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13 Signs You Have a Straight Hair Mentality

Avatar • Apr 16, 2014

by Adeola of The Mane Captain

While it’s great to see an increasing number of women embrace the beauty of their coily hair, I sometimes worry that many of the hair struggles these women are dealing with will eventually force them to give in and go back to their “stress free” straight hair. I empathize with these women because many of them had relaxed hair from a very young age so they really don’t know what their curly hair feels like and how it should behave when allowed to grow out. The comments and hair issues I’ve encountered from women on hair forums proves that they could have a Straight Hair Mentality (SHM). A straight hair mentality holds many women back from enjoying their curly hair. Many of them will even go undercover with “protective styles” as the feel it’s the only way they can “control” their “unruly hair”.

If you truly want to enjoy your natural hair while it grows long and healthy, you should watch out for the signs of SHM listed below and begin to accept that your naturally coiled hair will not behave the same way your chemically straightened hair did. Also understand that with trial, error and experience, you will eventually start to see the benefits of coily hair.

 
Signs you have a Straight Hair Mentality

1. You find your hair to be unmanageable and unruly
2. You relax your edges and parts of your hair so your weaves and other “straight hair friendly” hairstyles will look neat
3. You don’t understand why wash days takes longer and you try to shorten it by all means
4. You heat straighten your natural hair daily so that it can blend in with your straight weave
5. You don’t understand why your coily hair wouldn’t hold up styles you use to wear when your hair was straight.
6. You try to get your natural hairstyles to be silky smooth
7. Shrinkage bothers you because it doesn’t show the true length of your hair and it doesn’t give your hair “the flow” you use to have with straight hair.
8. You use the same tools you used on your straight hair
9. You comb your hair as if it’s straight, that is, you use a small comb, you comb dry hair, you comb from roots to tips, you try to rush combing, you comb your coily hair daily and as often as you would normally comb your straight hair.
10. You don’t understand why your hair takes forever to be completely dry after a wash
11. Smooth edges are a priority and you keep looking for a way to eliminate frizz
12. You do hairstyles that are only straight hair friendly and you use the wrong hair extensions. It’s best to use Marley hair when you do Senegalese twist because if other types of hair (like Kanekalon) are used your hair will eventually revert in the braids and start to look messy.
13. You keep wishing you could relax your hair or you keep your hair straight most of the time

If you want to enjoy your hair, it’s crucial that you you replace your straight hair mentality with a coily hair mentality.

Do you identify with any of these signs? Have you ever had a SHM? How did you manage to deal with them?

 

 

The Mane Captain is a blog run by Adeola, a Toronto based natural hair advocate who empowers women with the knowledge needed to take control of their hair. She also holds regular meet ups in and around Toronto where Naturals can network and support each other while on the journey. 

Avatar

About Adeola @ The Mane Captain

A Toronto based natural hair blogger. Born & half raised in Nigeria, and now currently residing in Canada. To keep busy, I frequent my local library where I go to borrow non fiction books, particularly personal and spiritual development books. I also organize Toronto natural hair events, attend meetup groups and I'm working hard to be a polyglot.

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[…] If you fall under this category and would like to enjoy your natural hair while it grows long and healthy, you should watch out for the signs of SHM listed below and begin to accept that your naturally coiled hair will not behave the same way your chemically Read the full article […]

B
B
6 years ago

I don’t agree with most of this article.
Keeping hair straight helps to reduce tangling and by extension breakage. Which leads to longer hair.

Jumoké
6 years ago
Reply to  B

Not necessarily. If your hair is not naturally straight then keeping it straight would most likely cause more harm than good in the long run. Maybe you meant to say “stretched”? That I could agree with

T-Ann Eddy
T-Ann Eddy
6 years ago
Reply to  Jumoké

Great Point! I hit thumbs down by accident. Sorry 🙂

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

Hmmm… not sure why this article irritates me. I probably should have stopped reading at “go undercover with protective styles.”

Valerie
Valerie
6 years ago

1) But wash days really shouldn’t take that long…but to each his own
2) I agree…some habits need to change if you choose to be natural

Naijastar
Naijastar
6 years ago
Reply to  Valerie

I understand what the author is saying to a certain extent regarding wash days. She means that assuming that wash days shouldn’t take a long may be a conclusion that is informed by your experience with straight hair. The lack of patience in dealing with natural hair, which can often take more time and care to detangle, may be impede your length retention and the overall health of your hair.

Jumoké
6 years ago

I can see how this topic would be controversial but I fully agree. This is especially true with new naturals and transitioners and it’s unfortunate. Reminds me of the 60s when many women were forced in a way to wear their hair in a fro but in the back of their minds they knew that straight hair was “better” which is why that movement was short lived. Is safe to say that I see history repeating itself? Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the natural hair movement and I believe this will survive longer than it did in the 60s… Read more »

Andiegurl
Andiegurl
6 years ago
Reply to  Jumoké

YES to all of this ^^^

Rehs Sllew
Rehs Sllew
6 years ago

I feel like the person who wrote this article just wanted to say something. It’s weird , these opinions the writer has. I’m natural and I can honestly say the long wash day thing is quiet bizarre to me. I really don’t think you need 10 products to wash your hair. Why do you need to pre-poo, co-wash, wash, condition, steam, and deep condition??. I remember growing up in Jamaica and most christian women like Adventist and Penticostals had nice full heads of natural hair and all they did was shampoo and condition with what they purchased from the local… Read more »

Ms Marcy
Ms Marcy
6 years ago
Reply to  Rehs Sllew

I spent (what seemed like) half a day in the Beauty shop every other week most of my childhood, until I went to college. I didn’t do nothing outside of shampoo and conditioning when I did do my own hair. However, blow drying took an hour and curling another hour. So, I think the time I use now, and the time I used with a relaxer is really about the same. I gave my sister my hooded dryer after I went natural. I could save a lot of time with just that one item, then my wash day as a… Read more »

