Natural Black Hair – is it really ethnic? Or, Black Hair Color – is it color related?
So, just the other day, as I sat down with my husband, there ensued a very interesting discussion about hair. I was busy writing my next article. Just then, right out of the blue, here is the conversation that ensued.
Husband : ‘Are you writing about hair again?’
Me : ‘Yup. It’s all about black natural hair’. Then he chimed right in.
Husband : “Yes, I understand, black natural hair, right? I have black natural hair too! You don’t have to be black, to have black natural hair!’
We both started laughing really hard. Now, in order for you to understand this joke, I need to get personal, i.e. to be politically correct, my husband is of European Caucasian descent and I am of Caribbean descent. In other words, he is a white man with healthy black [colored] natural hair! And I am a black woman with healthy black [colored] natural hair!
So, where do you draw the line in deciding who has black natural hair? Let’s define the active words in the statement : black and natural, we all know what hair is.
- Black : a color in the spectrum of basic colors. It is the darkest and is that color because there is the absence of light.
- Natural : something or anything in its most natural/truest state that has not been altered in any way.
Having defined the active words, let us go one step further. It is a somewhat ‘given/assumed ‘ fact that once the topic of ‘black natural hair’ is discussed, the thought processes automatically begin thinking about the cultural and genetic makeup of the hair without once give some reflection to the possibility that ethnicity may not always define the hair state, ‘as we know it’!
I am guilty of that crime…or at least until my husband jokingly said it. It was at this point where I decided, “Oh my goodness, he has a valid point!” I give him credit for his open-mindedness.
There are many people [men and women] who have natural black hair in the terms of color. Especially before the natural aging process starts weighing in; then we can talk about the color grey. I guess, then we would say – grey natural hair? Food for thought, isn’t it?
Then there are many people, women especially, who have now given up the chemical processes that they would periodically do to change the structural bond of their hair, to now return/transition to their ‘natural/birth’ hair, who are ethnically referred to as black.
Then there are also many people of different ethnic backgrounds whose ‘natural/birth/unaltered’ hair is black.
So, the next time you hear the term – black natural hair – remember my joke and for a few seconds, be open-minded not only to the the color of the hair, but also the genetic composition of the hair for ALL ethnicity of people. It is not only ‘black ethnic people’ but ‘white ethnic people’ who have ‘black natural hair’. There is ‘black natural hair’ in EVERY culture, ethnicity, and geographical location.
I would love to your feedback on this discussion. What are your thoughts?