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Ebony Magazine Laments the Rise of Natural Hair Culture

Avatar • Aug 30, 2012

So… this is interesting. Ebony Magazine recently posted and article that seemed to lament the rise of natural hair, stating that it has “forced” the relaxer industry to change, against its will, and equates to a “war on straight hair”.

The digital war pits presumed jiggaboos against alleged wannabes, and the online quips have gotten rather nasty.

The article states, without providing any evidence. It continues…

Hot-headed naturalistas—even in the year 2012—will revoke your Black card for flaunting a few straight strands. However, when maintained professionally, what’s wrong with having a relaxer? A little research on today’s straightening creams proves that they’re not the damaging conks of the past.

The article goes on to empathize with relaxer companies who were “forced” to reduce the potency of their formulas:

Due to the booming business of natural hair products, relaxers were forced to change their formulas about five years ago to incorporate a slew of conditioning buffers like shea butter, argan oil and keratin. Today, most relaxers are much milder.

The one quote in the article by a natural — a woman listed as “Sage” — doesn’t include her last name, occupation, or any other identifying information. She states:

I think it’s sad to run into a sister who hates her hair in its natural state. People like that have bought into society’s definition of beauty, which excludes us,” says Sage, a curly-hair woman who went natural five years ago. “And, for the record, no you should not be using harmful chemicals, such as relaxers, that are known to cause damage to the hair and scalp.”

Not sure what to make of this. Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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Joy
Guest

As a natural haired woman, I’m not suprised. Such magazines tend to cater to those who prefer to wear their hair in ways other than its natural state. Because their funds are driven by the dollars of advertisers it’s only fitting for them to bash those who don’t believe in purchasing the products being sold in the publication.

Personally I feel this is a dig on sisters everywhere, natural and otherwise because it deepens the wounds of self hate we’ve tried so hard to leave behind.

Shame on you EBONY!

Carr
Guest
Carr

Well said.

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

I agree, this article was ridiculous and insulting.

Bridget
Guest
Bridget

+ 1

CassMaddie
Guest
CassMaddie

I agree with Ebony to some degree. I have encountered the aggressive naturalista and I felt I was belittled because I relaxed my hair. It was stated I do not accept the real natural me that God blessed me with. When I asked her why did she have a face full of makeup, polished finger nails and her ear pieced, she instantly became defensive and said that was different. Which I disagree.

merry
Guest
merry

are natural women more aggressive than the whole of black people who admonish themselves and other blacks for wearing their hair the way it grows out of their scalps? i mean really. let’s get some perspective here. women who relax their hair need to do just that — relax. the overwhelming pressure is to straighten our hair and abandoned all traces of nappy hair. this is the reality and you know it. there is scarcely any pressure from society (black or white) for you to live with natural hair. just look at the facts as they are even in this… Read more »

lisa
Guest
lisa

oppress their hair by wearing it relaxed” lol really? wow its just hair people

Carr
Guest
Carr

Dig a little deeper.

me
Guest
me

It’s more than “Just Hair” sis. Much more. Identity lives there for so many of us. It’s in our DNA. If it was just hair, we’d be able to celebrate the accomplishments of a first time gold medal gymnast instead of tweeting about that sista’s hair. Soooo not “just hair.” Now… should it be “Just Hair?” Yeah

me
Guest
me

If it were “Just Hair,” the most brilliant brotha could still go to Hampton and study business with Locs. Just Hair?

Rachelle
Guest
Rachelle

True, me 30 it never just hair for black people!

merry
Guest
merry

@lisa
google alice walker oppressed hair…

this was my inspiration for going natural many moons ago before companies were worried about losing my dollars.

i believe it was a commencement speech she gave at spelman college.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

..it doesn’t take much to make a relaxed head look inward when confronted by a natural…”

Here lies part of the problem. A person shouldn’t be “confronted” by their choice to be either relaxed or natural.

JustLeavingaComment
Guest
JustLeavingaComment

When I was relaxed no naturals “confronted” me. This ‘agressive natural’ thing doesn’t even exist. Relaxed women have a chip on their shoulder, period. They don’t want to deal with why they feel a certain way about themselves, so they blame it on those whose SUBCONSCIOUSLY force them take a look at themselves in the mirror. , for one, hope all of these publications and hair lines take a massive hit. They’ve been thieving long enough. I think we (black women) can take it from here. If one’s not down with a NEW way and a new found freedom for… Read more »

AC
Guest
AC

PREACH!

Shades
Guest
Shades

Just because you were never “confronted” does not mean that “aggressive naturals” do not exist. Not all relaxed heads are trying to tell naturals to get a perm and not all naturals are telling relaxed heads to go natural. But these people and scenarios do exist. I have encountered a person who was trying to tell me what to do with my hair. She wasn’t aggressive per se but I still found her suggestion offensive. IDK what this Ebony article is really complaining about. Milder relaxer formulas sound like a great thing to me considering the damage that could be… Read more »

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

I must disagree. Though you may not have experienced it, it does exist.

mlank64
Guest
mlank64

YESSSSS!

merry
Guest
merry

when i say confront, i don’t mean physically. i mean, visually/seeing. to confront doesn’t mean just involve some sort of physical altercation.

Rose Kahendi
Guest

merry, I disagree with your dismissal of CassMaddie’s comment. What you’re basically telling her is that her personal experience does not matter, that it’s the statistics that matter. That’s just wrong. We don’t experience life as statistics, we experience it as individuals. Her experience matters just as much as that of a woman with natural hair. A woman who relaxes her hair has every right to feel offended when a woman with natural hair is rude to her. She also has the right to speak about her personal experience on a public forum. For the record, I don’t relax my… Read more »

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Well said Rose!

me
Guest
me

Good point. And there is something to be said about “making up for natural hair” by using cosmetics to emphasize that we rocked naps on purpose. I have to admit that I did that. But then the consciousness grew from “opinion” to what the he!! am I putting in my system? I’m aging myself in order to appease others. Then I woke up and realized.… I’m fine. 🙂 Not fine the way I am… F.I.N.E. with no make up, no relaxer, and buffed nails. AND WHO KNEW.. brothas started coming out the woodworks! It’s how you truly truly feel about… Read more »

desib
Guest
desib

that was poetry. (snaps fingers for applause)

merry
Guest
merry

imo, it is a good thing when black women feel pressure to wear their hair natural. can you imagine that? black women feeling pressure to not relax their hair? oh the horror.

yep, someone can feel offended, but in the big picture, her discomfort frankly is not nearly as impressive as it is for women who wear their hair natural.

having said that, when i’m around people who relax/weave their heads, i don’t voluntarily tell them what i think. but, they should not ask me. i would not tell them relaxing their hair is cool.

Leelee
Guest
Leelee

Well girl, it seems another “aggressive naturalista” just got on your case. I don’t think she understood what you were trying to say. I have had relaxed hair for 11yrs and decided to cut it all off and go natural 4 yrs ago. I did it simply because I was bored and i had the experience of braiding my sister’s thick natural hair, so I can style and care for my hair myself. What many people fail to realize is that not everyone is capable of handling their natural hair so a relaxer is an easier option. Hair stylists are… Read more »

me
Guest
me

Less Harmful”

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

I think you’re right Maddie…some natural sisters are WAAAYYYY too aggressive! I think “each to his own”. If a person wears their hair relaxed, it’s not because they hate something about their natural selves. Some black women have never had to deal with their own natural hair and therefore doesn’t know what to do with it (and don’t want to learn). Others are like my little sister who has beautiful thick, curly hair that has a tendency to frizz up too much — so she prefers to relax it so it’s easier to deal with (she didn’t get the relaxer… Read more »

JFaith01
Guest
JFaith01

Hi CassMaddie,

I am natural and I can speak for every natural person I know, I could care less how anyone else wears their hair. I’m the first one to say that going natural is not for everyone. I think the issue with the article come primarily because it uses a small subset of people who are natural to paint all natural women. That ‘Sage’ is a caricature. If they are going to represent ‘natural’ women, they should do so in a fair and equitable manner.

Kay
Guest
Kay

I completely agree with everything that you just said! That is my only problem with some girls who choose to wear their natural hair… I’m happy you’ve dealt with your hair insecurities, but why do you have to make me feel bad for my relaxed hair? I have relaxed hair because that’s the style I like for myself right now, not because I’m ashamed of my natural hair texture. I also dyed my hair red in high school- but it definitely wasn’t because I was trying to hide my natural brown hair! I don’t wear makeup; but I’m not going… Read more »

Candice
Guest
Candice

Makeup washes off. Fingernail polish comes off. Perming your hair is a PERMANENT change. The equivalent to permed hair is skin bleach. And I think everyone has a problem with that.

Natalie T
Guest
Natalie T

Say that again sis…

apples and oranges; people know the roots of perming hair. that cannot be denied. those that continue are lost IMO, if you like straight hair then press. This article is hateful toward black women that are natural and seems anti-black pride. Disgusting.…

Mmadi
Guest
Mmadi

I think it’s funny that they lament the fact that companies have now been ‘forced’ into making milder and less damaging relaxers.Surely this is a good thing!?

Nonetheless, I think people should be free to make their own choices on how they want to style their hair, or anything else for that matter.One’s blackness shouldn’t depend on the texture of one’s hair.

thefwordprod
Guest
thefwordprod

I don’t think ebony was bashing natural hair as much as they were trying to comment on the hostility of the natural hair community. I, for one, think they have a valid point. I think it’s great that women want to see other women embrace their natural hair, but I’ve come across so many naturals online and in-person who now that they have been natural for a couple of years want to comment on any straight-haired african-american whether they’re a straight haired natural or a relaxed natural. For me, it doesn’t matter either way. If you like it I love… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

+1

Jula
Guest

If the relaxer companies have to make changes, so be it. That’s not our problem, they need to change with the times.

More hair schools need to teach how to take care and style natural hair as well as straight hair.

Relaxers weren’t always around and women hot combed their hair. I think that is a better way to straight hair than relaxers, which are full of caustic chemicals that seep into the scalp.

Lillian Mae
Guest

RE: If the relaxer companies have to make changes, so be it. That’s not our problem, they need to change with the times.

+1.

If they want to remain in business, they have to rethink what they are selling! And a lot of companies are catching the hint and expanding their product lines to include products for women who wear their hair natural.
Ladies, let’s not forget, these companies are in it for the money.

