Do You Feel Guilty?




I was speaking with a friend of mine who recently straightened her newly TWA, and she expressed how guilty she felt for wearing straight hair. As I tried to reassure her that she shouldn't feel guilty, I secretly knew exactly how she felt. See, I too experience that guilt when I am rocking my hair straightened. Why? I can't really justify it, But it's the same guilt I feel when I do something I am not supposed to, like cheating on my diet.

My question to you, do you feel this same guilt? Do you feel that women who straighten are not being true to the cause? What are your thoughts, just curious?
13 Responses:

I think the issue here is thinking there is a cause when there isn't. Being natural is very much an individual decision. Nobody can make anyone truly commit to being natural by coercion.

I personally do not straighten my hair anymore simply because my hair will revert back within minutes which means that all the prep work and sectioning is just a waste of time for me.

I don't think straightening your hair makes you less natural unless you decide that it does. I think the only time straightening is an issue is if you will never ever wear your hair in its true natural state.

However, if your ear is tuned to radical radio then yes straightening is the devil's spawn and you will burn in hell ;)


What I love about my hair is that I CAN be curly or straight or wavy or add weave for braids or long hair or shorter hair. The joy I have in my hair is that I can change my look daily, weekly, monthly, whatever. I think it's really sad that instead of embracing all that we can do to our hair, we beat each other down over a style choice. I am not my hair, instead my hair is an extension of how i feel that day and it's an accessory. I love changing my hair up, that is fun. I think everyone should have fun with their hair.


In two years, I've gotten my hair straighten. (Yes, I'm well overdue.) I definitely felt a guilt when I did. At the time, I believe that I felt that in some way I was turning back on my decision to go natural. Get this, I even had a couple of natural women to look at me as if I was wrong for doing so. Ain't that a trip! Now as I look back on it, I feel silly for thinking that way.

It's my hair. It's natural hair regardless of whether its been blown out or not. The only reason I haven't gotten it straightened more often is because I'm paranoid of heat damage. Not to say that I've totally given up on the idea. I do plan on straightening my hair once the humidity goes down.

But I do wonder if that same feeling will creep up on me when I do get my hair straightened.


I was just thinking this morning about rather I could find a nice straight wig without it looking to bulkly LOL I have locs pretty thin ones so I may be able to pull it off.

But to answer the question no I've never felt guilty wearing straight hair or straightening my own hair when I have in the past (pre-locs) since being natural.

I think that if one does, it's because of the stigma attached and perhaps questioning if they have any issue with their natural hair texture. I believe how we view our hair as it relates to styles can be two fold some of us hate our texture because we were taught to or simply not taught to love it, perming fairly young and therefore unfamiliar to us.

While others simply love style and we (as brown folk) have a large variation of styles that we like to rock and that doesn't change because someone went natural. Even with women that aren't natural they may wear it straight one day braids the next kinky twists after the braids are out curly weave etc. Where as other cultures will have that same style may cut it but not necissarily the same variety that we do so saying that to say I feel culturally, we love to change up not necissarily due to hair hate so to speak and therefore although natural, one may want to change up every now and again.


Wow that is just horrible that she should have to feel guilty to please other black women's low self esteem. Why should 1 women lower their self esteem to please someone else's?


Right now I have a 14 inch weave in my hair, why should I feel guilty about rocking my hair straight or long . Its my head not someone else.

Also my hair is natural and a weave is a great option so that I don't have to apply heat directly to my own hair, and that I don't have to dye my hair also.

Do I feel guilty? Never have and Never will.


I never feel guilty. I love my hair curly, twisted, or straight. I love the versatility, and as long as it's healthy, that's all that matters. I understand her feelings, but sometimes you want a change, and there is nothing wrong with that.


Yes, I feel like a trader and miss my curls the entire time. I haven't straightened in a long time.


Honestly when I stopped perming I didn't do it to be accepted by anyone or to belong to any group. I did it for me. So even if I do straighten *haven't yet but I don wigs for a straight look* or color my hair I'm still doing what I wish to do. I understand the guilt but sometimes we take our feelings about natural hair to a radical level. It good to be proud and rock what your momma gave ya! LOL Just don't feel you should stop doing what you want to do, gotta represent you first. I'm all for reppin my personal love for natural hair. I ,however, won't be chained to an ideal that i'm less of a nappy head because I do something that's considered by someone's else's rule stick as unnatural.

Peace love and shea butter grease! :-)


I spent all of last night arguing with my sister on what she felt my natural hair should be -Angela Davis blow out all the time, while I like to wear twist outs- and while I was steadfast in my own favorite hairstyles, I began to recall a style I had wanted to try, that was straight.
I felt really guilty about it, as if I was taking the easy way out.
I still don't know how I feel about it.


I never feel guilty about straightening my hair. I got a press bi-weekly in high school, and while a good part of it was discomfort with my natural hair, I also liked the fact that I could roll out of bed, run a comb through it and go (my staple hairstyle didn't change once I started wearing wash n'goes - ponytail all the way). When I broke my had a couple of years ago, I straightened my hair because I couldn't wash it with my hand in a cast. I used to straighten my hair for dance shows because it was easier to do 30 second hairstyle transitions with a press. Now that I've embraced my natural hair, I think of straight hair as just another look. I'm planning on being New School Lt. Uhura for Halloween, which will mean reaching for the flat iron; but it's just a costume. That's what straight hair is for me - it's playing dress up for a few days. And I will never feel guilty for or apologize for that.

Also? Even if it were internalized self-hate making me straighten, my issues are my issues, messed-up as they may be, and I'm not going to hold myself to the some imaginary Natural Mafia's standards for being "natural enough."


I have not heat-straightened my hair in almost 6 years. (I gave up the relaxer over 10 years ago.) If for some reason I decided to straighten it this weekend, I most certainly WOULD NOT feel guilty for doing so. Unlike most black women who are conditioned to be prejudiced against natural hair, I have worn my hair in almost every conceivable style so FOR ME straight hair really is a CHOICE.

I have super-shrinky 4b/4c hair. I admit one of the reasons why I choose not to straighten is because every time I've done it in the past people LITERALLY go crazy with the compliments. But what they think are compliments, I hear as enthusiastic encouragements for me to conform to their narrow beauty standard and leave my "bad", "ugly", "difficult" hair behind. In that sense my choice not to straighten is kinda-sorta political: I refuse to encourage the notion that straight hair is better, prettier, easier, etc. I NEVER get the kind of compliments on my natural hair that I do on my straightened hair. (Okay, I do when I'm around European men...just being real)


I don't feel guilty on the rare occasions I straighten my hair but I do feel less attractive and less like myself. Curly/kinky/coily hair is ME. But sometimes, during the winter when the Florida humidity isn't too bad, I take a flat iron to my hair for something different. I only straighten my hair about twice a year, when I'm in the mood to look like everybody else. :-)


For the last few years I have been wearing my hair in a short relaxed cut. This summer I stopped relaxing my hair and began to wear braids to ease my transition from relaxed to natural hair. Last week I got some tree braids done and they came out long and wavy ala Beyonce-like. After two years with short hair and now all of a sudden my head is looking like a herbal essence commercial, I have noticed that I get more positive attention with long hair. I too, actually like my hair long and straight. However, I feel guilty wearing my hair like this, even though they are braids, that look like human hair. The guilt mostly comes from now wanting to blowout my hair straight when it grows back, instead of keeping it at its true natural state, which is just as much as a mystery to me as it is to you.
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