I wrote this blog because when I took the bus to class the oth­er day, the­se two African Amer­i­can girls (prob­a­bly around 19–21 years old) kept gig­gling at my hair when I sat down on the bus. This kind of made me mad because their hair was out­ra­geous; strands of blue, ruf­fled up, super syn­thet­ic weave with glue exposed. No edges. Real­ly? I have a healthy head of hair and I had been com­pli­ment­ed on my cre­ative hair­style that whole day, so I was like huh? Any­way, as I got closer to my des­ti­na­tion, I heard one of them ask the oth­er, “Why is every­one going nat­u­ral?” in a neg­a­tive tone. I just want­ed to get up, sit between them and tell them all about this nat­u­ral move­ment. I seri­ous­ly regret that I didn’t say any­thing!

I’ll take my nat­u­ral kinks any day over that thin, dif­fer­ent lengths hav­ing, fried to death tress­es, no edges hav­ing, per­med or jacked up hair that I’ve seen a lot of wom­en rock­ing all over the place. I am not putting down peo­ple with per­med hair AT ALL, as it is a pref­er­ence that should def­i­nite­ly be respect­ed. I’ve seen some very healthy hair that has been processed. I just want to share with you what I’ve seen.…a lot. Too many times.

I’ve seen women/young girls with tracks and black glue lit­er­al­ly stick­ing out of their heads. Women/young girls with absolute­ly NO edges who con­tin­ue to grease up, spritz up, gel up and brush up what’s left of their hair into a “pony­tail” just to attach some syn­thet­ic hair that doesn’t even match their hair tex­ture. (Big breath) This was prob­a­bly the worst case! When I worked in D.C. this sum­mer, I went to Bus Boys and Poets with some friends and a group of young wom­en came in and sat down next to us. They were all dressed very cute and classy and all had sew-ins or some kind of weave. What­ev­er. Again, that’s their pref­er­ence and I’m not hat­ing! Though, this one girl real­ly stood out to me because her hair­line was sig­nif­i­cant­ly way above her eye­brows and this wasn’t nat­u­ral (i.e.-alopecia or some­thing, I’m sure of it). She had some of the tini­est micro-braids in her hair with a SINGLE lone­ly one dan­gling where her hair­line used to be. This micro was AT LEAST 3 inch­es away from where the major­i­ty of her hair was. Just keep­ing it real with you… I want­ed to rip it out for the sake of bal­ance on her head and due to the embar­rass­ment I felt for her. My eyes must’ve said it all.

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Ladies, can you relate??

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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93 Comments on "Some People Would Rather Look a ‘Hot Mess’ Than Go Natural?"

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jenna marie christian

so sad and true..

but Lawd knows I chuck­led so loud­ly at “SINGLE lone­ly one dan­gling where her hair­line used to be”.. *wipes tear*


This is unfor­tu­nate­ly true. I see soo many girls walk­ing around with hor­ri­ble weaves just for the sake of hav­ing “long” hair or thin­ning and/or tore up processed hair as oppossed to healthy hair. A rel­a­tive of mine wears a weaves so dry and mat­ted up that I know she can’t even comb through it but yet looks down on my hair. Ulti­mate­ly, it’s all about self-per­cep­tion and many wom­en and men have been taught to val­ue long hair as oppossed to healthy hair.

Your eyes would tear up down here in Fla. at the trav­es­ty some of the­se young girls stick on their heads. As a teen, my hair was uber strong, thick, long. Why the­se girls are wear­ing full heads of those lace front wigs & glued in weave is beyond me. The heat fac­tor alone leaves your head sweat­ing and stink­ing cause they won’t take that ish out and are not allow­ing their head to breathe. Last year this time I had shaved my hair clean off. It grew back nice­ly, I nursed it and have it relaxed now and it… Read more »
After being here since 2002, I have learned the weave is a way of life here in Florida…it was worse when I was in school in Tallahassee…Additionally, most times I found styl­ists who could ONLY do a weave, and encour­aged me to get one! It’s under­stand­able because that’s the demand down here, but it was strange to me that so many lacked the skills to work with hair that grew nat­u­ral­ly out of someone’s scalp! How can you walk around in a raggedy weave?!? How do you walk around w/ your braids hang­ing by a strand?!? That stan­dard of beau­ty… Read more »

LOL.…for real.


Yeah, I’m sure a lot of us (not all) can relate to that sto­ry. I have some­one in my fam­i­ly who will not let go of the relax­ers and fake pony­tail, despite hav­ing bad edges and thin­ning hair. 

I’ve been nat­u­ral since 2007 and I’m not look­ing back. 