KD
Guest
KD

I agree with you Julia, who cares if the hair industires have to change thier formula’s that’s a good thing! I am so proud of sisters getting thier fair share of the economic wealth that’s out there, these companies will just have to jump on the band wagon or be left behind. I also agree that more hair stylist need to learn how to style and care for natural hair, seems like they don’t have much of a choice because I know in my area I see and talk to more and more women everyday who are either going natural… Read more »

Patricia Ellis
Guest
Patricia Ellis

KD,

I agree with you that these stylists need to learn how to do natural hair. where I live, so many sisters have gone natural the last couple of years, it’s a wonder that any salons are still in business.

I would love to know if Ebony said this same thing when natural hair was all the rage 40 years ago? The big difference about this natural hair revolution, its here to stay.

Jula
Guest

+1. I wasn’t around during the 60s and 70s but unlike then, when having natural hair was more about being proud of being black, I feel as though today it’s a healthy lifestyle choice. People are learning about the benefits of being natural and healthy vs. having a relaxer.

With going natural, many women are also opting to make dietary changes and be more healthy overall. I would think this time around it is here to stay because with all the added benefits, who would want to go back?

Jax
Guest
Jax

…they need to change with the times.”

100% agree. Some of these companies have that “who moved my cheese?” mentality. Spare us the ill-prepared planted progaganda and adapt to a growing market… And try to do so with integrity. That may be asking for too much, but give it a shot.

As far as getting the side eye for any decisions you make and are content with, don’t give those actions a reaction…

Natalee
Guest
Natalee

Thank you Jula! These companies have to get with the program and progress with the times. When the South Beach diet and others were popular, restaurants and grocery stores were filled with low carb and no carb options. When gas prices rose, some automakers rolled out “fuel efficient” vehicles and hybrids. They should be meeting my demand as a suppler, not expecting me to blindly consume a lackluster product. That’s insulting!! Why the h‑ll should ANY black woman feel she is hurting an industry that essentially she has little to no financial stake in? These companies are hurting black women… Read more »

Shennea
Guest
Shennea

Are they serious??? What a bunch of capitalists! Black women all over the world have started to accept themselves as they were born and not try to confirm to what society deems as beautiful and they are mad? I say lets put these relaxer companies out of business! Sorry but we no longer feel the need to subject ourselves to the scalp burns and 6 week touch ups. Next thing we’ll hear they’re outraged if there’s a drop in the number of cosmetic surgeries performed. I’m happy people are finally accepting themselves as they are and won’t be brainwashed. I… Read more »

AC
Guest
AC

+1,000

Jula
Guest

Agreed

CJ
Guest
CJ

i agree!

KD
Guest
KD

agree 100%

me
Guest
me

Word.
I just can’t believe that someone is complaining that our health has to be taken into consideration!

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/430334_10150593032736915_1704799078_n.jpg[/img]

binks
Guest
binks

Bingo!

De
Guest

Well…just look at how many ads are in Ebony magazine for relaxers, extensions and other high-chemical products. If the natural movement keeps on moving, more money will be channeled into less expensive natural products which rely on word-of-mouth rather than formal advertising (oils, butters, fruits). Their chief supporters will experience a reduction in sales which will result in a reduction in spending (as in marketing and advertising spending). So they probably feel it’s in their better interest to use their voice to scare chemical users (which I am one of but still trying to do better with my hair care)… Read more »

EG
Guest
EG

AGREED…this is not about natural vs relaxed.It’s about advertising money and a BIG decrease in what Ebony used to see. Add to that the fact that subscriptions have decreased and hence this fake outrage.

AC
Guest
AC

This article was full of BS…if a woman wants to burn her scalp and hair until it scorches..let her, it’s her hair and I don’t have time to try to save everyone because I disagree with their decisions. Most women who approached me about going natural did so out of love in my opinion, people only get defensive and feel ashamed when they feel that they are doing something wrong…those just aren’t emotions I possess especially over hair. I think of it this way..if someone cares enough to teach me about something beneficial to me and my health then they… Read more »

me
Guest
me

Yes. Totally agree.

Tia
Guest
Tia

So they are mad because there are thousands of confident natural haireds women who appreciate their own unique beauty. And they are mad because this mouvement as has forced hair product companies to IMPROVE their formulas??? this is just a very petty article!!
I for one hate it when people try to force their opinions regarding hair on another woman (be it natural or relaxed)…so let’s let everyone live their lives.

LAJ
Guest
LAJ

I suggest reading the entire article. I am a natural girl on her way to dreads but have heard the argument that relaxers are a form of self-hatred…I think it is well written and brings up legitimate point. Obviously there are people who are making a non-issue an issue 🙂

thefwordprod
Guest
thefwordprod

100% agree with your statement. I guess no one has heard of pro-choice. As a natural-haired person myself, I find that the Natural hair community gets more and more hostile with each passing day and it’s very off putting. Also classifying yourself based on your hair is another way to separate ourselves as black women. It’s ridiculous. Needless to say now I only visit blogs for the hair advice.

merry
Guest
merry

is the natural hair community more hostile that the black community as a whole that regularly admonishes and hates with a passion natural hair?

really?

somehow, i doubt this.

thefwordprod
Guest
thefwordprod

Hates natural hair with a passion? that’s a strong inference you’re making there.

merry
Guest
merry

i think it could easily be argued that black people absolutely detest their hair.

i mean, look at poor gabby. the girl’s hair was straightened but just because it wasn’t perfectly straight, a few people blasted her. i’m certain they were a silent majority or at least, chunk too.

black people can’t stand their natural hair. i’m sorry i feel this way but i do.

lisa
Guest
lisa

merry please have several seats my dear. You are clearly a Natural Nazi

AC
Guest
AC

I disagree, there is truth to what she’s saying…many Black people hate their hair, I know off the top of my head 7. Now that’s not ALL but these people I’m referring to hate natural hair and the natural movement, just because you disagree doesn’t make her a natural nazi, people sure love throwing that word around.

me
Guest
me

A natural Nazi? Wow. Sounds defensive. I’ve gone from relaxed, to shave, to long and natural, to relaxed and long, relaxed an short, now to natural. Didn’t feel right to me. On the days I pressed my hair out, I received so many complements… as if I were less attractive with my hair wavy as it authentically grows out of my God given pores. Sounds like you need to check yourself if Merry sounds like a “Nazi” We can use the excuse of “ease.” It’s a lie. Nothing is easier than waking up and going without heat and rollers. Its… Read more »

skelly
Guest
skelly

actually, i didn’t become aware of black folk’s hatred toward natural hair until some years ago, reading sister to sister. in the comment’s section, a girl was crowing about out those who rock their hair nappy “like this was attractive” are the butt of several jokes told by… black folks who hate natural hair. wendy william’s anyone? w/her “dirty dreads & a knapsack” madness directed @ naturalista’s? that was YEARS ago, until this day, she is still dissing the nappy girls. i know that the fumes from perms/damage done to the cuticle are a long term problem. & for the… Read more »

Dolores
Guest
Dolores

Wait — which HBCU banned natural hair from their campus??? Are you referring to Hampton B‑school that prohibits men from wearing locks?

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

lol @ Lisa! Seriously, Merry you are really generalizing about how black people feel about their hair. “Detest”? That’s an assumption. When my hair was relaxed it had nothing to do with my feelings about me. I just didn’t know anything different because I never really had to deal with this stuff. Yes, I called it “stuff”. Now I wear it natural and still don’t know what to do with it! lol I just got tired of the chemical burns. My natural hair is not a statement. Ladies! We have to quit finding excuses to separate or isolate ourselves or… Read more »

Nana
Guest
Nana

Oh, so we’re just going to pretend the whole ‘good hair’/nappy hair dichotomy doesn’t exist in the Black community? That lace wigs aren’t put on babies? That when Lil Mama wore her hair out she wasn’t called a slave? That Gabby Douglas wasn’t harassed for her supposedly ‘rough’ edges?

We’re just natural nazis. The Black community totally doesn’t have a pervasive mentality enforced by institutionalized slavery and racism.

Oh okay. Silly me.

merry
Guest
merry

lisa, i’ve been natural for more than ten years. despite this,you know what my (healthy) mother said to me a few months ago? ‘will you straighten your hair at my funeral?’ i have nieces whose edges are damn near gone and hair is thin. one just threw a weave in her hair once she turned 18, like a right of passage. the other little ones are obsessed with my hair and always comment about how theirs is so nice compared to mine. mine is past my shoulders and thick and full. theirs is damn near nonexistent. but mine is nappy… Read more »

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

And you my dear Lisa, are a delusional/head in sand/Denying the truth makes it false “Nazi”.

Blacks as a whole do not detest their natural hair???? Really,

Is that why relaxers are a rite of passage for pre-pubescent girls?

Is that why nappy is a dirty word?

Is that why most black women wear another race of women’s hair over their on 24–7?

You clearly hate truth and should have a seat—-NOPE, scratch that–go kneel in a corner facing the wall, until you’re ready for REAL talk.

Denying an issue has never worked well in our community’s favor so just stop it.

Rose Kahendi
Guest

I too get irritated at the way people go overboard politicizing the issue. I think we probably need to create online communities geared towards respecting people’s choices. There’s too much of this “everybody must do what I do because I’m right” attitude going around.

Green
Guest
Green

This was bound to happen.

Don’t be fooled my kinky and straight haired sistas IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. These companies that manufacture the “mild” relaxers don’t care about your health or your identity and self worth, they care that they are losing money fast.

I love straight hair but I love my kinky hair more. The era for straight hair means beauty needs a break, it is old and we are tired of it. Let what is good, healthy, natural and very beautiful reign and If I may say so let it reign forever.

AshKetchum
Guest
AshKetchum

I personally think it all about preference. Its nothing to do with being ashamed or trying to mask your natural texture. Some women just prefer to wear their hair straight/curly and they have that right. No one should be made to feel wrong about the choices they make when it comes to their own hair. I’m not gonna bash every woman with a perm because I think it’s harmful. Its not on my head…so it doesn’t effect me.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

I’m jumping right on this bandwagon with you.… I feel the same way! Your hair is yours and you get to decide!

Autumn Love
Guest
Autumn Love

Let me first say, I could care less how any woman wears her hair. As long as she doesn’t expect me to pay for it, I’m good with whatever she does to it. Having said that, I don’t buy the whole hostile naturalista line. Are there some naturals who take it a bit far? Sure, you can find an extremist anywhere. However, the majority of black women are still relaxed/weaved and the natural hair community, while growing, is still the minority. How often could you possibly come across hostility if you are in the majority? Even if you come across… Read more »

merry
Guest
merry

they may be losing money (ebony too since they generate ad dollars from these companies), but money is going to newer black-owned companies that are responding to this burgeoning market.

ha ha.

don’t feel sorry for them at all.

if they believe in capitalism, then they know they must adapt or go out of business. simple as that.

also, a lot of these companies are not black-owned. they are formerly black-owned companies that are owned by white companies.