Khia
Khia
6 years ago
Reply to  Rehs Sllew

I agree, this article is not as funny or positive as I expected it to be. It’s bullying to people who do not share the same mindset as the writer. Granted, you should love the skin you’re in but don’t try to shame those who think differently. I’ve been natural my entire life, before it was a trend…and while I love to see that more people are embracing their natural hair, I don’t like the “shaming” behavior from a few. Also, you’re right. Who in the hell has time to spend 5 hours doing their hair? My mom kept it simple…washed… Read more »

Dolores
Dolores
6 years ago
Reply to  Rehs Sllew

Your pre-poo bit had me rolling! We can get a bit complicated sometimes, lol! I do, however, see a benefit in washing (with good old head & shoulders, which by the way now has a formula with a bit of oil in it that makes it less drying) and then co-washing with as i am. My hair is less itchy after a few days, and it’s still soft.

ingrid
ingrid
6 years ago

I can definitely see where this artical is going. It looks like the goal of many naturals is not healthy hair, but curly hair and definitely not kinky afro type of hair but defined flowing curls that go down the back. I’ve gotten plenty o shade from other naturals for wearing my natural texture rather than twists or defined curls. I dont think its a straight hair mentality, but a eurocentric one aiming to tone our hair down to fit more with the look of european or smooth hair. Now dont get me wrong twists outs are a great style… Read more »

silkynaps
silkynaps
6 years ago
Reply to  ingrid

I wear my tiny curls in their natural state exclusively. No twist outs, braids out, blow outs, fro outs. Just wash and go outs. If someone doesn’t like my hair that’s their problem, not mine. We may have learned to love and appreciate what God has given us, but remember…400 years of mental conditioning will not reverse itself overnight.

Mika
Mika
6 years ago

Thia artical is one point, natural women who think like this tend to bully others over their hair too. And believe me there’s alot of them with this mentality. Sad, insecure females wont bring me or my gorgeous natural hair down but they have tried.

Ms Marcy
Ms Marcy
6 years ago

I felt the article was right on. I was a little disappointed when a particular Youtube natural 4C hair personality relaxed her hair. If it was anyone else I would not have cared, however, it was someone I felt was a hair mentor. I use to wear half wigs until I moved to this city. The problem was some of the people who saw my interviews with the half wig were disappointed because they realize I was African-American and NOT the race they thought I was not. So, from that experience I make sure I show my true and beautiful… Read more »

Cherise
Cherise
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms Marcy

I know exactly what youtuber you’re talking about. I was disappointed when she relaxed too.

cheni_zim
cheni_zim
6 years ago
Reply to  Cherise

Who is it? Curiosity killing me…

Anon
Anon
6 years ago
Reply to  cheni_zim

Glamfun but I feel like she did what she thought was best for her. It’s her hair and as long as she is happy.

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  Cherise

yeah, who was it?

gi
gi
6 years ago
Reply to  cacey

I forgot her name but look up on you tube he video for wash and go don’t work on nappy hair

Kay
Kay
6 years ago
Reply to  gi

Her name is Glamfun. It didn’t disappoint me and it shouldn’t disappoint you what others do with their hair. Sure, she was an “inspiration” to others, but be a leader in your own skin. I can honestly say, I’m over having natural hair. It’s not a job, hobby or way of life. It’s just living and doing what you find works well for you.

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  gi

OOOOOH! Glamfun! wow i had just seen a video or two of hers a couple wks back. welp! thanks, i’ll hafta go check her vids out again then, because i’m always curious to see, of the women who record it, whether the naturals who return to relaxers find it easier to manage their relaxed hair after having had the “natural experience”, for lack of a better term. i’d think they’d have gained better insight into caring for their hair and being more mindful of its health and that it would thus make for a more enlightened relaxed experience. i wonder.… Read more »

Tia
Tia
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms Marcy

Who’s this ?

Deb
Deb
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms Marcy

She was in a video with another youtuber explaining why she relaxed and her reasons were just…interesting. You can tell she was never comfy with her hair and it’s hard for some people. It was just sad to lose a 4c hair ytber but there are more women popping up to take her place.

Karen
Karen
6 years ago
Reply to  Deb

In the scheme of YT naturals, she was around for 5 minutes and hadn’t worked out what she wanted. I don’t know how anyone could view her as a mentor. Maybe it’s because I’ve been natural for a long time now but I always saw her as a new natural who was not long from her big chop days. She obviously got frustrated with her hair and her scalp problem. She only lost viewers because her reasoning for relaxing was odd and came at a time when most of her videos had stopped being about hair and started being about… Read more »

Deb
Deb
6 years ago
Reply to  Karen

I wouldn’t say she was a guru but she had a Channel centered around 4c hair when there weren’t many at the time. She made a lot of mistakes with her hair as a new natural and would show them on camera but she was actually showcasing 4c hair so she had viewers. Like I said, there have thankfully been more ytbers to take her place but they are not as popular as joulezy (the main reason is sadly obvious but I won’t go there right now).

JustJoy98
JustJoy98
6 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Agreed, I’m not 4c but I follow a lot of 4c girls, I find that they have great advice. My favorite newbie is NaturalMe4c

Ms Marcy
Ms Marcy
6 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Well said.

