Sometime last week, I laughed harder than I’d laughed in an extremely long time. Until tears fell from my eyes and my stomach cramped – yes, a giggle that genuine. A few minutes prior, one of my fave people on Twitter had posted a YouTube link so lovingly titled… Wait for it… “F*ck This Natural Hair Sh*t!!”. Ohhhh, this was gonna be good.
Now, with a title that aggressive I could have only expected to be met with a woman somewhere scorned – probably a newbie to the natural hair gang like I was last May, and likely frustrated in her new image and its upkeep. I was right to a certain extent, but “HIMY10NENCE” (her YouTube name) was a bit more than that.
In a round of unadulterated, quick-witted, and perhaps even vulgar statements (these videos are NSFW unless you have some good earphones in), the woman denounced her natural hair journey and expressed anger towards those who’d tried to make it seem so easy.
“Don’t say sh-t to me bout no muthaf*ckin curl pattern!”
“I’m DONE. I’m finna go buy me a muthaf*ckin wig, tell my sister to braid this sh-t to the back.”
“And they talkin bout ‘Get a protective style’. Protective?! Just say you want some sh-t to cover this sh-t up cuz you don’t feel like being bothered with it… I aint tryna protect it. I’m trying not to be bothered with it. So ima call it a ‘Not be bothered with’ style.”
Now I laughed at first – mostly because of the passion and animation with which every word was declared. But I could also relate. I, too, had fallen victim to the countless YouTube reviews and tutorials that made post-“Big Chop” styling seem like a breeze. But the disclaimer that was often left out was the one that read “This worked for me and there is no guarantee that you will have the same success and final result.” The latter was a lesson that I – like Nakesha – had to learn the hard way. Bantu knots gone awry, five different curls patterns, and flaky product build-ups later I finally accepted that I would have to try my own methods of tending to my natural curly roots.
Nakesha, on the other hand, wasn’t as patient nor optimistic about her own hair: “Honey boo. I aint got time for this sh-t. Nuh uhhh. I ain’t even the type. I aint built for it! I am NOT built for it. But it’s been real…” 30 minutes later she was proudly rockin’ a new wig, and on her way back to work from what’d been just a quick lunch break and beauty-store run. You couldn’t really be mad at her, afterall.
The truth is, embracing one’s natural hair is a choice. And no, it isn’t for everybody. I personally believe that it’s easier to have maintained the texture we were born with had there not ever been any chemical or damage-inducing process rendered. But once you get into the routine of perming and weaving and coloring and straightening – that’s a habit and level of comfort built that is far harder to break down.
Besides, who are we to tell someone with a texture perhaps more thick, thin, or difficult to manage than our own that they need to embrace it?! Everyone is not a “wash and go” type of person. Nor would everyone enjoy the natural styling options that would provide the most protection and least maintenance for the hair. Unlike some who dropped heat and all chemical process, I couldn’t wait to run a flat iron through my humble three inches of hair! So no, Nakesha was not completely alone in her sentiments.
Scrolling through past videos of hers, I came across yet another hilarious clip – “You Natural Hair Girls Make me Sick!” The titled ruffled many feathers, I’m sure. But again – she stated valid statements:
[about people born with naturally long hair cutting it off and starting over] “That’s like somebody skinny telling me ‘I’ve gained ten pounds and I’m gonna show you how I got back skinny.’ BITCH – you’re genetically skinny… You was born that way… you aint do nothing for that.”
“Ima need for people to stop tellin me: Go get you some nuts and some berries, and some Carol’s Daughter and mix it up w/some Biotin… and stand on a full moon w/ some rain water on one foot…”
“Ima need to take MY hurr, back to school, to get another grade. Because the grade that it got -iono if it cheated and got this grade – but this shit is graded on a curve. Iont know what to tell ya.”
I can’t help but to laugh hysterically thinking back on some of those punchlines! But it’s true. When transitioning back into natural hair styling, people have a million and two opinions on what they think should work for you because it did wonders for them. Unfortunately enough, though, our coils weren’t created equal. And if I’m not mistaken, that’s the ultimate point Nakesha wanted to convey – amidst enough curse words to write a book, crazy cameraphone angles, and a strong Midwestern accent. Natural hair just ain’t for everybody. And one could only accept the fact that we as women have the choice to do with our own hair as we damn well please…
So – what do you all think about the videos???
– Chelsea Smith