Lillian Mae
Guest

+1!

The only thing these companies “lament” is the loss of money. I’m not worried though; these same companies will be catering to naturals soon enough

Cee Mac
Guest
Cee Mac

Whether the relaxers are “mild” or not, its still a problem. When things involve money, the big guys start to choke and look for something positive to put down. It’s ALL GOOD!

A 17 year old from London
Guest
A 17 year old from London

This has got to be the biggest amount of bullsh*t I’ve read in a while. A magazine which is supposedly aimed toward black females is complaining about the rise in the amount of black women accepting themselves in their natural state! Growing up I was inflicted with relaxers and going natural has been the best thing I’ve done to my hair. This magazine is expressing the views of those whose minds have been narrowed by society and obviously the relaxing companies who are bit*hing about a drop in their profits. The black woman has got to be one of the… Read more »

KD
Guest
KD

say it sister say it, I don’t know what it is about black women that everything we do or say always sparks such controversy!! My friends and I talk about this all the time. Lord we need a break and I say shame on Ebony and any other magazine that is suppose to help nurture and uplift black women!!

Tammy Allen
Guest
Tammy Allen

Here we go again and what a shame it is. Why is it that we as Black people CAN NOT embraces our own race skin tones and hair texture differences? We are most critical of our own race than other races are of us. I used to relax but made the choice to go natural when I decided my hair needed a break from chemicals. I’m glad I did but that is my choice and I don’t judge those who chooses to relax/perm. To close, I firmly believe in “United we stand, divided we fall” and it seems that we… Read more »

Naturally Rad
Guest
Naturally Rad

I am very disappointed in Ebony Magazine. If anyone is trying to perpetrate a war I think it’s them. As a magazine geared towards black people they should be praising naturalistas not criticizing us for trying to nurture and learn how to style our natural tresses. As for relaxer companies having to change their formula I have no sympathy for them. These companies are mostly owned by caucasians who are just interested in turning a profit and know nothing about the many textures of black hair. As for women who chose to continue to relax or wear wigs, weaves ect.… Read more »

At_Ease
Guest
At_Ease

I think they should have played India.Arie’s song a couple of times before writing the article. - Who is the designated authority assigned to give out and revoke black cards???? (Oh right…there isn’t one!) - there are aggressive and rude people of both hair lifestyles. - “little research” as the author is suggesting would reveal that relaxers ARE damaging (they weaken our hair by breaking the bonds permanently…), my sister is getting her hair relaxed this weekend and I’ve been reading up on hair boards. There are certain techniques and regimens relaxed women with long, thick hair need to implement… Read more »

At_Ease
Guest
At_Ease

In any case, I think focusing on the ‘hair wars’ just seems petty. You cannot just look at the hairstyle of a woman walking on the street and decide you know all about her. For goodness sakes…

Brandie
Guest
Brandie

Is that cover from 1995? Ebony needs help! Forget the articles.

Liz
Guest
Liz

I don’t understand why were are going against each other over our choices on either relaxed or natural hair. We need to stay together and accept each other and stay united. I am mixed and my white mother did not know how to do my hair properly, so to make it easier she had be get relaxers, and as I grew older I continued to even though she gave me the choice, because it was easier. But now I have grown out all my natural hair and enjoy being able to have both. People who chose to have natural hair… Read more »

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

I’m not sure I’d go as far as they did in the article, however, some naturals help cause the divide. It even goes as far as questioning naturals who straighten (as evidenced by the comments about Icon Ash this week) and those who color their natural tresses.

lisa
Guest
lisa

I totally agree. There is so much drama in the natural community alone about whats “truly natural” it makes me sick. I went natural because i love texture and I could be more creative with my hair, I didnt do it to be confined in a limited box. At the end of the day, this magazine just wants to make money for their advertisement like any other mag. People should just stop worrying about other peoples hair and using it to defined them as a person. Being relaxed doesnt make u lost or bad and being relaxed doesnt giving the… Read more »

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

amen…

Rose Kahendi
Guest

Seconded.

coffeeandfingernails
Guest

We all know there are women, natural or straight, who will try to force their way of being on someone else. But the idea that relaxed women are tiptoeing around, feeling like they have to explain themselves just doesn’t make any sense. The article says that more than 65% of black women are relaxed. That means some fraction of 35% of black women, spread across 50 states, are throwing shade on relaxed women. That’s hardly a war.

ChaoticDiva
Guest

What is sad to me is the lack of realization that there are natural women out there who will sometimes wear their hair straight (through means of blow drying and/or flat ironing). I am one of those women. So where does that leave me in the debate? Why are we placing so much emphasis on hair as a defining characteristic of our personalities? I chose to go sans relaxer, because the upkeep was less expensive, and more beneficial to my hair due to the styles I prefer to wear and my active lifestyle (I love to swim and run). With… Read more »

lisa
Guest
lisa

Great point. There’s no need for a debate over something thats actually dead. Just imagine the change we could make if we got out of the mirror long enough to unite and address the important issues around us.

Jade
Guest
Jade

I personally think all these claims about Natural-Haired women being “aggressive” and “super judgmental” are lies. These are all exaggerations to make women who continue to relax feel better. That way they can distance themselves from being natural by placing the blame on the women (where else have we seen this tendency to blame women, hmmm?!) If you want to relax your hair, by all means, continue to do so. But don’t take project your new found insecurities on Black women who choose to wear their hair naturally.

AC
Guest
AC

YESSSS. Our 35% is doing all of that? hmph.

skelly
Guest
skelly

thank you.

LBell
Guest
LBell

AMEN. Been saying this for a while now… I quit having hair conversations IRL because no matter WHAT I said, or HOW I said it, somebody ALWAYS got upset. I eventually realized that insecure women are going to be insecure no matter what I do or say so there’s no point in getting into it. And NO, I DON’T attack people for their hair choices because I don’t want people attacking me for my hair choices. If I state that I gave up the relaxer and that I don’t straighten my hair and that I prefer it in its bushy… Read more »

Natasha
Guest
Natasha

Ebony should be very ashamed. For once, black women everywhere are embracing their natural hair. This is not about “hot-headed” naturals (funny how nothing is mentioned of black women criticising other blacks for having natural hair). This is about money. Plain and simple. As the others have pointed out, these magazines earn their money from those who sell us relaxers. It is easier to submit than it is to fight back. And remember, this is not a black issue. No. This is an issue for all of society. These monstrous organisations profit from self-hate and insecurities. That’s why they sell… Read more »

curlytea
Guest

Terrible. Ebony needs to quit trippin’. I think some black women have made the choice to stop relaxing for a number of reasons. What’s ridiculous about the “forced to change” quote is that every business changes as the needs of their customers change. You don’t see Best Buy still selling 8 tracks and Betamax vids, right? SOME people who are used to making mad amounts of money from straightening/relaxing — or convincing black folks that their real hair needs to be changed — can’t stand what has become the ‘new normal’ for a significant number of black women. The fact… Read more »

Rachel R.
Guest
Rachel R.

My take on this is simply to say that it is straight up a BLACK/WHITE hair situation. Meaning its OK for causian women to wear NATURALLY curly hair but its not OK for Black women. To me if a black woman chooses to wear a relaxer then that fine, but for a black woman to choose to wear a relaxer because she want be accepted by her family, community, or society is a totally different ball game. A young man on youtube ask a question “What would us black women do if there were no more made or weave to… Read more »

mannie
Guest

As individuals, if we focus on the preference of our own hair we wouldn’t have time to displace our thoughts,feelings and emotions on others. I am growing my natural hair out but I also love wearing my hair straight. Does that mean I love myself less? Just because I choose to visit Dominican Salons, does it mean I don’t accept myself as I am? Nope…it all comes down to preference and what suits me…not Pro-Laxer or Pro-Natural.

Get over yourselves!

AzieD
Guest
AzieD

I know exactly what to think of this. Ebony magazine gets most of its money from ads. The relaxer companies are the bulk of its ad sales. So, in effect, most black magazines rely heavily on the relaxer industry. These new natural hair care companies are smaller, and do most of their advertising via the web. Also, black women with natural hair are more likely to use natural homemade oil mixes, which does not make hair care companies any money. So Ebony has an interest in keeping black women interested in relaxers. I don’t believe there really exists as much… Read more »

Fikicia
Guest
Fikicia

What difference does it make how you style your hair? The image of the Black women needs repair, in general, hair should be the last thing on our minds. I still get perms…and my scalp never Burns…and every 6 weeks? I guess, more like 3x a year. My daughter is natural.…always has been. She’s 15.…and I love it. It was her choice. I think natural and relaxed is beautiful!

Rachell
Guest
Rachell

I think the article is a bunch of rubbish. Tell me again why we should be concerned about relaxer-making companies feeling they need to change their formulas to gain back some of their customers? Are they helping some of those women gain back their hairlines? Reimbursing for chemical burns? NO? Oh, then- we care because?? LOL! This is hilarious to me. Every time I hear someone with relaxed hair say they feel attacked by a natural woman, I chuckle inside. I then remember all the times I saw women with relaxers pointing and laughing when I made my initial decision… Read more »

skelly
Guest
skelly

great reply. thank you.

Nathalie
Guest
Nathalie

You would think that Ebony magazine you present this information in a matter that would prevent any further feuding amongst black women on how to style thier hair. But when you look at the facts the big buisnesses that sponsor the magazine and create most of the black hair care products want their money. Its easier to pump put tons of the synthetic chicals used in relaxers shampoos and conditioners than it is to rely on more natural resources. Its all about cost efficiency, that is the real message: pity us! We have to spend more money because you crazy… Read more »

JustLeavingaComment
Guest
JustLeavingaComment

We should all break-out our tiny violins and play a sad little tune for EBONY Magazine — LOL.

They miss that $$$!!