Nat­u­ral hair is for every­one but it’s not for every­one if you get my drift…


I total­ly agree.


So odd. I just read this arti­cle on, and imme­di­ate­ly sent the link to my sis­ter. She loved the arti­cle as well. I under­stand every point the author made. Beau­ty is in the eye of the behold­er. And I agree with b., hav­ing beau­ti­ful hair does not require a lot of mon­ey or a com­pli­cat­ed reg­i­men. In fact, our hair tends to flour­ish the more we leave it alone and the more con­sis­tent we are with what­ev­er reg­i­men we have.


My hus­band said the same thing recent­ly. I told him it’s a very old fog most of us have been in for a long time.

Some feel that this is what their hair looks like. They hon­est­ly have no clue. So smile and give them the ben­e­fit of the doubt. They’ll come around even­tu­al­ly, if not then it’s their lost. Don’t go in with guns blaz­ing (hehe) their opin­ion does not change your hair, so it’s point­less.

Tonya NewNaturalista

“Very old fog” is a great way to put it. This hap­pened to me a while ago while in the gro­cery store. Two teenage girls were gig­gling about my hair. One said “OMG she’s got an afro!” 

I was a lit­tle tak­en aback and then I remem­bered what it was like to be a teenager. Any­thing “dif­fer­ent” is fun­ny. They just don’t know any­thing dif­fer­ent than what they’re liv­ing right now.

My 2 cents… If some­one is too lazy to fig­ure out how to rock a weave cor­rect­ly, then I don’t hold too much hope for them if they decide to go nat­u­ral. Why? Because hair care takes effort PERIOD. A per­son like she described may go from crazy glue weave to dry-look­ing mat­ted kinks…IF THEY DON’T CHANGE THEIR MINDSET. Plen­ty of wom­en go from look­ing jacked up to hav­ing a flour­ish­ing head of hair, but that only comes when the inner per­son changes and the per­son is will­ing to invest the time to care for their hair cor­rect­ly. Note, I did… Read more »

LOL IMHO there is no way to ‘rock a weave’. Wear your real hair or go home! A per­son would rather wear fake hair instead of her own needs men­tal help!

Ariana McDaniel

Of course you have a right to your opin­ion but I’ve been nat­u­ral for almost 2 years and I “rock” weaves a lot and so do many oth­er nat­u­rals. I am in the mil­i­tary so it presents cer­tain dif­fi­cul­ties such as being in the desert and weaves being the best option or lose your hair (nat­u­ral and processed) to “san­i­tized” aka over­ly bleached water. I may need men­tal help, as do a mul­ti­tude of oth­er peo­ple, but def­i­nite­ly not because I like to wear weaves and braids.

Oh, I so agree. Before I went nat­u­ral, I would put relax­er in my hair but my hair would look a mess just a week after the process. I def­i­nite­ly did not know how to han­dle relaxed hair. Sur­pris­ing­ly, this still did not con­vince me to go nat­u­ral. I would rather a ridicu­lous head of hair than go nat­u­ral. When I final­ly went nat­u­ral, I have to admit, my hair was a mess on the dai­ly. I wore scarfs every­day because my hair was so mat­ted. A fro was still not for me but here I was try­ing to con­vince… Read more »

I sec­ond that emo­tion… there are always steps us wom­en must take dor us to main­tain tan­gle free grow­ing hair.




True, I think the only wom­en that stay nat­u­ral are those that are will­ing to put in the effort because I hard­ly hard­ly see a ratch­et head of nat­u­ral hair any­more. I used to before the nat­u­ral move­ment though.

And hon­est­ly, i wouldn’t be sur­prised if some­time down the road those 2 young ladies decide to start tran­si­tion­ing to nat­u­ral hair. It’s hap­pened so many times before LOL…

Amma Mama

LOL at ratch­et.


I so agree!! I think when it comes to wear­ing our nat­u­ral hair we have to first over­come our­selves. If a per­son can’t get past old habits, they are sure to be a as hot a mess nat­u­ral as they were relaxed.

Amma Mama
I feel that the girls on the bus were jeal­ous b.c they’re not con­fi­dent enough to wear their nat­u­ral hair. They are ashamed and embarassed by whats under­neath their weave. B.c if they weren’t they wouldn’t care about your nat­u­ral hair. Why else would peo­ple be upset about the “nat­u­ral move­ment”? If some­one thinks its a fad or not a big deal, then don’t do it, wear your hair how you like per­med, weaved etc. I nev­er under­stood why peo­ple (men and wom­en) are both­ered by the increas­ing num­ber of wom­en going nat­u­ral. If its not for you, then cool,… Read more »