Jumoké
6 years ago
Reply to  Karen

I was tempted to unsub as well especially when you put up the Natural Hair Nazi video. 1. I despise that term. Are you really gonna describe your sisters as “Nazis”? As if we don’t understand history smh but I digress. 2. You mad? She gained the majority of her followers through centering her channel around natural hair so when they unsub or express displeasure on your decision, they become “Nazis”? FOH! and as someone mentioned- she was never comfortable with her hair in the first place that was why her reasoning to return back to relaxers was skewed. Like… Read more »

Jumoké
6 years ago
Reply to  Jumoké

She*

mlank64
mlank64
6 years ago

idk.…some of these examples I question. For instance…I always look for ways to shorten my wash day. Doesn’t mean I want straight hair…it means I don’t want to spend 7 hours on a Saturday/Sunday doing my hair. Yeah shrinkage bothers me…but I don’t do much about it since I know with more length shrinkage will be less of an issue and maybe welcomed at some point. Eliminating frizz…well I don’t have alot of frizz and if I do that means my hair is dry or lacks moisture. That’s my experience because I know my hair…I’m not speaking for others. Just… Read more »

Josephine Odion
Josephine Odion
6 years ago

I’m guilty of number eleven. But that does mean I have SHM, I just like rocking smooth edges with my updos when I have an outing. This article seemed a little judgemental.

Josephine Odion
Josephine Odion
6 years ago

*does not mean

Ellipsis
6 years ago

I have a wild and free mentality. to me it’s JUST hair. I think we all get too caught up in either trying to prove our hair can grow or trying to be more ‘black’ (whatever that means.…but ive heard it. If we can all understand, yes it is a part of my identity but what i choose to do with it, to it…it’s my choice. If you want healthy hair then don’t straighten or colour it but if to you it’s just an accessory (which it truly is) then more power to you. Because no matter what you do… Read more »

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago

This article did have a slightly judgmental tone, but I do think it said some tough things some of us need to hear. I’ve heard and seen too many folks guilty of 4, 6, 8, 9, & 11 for them to be written off. Yet I’m so guilty of #3 and #10. My wash day takes at least 4–6 hours start to finish, and I would love for it to be shorter! However, I don’t think this means I have a straight hair mentality… might just mean I want more free time on my weekends!  I know that if I… Read more »

Naijastar
Naijastar
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

I agree with nearly all of your post. The article did have a slight judgmental tone, but I think the substance of it was spot on. I think the people for whom “SHM” ring true and the people who find themselves at war with their such that it has become detrimental. Their rigid thinking has become almost pathological to the health of their hair. This description probably doesn’t apply to most naturals, just some. For instance, I’ve been natural for about 13 years, and I’ve never once thought about relaxing, but every now and then I run into women who… Read more »

Naijastar
Naijastar
6 years ago
Reply to  Naijastar

Geez. My post was riddled with typos.

The article did have a slightLY judgmental tone, but I think the substance of it was spot on. I think the people for whom “SHM” ringS true ARE the people who find themselves at war with their such that it has become detrimental.

Naijastar
Naijastar
6 years ago
Reply to  Naijastar

War with their HAIR such that it has become detrimental…

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Naijastar

I knew what you meant (didn’t notice your typos until you corrected them lol), and I agree. When I first returned to natural, I was guilty of more than just #3 and #10…I was guilty of darn near everything on this list. The only things I didn’t do were daily straightening and anything to do with edges…I somehow missed that fixation.  Anywho, I thought I would have some Corinne Bailey Rae strands, and instead, I had a sea of different textures that didn’t respond to anything uniformly. I was so frustrated and filled with envy by the success of my… Read more »

straightnochaser
straightnochaser
6 years ago

Why do some people refer to going natural as a ‘movement?’ Why can’t it just be I went natural because ‘I got tired of seeing my hair growing thinner over time;’ ‘I got tired of spending hours in a salon waiting for an overbooked hairdresser to remember I booked my appointment 2 weeks ago.’ In other words, why can’t we see this so-called movement (as so many call it) as simply a decision? I’ve been natural since 1999, and one of the main reasons I did so was because of finances. I wanted to buy a house with as large… Read more »

Deyna
Deyna
6 years ago

People are referring to it as a movement because it isn’t just a couple of individuals ” going natural”. It is global collective of women who are going through this process at once. We are creating a new demand for natural hair that was once neglected and non-existent.  It doesn’t matter when you went natural or why. Just the act of being natural and being more accepting of people who are at this day and age is changing the global perspective of how people see curly/afro hair. The world is taking notice — this is especially important when it comes… Read more »

Ms Marcy
Ms Marcy
6 years ago
Reply to  Deyna

Well said.

lablooplah
lablooplah
6 years ago
Reply to  Deyna

that was very articulate expression. I love it, i feel like copying it and pasting it and printing it and posting it somewhere lol.

deyna
deyna
6 years ago
Reply to  lablooplah

go ahead and copy and paste it or print it.
I save inspirations and quotes all the time…It feels amazing to know that just taking a couple of seconds out of my day to write a response to something I’m passionate about inspired someone.

have a nice day
?

rlw
rlw
6 years ago

A very wise lady you are !!!!!!

Lulu
6 years ago

I also get a little upset when it’s referred to as a movement, or a trend. I have been natural my whole life. My mother never let a relaxer come near my head. So when people group me along with this “movement” I get a little upset. It’s the hair that grows from my scalp, it’s always been there and always will be.

straightnochaser
straightnochaser
6 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

Thank you!

Rehs Sllew
Rehs Sllew
6 years ago

I agree! I don’t think being natural is a “movement.” Simply because your hair grows that way out of your head. It’s like saying there’s a black movement where people who have been black there whole lives are starting to be black lol

Flynfab
Flynfab
6 years ago

YES!

Deedeemaha
Deedeemaha
6 years ago

Natural hair can be a mixture of hair types. (Example 3c 4 a b c). With that mixture if you would like your edges to lay down with gel or what ever, so be it.  Because of the wide ranges of natural texture, I can see why many are confused and feel it judgmental. This article was not as enjoyable for me, because I had to do to much reasoning. Lol. Reading between the lines. Which natural texture does this article apply to 4C ? #2 you relax your edges.….…… If you do this then you not natural, and perhaps don’t want to be… Read more »

cheni_zim
cheni_zim
6 years ago

Lol I found her it’s glamfun or glamfum

Robin
Robin
6 years ago

I have two thoughts about this quote from the article: “While it’s great to see an increasing number of women embrace the beauty of their coily hair, I sometimes worry that many of the hair struggles these women are dealing with will eventually force them to give in and go back to their ‘stress free’ straight hair.” One: Why worry about it? If a woman transitions from relaxed to natural and decides to go back to relaxed or some other straightening method, that’s her choice. It should have no personal or direct impact on the author of this article, or… Read more »

Flynfab
Flynfab
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Agreed Robin! My relaxed hair was anything but stress-free. I love how chill my natural hair is and I will never go back to relaxing; too much drama, time and money wrapped up in relaxing.

