boost, all I had to do was write something about hair. It got to the point where I started feeling like I wrote, almost exclusively about hair. And eventually, I got burnt out. As a result, I vowed that I would no longer spend my days writing about something so “trivial.” I pulled a Solange. I said I wasn’t talking about no damn hair no mo only to continue talking about hair; Solange in the single from A Seat At The Table and me by writing for this Black women’s publication that focuses on our hair.

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It’s unavoidable. Not to mention the conversations surrounding our hair are rather fascinating. Like this picture of Shannon Brown and his wife, singer Monica, taken at rapper Gucci and Keyshia Kaoir’s wedding.

Singer Monica and husband Shannon Brown
If you see a beautiful, Black couple in love, you are nothing like the people in The Shade Room who used this series of photos as an opportunity to discuss Shannon’s cornrows. People, mostly women, clowned them, talking about everything from the style being outdated and juvenile to the length of the braids and how he had them tucked under one another.

I didn’t like Shannon’s hair either. But since cornrows were the go-to style of my adolescence, I wasn’t so quick to dismiss it as played out. And I thought the conversation, while hilarious, was a bit mean-spirited. After all, nothing says Black hair across the diaspora like cornrows. It’s unique. It’s ours and I don’t know if we should be so quick to write it off.

Last week, the internet was in an uproar about a J. Crew/Madewell ad featuring Dominican model Mari Henny Pasible. Everyone swore that J.Crew had dropped the ball in their incapability to hire a stylist who knew what to do with Black hair. I mean people were outraged, making jokes about wanting to fight the clothing company for allowing this Black woman to look “bad,” in a nationally disseminated ad campaign.
Model Mari Henny Pasible J. Crew
The whole J. Crew discussion reminded me of another one I had with real friends--or friends of friends rather. In a moment of candid conversation, they asked me my advice on what to do with a friend who was wearing her natural hair in a way they deemed “unkempt.” With genuine concern, they said, “I mean, I’m all for her embracing her natural texture but it needs to be styled differently. Why can’t she do something else with it?”

My response to them was something like the one the J. Crew model eventually offered. Both were looks the friend and the model had readily embraced and were happy to showcase. There is no “right” way to be natural.

We saw a similar discussion play out with Beyoncé and the way she let Blue Ivy wear her hair. We saw it in the comments issued by Isaiah Washington and Tyrese when they encouraged Black women to stop wearing weaves and fake hair, and with the everyday Black men who encouraged one Black woman to put her wig back on.

 
Nosugarnocreammagazine instagram
When I first started thinking about the very story you’re reading right now, it was two separate topics. Why Black women believed cornrows were over and why men like Tyrese and Isaiah felt they had the right to tell us how to wear our hair. But it’s bigger than that.

As a community, we take an almost unhealthy interest and concern in the ways in which other Black people wear their own hair. Rarely, as a community do we stop with “I don’t like her hair” or “I don’t like his hair.” There is an entire dissertation why the way someone has chosen to wear their hair is “not right.” When I was considering the reasons for this phenomenon, I didn’t have to think too hard. For Black folk, there is the burden in the belief that the way we wear our hair says something about not only our personalities but our philosophies. There are thoughts that wearing “fake” hair means you don’t love yourself or embrace your Black features. There are people who will argue that it’s deceptive.

But more than anything, the reason Black folk are so concerned about what other people are doing with their Black hair is largely based on respectability politics. Beyond just a style or a preference, for centuries many Black folk believed that if we didn’t wear our hair in ways that were similar to or appealed to White people we were only going to be allowed to get so far in life. It was the reason my mother told me after I’d gone natural, to buy a wig for job interviews. It’s the reason that Wendy Williams said Viola Davis’ natural hair wasn’t appropriate for the red carpet. It’s the reason HBCUs forbid certain hairstyles in their business schools. And the reason Steve Perry and Steve Harvey applauded a group of young, Black men who made the decision to cut off their locs, braids and fros in favor of a look that was connected to the “aesthetics of success.” Whose aesthetic? Furthermore, what type of success is there to be had when you have to mask your cultural or racial identity to attain it?