Amaka
Guest
Amaka

Ebony is partnered with these relaxer companies. You open up a page in Ebony you see, African Pride (how ironic), Dark&Lovely, Motions, etc. The Natural hair care movement has not been favorable to these relaxer companies. A step further, even the ladies who still relax don’t relax as often now. I find this very insulting as a natural. Yes there are some ladies who are nazis, but a lot of couldn’t care less about what a woman does to her hair. But of course, they are exploiting this. I don’t buy Ebony anyway.

regina s
Guest
regina s

its all about ad money for these mags. They like anything to keep money rolling in. Like i seen skin beaching product in hype hair. Relaxers are trying to make a comeback

Fii
Guest
Fii

Ratchet Magazine needs to stfu. As much flack as natural haired women have taken over the years, it makes me laugh when the shoe is on the other foot and people can’t handle it. Relaxed or natural is a personal choice. Neither is wrong if the hair is taken care of. Frankly though, the increase of natural hair has nothing to do with relaxed hair. Women who continue to relax I presume still want their relaxers at the same potency it’s always been. Why exactly would relaxer companies change their formulas because of people who don’t even use their products?… Read more »

Traci
Guest
Traci

I think this “war” that the author talks about is a little overexaggerated. I’ve had comments such as, “Your locs are beautiful…but I’d never wear my hair like that!” (which is equivalent to a backhanded compliment…please just keep that last part to yourself) but I agree that the bottom line is about hair companies (mostly caucasian owned) losing money. I think that it’s great when women convert to natural hair, but I don’t dis relaxed hair either. We need to stop hating and start embracing. We’ll be a stronger people when we do. Don’t forget to VOTE in NOVEMBER!!

df
Guest
df

Honestly the natural hair thing is still riding the “extreme love/obsessive/gung ho” hype train right now. It’s a BIG shift going on and it’s not surprising! Anyway, I can’t wait till the day having natural hair is seen as normal and non eventful as relaxing your hair. We got a long ways to go as a whole but I know many individuals are already there.

Asea
Guest
Asea

Hmmm. I read all you ladies comments so I won’t belabor either side. I agree that we should find a way to unite and not admonish each other for our individual choices. There are some naturals who are a bit on edge and although their motives are based on a new found “freedom” (I LOVE my hair freedom 🙂 One of the best risky decisions I ever made!), the tone could be softer and more respectful. My things is: 1. Relaxers companies have profited for decades on our insecurities just as cosmetic companies have. The problem is, you can wash… Read more »

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

Thank you! The idea that makeup and relaxers are on the same level is ridiculous. Makeup is meant as a temporary enchancement to your natural features, just like hair products enchance your natural hair texture. Both of these things are meant to be washed off and in no way alter any structural components of the hair or skin. Relaxers on the other hand contain strong chemicals that cause a permanent restructuring of the hair fiber. If you’re looking for a “skin care” equivalent, makeup would not be it. Bleaching creams are more similar to relaxers than makeup, as they also… Read more »

Vonnie
Guest
Vonnie

Amen.

Gina
Guest
Gina

This does not surprise me. Yesterday an Ebony magazine was accidentally delivered to my new apartment for the old resident. Now, I haven’t read one in years, so I was interested to see what was going on inside. Unfortunately, nothing much of anything. Besides a few well-researched historical articles, most of them were poorly written, and quite a few tackled lowest-common-denominator issues which support negative stereotypes such as “The Truth About Black Men and Educated Women”. A segment about education funding from cradle to grave stopped at Bachelors degrees as if black women aren’t interested in getting Masters or PHD’s.… Read more »

Rachelle
Guest
Rachelle

Well I hope they lament the fact that I’ll no longer be reading their magazines… I thought this was a mag for black people!

Coley
Guest
Coley

I just find it very interesting that 90percent of ladies that I hear from in person or either via video blogs on you tube, that most of those chose to go natural because their hair was damaged. I took that as if maybe if their hair didn’t become damaged they would still have a relaxer. Many felt they had no choice but to stop the relaxers… And then I hear about how to stretch the hair or straighten it. Seriously? I won’t be convinced with the “go natural movement,” until I start seeing some Afros! And then the work to… Read more »

Metoyou
Guest
Metoyou

First off, I cannot comment about your statistical data i.e that “90% had damaged relaxed hair”. The truth is no matter how healthy your relaxed hair may be, no one can deny that hair is at its strongest and healthiest when it is in its natural state. Also sooner or later, relaxers lead to thinner hair, etc; which may explain why so many older black women end up wearing wigs to cover bald spots, alopecia, etc. Yes extensions also play a part. Secondly, What is your definition of being natural? Being natural is simply avoiding the use of harsh chemicals… Read more »

Coley
Guest
Coley

With that being said, I admire and envy the people that did go natural and I PRAY I get the courage to do it one day.

krmlwd
Guest
krmlwd

And where was this concern with the war on our natural texture and accepting who and what we are to the fullest? That be proud to be black and accept who you are and where you come from, embrace your features, (you know except for that hair of course) mantra needs to go. This is like white people seeing nothing but themselves in every aspect of society for literally decades and when less of a fraction of change occurs (POCs begin to pop up in media for like a second) they flip out and talk about reverse this and that… Read more »

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

This is so laughable. Boo Hoo for the companies making relaxers. Some correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a study discussing the risks of relaxers and its connection with cancer? That is definitely scary and proves it’s possible no different from the “damaging conks of the past”.

Lele
Guest
Lele

Aww, poor relaxed women getting picked on by all those many natural-haired women. Seriously, there are “nazis” on both sides of the coin. I was approached at the mall by a woman claiming I was an embarrassment to Black people because my BABY daughter (16 months old at the time) was wearing an afro (a well kept one at that). I heard a woman whispering to her friend about how nappy my hair was (it was in a neatly groomed ordinary puff). I can name about 4 other incidents, and many other naturals have experienced similar things, yet you never… Read more »

Tee
Guest
Tee

Yes, I agree that this article is just about MONEY! They have seen a decrease in their ad revenue because of the downfall of relaxers so now they want to drum up some fake war with naturals being the aggressors and then talk about how safe relaxers are now. SHAME on them! The natural movement is a beautiful thing for women of color and there is no war. Just because 1 or 2 people of out millions have said something off to you doesn’t mean that all naturals are like that. EBONY is all about the money. Is it still… Read more »

Amor
Guest
Amor

Lmao, so the relaxer companies are getting mad because they have to make their relaxers less harsh? Are they listening to themselves? That’s a good thing! Times are a’changing and they’re boo-hooing cause they have to get with them? Smh. And as for how I feel about women wearing their hair, this is how I see it: I don’t have to deal with their hair, only mine. I personally don’t relax my hair, but I don’t look down on others who choose to. It’s their hair not mine. And I don’t have to pay for it.

ncmkida
Guest
ncmkida

So I did not have the time to read all the posts, but I can say super good discussion. Now me personally have never been attacked by the aggressive naturalista, however I do know some now that I am natural (so I did not feel their rath). I would like to believe that their aggression comes from their passion. That hair is just another thing that we had to let go in order to conform. The fact that so many are now taking this back is beautiful and controversial. I don’t think its anything wrong with someone that chooses to… Read more »

Marie
Guest
Marie

I get asked all the time why won’t I put a perm in my lovely curly hair. Just as perms aren’t for everyone, neither is the natural look. Ebony magazine is known for their perm and weave advertisements that make women think the only path to beauty is a chemical or hair extension; therefore I am not surprised at the article.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Shrinkage1a.jpg[/img]

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

yeah the article isn’t that surprising to me either…what would’ve been surprising is an article in Ebony praising natural hair!

Eloisa
Guest
Eloisa

I am not a natural hair ‘nazi’ by any means, but it always irks me when people say ‘natural hair isn’t for everyone’. How can the hair you are born with ‘not be for you’?

Chantel
Guest
Chantel

I think in this case she meant that some people may not be fully ready to embrace their natural hair texture for various reasons. Hair texture in itself is a beautiful thing but lets face it some people just don’t want to appreciate for what it is. They’d rather go for what is perceived as “easier” or more “manageable”. Which in reality healthy hair has never been “easy” in my book relaxed or natural it takes time and effort.

toyadoitbig
Guest

I totally agree with Chantel. I have met many black women who at the end of the day think they can not handle there natural tresses. However its all about how important your hair and body is to you. Relaxed or natural — if you don’t educate yourself and practice healthy hair care then your hair will be damaged. Those Black women sacrificing health for style will eventually see the truth.

Davina
Guest
Davina

We can not forget that Ebony is a magazine that maintains its business by selling advertising space. Companies who sell relaxers are less likely to buy ads in publications that do not cater to their clientele.

Natalie T
Guest
Natalie T

Bingo!!!!!!!!

Natalie
Guest
Natalie

Too true. Everything is about money these days, nothing else.

LaLa
Guest
LaLa

Ding Ding ding! Tell the lady whats she’s won!

Keykey
Guest
Keykey

Questions:

1‑Why wasn’t there an article about relaxed-haired women who insulted women with non-relaxed hair? Naturally curly-haired sisters got a pass (though not always) but kinky-haired sisters caught heat. Silence from Ebony.

2‑Why was the non-relaxed hair women in this article the only one without a last name? Sounds a bit suspect to me.

3‑Why can’t Ebony admit they fear losing ad revenue from relaxer companies?

4‑Can’t we all just get along?™ ‑Rodney King

Selfdefined
Guest
Selfdefined

And you surely hit the nail on the head! I think this article was heavily influenced by the amount of ad revenue that Ebony is losing from companies like Soft Sheen Carson and the like, that are having to adjust because of the natural hair movement. (Disclaimer: I haven’t done the research to prove they’re losing revenue. Just my personal observations of price drops of their products and the growing infrequency of advertisements.) I wish that companies that produced relaxers would put that same effort into providing naturals with quality hair care products for our unique hair needs.

J
Guest
J

Remember who OWNS Soft Sheen&Carson and you will have your answer.… It’s L’Oreal http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/soft-sheen-products-inc-history/ So some one who doesn’t have my hair is deciding that i should stay relaxed? o_0 Ladies need to wake up they are trying own black women again by defining and trying to own our beauty&money.…if we reject that then that will hit them where it hurts…their pockets! I am a proud natural and will not invest my money or time in companies that are against me using my free will which says i’d rather be natural and take responsibiltiy for MY hair. In an formation… Read more »

Ree
Guest
Ree

I had a rough two months of my child being in and out of the hospital and I couldn’t work because of it. I couldn’t pay rent and had to go to a social agency to pay my rent. Sick kid, worried, no money for rent. MY FAMILY IS ANGRY AND ASKING ME WHY I DON’T ‘DO SOMETHING’ TO MY NAPPY HAIR. This is the BS that sickens me, and this is what happens too often in our communities. We have so much that is destroying our community, and the only thing we have found worthy of spending time trying… Read more »

zenzele
Guest
zenzele

Good for you, and good health to your son. Folks talk a whole lotta nonsense about how “others” will see our hair in its natural state, when it’s Black folks who have the biggest problem with the way our hair grows out of our head.

