I truly can’t believe that we are still texture shaming in 2018. I’m also so tired of people who obviously know nothing about natural hair spreading misinformation. I went on a little rant on Instagram about this. And even made an IG TV clip. But it’s still on my mind. So I felt the need to share my feelings here, which makes perfect sense since this is my platform.
I can’t remember dealing with texture shaming too much as a small child. Since my mother relaxed my hair when I was about 9 I didn’t really get the chance to experience it. Or maybe I just don’t remember. However I do have memories from my teenage years. I remember when it was time for a “touch up” and my new growth allowed my natural texture to pop up around my nape and edges, exposing my coils… I would be told that I need to perm my buck shots or beedy beas. And don’t let me get braids and let them grow out for too long without retouching. The nappy jokes were endless.
Fast forward to adulthood, when I decided that I was going to do the big chop and wear my natural hair. I remember one of my cousins asking why would I want to that, because her mother said I had nappy hair when I was younger. I do remember my mom having to wash, blow dry and sometimes lightly press my hair in order to braid it. But my hair was thick. And I had a fair amount of it. Back in the day I would probably call it nappy. But now I know better. I can’t stand the word nappy. It’s a derogatory term and the epitome of texture shaming. It’s always used to describe type 4 hair and usually parallel to some sort of description on why it’s hard to deal with.
These days I prefer the term kinky. Kinky hair is tightly coiled and afro textured. It’s historically the least desired texture due to society brainwashing us to believe that looser curls and silky textures are superior. Or “good hair.” Even today in the natural hair community there’s not as much love for type 4 hair. Especially dark skin women with type 4 hair. Yes colorism is also still prevalent. Y’all can’t imagine how tired I am of seeing super light skinned, biracial looking women with loose curls featured in the majority on most of the natural hair pages. Or attending events and there’s no one else in the room that looks like me. Like I’m a token as representation for the dark skin women with kinky hair.
What really set me off though recently was a comment on my Youtube channel. As a newly natural I did a tutorial on the Shingling Method, which is a method used to define curls. It’s especially useful for Type 4 hair as our curls can be invisible without adding products and using methods to define them. In the video I thoroughly explain the steps to clump your coils and make your natural curl pattern pop. This was the result…
So recently I get this comment from a person that believes that kinky hair doesn’t have curls. And the way they called themselves letting me know this was so snarky that I was taken aback. It was like they couldn’t believe that I had the audacity to call kinky hair curly…
So let me give y’all a quick Natural Hair 101 lesson…
Kinky hair IS curly.
(Freshly washed hair with no products)
Let me explain in case you have a hard time understanding. Kinky hair is coily. Coils are tiny, tight curls. When our hair is dry and in it’s natural state these curls may be hard to see. But the curls become defined when you add product, especially gel. Shingling the hair clumps the coils together making them even more visible and defined.
What really made me upset though is the fact that we are even discussing this in 2018. The fact that people are still texture shaming kinky hair and treating type 4 hair like it’s inferior to other textures. There are so many type 4 naturalistas running back to the creamy crack because they don’t have “good hair” or because they believe that they can’t manage their hair. Hell, even my baby sister went and threw a relaxer back in her hair after being natural for about a year and a half because she felt her hair was too “nappy”. There’s just not enough representation and too much miseducation when it comes to kinky hair.
We should be uplifting and embracing all types of natural hair. And not glorifying certain types as being good because of silky texture or looser curl patterns. I want my fellow type 4 naturalistas to be proud of their texture, and know how to properly take care of their hair. That’s why I stan so hard. Creating tutorials, recommending products, and overall sharing info to help on the natural hair journey wherever I can. I want all of us to know that our hair is just as beautiful as any other texture. And that our hair is unique and versatile since it’s strong enough to hold any style. There is no reason to be ashamed of our hair. Except society makes us feel that way.
So stop calling your children nappy headed. Stop throwing a relaxer in their hair before they’re old enough to make the decision for themself. And encourage them to love their God given texture before they can even get to that point. While you’re at it, encourage them to love the skin that their in, whether it be light or dark. To love their full full lips and broad noses. To love their body. If we instill this type of self love from youth, no type of texture shaming or any other shaming will make them falter from their love of self.