There are times when we’re judging, commenting, clowning, and policing one another’s hair for the sake of coolness and style. As a people who invented style and embody cool, that will always be the case. But more concerning are the times when the ownership we take over one another’s hair is clearly our own grappling with fully accepting Black hair. For so many of us there is still hesitancy in accepting Black looks that don’t adhere to certain Eurocentric beauty standards (i.e. perfectly slicked edges, length minimums, texture preferences). The real tragedy in what we’ve been convinced to think of ourselves and our features, whether through images, representation, or oppression, is that even when White folks aren’t even thinking about dismissing or denigrating our hair, we do it to ourselves.

Why do you believe we 'police' each other's hair so much?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.
Liv of LiveNaturallyLove
Hi Loves,
This natural hair 4b/4c protective style is perfect for holiday season, winter, graduation, prom, anything! Click to see how I achieved this sleek ponytail look. I hope you enjoy!!!✨
Love,
Liv

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By Mary Wolff

It isn’t a secret to any naturalists that nature has given us lots of soothing ways to care for our curls. With a DIY herbal hair rinse, you can combat a range of hair issues from dryness of the scalp and lack of blood circulation to adding extra hydration to strands. Here a few DIY herbal hair rinse recipes to give a try when your hair needs a little boost.

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Lavender Mint Rinse

This is a good rinse for when things seem a little off or you have a lot of buildup. The vinegar will act as a strong yet gentle cleanser while the lavender will work on circulation and clearing the scalp of any impurities. The mint gives it a nice smell and a pleasant tingly sensation.

Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh or 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or 1/2 tablespoon dried lavender leaves
  • 1 cup boiling water

  • Combine the vinegar and herbs in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the mixture. Let it sit until cool before straining the herbs out. Transfer mixture to a clean container. Apply to hair after shampooing and rinse out.


    Rosemary Thyme Rinse

    This DIY herbal hair rinse has antibacterial properties that will help with any scalp issues you may be experiencing. Rosemary and thyme are both known to help improve circulation which can also help with hair growth to stimulate the follicle.

    Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 2 cups boiling water

  • Combine the herbs in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Allow them to steep until the mixture is cool. Strain into a clean constrainer. Apply to hair after shampooing for best results.

    Chamomile Rinse

    This rinse will give hair a healthy dose of sheen while soothing the scalp of any irritations. Chamomile is an herb that has been used for dealing with scalp issues such as dandruff and general dryness for generations. It is also super relaxing in terms of aromatherapy!

    Ingredients


  • 2 tablespoons dried chamomile
  • 2 cups boiling water

  • Pour boiling water over the herbs in a glass bowl. Allow to steep until cool and then strain. Transfer to a clean container. Apply to hair and scalp after shampooing. Since this one focuses more on the scalp, make sure you massage it into the scalp in circular motions for the best results. Rinse out when done.

    Sources
    http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-beauty/body-and-soul-herbal-hair-rinses-rosemary-thyme-rinse
    http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-beauty/body-and-soul-herbal-hair-rinses-refreshing-lavender-mint-rinse
    http://blackgirllonghair.com/2013/11/7-herbal-rinses-for-natural-hair-and-scalp/
    Gabrielle Union 
    By Madamenoire
    Gabrielle Union is undergoing a major transition career and image wise. In the past year, we’ve seen the actress become an activist and author, speaking out on sexual assault and race matters and publishing her first novel, We’re Going to Need More Wine. The 45-year-old also became an entrepreneur, debuting a line of hair care products under the brand name Flawless. And on that front we also saw Gabby makeover her own mane, ditching the straight styles she’s known for in favor of rocking more natural textures and, in some instances, her own hair.

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