Without even seeing you, I can guarantee that your hair looks beautiful as it is, AND you don’t have to spend hours in a toxic environment, trying to make your hair do what it doesn’t wanna do. Your priorities are in the right order — forget about what everyone else is thinking.

Caramel
Guest
Caramel

I pray that your son will make a full recovery.I pray that you will be blessed with whatever you need to make your life a little easier. You must try to understand being natural makes some people feel uncomfortable because they know deep down,if they are true to themselves, they should be doing it too. As with all these things everything is happening at once.But it will get better, I promise you. Many blessings be. We have different issues when it comes to hair shops, but Asians still run them. Being natural means that I don’t need to go to… Read more »

Lon
Guest
Lon

I couldn’t agree more!! Amazingly said!! 🙂

HB
Guest
HB

I am a natural who is currently sitting under a weave as a protective style. I hated it at first but boy has it gotten me a lot of attention. (it’s got blonde highlights). Now, I like attention but I hate the fact that everyone, men, women, white men especially are all nicer to me, want to be all up in my face smiling because of this weave. And it is so funny how white and asian and latino women are instantly intimidated by weave-me than natural me. Why? Simple. The majority of the world this our natural hair is… Read more »

Tonia
Guest
Tonia

HB,Your 3rd paragraph said mouthful!! Well put!

Ree
Guest
Ree

And these same relatives that didn’t help me with rent or food did offer to pay for a relaxer. EFF you.

Beth
Guest
Beth

Lol!

Ree
Guest
Ree

The irony is that I date mostly white and asian guys and my natural hair (almost 10 years) has never been an issue. So we can give up that “other people won’t accept us with natural hair” BS.

Kani
Guest
Kani

Just because you have dated different races of men who accepted you doesn’t mean that that “other people won’t accept us with natural hair” issue isn’t valid anymore. There’s alot of people who don’t find natural hair attractive both within the African-american/black race as well as outside of it.
It’s not BS, there are many articles you can be linked to that prove this is still an issue that doesn’t just affect relationships but people’s economical well-being (such as getting jobs and such).

zenzele
Guest
zenzele

My hair has been natural for over two decades. I’ve never been refused a job, because of it. That’s a sad and sorry myth. I’m guessing the only companies that would refuse employment to a Black person, because of natural hair, is a Black-owned company.

Zanthe
Guest
Zanthe

I have seen the most opposition to any braided, cornrows and dread styles from non black people. Generally a curly wng is admired by them and draws compliments. Most people cannot compute hair that is neither curly nor straight. It may not have affected your job prospects but just like tattoos, there are some organisations, roles and circles where natural hair is a complete no no. Working in media and creative jobs, I find these industries the most accepting.

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

I think it is the type of job or profession you are working in. Women who work in the arts, sports or entry level positions can be accepted if they are natural. I am a physician and have multiple friends who are lawyers. We all went to ivy league schools. We all got harassed by African Americans and experienced inappropriate comments from Caucasion colleagues. There are few, very few natural headed sistas in medicine, law and business. Relaxed hair is more accepted by white collar professions. I am very glad you have never been refused a job, but the reality… Read more »

Taradise
Guest
Taradise

A naturally occuring feature could and shouldn’t be considered “unprofessional”. Hair included. What would happen if someone told asians that their eye shap was unprofessional.

The day any employer says that my nautal hair is unprofessional should expect a discrimination lawsuit to follow EXPEDITIOUSLY!

Rebecca
Guest
Rebecca

I’m also a physician, live on the rather liberal west coast so maybe my view of natural hair at work is different. Out here there are plenty of black female MDs who wear loose or locked natural hair. In fact many were wearing it before it bacme such a trend. It’s a huge time saver IMO, and perfect for a busy professional woman trying to manage both patients and family.

zenzele
Guest
zenzele

Must be according to location, and I am a woman in my 40’s, not a child who has never been in the workplace. In addition, you must not have read my posts at all — I am not, nor have I ever been, in “the arts,” sports, and I passed “entry level” over 20 years ago. How about minimizing the condescension, as well as discounting my statements altogether, as though I’m some backwoods idiot, so that we can have a more intelligent conversation? Thank you very much.

zenzele
Guest
zenzele

Rebecca — I’ve seen what you’ve seen, and I’ve lived all over, though I’m a native New Yorker. As for the Ivy League physician, well, a lot of folks who went to Ivy League schools, tend to inject that into every conversation.

Lu
Guest
Lu

I am a New Yorker as well (in medical school) and of all the black females in my class, only 2 out of 8 of us wear relaxers, and none of us wear fake hair. The only black attending I know in a certain well-respected department at my school is natural. It has been my experience that women in the medical profession have embraced natural hair in the workplace very early in this game. It was within the circles of young professionals of medicine, law, and finance (especially medicine) that I observed the natural hair movement, even way before I… Read more »

Aisa @ 4UsNaturals
Guest

I would assume that because they are dating you they are men who don’t have a problem with natural hair. That doesn’t mean others like your hair. I dated outside of my race before as well. That doesn’t mean witte men like Black women. It just means those people we’re attracted to me. I posted an article last year about my job not allowing braids and twists and a job prior to that as well. A prestigious law school banned students from wearing dreadlocks. Discrimination against Black hair is real and the norm. Others races are verbal about discussing their… Read more »

Heart Curly
Guest

Natural hair is for everyone because it’s the hair you were born with. It’s as simple as that.

zenzele
Guest
zenzele

AAAAAAAAMEN!!!

Natalie T
Guest
Natalie T

Preach!!!!!!!!!

JazzWife
Guest

Thank for saying this. I’ve never, ever understood the position that states that “natural hair is not for everyone.” That just made no sense to me. I’m just sayin’.

O0oro0O
Guest

Truth ! To me it’s like sayin black/white/wtv skin color is not for everyone… really ?
I have nothing against relaxed people (just against relaxer) but the hair you were born with IS for YOU, if you don’t want to learn how to take care of it as it is good for you, if you don’t like how you look with what you got from your parents okay it’s none of my business but please, first you don’t have to explain yourself but if you want to, find something better that “it’s not for everyone” smh…

zenzele
Guest
zenzele

I agree with that! How the heck is natural hair “not for everyone?!” That is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard, in my life, and I’ve heard some doozies.

Lo
Guest
Lo

I think what the first poster might have meant was, essentially, “to each his own”(Though I might be wrong). If you don’t like kinky/curly hair then its not for you. If you don’t have the confidence to rock it then its not for you. If you would be damaging your hair by constantly trying to get a straight look, then it might not be for you. If XYZ likes it relaxed, then natural hair “isn’t for” XYZ. All just my humbly humble opinion. But I know that some people really do believe that they could never be natural, usually because… Read more »

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Agreed

Eloisa
Guest
Eloisa

AMEN!!!!! I didn’t realise someone already said what I did in my previous comment!

Rox
Guest
Rox

I have nothing against the perm! I love me some straight hair! I am at this time natural sans a few remnant permed strands i refuse to cut *giggle*

to me, there is no “war” or “struggle” between the two! that garbage needs to stop. People perm and transition and go natural for their own reasons! It’s not for ANYONE to judge! Going natural is not a movement — it is a CHOICE! the same for a sista with natural hair who chooses to perm it!

folks need to mind their own business!

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

Dam Gina! Ummm why so defensive?/ If anything, I have witnessed 1,0001 more attacks on naturals for simply being natural and if you as a natural have a differing opinion —OMG, be prepared to be called a Nazi (cool word to use so flippantly huh?) by too cool for school naturals. GTFO

KP
Guest
KP

I completely agree with Rox there is no war, and going hair is not a movement. I chose to stop getting relaxers 10 years ago simply because I no longer wanted chemicals in my hair. PERIOD. Now, I love the versatility of not having a perm, but I also like to wear my hair pressed. That does not mean I don’t love my natural beauty. It means I’m embracing the versatility of my hair. This so called movement has actually annoys me b/c I once had a natural, with chemically altered golden blond hair, tell me that I’m not a… Read more »

mlank64
Guest
mlank64

Ladies the article is a flame thrower. The writer threw a stink bomb and now she’s waiting for the reaction. It was entertaining in that inflammatory no evidence backing up statements type of way. Oh… and it draws people to her site. However, there is no war between natural or relaxed hair women. It’s just someone stirring up that same old tired concoction and watching for the nastiness to ensue. The truth looks more like this: There have been passionate discussions regarding natural hair vs. relaxed hair but, that doesn’t translate into some type of war. Personally, I think its… Read more »

Shones
Guest

+1. Well said.

Alma Brown
Guest

I let my hair grow out, got a Hawaiian Curl and have regretted it ever since. I will wear a hat for the winter until this grows out and wear my own natural hair. If I want straight hair for some occasion I will get it pressed. Chemicals are terrible for your hair and the smell is even worst. As said, Ebony is worried about their bottom line. If and when Black women start embracing their “naturalness” we will put these Asian and Chinese hair stores out of business and out of our neighborhoods. They are getting rich off white… Read more »

Sherron
Guest

My hair has been natural for 17 months & i c that most people do prefer straight hair & curly or kinky/afro textured hair is seen as unattractive by A LOT of people ESPECIALLY “our” people. Personal preference is 1 thing & disliking (or even hating) your own natural God-given features is another. When sum 1 asks me y i dont relax my hair & n sted i choose 2 wear it “like that” i say “For the same reason i dont change my skin color my nose my eye color etc. because i love ALL of my NATURAL self… Read more »

yoshi
Guest
yoshi

Well said.

Tracey
Guest
Tracey

Wow! Sounds like to me that Willy Lynch is alive and well. Ebony has become yet another “pusher” in the Superfly Story we now call America which tells us to be anything but ourselves so we can make money off of you even if it kills you. Another reason why my subscription will not be renewed. Ebony may have outgrown its purpose for me. I don’t need to pay you to tell me I’m not good enough. But hay thats how the whole house nigga/field nigga thing has always been. All my skin folk are not my kin folk!!!

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Willie Lynch letter…was not real. Never happened. Debunked by African American Studies scholars. Believed to be written by a grad student in late 80s-90s.

Zanthe
Guest
Zanthe

Sources?

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Associate Professor Jelani Cobb of History at Spelman:

http://jelanicobb.com/content/view/21/30/

Its fake.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Historian Professor Manu Ampim who specializes in African and African American history.

http://www.manuampim.com/lynch_hoax1.html

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Dr. R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, Assistant Professor in Sociology and Black Studies at CUNY

http://www.ebony.com/news-views/the-willie-lynch-school-of-social-research

Fake. It is a myth. People should stop referencing it like it is real.

