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FNWL

For Fun: Natural Hair's Worst Enemies

It’s not what you think. It’s not White people. And it’s not Black people either. I’m not going to talk about direct heat because you already know the dangers of that. This blog is not that deep. I’m talking about every day unsuspecting things I have encountered around me that you need to know are not friends of your natural hair.

  1. Velcro. This is a wonderful invention for winter parkas but it will tear up your hair. Literally. If you have ever accidentally left your Velcro-adorned sleeve open and gone to put a hat on... or neglected to close that baseball cap strap you know what I mean. You may have to excuse yourself to the bathroom to extract that cap to avoid embarrassment.

  2. Metal Bobby Pins. Just say NO to those evil things. Because the natural oils in your hair WILL lift that little rubber end off and your natural hair will decide it wants to keep it when you remove that pin. Only to frighten yourself later on when you reach up into your hair to fluff out that fro and feel something like a bug. Or worse, your partner finds it in there. AWKWARD.

  3. One-piece Bead Necklaces. Yes they can be stylish. But I’ll be darned if I will let that strand touch the ‘fro. How many times have you seen those little kinks all wound up between the beads all wrapped around the string holding it together. Ladies, if you wear beads, just check for stray hair before you put them on and after you take them off. Nobody wants to see that.

  4. Smoke. If you wear a ‘fro, and you smoke at the same time, or you hang around people who smoke, your afro will smell like smoke. And that goes for sitting around the campfire, too. I have woken up after a party next to a bonfire thinking my hair was on fire just from the smell of smoke. Our hair acts like a sponge. It is very good at absorbing everything around it, including smoke and fried onions. I’m not hating on smokers and people who cook onions, I’m just sayin’ it's a thing. The good thing is, it absorbs beautiful scents too.

  5. Raw Eggs+Warmth, plus mashed avocado and/or banana. Putting foodstuff in our hair for conditioning is something many nappturals try with homemade recipes. Here’s a warning: raw egg will scramble in your hair if you rinse it out with hot water OR use it as a deep conditioner under plastic wrap OR sit under heat or a steamer. If you use mashed banana or avocado in a recipe, use a blender and liquefy it. Trying to get chunks of avonana out of your fro can ruin your whole day.

  6. Lint. That goes for sweaters with lint on them, scarves, hats and anything else that sheds little filaments that ball up. Lint is an enemy and you will pull at your hair trying to get it out, pulling hair strands out with it and messing up your ‘do.

  7. Car Seat Headrests. We need them for safety and to prevent whiplash or worse in the event of an accident. We do not need them to flatten out our hair in the back. But that is exactly what they do. We’ve all seen it and those of us who wear ‘fros remember that horrible moment when we realize we’ve been walking around with “flatback head” for the past hour. In your rush to jump out of the car and get to where you’re going, don’t forget to check the back of your hair.

  8. Nicked Fingernail. All you need is a tiny little nick in your fingernail to wreak havoc on your ‘fro. You may think "hey it's just a tiny nick" and forget you have a nicked nail but your hair won’t. Every single time you put your hand into your fro, your hair will grab that nail and remind you. And forget about shampooing with it. Just cut it off and be done with it.

  9. Open Cut Dangly Earrings. Yes, the ones that cause you to snap your head back when they get caught in your hair. Over and over again. Damn them! Wear closed hoops. Problem solved.

  10. Seaweed. The kind you can’t see in the water when you go swimming at the beach may find its way into your crown and stay there until you rinse it out. The kind that you finally see when your hair dries OR when you get into the shower, rinse your hair and look down at your feet. It looks like a salad going down the drain. (OMG did anyone see all that stuff in my hair?? YEESH)

 

Those are my top 10. If you have any other natural hair-emies I need to know about, please tell me in the comments below! Meanwhile, pat, fluff and rinse well!

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 August 2019 14:09
Patricia Gaines

Patricia Gaines aka Deecoily is the founder and creator of Nappturality in 2002, the beginning of the natural hair movement. Since 2000 she has been blogging on all things natural hair, Black culture and politics.

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Wearing natural hair is not a fad. It is not a fashion trend. It's the natural hair you were born with. So why can't you wear it?
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