Toast
Toast
6 years ago

I relaxed my edges cause they don’t curl the same as the rest of my hair BUT after weeks they revert back curly.

Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

Hello Ladies. Thanks for the comment and personal inputs. This is only a general article and so it won’t apply to everyone, although some of us might know one or two people who can identify with a few points. In terms of wash days, I can definitely say that my wash days takes longer than my sisters with relaxed hair and I also get women roll their eyes when I tell them about what I do to my hair to keep it healthy. I sometimes take short cuts with my hair every once in a while. With regards to PS,… Read more »

ziggy
ziggy
6 years ago

Who wouldn’t want their wash day to be short and simple?! Why would anyone want to spend hours doing their hair if there were other options?  For certain hair types, excessive frizz can contribute to unnecessary dryness and breakage. It can also shorten the longevity of a style if you plan on wearing that same style for an extended amount of time. So the smoother the hair the longer the style will stay neat as the days go by. Frizz is the nature of afro textured hair so it would help to minimize as much frizz as possible rather than… Read more »

Kori
Kori
6 years ago
Reply to  ziggy

I think your comment is exactly what the writer of the article means. “Frizz” is texture so therefore it should be embraced. I a true 4c or 4b depending who you ask. I have accepted my hair doesn’t last in certain styles. Dryness and breakage can be addressed separately. Texture isn’t grooming. That being said white people seem to get they can’t wear styles just like us due to their texture and it doesn’t bother the vast majority of them…why should our texture be an issue for us?

Jacky
Jacky
6 years ago

I can relate to trying to rush combing.I’m still on the quest for the perfect combing method( I’ve gone from dry detangling to wet/damp detangling to finger combing with better results and less time spent detangling). But sometimes i try to rush combing with a comb( which i would not advice you to try…Snap!… OUCH! ), i know that i will find the perfect combing method because I’ve come a long way and my hair care methods have greatly improved and with wonderful results too, plus I’m thinking of trying detangling in the shower with conditioner on my natural hair… Read more »

Ash
Ash
6 years ago

I’m dead at some of these comments. Hit dogs will holler.

April
April
6 years ago

The type of frizz I have is something not normal. I’ve had it for years before my heat damage and I just haven’t ever figured out how to deal with it. Now that I’m recovering from heat damage it’s still my enemy. My only hair mentality is I want it to look good on ME, coily or straight and if it’s not, I’m not rocking it. I’m still trying to find my look.

Spirit
Spirit
6 years ago

I am guilty of #‘s 6,7, &11. I’m okay with that I don’t like frizz my hair is very curly w/ I love but the front, going about one inch back is where my frizz likes to live so yes I do all I can to eliminate that and have perfect ringlets like the rest of my hair. If that gives me SHM then so be it frizz bites I don’t who says its cool!!!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Coloredhairandeyebrowstwo.jpg[/img]

Karen
Karen
6 years ago
Reply to  Spirit

Lol. I know some people think that frizz is texture, but if that’s what it is, and it’s only a portion of your entire head or pops up every once in a while, what’s wrong with trying to make your whole head look the same? Nothing at all. My frizz could very well be part of my texture but anyone telling me to accept it will be speaking to themselves. When a quarter of my hair looks like it didn’t dry all the way and the other three quarters look like they’re moisturized, like they’ve set, like it’s all good… Read more »

It's not how the hair looks it's whats in the head
It's not how the hair looks it's whats in the head
6 years ago

You know, I don’t like the whole natural vs. straight hair dilemma because it just seperates women of color. If someone wants straight hair and they dont like the beauty of natural hair and vice versa; that’s fine. Why do you anyone care enough to make it seem like a dieased mentality? We already seperate oursleves over skin tone, don’t create another reason why one group of women are better then the other, especially if you dont want men doing that. Period. I had natural hair my whole life and I never looked at someone with straight hair as people… Read more »

Ebony
Ebony
6 years ago

I totally agree! Well said!

Kori
Kori
6 years ago

There is a difference between creating a division and commenting on societal norm. There is something wrong with the fact that as a whole we are the only group of women on earth who alter our natural hair texture to look like another race. The roots of hair straightening can’t be ignored, nor can the science behind the health of doing it chronically.

Pooks
Pooks
6 years ago
Reply to  Kori

Sorry but we are not the only group that does this…

Vera
Vera
6 years ago

So true. I’m sick of the divisions. Do what works best for your hair and your lifestyle.

Ash
Ash
6 years ago

Loooool at everyone in here doing mental gymnastics, Olympic level reasoning, and explaining themselves.

hmmm
hmmm
6 years ago
Reply to  Ash

Not sure how explaining why someone can’t afford to spend hours to wash their hair with a busy lifestyle is Olympic level reasoning, but OK…

Ash
Ash
6 years ago
Reply to  hmmm

You must be one.