Damola Aluko
Guest

so why is it called lynching?

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

In the Willie Lynch letter by African American Historian Dr. Jelani Cobb (see link above) the origins are from another individual: “While there is disagreement about the precise origins of the term – some associate it with Charles Lynch, a Revolution-era Justice-of-the-Peace who imprisoned Tories, others see it as the legacy of an armed militia founded near the Lynche River or the militia captain named Lynch who created judicial tribunals in Virginia in 1776 – there is no reference to the term earlier than 1768, more than half a century after the date given for the speech.” James E. Cutler… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Correction: Jelani Cobb didn’t write the Willie Lynch letter I meant to refer to his article on his website debunking the letter.

lesa j.
Guest
lesa j.

please see this link for the etymology of the word “lynch”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching#Etymology

DCW
Guest
DCW

Regardless as to whether the letter was real or fake…what does it matter. Lynchings, maiming and the castration of our men and raping of our women did take place and were very “real”. I believe we can all agree that genocide is alive and well, unless you’re living under a rock, or have completely distanced yourself from the black community as a whole. Complacency is a hell of a drug, we must learn from our past to push towards a better future. I’m so sick of the infighting among our people. Tracy you have a valid point! “All my skin… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I think the facts do matter. As you pointed out, lynching and social constructions of race have had a significant effect on the Black community. I am not fighting against what the original poster stated about problems within the community but we don’t need made up facts, stories or myths to do it. The real stories are there yet a fake story is what is often referenced which the real stories are often forgotten. We need to know our history and know what really happened because in my view it is just as bad to not know your history as… Read more »

DCW
Guest
DCW

Yes I hear you Nikki and I get your point, it’s all love…but whoever is not against us is for us (Mark 9:40). If this myth or falsehood causes someone, especially of our persuasion, to do the research, then so be it. We have too many disenchanted youth and brainwashed adults who don’t know our/their history; hence your point. Maybe the rumor of this letter will spark their interest in some way, who knows. It’s been said that men are eager to improve their circumstances, but unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore, remain bound. There’s still so much work to… Read more »

Jane
Guest
Jane

I am not worried about relaxed hair or natural nazi, but I am seriously judging anyone woman I see in busted weaves and wigs. Those things are the most awful things ever. I don’t get them or understand how people put them on and think they look nice.

Jana
Guest
Jana

Amen!

J
Guest
J

LOL! That is funny.Human nature loves the path of least resistance so that could be one of the reasons.

the madness
Guest
the madness

I understand the social implications of straight hair, but I wish we could give it a rest. I was natural for the first 25 years of my life, never had my hair straightened or gotten a perm and never EVER thought I’d try it. I had beautiful, healthy natural hair that I loved. At 25, I walked into a salon and got a perm. Why? Because I was really bored. That’s it. I had dreadlocks through high school, and I stayed almost bald for a couple years after college. I like trying new things, and I got tired of being… Read more »

Fikicia
Guest
Fikicia

Well said! One of the best comments by far.….I agree 100%.

Kani
Guest
Kani

It your life and body, do what you want and what you feel is best for it is my opinion. As for Ebony and Essence magazines, all I have to say is: if VOGUE can have Lady GaGa sporting an afro on the cover (and within the book), why can’t ya’ll have a couple of covers with different types (hair textures/forms) of black naturals? Simple as that.

lexdiamonz
Guest
lexdiamonz

LETS not start a debate over this Ebony is throwing the fuel waiting on us to strike the match.. simple fact as someone stated before.… the MONEY they are losing from their WIG, RELAXER and that horrid azz PINk OIL MOISTURIZER is causing them to “stir” the pot… IT IS HAIR !!! FINALLY big business realize our dollars COUNT!!!! Ebony should be ashamed but wait WHO owns the magazine now???? .… to think that l’oreal or clairol has to actually STUDY our hair texture now to create products for us .…..hmmm that is a problem??? LOL

Jana
Guest
Jana

Ebony is out to make money so they will write stories like this to gain people’s interest so we will buy the magazine. What is interesting to note is the hair styles they decided to put on the cover. The cover pic is filled with mostly hair. Now don’t get me wrong I love the lady actresses and I love their styles, but I think the magazine is trying to keep advertisers happy by making sure this look is on there cover. I have 8 months in on my natural journey and I AM LOVING IT!!! Best hair decision I… Read more »

Tonya Juanise
Guest
Tonya Juanise

Look, I’m not even surprised anymore regarding negative comments or shade thrown towards natural hair. The majority of Black folks minds are jacked up because of the White man. Yeah I know, I hate to blame it on the “man” but he is why most Black folks hate their natural hair. We all know the story! Blacks had no problem with their hair until they were brought to the US or migrated to other areas where Caucasians looked down upon their hair because it was different. So until the mind is changed, articles like these will continue to pop up.… Read more »

Sunflowernbklyn
Guest

Earlier this week I was talking with a male friend of mine and we were discussing the Chris Rock film Good Hair. The topic expanded and he mentioned that there were so many militant naturals out that it was becoming too much. I think this article is definitely expressing the same view point. To be natural doesn’t equate to militant although, there are some folks who have gone a bit overboard. At the end of the day it’s hair you cut it — it grows back, color it, weave, dye it, fry it it’s yours enjoy it. The industry is… Read more »

Shirley
Guest
Shirley

Just like with slavery, an industry has to learn how to adjust or fail. A bit dramatic to compare relaxers to slavery, but first thing that came to mind. Like others have said, Ebony is taking care of itself with this article. People have the right to do whatever they want with their hair, but I feel sorry for the hair stylists that continue absorb and inhale all the toxins from those relaxers — just like service people exposed to second-hand smoke in bars and restaurants. Now I only see my hair stylist 2–3 times per year for a trim,… Read more »

J
Guest
J

Well said!It is suprising how much power we have! The big companies are watching our every step and trying to keep up so they must be real mad! LOL

Liz
Guest
Liz

Anyone else utterly bored with and so, so tired of having THIS DANG CONVERSATION? I mean damn, can I live my life without someone trying to be all up in it and reporting on it in some magazine? Is this a petri dish? Am I a specimen being examined (YES)and experimented on (YUP)? And regarding the relaxer companies that were supposedly forced to amend their practices in an attempt to successfully compete in today’s “black hair marketplace” boo damn hoo…

Supply and demand my dear friend, supply and demand.

Tonia
Guest
Tonia

Agreed.…I guess the relaxer companies never thought the demand would decrease.

Khadijah
Guest
Khadijah

I think it is wonderful that we are having this dialogue and good for Ebony for creating a platform. I’m curious about why there is a debate about everything we do in our society. Straight vs, natural, breastfeeding vs bottle…why do we keep creating these pseudo class systems within our community where women are ostracized for their hairstyle. I wear my hair a variety of ways. Straight, natural, colored, and I love my hair no matter what. I am currently wearing it straight because of the convenience of it. I’ve never been one to “do” my own hair but I… Read more »

Bri
Guest

Pure money scheme, it appears as if Ebony is playing both fields (natural, and relaxed) they are a magazine and it is expected. The more they appeal to both crowds the more money they recieve

golions101
Guest
golions101

This is my first time commenting, but there is something that I really want to say. Be forewarned that it’s a little off topic. I agree with the majority of the comments that Ebony is using a non-issue to get attention. A lot of the comments say something along the lines of black people need to unite, white people like our hair,black people are the ones… etc. etc. Bottom line is, when there is a problem it seems like it is always the fault of black people. The thing with Gabby was another non-issue. The websites that I visited had… Read more »

Liv
Guest
Liv

Ebony, is just trying to make money…one of the many reasons why I do not read them as well as other magazines like them. Folks keep forgetting that they themselves were born with natural hair…even though its your choice to ‘change/alter’ your hair how ever you want…but how can you deny what you were born/blessed with.…I don’t get it.…and its so funny how some folks are trying to convince me that getting a perm is ‘now’ safe… stop trying to convince me that getting a perm is safe, please get that welfare witchcraft outta here, damn smdh.…when my ancestors as… Read more »

Damola Aluko
Guest

I just want to be the first to point out that the writer of this article has a short natural fro!

essentialbeauties
Guest

Bbawwwwwaaahhhàaaaaaahhhhhaaaaaaa wow!

Alex
Guest
Alex

just another for for black people to be divided…

Alex
Guest
Alex

way*

codfish
Guest

there are so many advantages to the natural hair movement–of which I have become a part of over the last nine months. One advantage is to be able to purchase from what I hope is a black owned hair products company. Ebony should understand that concept. Their marketing team should reach out to these newer companies–e.g., kbb products, shescentit,miss jessies, etc. ITS A NEW DAY EBONY

M2
Guest
M2

I look at this a little differently. Look at what we have done to the game as naturals, look at the power we possess. Because many of us have said to heck with you and your chemicals these companies are running scared and going broke. The sheleves are PACKED with products geared toward natural hair, not that most of us use that mess anyway…And if i hear one more product claim to make my curls pop, im going to scream.….(WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN ANYWAY?.…ugggh).… I love it, i am down for everyone doing what they want to their… Read more »

Sabina
Guest
Sabina

They make lots of money through relaxer ads. Remember that this is a Black magazine that wasn’t above advertising bleaching creams.

intlgrrl
Guest
intlgrrl

I knew there was a reason I stopped reading Ebony, now I know why…

Shahidah
Guest

me too

PMS
Guest
PMS

Boo Hiss…next

Tam
Guest
Tam

Having alot of hair in its natural state, i refuse to use relaxer in case it damages my hair. My simple solution is wear weave to protect it from styling damage that can occur when brushing extremely coarse natural hair. I find that each few months I removet weave my natural hair keeps growing Good thing about non-chemical styles, if i feel i want curly afro hair that day I wear it natural, if I feel I want it straight I’ll use weave that use heat on my hair Natural black hair especially when you’re pure black and have coarse… Read more »

DCW
Guest
DCW

LOL @ Ebony magazine…totally see through!! Smh!!!

Jo
Guest
Jo

I do not feel one OUNCE of sympathy! LOL

I love the natural movement and may it continue! For ONCE black women have a CHOICE on how to define beauty in their own eyes and have all the info to boot to have a successful hair journey and love themselves more in the process. Whats wrong with that?

