I Can’t Believe That We’re Still Texture Shaming In 2018

I truly can't believe that we are still texture shaming in 2018. We should be uplifting and embracing all types of natural hair.

DIY Tapered Cut

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.

Beautiful 4c Natural Hair

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…

shingling method on twa tutorial 4c hair

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…

Stop Texture Shaming

 So let me give y’all a quick Natural Hair 101 lesson…

Kinky hair IS curly.

4c Natural Hair Type no products

(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.

MAC In My Fashion Lipstick on dark skin

Stop texture shaming. We need to do better people.

21 Responses

  1. If anything, I’ve been told that “type 4” hair is the most versatile with hairstyles. To piggyback off your post, I’d say hair typing itself is inherently shaming because it instantly creates division. In my opinion, it’s better to just say your texture is fine, thick, kinky etc. It’s sad/ironic that we’ve finally reached an era where we can freely embrace our natural textures, but it’s given rise to texture shaming.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I don’t believe that hair typing was created to cause division between people with different textures, but as a way to make it easier to find products that may work for your hair type and texture. In the age of vlogging, blogging and information overload, the hair typing system is very useful. I do see your point though!

  2. Hi Erica, I love your hair you’re the main reason I went natural, it is difficult being natural because there’s so many people that really don’t like the look, but I love it on me and I love it on you. Keep doing what you do.

    1. Thanks sis. You keep doing what you do and loving on you. Forget who don’t like it ❤️

  3. Thank you for the post. i don’t often comment but I felt as though I needed to affirm your words. They are empowering and true. I too have 4C hair and have worn a wide variety of styles throughout my life. I recently was trying to figure out a wash and go. I have medium length 4c hair. I know that it curls and can be formed into a lot of styles but I needed a visual for a wash and go. Your video was so timely and your post so accurate. Our hair is beautiful. it just needs a little love to find the right products for each style. thank you again!!!!

    1. You’re very welcome, and thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. I’m glad my video could help! xo

  4. I don’t share your hair texture but my daughter does. My family would always comment about her “nappy” hair but her hair always looked really nice. I did not find the texture to be challenging but really versatile. I sometimes wished that I did have her texture because of the versatility. I enjoyed doing her hair. She’s now 22 and really embraced her natural hair.

    I am really tired of the division between women of color in its entirety. There’s texture shaming and colorism when we make unkind comments about one another in any fashion. We as black women did not start the colorism war but we don’t need to continue it. We cannot win this battle by continuing to go against each other. At the end of the day, God doesn’t see dark skin, light skin, kinky hair, straight hair, curly hair. God is going to judge us and He is the ONLY judge that matters.

    Next time you’re at an event and you’re the only one that looks like you, remember that the light skin sistas didn’t choose themselves for the event either. God lives in you and He is wherever you are. He is not looking at you as the ONLY dark skinned kinky hair child in the room. He is looking at a room full of his children.

    Be well sistah!

    1. Thanks for commenting. I never said that the light skinned women chose themselves. However, it is important to mention that the brands are choosing a majority of light skinned women with looser textured hair for campaigns, collaborations and events. I’m not being divisive. I’m bringing awareness and attention to this issue in hopes that it will stop. These brands should provide “all of God’s Children” with equal opportunities. Acting like texture shaming and colorism doesn’t exist won’t solve anything!

  5. Hi! I just found your blog while looking for edge control to hold down my 4c baby hairs and it was very helpful. However, that is not the point of my comment. I wanted to say that you are so very correct, texture shaming still exists in modern day and it is honestly shameful. I wonder why the natural hair community can’t value our coils and dark skin as much as our loose-curled, lighter skin sisters. I am a recent member of the natural hair community (I big-chopped in the July of 2018) and I wanted to let you know that your blog, specifically your article, has made me feel more welcome and appreciated. Keep doing you, sista!

  6. Thank You for this! I love your You tube channel finally came across someone with hair similar to mine with easy ways to style. Great information I just cut my hair and trying to find styles easy for me is hard. Been natural for about 4 months. Love the information!

  7. You are beyond gorgeous, and yes, texture shaming is a thing still in 2019. I have kinky, 4c hair and LOVE it! Unfortunately, the racially ambiguous “black” woman is now the standard of black beauty. Hair shaming is so much more than what’s on the surface. It’s really a group’s self-hatred of itself in its natural state. Those of us who are not brainwashed should just rock on, continue to exude confidence, and be proud!

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