Ash
Ash
6 years ago
Reply to  hmmm

I didn’t say jack shit about hair washing or the people saying they don’t want to spend all day washing their hair. There are many more comments besides those ones. You gave yourself away.

hmmm
hmmm
6 years ago
Reply to  Ash

I must be one? Now who’s using Olympic reasoning? Boy did you have to stretch far to draw that conclusion lol. I “gave myself away” how exactly? Please grow up.

hmmm
hmmm
6 years ago
Reply to  hmmm

THere re were comments about many issues, but as the washing thing was mentioned most frequently I used that as an example of some of the very reasonable arguments other women. were using. From this you want to draw conclusions about how I feel about my hair? Umm…by what logic? Seems like their logic is much better than yours, sorry. The fact is the article has many holes in it, some of which were pointed out by previous commenters.

candy
candy
6 years ago

I do think it will be hard to rid black women as a whole of this straight or anything but kinky mentality purely because it is the result of decades and centuries of indoctrination and aversion therapy to what we are. I feel that while the natural community is making great strides forward to publicise, promote and break down misconceptions about all types of natural hair, the community at large i.e society is going backwards and attacking our beauty further than it has done before. Black is being placed in a box marked average, ordinary, plain and pedestrian while anything… Read more »

Ms LiLi
Ms LiLi
6 years ago

The defensive comments sadden me a little. It’s more than obvious and understandable that black people still have an aversion to kinky hair due to our history and with society preferring more European textures as being beautiful.i admit that I believed the lie and wrestled with point# 3. It’s okay,I just realize that’s where I am and work to rid myself of conditioned thinking.that’s all. It’s okay to admit to having SHM,it doesn’t mean your a terrible person. Stop making excuses be self accountable and work to do better.

lablooplah
lablooplah
6 years ago

uh… some of these are just out of inconveniences, doesn’t mean you have a straight hair mentality. For example, long wash days, erm if you have had a busy week and you got other things to do then i dont see why that can be annoying. When actually shortened the time it takes to detangle and condition hair, my hair grew alot and i have waaaay less shedding now than before. But i mean i can see how all these combined might mean that but being natural sometimes you have inconveniences that dont necessarily have to be if you find… Read more »

Candy Caldwell
Candy Caldwell
6 years ago

F–K shrinkage. Call me negropean or whatever. I don’t use heat in my hair, or smooth my edges, or any of that mess. BUT F–K SHRINKAGE, it makes no sense that my hair is 16 inches long but it goes to 5.

alamoja
alamoja
6 years ago
Reply to  Candy Caldwell

Then go back to a relaxer. You are exactly who this article was written for.

hmmm
hmmm
6 years ago
Reply to  alamoja

Lol wow have we sunk to such mean-spirited lows in the natural hair community that we actually have people cattily telling others to relax? Smh

Kandis
Kandis
6 years ago

Not wanting to spend a lot of time washing or styling your hair and wanting your hair to be manageable is NOT a straigh-hair mentality, it’s I‑am-a-busy-woman-with-lots-to-do-and-anyway-I-do-not-like-spending-hours-grooming-myself mentality. Sheesh, me wanting my weekends to myself as opposed to doing my hair, doesn’t mean something is wrong with me or I haven’t accepted what God has given me. I flippin’ just want to live and do stuff on the weekends is all, hello?

Awa blue
Awa blue
6 years ago

Come on ppl. Is this blog not called black girl long hair?? What colonial mentality are we speaking to there?

Carrie
Carrie
6 years ago

I don’t understand how wanting different hairstyles leads to such a conclusion. The reason why natural hair is so beautiful is because of its flexibility and everything that makes it well.…damn gorgeous.

cas
cas
6 years ago

Some of these have nothing to do with SHM and more to do with no time or misinformation

missafro
missafro
6 years ago

Hmmmm interesting. I have been natural for 5 years, I have not even blow dried or straightened my hair in all this time.…I big chopped without a momtns hesitation, and not even once did I ever look back or wish to get another perm.…but because I don’t particularly like shrinkage I have a straight hair mentality?? Interesting. . .. .

BamBam
BamBam
6 years ago

We are constantly told that being natural is a ‘mentality’ and it’s all about breaking out of the ‘straight-hair-is-better’ stereotype and ‘finding yourself’ — and yet now I’m being told how I should/shouldn’t think? Or what mindset I should/shouldn’t have? I agree with some of the points — for example, embracing your texture and accepting the fact that YOUR HAIR may not be able to fulfil certain styles so don’t force it — however, using the ‘same tools’ and ‘being bothered by shrinkage’ is just ridiculous. Using the tools that I happen to have in my house does not mean… Read more »

Vera
Vera
6 years ago

My goodness. So must angst. After wearing my hair in wash and gos for the last month, I decided to flatiron my hair. Sometimes I like it straight. Yesterday, I had it loose curls and today it’s in a bun. I love the versatility of my hair even if I’m NEVER going to love the shrinkage. It makes me sad that we are still so fixated or hair type and length and colorism and natural v. perms and all. Do what works best for you and your hair–whatever you choose. Bonus: You don’t have to be in love with every… Read more »

Cass
Cass
6 years ago

Straight hair mentality? Are we really coining divisive terms now? Give me a break. There are days when I can relate to most things on this list. There are other days when I’m feeling like the ish because my big a$$ fro is so boss. Most days I can relate to only a few things on this list. Maybe I have a–Split hair personality disorder! I’m so sick of people trying to label and lump people into categories based on some arbitrary nonsense. This is why I feel increasingly less connected to the “natural hair community”. Most women, of every… Read more »

Jo
Jo
6 years ago

I’m at 3, 7, and 10. 🙂
That is because I am impatient with washing and I never liked shorter hair on me. :

Zaza
Zaza
6 years ago

Here are my 2 cents. I’m “guilty” of 3 because wash day is long and time that could be spent doing other things, 7 not because of the “flow” but because with shrinkage comes tangles and for someone who doesn’t comb/ brush my hair between wash days keeping hair stretched all the time is necessary and 11 because I like my hair to be nice and neat regardless of being natural or not. I’ve been a natural 4b all my life and I have always taken pride in having neat hairstyles so this list is quite frankly silly!