We have more info and can’t be fooled anymore and the companies are besides themselves! LOL

It’s about time i say.Free will is a gift that is why i CHOSE to go natural. 🙂

Shameka
Guest
Shameka

I’ve been natural since I was 15 years old. Prior to that, I “permed” (about five minutes) my hair roughlythree times a year starting at age 10. I’m nearly 35, so, that’s 20 plus years of being natural or somewhat natural. I personally find the natural hair movement to be somewhat silly. On the one hand, it’s nice to see folk embracing their natural selves. On the other hand, it can get a little boring and tiresome with hair regimens, new products and people continuously asking questions about my hair. It also gets a little frustrating to see t shirts,… Read more »

tinabobina
Guest
tinabobina

It wasn’t “just hair” when my mother tried to kick me out of the house for going natural. Just saying…

Shahidah
Guest

wow that article sounds really bias. I’ll have to read it in full but the little excerpts you’ve inserted sound like someone who just hates naturals and ‘uses’ another natural to show extememism…guess that is just how America is now…one way or the highway

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

Ebony magazine has not been exactly a forward-thinking magazine for awhile. It’s obvious that Ebony is for a certain demographic: conservative Blacks. A conservative Black is obviously who wrote this slanted article. This person is entitled to their opinion. What’s sad is that the article gives a sounding board for an already overwhelmingly popular community. Yes, the number of women relaxing has declined but studies show that most Black women still relax their hair. I just don’t like that the article adds fuel to the fire. But coming from Ebony magazine — a publication no longer known for gritty, revolutionary… Read more »

Miss Moon's Musings
Guest

This sounds like pure propaganda, an article bought and paid for by some big cosmetics company.

LeeLee
Guest
LeeLee

I was dating a great guy who I thought appreciated my long, coily-kinky natural hair. Then, he saw 3 year old photos of me with a relaxer and instantly started lobbying that I straighten my hair. It consumed him although I pointed out the things he liked doing with me that I could do because I had natural hair (go for a run w/o worrying I would sweat it out, hop out of the pool and go for drinks, etc). He really was willing to give all of that up and even pay for weekly salon visits if I’d even… Read more »

essentialbeauties
Guest

Such shame. Lucky for me, men like me more with natural. I’ve got to fight them off trying to play in my curls lol! Even guys that knew me with weave (been natural for 10 yrs) like me better with natural. That dude we just a douce!(?) Good riddance!

Mesha
Guest

Don’t fall for what Ebony is trying to disguise as factual. It’s about money and the media. Ebony makes it’s money from advertisers. I bet my bottom dollar that they’re in their ear.

Drika
Guest
Drika

Seriously, Ebony? There is no hair war. Most of the companies coming out with natural products are brand-spanking new. They could have found another woman to interview for this piece because now, people are going to perceive naturals as perm-hating women who want to do away with perms. No. Not the case. We made personal decisions to stop perming our hair, and that was that. I know I did at least. There needs to be a publication that portrays being natural in a realistic way, not the extremists. Just silly.

mini
Guest
mini

I don’t think Ebony or any Haircare companies have anything to worry about. They can and will develop and advertise products for us naturals to buy.

DICEY
Guest
DICEY

That rag magazine sucks anyway! Every other freaking page is a hair relaxer ad!

NubianPrize
Guest
NubianPrize

This is the most idiotic article Ebony’s had in a looooonnnnggg time ! How stupid can you get? We just had hoodrats trashing Gabby Douglas’ hair & causing a lot of negative attention, instead of praising her fantastic accomplishments & now we have the premier black magazine yakking some nonsense about a hair war between relaxed & natural!! Black folks always trying to find another way to get on each other’s nerves instead of praising the diversity & variety of hairstyles we can do !! MY GOD, What’s wrong with our people !!!! Better be out there trying to get… Read more »

maria
Guest
maria

Ahh! Articles like this reminds me of why I went natural in the first place. I’m so tired of companies making a buck out of my scalp. Boo hoo for L’Oreal and other large corporations that are not making as many billions because we’ve finally caught on. I wish I had gone natural sooner. As for me and my family (2 daughters, 2 stepdaughters, and 1 grandbaby.. ALL natural girls) we will continue to love our naps.

Michelle Spice
Guest
Michelle Spice

I love my wooly locks! I want to look like me my mother and grand mother and great grandmothers! I don’t want to look like anyone else that wants to look like me! I keep my hair natural because it makes me healthy and vibrant… I keep my hair natural because it gives me a strong afrikan ora and a great sense of my heritage… I love when my hair is natural because it is soft, curly and sensual… Others’ admines my wooly locks and wish they had it because it is so versitile… I can do whatever I want… Read more »

Ms.Barker
Guest
Ms.Barker

WOW! LOL it honestly made me smh. Seems like the article was written by a bitter woman with straight hair. (obviously) Who mad?

Im just saying…

Empress
Guest
Empress

Wow they’re really about to start a war on this B.S…It’s just Hair!!!
We as a black community really need to get our priorities straight 4real, I’m starting to think this is some kind of conspiracy ish…or am I just being paranoid?.…I don’t know anymore 🙁

Anjelica
Guest
Anjelica

You are not paranoid. I believe these types of arguments(along with skin color and status etc) are put to side track the Black American Community from focusing on the real issues. Our hair, no matter what style does not make Us who we are. We are strong and beautiful people. Relaxing vs. natural should be the last thing Essence “speaks out” about.

We have to remember to look at who is writing these articles and where they’re getting their information from.

Empress
Guest
Empress

Glad to know I’m not alone in my thoughts.…

Pam
Guest

Empress and Anjelica I agree completely..by getting ‘us’ to focus on trivial issues such as perms and skin color they are allowing bigger issues such as gun violence in gang populated areas and innocent victims of police brutality to not be at the forefront of our concern. Those issues and more are always at the forefront of my concern though and I will continue to involve discussion and dialogue on my facebook pages of things people can do in my community to help build community.

Drika
Guest
Drika

But why is this a trivial issue? Like it or not, this is an issue within the natural hair community. I think all issues play a part to shaping who we are as a people. It’s like ignoring that their are videos of fights on World Star Hip Hop just because it’s stupid and we have bigger fish to fry. What are we supposed to do, just let the hair Nazis continue with this elitist mind frame that they have? They are not just odd forces in the abyss, they are people that have the ability to change if they… Read more »

JJ
Guest
JJ

I totally agree! I was in the process of looking for stylists who can do an awesome hair weave when I came across this post. I have not worn a relaxer in over 10 years. I was pressing my hair, but decided to start wearing it curly once my cousin schooled me on products and technique. I have been wearing it mostly curly, twist outs, etc. for the last 3 years. But, now I want a change…I am ready to go straight and long. So, what’s wrong with that? One thing that I have always found so beautiful about black… Read more »

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

Yes!

Likewaterforchocolat
Guest
Likewaterforchocolat

I’m with you. It’s hair to do with that which we choose. If we do not respect our hair whether straight or natural how will we expect the world to respect it?

juanita617
Guest
juanita617

It looks like a conspiracy to me. The black hair industry is a billion dollar industry. If large enough percentage of their clientele stop relaxing their hair, then they will lose a chunk of their profit. It’s all about money. Essence advertises relaxers all throughtout their magazine. If they don’t on the black hair industry’s side, then they lose an advertiser.. $$$$ lost.

juanita617
Guest
juanita617

sorry, I meant Ebony…but Essence also.

Nibbler
Guest
Nibbler

Absolutely correct. There’s an interesting documentary on the black hair industry circulating that particularly focuses on the fake hair side of things. It highlights how the black dollar/pound is making Koreans rich as blacks willingly hand over their money but are ironically left/kept and opting out of the money-making side of business. In other words Blacks buy but they don’t sell and make any profit — where there’s clearly megabuck profits to be had.

jeanettesdaughter
Guest
jeanettesdaughter

right. same lament when black women first started wearing our hair natural back in the day: the black beautician’s worst enemy — the afro. well it’s all really shortsighted because natural hair puts black men and women in charge of the entire business model, unlike perms and weaves. now watch the big cosmetic companies jump on the band wagon like estee lauder buying carol’s daughter. while we write silliness defending the chemical straitening industry which has resulted in alopecia and other harmful hair and skin conditions for many many black women, and on the other side appoint someone to be… Read more »

Drika
Guest
Drika

No, she did not defend the relaxer companies. Like at all. Relaxers don’t even advertise in Ebony. She was just talking about the few women who are up in arms with relaxed ladies because they’ve gone natural, and they feel it’s the only way to go. Is it a bad thing that relaxers changed the chemicals? Maybe not. Maybe they listened to their target audience and changed for them. I mean, we truly control the market. If we don’t buy, then they have no business, right? And it was an opinion piece for crying out loud. Chill out.

Phoenix
Guest

Bwahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!!!!! Oh my word, I find this soooo funny! It’s funny because it’s ridiculous! Yes, the natural Nazis DO exist, it cannot be denied. But they’re the MINORITY, the majority of women have a “live and let live” attitude which means that actually this animosity spoken of in the article is pure conjecture and created by the media itself. Another reason I find it funny — relaxer companies were “forced” to change — as if that’s a bad thing!! Thank God that the formulas used nowadays aren’t as strong and has added conditioners and oils, and I don’t have to… Read more »

jewellthief
Guest
jewellthief

leave it to Ebony to have issues w/ black women’s natural hair.…talk about buying into the ‘image of beauty’ mental state.…just another reason why I don’t read or have a subscription.…

Ace
Guest
Ace

Amen to that..I’ve ceased subscribing to Ebony/Essence/Jet for well over 10 years because of this type of nonsense. Not only is it non-supportive of showing a variety of black women, it has been blatant in it’s attempt to keep us mentally controlled by non-supportive Black men with articles like this attacking our natural beauty as well as keeping us constantly clawing on the coat-tails of non-reciprocating black males, never showing in a favorable light, black women who choose to activate their wide range of dating choices as black men do. The black American diaspora in general I stay away from… Read more »

tinabobina
Guest
tinabobina

I have begun to notice the same thing and am walking away for the sake of my sanity.

Ashley
Guest
Ashley

I’m so glad that we are beginning to wake up. I don’t read Essence, Ebony or Jet anymore because many of their articles I don’t find enlightening or relevant to me. Our hair and our beauty standard is something that we are creating and controlling from now on out. 🙂

Drika
Guest
Drika

Actually, Ebony, Essence, and Jet are more relevant than people believe. There is more talk about natural hair in issues than permed hair (as if permed hair was a huge issue to begin with by now). If you read the article and think ponder about it, what the writer said was true. Companies of relaxers had no choice but to follow the demands of the consumer, who, in turn, wanted to use products that were better for the hair. That’s great! And women are harming the community, whether we recognize them or not.

