What is natural enough?

Hi Beauty!

Have you ever experienced another woman calling you out for not being natural enough? What exactly is natural enough? In the natural hair community some women consider pressing your hair to somewhat of a faux pas.

But why is this?

Throughout my transition I straightened my hair more than 50 percent of the time. By doing this I avoided the big chop. However, I constantly cut my hair (3-4 inches at a time) a couple times a year. This promoted growth and allowed me to quickly get rid of my processed ends.  

I think that women who are natural and get their hair pressed should be embraced in the natural hair community and have the option of doing so as often as they wish. Natural means having the option of being versatile and being open to a plethora of styles. It’s an acknowledgment of your personal style and inner beauty. So, shouldn’t you be able to interpret that any way you wish? 

When I straighten my hair I’m not trying to somehow mask my natural hair texture, instead I’m showing the fact that my natural hair is something that can be formed into anything that I wish.

How awesome is it that as a natural we have the opportunity to have a big beautiful Afro one-day and long, straight flowing pressed hair the next?

I want to open this topic up for discussion to get feed back from my readers. Why is it not acceptable to some naturals to see women who claim to be natural with pressed hair? Does it take away her credibility? Do you think she’s succumbing to the pressure of society to “fit in?”

I agree with the sentiments of the natural hair community that pressing can be damaging to your natural hair texture if done incorrectly. Heat damage is a beast and a serious threat to naturals. However, if hair is pressed correctly (professionally) there is less risk of heat damaged.

So, I pose another question, even with natural, thick, healthy hair, is it still unacceptable for a natural to get her hair pressed often? Should she be exiled from the natural hair community and forced to create a new genre for naturals who get pressed?

Weigh in…



  1. September 12, 2011 / 7:09 pm

    Tracy Ross is my hair crush. I tape girlfriends and watch episodes back to back because I love her tresses. For me, natural hair is fun and versatile. So I don't get the whole not natural enough thing. I'm thankful to have Youtube and so many others showing how we can wear our natural hair in different styles because I was taught that my natural hair wasn't manageable growing up. Love your posts.

  2. September 12, 2011 / 9:52 pm

    LaToya–Thank you so much for posting such a honest and insightful comment! I completely agree with you that natural hair is fun and versatile! I love that no two days have to be the exact same. And Miss Ross is my ULTIMATE hair crush, even though I have hundreds she takes the crown!


  3. shani
    December 19, 2011 / 5:08 am

    for me its an interesting question. i never had a perm but didn't consider myself natural until i cut out the heat. so i guess i'm not sure. however with so much exclusion in the world i feel that natural haired women should be inclusive to all. its not about "who" should be considered natural, its just about sharing the journey.

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