Response To BET: There Is A Such Thing As Natural Hair


Wow!! Lately the shade game in the natural hair community has been real. On Friday a blog titled Guess What? There's No Such Thing as 'Natural' Hair, was posted on BET by a contributor. The writer suggested that women with natural hair who use hair care products are not truly natural.
"In 2017, I realize there is no such thing as a natural hair. All the women I knew who wave the natural hair flag are essentially using tons of chemicals to achieve a particular look. 
I think it's important to define what natural means. I looked it up for you! Here it is: Existing in or caused by nature. Not made or caused by humankind. 
Let’s take something like benzyl alcohol, a substance found in many cosmetic products. It sounds scary and damaging — made in a lab by a mad scientist. It’s actually found naturally in plants. And it does lots of things, from killing lice to cleaning rugs.

So, I'm going to be as bold as to say there is no such thing as natural hair. Unless you wake up in the morning, spritz your hair with water and keep it moving — your hair is not natural."
Black women have to constantly fight off individuals who believe with all of their heart that natural haired women who treat their hair with hair care products are unnatural. I don't know why this ideology is promoted but it needs to stop. It is pseudoscience with no evidence to validate their stance against products. The ironic thing is women who carry this notion are either permies or have a bone to pick with hair care products that failed on their hair.

As a science major who is degreed in Nutrition and is now working on my second science degree, it is bothering to see individuals talk like this. Not to sound condescending but let us be honest, a basic background in chemistry is all you need to understand that chemicals do not take away the naturality of one's hair. To then suggest that a person is natural unless they use water on their hair is ignorant. Water is a chemical which chemists have proven it be; let me break it down.

Water is composed of two chemicals; two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. These two atoms are in gas and bleach. In fact, the periodic tables list them as non-metal gases. This is because depending on their temperature and pressure, oxygen and hydrogen can both turn into gas. And then we have hydrogen peroxide, a colorless, viscous, unstable liquid with strong oxidizing properties, commonly used in disinfectants and bleaches. As you can conclude from the name itself, hydrogen peroxide is composed of the hydrogen atom. So stop calling water a non-chemical because it is. It contain two chemicals that can be found in gas and bleach.

Since individuals want to bash hair products because they are composed of chemicals, let us examine some chemicals in hair products and even DIY hair products like avocado conditioner.

Dimethicone also known as polydimethylsiloxane is a chemical found in hair products like Garnier Fructis, a product I use. According to the American Society of Chemistry, dimethicone is flexible polymer used in most hand lotions and cosmetics. It act as a moisturizer which explains why it can be found in skin care products. Its chemical make up: two carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, one oxygen and silicon atom—(C2H6OSi)n all of which are natural occurring chemicals listed on the periodic table. Avocado, a fruit from central and south America is also composed of chemicals. Chemicals like potassium, sodium, magnesium and vitamins can be found in this fruit.

As you can see, plants and water, which we also use to treat our hair are composed of chemicals. To take away someone's naturality because they use chemicals, is wrong. Nothing, even the food and water we consume are free of chemical. Why? because chemicals are natural occurring substances. Its is not man-made. Again, sorry if I sound condescending but yo! We are in 2017 living in one of the most advanced countries in the world. It is bothering to see grown adults provide false information that can be debunked with information we should have received in primary school.

While I do recognize the threat some chemicals may impose, it should not be used to discredit or invalidate a product. If that is the case we must stop eating dairy product since it contains chemicals that can be toxic and set off allegoric reactions. We must stop washing our hair with water since it contains chemicals that can be found in gas and bleach. We must stop eating or using avocados as conditioners since it contains chemicals as well.

The neo natural hair movement is a wonderful thing. We don't need individuals discouraging us by suggesting we aren't natural enough because we maintain, groom, and enhance our hair with hair products. In addition, it is an insult to hair care companies when individuals discredit their products. These companies hired intelligent chemists and spent years in research developing products for our hair. I am pretty sure their products have experienced intense testing by the Food and Drug administration. Additionally. we have regulations that protect us from harsh hair products. If any product is found to be dangerous, do you think it would be cleared for sale? To call their products dangerous with no evidence but your anti-chemical rhetoric is unfair and silly. Let these products be and stop invalidating someone's naturality.

Thanks for reading. Like and follow us on Facebook.

P.S. Read the full post from BET here.

References

"Tests for Gases." Chemstuff. N.p., 07 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.

"Dimethicone." American Chemical Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.

Dreher, Mark L., and Adrienne J. Davenport. "Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects." Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Taylor & Francis, May 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.

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