Indigowaters
Guest
Indigowaters

Sounds like Ebony has been bought off by relaxer companies who want us to feel sympathy for them not making money off of us anymore. I guess it’s unnatural in their eyes for us to have all this self love and they want to label it hate. Hmmm.

Tabora
Guest
Tabora

Those were my thoughts–@ being bought out by a hair relaxer company. This is propaganda for the sake of increasing sales. It is desperate and sad, hence the reason I do not buy Ebony.

soulshadow55
Guest
soulshadow55

So true!! Just like the auto industry and the oil industry. They both hated and tried to stop electric cars and solar heating. But they were really only trying to stall those new technologies until they could develop ways to profit from them. The hair perm companies are doing the same thing. They’re complaining and whining about their lost market share. But secretly they’re working hard to an develop formulas for natural hair care in order to re-capture their old market share — but this time — in natural hair care. They all hate it until they can figure out… Read more »

Nibbler
Guest
Nibbler

If Call only more black people thought like you, when it comes to supporting black businesses.

Drika
Guest
Drika

They haven’t, though. There are no relaxer ads in the magazine. There are actually more natural hair product lines advertising then the food, cars, and anything else advertised in there. Think about it. Ebony is not a women’s interest magazine, much like a black hair one.

lasha
Guest
lasha

This has got to be the DUMBEST article every written by Ebony.
I’m sure Essence Mag would have never printed such rubbish.

What were they really saying? We shouldn’t go back to our roots because it’s better to support the ‘relaxer’ industry?

The natural hair that I have now is the same hair I had up to
age 13. I guess I should have kept relaxing and polluting my body with a lot of harsh chemicals. Silly, silly, silly.

Drika
Guest
Drika

No, she was not saying that. She was saying that because the shift to going natural and using better products was so strong, they had no choice but to make some changes to stay in business. Isn’t it amazing that we even changed how relaxer companies saw hair care? The sweet irony is nobody had the relaxer companies in mind. They wanted to give it up, so they did. I asked the writer of the piece about it, and she told me it was just about the problem we have. Though it may seem small to most naturals, it still… Read more »

Randomosity
Guest
Randomosity

I’m really hoping that wasn’t something written to be taken seriously because I’m seriously taking this as a joke. All in their feelings when sounds a little like guilt and wanting to make others the enemy. Whoever that person is, needs to build a bridge and get over it. Nobody is forcing them to do anything they don’t want to.

Sieta
Guest

Naturals are YET AGAIN being stereotyped.

This lady wanted a reaction and boy she got it.

MrsRobGee
Guest
MrsRobGee

It’s nothing wrong with relaxers especially if you’re into Fibroid tumors, chemical burns, and hair loss.

Nikki
Guest

Inconsequential “wars” are created by media. Two people just can’t have differing opinions in a respectable manner.

tigerlily
Guest
tigerlily

There’s nothing wrong with being natural
There’s nothing wrong with being relaxed
Oh and just because a woman is natural, does not mean she has healthy hair and vise versa.
As far has this article, Who gives a damn? I know I don’t.
Worry about your tresses and move along

locedup
Guest

I like being natural. I have locs and they are more than a statement or shall I say an indictment on relaxed hair. They are simply put, me. If being relaxed is you, then alright. But just remember YOU were not born relaxed.

Empress
Guest
Empress

I like that saying…“YOU were not born relaxed.”

Ashika888
Guest

Uhmm, at some point would they not want to embrace an industry that may advertise on their pages at some point? Somebody needs to be reminded that we just took back what we were born with and chances are, they DEFINITELY had it at some point in their own lives. I agree that the majority of naturals are live and let live with the acceptance of what we have and we are going to feel good about our natural hair. What is most repulsing is the siding with an industry that administers toxins VIA THE SKULL, laced with something organic… Read more »

Ashika888
Guest

And another thing, that same industry that is trying to pacify the natural hair market and just puts crap in the products that they currently have marketed for permed hair should be aware of something about us: we read labels. We will know if you are trying to get over on us. Trying to give us emulsifiers and thickeners that just feel rich still polluted with nonbeneficial additives calling it hair lotion when you just added a flake of cocoa butter to some plain body lotion hyped by a commercial still is not appealing. You should have to deserve my… Read more »

Tisha
Guest
Tisha

sigh…
.
.
.
Really?

babyhairback
Guest
babyhairback

In our society, if everyone buys into one type of beauty or routine then that means huge bucks for a couple of huge corporations. I don’t know if a lot of people notice but going natural is extremely unique looking. Everyone has their on curl pattern and texture. I love that so many people are defining their own beauty. I hope it can cross over into careers, health, just everything. We are all so unique and to just have one idea of beauty or one idea of success is so limiting. Great comments!

Zhana
Guest

If there is a war, it is against the products that damage our hair and our self-esteem.

There is a connection between self-hatred, a/k/a low self-esteem, and gun violence, poverty and many of the problems that plague our community.

Javann
Guest
Javann

Declining relaxer sales mess with their advertisers, which messes with Black magazines’ money. Period. This article is written to draw a line in the sand and Ebony sides with money.

Drika
Guest
Drika

But there aren’t any relaxer ads in the magazine.

deprogrammed
Guest
deprogrammed

Makes me wonder what they think about Gabby, and did they praise Bo Derek and her braids. Articles like this are part of the reason Ebony should be renamed Irrelevant.

BlackAngelPlayah
Guest

And that’s why no one reads Ebony. They are stuck in the damn 60’s-90’s… I mean… Just plain behind ANYBODY’S times!! Ebony is one of those magazines that needs to just go out of business.. Everytime I pick one up and read the dribble they are calling “the issues” and I swear some frigging Grand Wizard is funding this magazine because they just don’t sit right with me. I know.. I over react much. But still… Yeah… I think so…

>_<

Drika
Guest
Drika

No, they are not stuck in the past. No, they are anything but behind. And no, they will not go out of business because it has a rich history of depicting black people in a positive light, and they are still going strong.

michelle
Guest

dear black angel player,i grew up with ebony,i am aware of the stories and the struggle the founder had before he launched it,this magazene was needed for people of color like me,and it made me aware of the positive role moddles in my time,on how black women were seen as a positive force to us all,i will more participate on constructive criticism of being out of touch with the new generation rather than campaigning openly and wishing to close it down.but at an age with rappers cussing out half naked women and inciting violence i cant blame you for the… Read more »

Curly Kitty
Guest
Curly Kitty

Really?? I’m going to hate another woman because her hair is relaxed (someone like my mom)?? Yes, my hair is natural…for now. I couldn’t care less if your hair is natural or relaxed. I’m just kind of mad that I can’t have both worlds because in my view, hair is like makeup! It can be changed to suit my mood! I’m sorry but if I’m going to be militant and hateful, it’s not going to be over something like hair! I knew there was a reason I don’t read Ebony anymore…

Drika
Guest
Drika

I don’t know if anyone will read this, but I asked the writer about the article today, and she said the piece was really just highlighting the opposition that is out there. I think we can agree that there are ladies that feel that perms are from the devil and are extremely harmful to our hair. It was not to say that all naturals feel that way, and i feel that most, if not all of you think she generalized naturals. That’s just not the case, given that she is a fellow natural herself. I mean, she does have a… Read more »

Drika
Guest
Drika

I have one last note: I went through both August and September issues of EBONY. Way to be up-to-date with the magazine, ladies. EBONY has NO ads from perm companies. As a matter of fact, there were more natural hair product ads than any other beauty category. Just because the article rubbed you the wrong way doesn’t make the magazine irrelevant. Unless you subscribe to the magazine and have actually seen a difference in the content, just don’t say anything about it.

Janine
Guest
Janine

I think it’s really sad when black women are at each other’s throats about being natural or not. In my opinion, why does that even matter? Especially with the fact that the way that someone else wears their hair doesn’t have an effect on your life. I’ve been natural for a little over a year and I feel like it’s silly to bash people who get relaxers or straighten their hair often. And I absolutely HATE being associated as a being a natural who thinks in these ways and is always discriminating and telling non-natural sisters that they are not… Read more »

Drika
Guest
Drika

I agree. Is there a way to help strengthen the community and these few, yet vocal, ladies?

Jet
Guest

We are all beautiful. I went natural some time ago, but never fully embraced my crowning glory until now. Harsh chemicals have done damage to my hair. I cannot speak for others. Straight or natural, we are strong black and beautiful. What we should be fighting over is equality, fair wages, better health care, perception, strong families, divine education. Shall I go on. I just happen to be a sister who loves the natural look and love the movement that is sweeping the country. If the companies have to change their outlook, so be it. Companies do it all the… Read more »

Primavera
Guest
Primavera

Yes I know I’m late on this.….I used to read Ebony for years but I felt in the last decade or so many of the articles were just not as relevant anymore. So I have not read it recently. However I have never felt Ebony has promoted anything negative. In my opinion it has always highlighted the diversity of Black beauty, talent, entepreneuriship and intellect. @ Drika, I guess it is coool that there are no perm/relaxer ads in Ebony NOW. My last Ebony purchase was from 2008! And yes I still have it and yes there were relaxer/perm ads… Read more »

imani
Guest
imani

well when I decided to go natural I started realizing the vast majority of haircare advertisement was for perms & chemical products in our black entertainment&hair care magazines. Ive noticed recently a few ads for naturl hair care lines. But when i look back on the DECADES of black magazines that came through our home as a child, it was ALL abt the perms. That was the trend at the time. I feel like they are trying to evolve but bc they are a magazine that started BECAUSE we had not voice or image…to even speak abt perms like they… Read more »

Dana
Guest
Dana

The bottom line is, people are looking into so called “trusted” products and are finding they are very harmful, therefore making a conscious decision for their own well-being. Companies SHOULD change their products so as not to hurt people (especially merchandise marketed for children) because “the look” is never as important as OUR HEALTH. It’s a choice, but the facts can’t be ignored.

Byannica
Guest
Byannica

Sage is a wannabe Afrocentric black american who is stuck in the1970’s using that stupid term sister.And growing out nappy hair doesn’t define you as black.You will be black whether you relax your hair or you leave your hair nappy.

Markita
Guest
Markita

As the company that owns both Ebony/Jet and Supreme Beauty Products (Duke/Raveen) I can see why Johnson Publishing would have a vested interested in Black women’s continued use of relaxers. Just sayin’.

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