Really
Really
6 years ago

“Straight Mentality”??? Since when is CHOOSING to wear your hair straight a mentality? It seems more like a styling preference not a mental state. Who ever wrote this article is in a mental state of self righteousness. If you wish to wear it natural fine, if not that’s fine too. I thought this site was about uplifting women & educating them on their hair no matter how the choose to wear their hair. Not bashing them for choosing to straighten their hair. This kinky/straight war is just dumb & you seem to be promoting it even more. Sorry but you… Read more »

LuLuWilliams
LuLuWilliams
6 years ago
Reply to  Really

BEFORE YOU JUMP ALL OVER THEM—->I don’t believe they are saying wanting to wear you hair straight is bad. They are saying that wanting/doing these things on the list ALL or MOST of the time are exhibiting these habits AND you have CHOSEN to be natural, that you are inadvertently damaging your hair. If you don’t do these things often then you can sustain your natural hair’s health and come from a place of hair love. They aren’t bashing straight hair as a style preference rather informing you that if you do have naturally kinky coily hair, using these methods… Read more »

Lisa
Lisa
6 years ago

I’m ashamed of my hair. I relax my hair every two weeks to keep it nice and straight. Please free me from this painful cycle. I need Allah.

lv
lv
6 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

if you are relaxing your hair every two weeks, you will be free from the cycle sooner than you think. I can guarantee that you will not have any hair left.

ManeEtc.
ManeEtc.
6 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

I don’t understand why people don’t get this is a website geared toward women with natural hair? Nobody is hating on you if you decide to relax your hair. This article is critiquing a mentality that many people have when going natural in that they still are obsessed with straight hair, which defeats said purpose of going natural, which is to embrace your natural curls. 

I agree that perming your hair is neither “wrong” or “right”. It just is. But don’t come to a natural hair care website expecting them to praise relaxers and weaves.

Ms Marcy
Ms Marcy
6 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Lisa,

I met a few ladies who touched up their hair every 4 — 6 weeks and they have never short hairstyles. Please be honest, is this a real or fake comment?

Ms Marcy
Ms Marcy
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms Marcy

sorry … very short

lol too funny
lol too funny
6 years ago

this was too funny. i never understood naturals who relaxed part of their hair. i mean from a long term perspective that isn’t realistic. however, i could see doing it if you planned on relaxing eventually.

nothing against relaxing. i plan on doing it within the year. yes, in part for those short drying times! i remember my hair would be air dried within 5 minutes. now it takes more like 50 hours haha.

Candace
Candace
6 years ago

Trying to shorten “wash day” isn’t a straight hair mentality.  It’s about a person thinking that it is absolutely ridiculous to spend literally hours once a week in order to have clean hair that doesn’t end up as a tangled mess. I have a husband, friends, an active social life, a job that includes a significant amount of travel — spending five hours every Sunday to wash my hair means that I have to cut out some of those things. The amount of time required means that washing during the week after work and gym means that I would be… Read more »

imani
imani
6 years ago

Even when I had relaxed hair,I looked for ways to shorten wash day. As an example, it takes longer to wash an escalade than a prius…silly comparison but u get my point. Doesn’t mean I miss my prius.if I love my escalade,ill put in the extra work. Same with my hair,its worth the investment bc I love my hair in its natural state! Yes, escalades are gas guzzlers,yes my hair takes an extra 2 hrs than my relaxed hair, but trying to minimize wash time doesn’t mean I’m brainwashed into loving straight hair or I should trade in my escalade.… Read more »

Adía
Adía
6 years ago

I must be doing something wrong because it never takes me hours to wash my hair. Wash and style maybe. Or on the week I decide to deep condition

Candace
Candace
6 years ago
Reply to  Adía

Just depends on your hair and what it needs.  I spend more than an hour just detangling my 4a‑z hair on a weekly basis. I’ve found that my low porosity hair absorbs more moisture when I do a half hour pre-poo. I can’t get away without a deep condition each time I wash my hair (weekly, because I am in the gym sweating it out 6 days per week) and applying that DC takes a minute. My hair responds best and is in best shape when I use heat, so there is another 20 minutes under a hooded dryer.  Finally, wash… Read more »

Pretty Doll
Pretty Doll
6 years ago

I got that wavy hair mentality. I sometimes I wish I was a type 2 instead of a type 3a/b only because my curls are very hard to manage.

Darlyn
Darlyn
6 years ago

When I went natural a year ago, I thought that having frizz was not normal for someone like myself with 4B/4C hair. 

I trimmed my hair like there’s no tomorrow and my hair was still naturally frizzy (I have not used direct heat in a year).

Brittanie
Brittanie
6 years ago

I think this list is ridiculous. I have straight hair and I DON’T do most of the things on this list. I never comb my hair with a small comb (wide tooth only). I don’t rush through wash day because my hair breaks easy when wet. I don’t straighten my hair daily because its DAMAGING. My hair doesn’t dry quickly because its thick, and I don’t comb my hair a lot during the day. This list is nothing but BAD hair practices. Not characteristics of straight hair mentality. You should have named it bad hair mentality instead. Also everyone who… Read more »

La
La
6 years ago

Can we have a post on long hair mentality?! I’m so tired of reading posts about armpit length and mid back length so it can be flatironed straight! Can’t you just embrace your coily hair AT WHATEVER LENGTH IT GROWS? HAIR GROWTH IS GENETIC NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO TO YOUR HAIR! Will we ever get away from the European standard of beauty?

