Coil Conversations: Natural & Relaxed Hair

For black women, the natural v. relaxed conversation has sparked a lot controversy in the last decade. Which is healthier? What looks better? Are we conforming to European standards? Given the great feedback we received in our last post about this area, we chatted with these two young women on either side of the hair spectrum, to give their take on their natural and relaxed hair.

Meet our naturalista, Leah.

“Hey y’all, my name is Leah Beavers and I am 23 years old. I’m a military brat so I’m really not “from anywhere” but I currently live in ATL as a MPH graduate student. I’m an awkward introvert who likes to binge watch Netflix series.”

1) Describe your hair texture? (3a,4c relaxed,texturizer) 

The majority of my hair is 3c but certain areas are 4a.

2)What does 'good hair' mean to you?

I actually hate this term. No one hair is “good hair” but if we go by society’s standard of “good hair” then I would say those naturals in the type 3 or less. In my view good hair is hair that’s well maintained (moisturized and healthy)!

3) Do you think you have good hair?

If we are going by society’s standards then yes. 

4) What is considered bad hair?

Society sees bad hair as type 4 hair. I see bad hair as damaged, dry and brittle hair. 

5) How do you maintain your texture?

I try to detangle on the regular, moisturize my hair hair, and do protective styles. I also stray away from constant heat. 

6)Do you wish you had a different texture?

At times I wish my curls were looser because it would be easier to maintain. 

7)What do you want other ethnicities to know about black hair?

Our hair is beautiful no matter the type. Our hair is not an aesthetic. Our hair, whether in locs, braids, a twist out or in a bomb wash-n-go, are professional hairstyles. 

 

Now, meet our relaxed beauty, Ortearia.

“My name is Ortearia Kadijah Hamm. I was born and raised in Zebulon, Georgia where I live with my mother and maternal grandmother. I am twenty-one years old and currently attending Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia as a senior Health Science major. I am also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Iota Chapter.”

1) Describe your hair texture? (3a,4c relaxed,texturizer)

My hair is fully relaxed; unfortunately I have no idea what my natural hair texture type is.

2) What does 'good hair' mean to you?

"Good hair" is healthy hair. I truly believe that no matter what hair type or texture a person may possess, if the hair is taken care of it will flourish in its own unique way.

3) Do you think you have good hair?

Yes.

4) What is considered bad hair?

 "Bad hair" is hair that becomes unhealthy with poor treatment and care. For example, some people (including myself) have dared to take risks by dying their hair different colors, applying too much direct heat to certain areas, or not taking time to properly maintain by trimming ends or conditioning. I have done all three and learned from each experience. Just like any other body part, harmful habits will manifest accordingly.

5) How do you maintain your texture?

I keep my relaxer touched up monthly, and I maintain its healthy state with consistent trims, conditioning, and moisturizing when necessary. At night I always wrap my hair to maintain the direction it flows. I also try to refrain from using blow-dryers and straighteners to prevent heat damage. My favorite hair styles result from using flexi-rods for heat-free curls, and my most frequent protective style is a sew-in.

6) Do you wish you had a different texture?

No; I really like my hair this way.

7) What do you want other ethnicities to know about black hair?

Other ethnicities need to know that although we may have our daily struggles with damage and maintenance, black hair is beautiful in every unique shape, form, and texture. I love how our hair is so versatile that we can literally do anything with it.

 

The versatility of black hair is what makes us so unique. Listening to both of these beautiful ladies with their beautiful hair, is another reminder of how important it is not shame each other for our beauty differences. Let's encourage more discussion around each other's beautiful differences and about the importance of healthy hair. How can we change the conversation in our community? What are your thoughts?

 

Here are some great Coil Beauty products for relaxed AND natural hair !


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