Celme
Celme
6 years ago

The word is used*, not use…

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

I’ve been completely natural for just about a month or two now. Actually, I went int to get my straight ends cut off sometime back & it didn’t really cross my mind that I had actually done it. I was [am now] finally officially natural. But either way … I have fully embraced my coils and I rarely straighten my hair … but I can honestly say it is hard for me to get used to shrinkage, styling/finding styles & all the time it takes. I don’t 100% feel like myself because I don’t really know this hair on my… Read more »

Ms Marcy
Ms Marcy
6 years ago
Reply to  Kim

There are a lot of good channels for all hair types. I am a 4C, thick, dense, kinky, coily woman. I put 4C in the search engine and came up with a lot of interesting ladies. I learned sooooooooo much from them. I now have wash day down to two hours not counting over night drying. I got a hint or two from every youtube video. I now love watching the green beauty channel, she taught me things I didn’t know were a question. Likewise, I want to color my hair a certain color. I was told to find a… Read more »

Jerri
Jerri
6 years ago

I am a edge smoother. I see nothing wrong with smooth edges, Other than that I embrace my coils. Been natural almost a year(transitioned a year with a sew in and then wore it natural since 7/2013) and I have yet to straiten my hair.

Michelle
6 years ago

I was always confused by people who say it takes hours on end just to wash your hair. I wash my hair regularly about once a week and it only takes me pre-pooing the night before, then washing and conditioning my hair while in the shower, detangling during the conditioning part. After that, it only takes me maybe 10 minutes to put in a leave in conditioner, oil and butter. If I feel like it, I may dry my hair using a diffuser, but often times, I just let it air dry while I’m getting ready for the day. The… Read more »

ManeEtc.
ManeEtc.
6 years ago

Can someone please explain the concept of “wash day” and why it would take so long? I have been natural for a number of years, but most of those years my hair was loced’ and I just recently cut them off. So the wash day concept is new to me. I thought you just washed your hair and then maybe did a hot oil treatment or a deep conditioner but that would take an hour and a half tops.

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  ManeEtc.

I think long wash days are just a part of having longer, kinkier hair. The actual washing part of the wash day really only takes me 15 minutes, tops. Detangling my mane is really what takes the most time for me. My fine hair can’t handle combs or brushes, so I exclusively finger detangle. Since I wash in braids most of the time, after I’ve detangled a section, I braid it up. Also, I love prepooing with EVCO because it has reduced the amount of breakage I experience dramatically. So normally, my wash day goes like this: 1. Prepoo/finger detangle/braid loose… Read more »

Nakia
Nakia
6 years ago

7. Shrinkage bothers you because it doesn’t show the true length of your hair and it doesn’t give your hair “the flow” you use to have with straight hair. This statement itself is “SHM.” Again, I don’t understand referring to you hair in it’s natural curly/coily/kinky state as “shrinkage”. It is your NATURAL state. Anything else is an alteration. I also agree with the comment regarding “long hair mentality.” This is a european standard of beauty as much as having straight/stringy hair. Not all, but most people of African descent have shorter hair, particularly sub-saharan African. The obsession with blah… Read more »

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Nakia

Um, while I agree with long hair as a beauty standard having European origins, not all of us want long hair because of a Europeanized mindset. Personally, I want long hair because it’s a challenge. I’ve never had it before, and mostly because of that, I want it. Once I hit blah blah blah whatever length it takes for me to say screw it, I’ll chop it all off. I’ve rocked a 1/2 inch of hair before, and I didn’t have a lapse in confidence because of it. Just do you.

Dabney
Dabney
6 years ago

This article sounds like a comedy skit and a rhetoric. I understand what she is trying to say but I think that many newly naturals are still learning and don’t need to be lumped into a mind set that will just push them back to the edge of the creamy crack. My mom who was raised pressing and perking her hair is now embracing her natural hair with great success. She likes her natural texture but she likes the convenience of pressing it. Her mentality is slowly getting used to the new normal that is braiding her hair up at… Read more »

Dabney
Dabney
6 years ago
Reply to  Dabney

*perming not not perking!

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
6 years ago

I am with most of the sisters commneting here and disagree about wishing dry times and wash day to be shorter as being part of a “straight hair mentality.” NO ONE wants a 2 or 3‑day dry time and an 1‑hour wash day. I can’t believe there are people who relax part of their natural hair. What’s the point? I’m like, just relax none or all of it.”

Mikki
6 years ago

Hmm … I’m not sure how I feel about this post. I like that they posted things that I feel are frustrations when either you begin to go natural or even in the early years. HOWEVER, I think when you have something that belongs to you, you should do with it as you please. I have a friend who wants to be natural but still relaxing the edges and straightening her hair. I told her at some point if she wants curls this will need to change but she is happy where she is now so I don’t push her.… Read more »

Lucy
Lucy
6 years ago

Most naturals walk around with this curly‑q type of hair rather than a nice afro. So I can see where the author is getting at. Curls are more acceptable in the natural hair community more than our natural textures. Pretty sad that plenty of these people will consider someone’s natural kinks uncared for and untamed hair if it isn’t styled in springy looking curls i.e with massive amounts of product and twists outs and whatever. The European standard of beauty is still very strong in the black hair community. I can understand wanting to style your hair a certain way… Read more »

CurlsForTheGirls
CurlsForTheGirls
6 years ago
Reply to  Lucy

Or maybe some of our natural hair just naturally grows out of our scalp curly. There are different variations/textures of natural hair you know..Jeez.

CurlyQ
CurlyQ
6 years ago
Reply to  Lucy

My hair grows out my scalp in curls without styling products. No amount of product will give someone curls. Similarly, no amount of styling will give me the elusive afro. There are so many types of hair textures.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago
Reply to  Lucy

Or maybe she means that women who don’t have this curly texture NATURALLY, want to always walk around with this curly texture and that’s true! I was like this before, but now I accept my natural texture and I love it. Lot a products for 4C/4B is for curls definition…

SammysMama
SammysMama
6 years ago

Whoa! Why would you be “worried” that some other woman would consider going back to relaxing her hair? I hope you made the decision to go natural for yourself, and if you did, just worry about how you treat your hair. Ever head of hair is not the same, every woman of color is not the same, and just like you don’t want to be judged for what you decide to do to your hair, don’t do it to other people. Its just hair. Enjoy yours!

Mekka
Mekka
6 years ago

lol..more like SMH.
everyone’s journey is different,who are you to diagnose others with some made up mentality! this is laughable at best..I appreciate the comic relief,it’s been a long day ????

coley
coley
6 years ago

Proud to be natural! But I do like my edges laid a bit. Lol

annomyous
annomyous
6 years ago

rubbish this is the type of articles I hate the most. its nice to advise people on how to take care of their hair. But why comment on peoples mentally. Oh this mentality is wrong, this type of mentality is right. Lets address the issue here. for example if peeps are combing their hair the wrong, then they are combing it the wrong way. who came up with SHM? do we always have to put things in a box?!

dean jones
6 years ago

You hair is beautiful. What was given; use, keep away from all the CRAP that big pharma wants you to place and place in/on your hair baking soda will relax your hair vinegar will clean the crap that is from our tap water. { don’t trust the water department or some idiot selling you a filter

Katy Jackson
6 years ago

Hey, Adeola! Afro hair is beautiful. People come in all shapes, sizes and skin color. And so does the human hair. Hair is a natural jewel for someone’s overall appearance. Let’s embrace natural, even if we do different styles to our hair from time to time.

Adeola
6 years ago
Reply to  Katy Jackson

Hey Katy! I agree with you! Afro hair is beautiful in all shapes, texture and color. This article was actually written for women who treat their natural hair the same way they use to treat their straight hair. It’s also for women who keep asking me how I manage to keep my hair natural because it looks hard. I just tell them to adopt a coily hair mentality (CHM). Lots of women have gone back to relaxers because they expected their coily hair to behave in the same manner as their straight hair or weave. And so this article speaks… Read more »

geral lee
geral lee
6 years ago

every time i see someone with a weave i already know they have a problem and it’s all about embracing europeon hair instead of your own. most women with weaves have much nicer natural hair than the weave. i realize we like variety but when you see that variety hasn’t changed for at least a year, that sister has a mental problem. it’s really sad.

aquariusgyrl1979
aquariusgyrl1979
5 years ago
Reply to  geral lee

I am sorry but I do not agree with what you saying. How can you associate mental problems with wearing a weave? Women wear weaves so that they can have a variety in hairstyles especially if they want to try a new color. So your comment is absurd. By the way I do not wear a weave.

Princeofzamunda
Princeofzamunda
5 years ago
Reply to  geral lee

People don’t want to accept it because we’ve normalised it. However when you think about it, it’s absurd. To wear someone else’s hair on your head. I understand the pressures, and we as black men helped to contribute to it also. However it comes from an unconscious hatred of ones self. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion!!

Huh?
Huh?
6 years ago

This is the most absurd article I’ve read in a long time. Things like this make me wish that I wasn’t natural. Being natural or relaxed is a CHOICE! Being natural doesnt make you part of some secret society, or underground gang, nor does having relaxed hair indicated low self esteem nor lack of confidence. Get over yourselves, keep your opinions of what others do with the hair growing out of THEIR heads to yourself. The fact that it bothers you so much speaks more to your mentality than the natural witn the flat iron in her hand

Bettii
Bettii
6 years ago

Your article is true.
Im natural, in the beginning i used to have the straight hair mentality.
my hair was broken because of doing buns, blow drying and straightening my hair. Damaging my hair with heat
I was detangling my hair like when i was relaxed.
Im slowly recovering my hair breakage.
My perception of beauty have change.
I thanks the Lord cause He help me on it.
I feel beautiful and free wit my natural hairstyles.
And black men around me love it and are always saying good things about my hair.

abraxas
abraxas
5 years ago

“And black men around me love it and are always saying good things about my hair.” This comment explains why majority of black women have struggles with esteem and acceptance.  Worry about what others like and want you to do. We own ourselves nobody else should tell or convince you into being who you should be. Because I tell you right here in now what I do with my body is my business and others who have a solid foundation of who they are and the potential of being great people do not have the time along with a career,… Read more »

Adriannan Nonyo
Adriannan Nonyo
5 years ago
Reply to  abraxas

Oh please, if anyone gets hurt by others especially the people that are closest to them about their own appearance its going to HURT them, that is completely normal, and natural. And it will also lower their self esteem, this simple fact of life that happens to anyone and everyone. But apparently in the black community its look down upon to express your emotions, so we quietly develop mental problems. black women are not robots, we think and we feel. Making steps to improve your health is a great thing, learning, as well as loving. And when a person gets… Read more »

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago

Well said.

Supergirl
Supergirl
5 years ago
Reply to  abraxas

I don’t know. When I did my big chop almost 2.5 years ago, my hair was less than a quarter inch long and guess what? Black men complimented me on it. Maybe it’s not so much the hair but how we carry ourselves no matter how we wear our hair. People respond to confidence no matter what package it comes in.

Gugulethu Tshuma
Gugulethu Tshuma
5 years ago

OMG the world is a small place. This is my dear friend’s younger sister. Hi Ade!

Nikki Smith
Nikki Smith
5 years ago

I love my hair…i havent had a perm since I was around 19…im now 37 🙂
I cut my locs 8 months ago and wanted to try a weave.…it’s cool, but I can only do a sew-in for about 2 weeks max…then I’m ready for my curly 4C hair again!!! lol…my mom says it’s beautiful virgin hair (jet-black/un-dyed) and it’s like it was when I was a little girl 🙂 I love it!!!!!! <3

Onixali
Onixali
4 years ago

It took me 12 hours of standing on my feet without sitting and with no sleep in 24 hours, to straighten my hair. Of course I wish I had straight hair. I am a natural going on for 3 and a half years. I loved my natural hair and I did everything I could to take care of it. I failed in school because of my natural hair and I was soon diagnosed with depression from all this extra stress added to my life, OVER SOME STUPID HAIR. I can’t manage to live happily while taking care of my naturally… Read more »

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