Beauty Discussion: Is Natural Hair for Everyone?

Last night, Bravo debuted a new show called Fashion Queens, hosted by Fashion Bomb friend and style maven Bevy Smith, and featuring Real Housewives of Atlanta hairstylists Miss Lawrence and Derek J.
bravo tv fashion queens bevy smith derek j lawrence
All grades of shade were thrown in every direction–even André Leon Talley fell victim to a quick ‘read’–but their assessment of natural hair was the shade heard all over the Twitterverse.
bravo tv fashion queens hair derek j lawrence bevy smith
Bevy Smith introduced a picture of Solange Knowles performing at SXSW, and asked the hairstylists what they thought of her ‘fro (couching her question in her knowledge that they both ‘bow[ed] to the altars of relaxers and weaves’). Though Lawrence allowed that some women could work it with a little weave (watching for density), Derek J offered, that “Natural hair isn’t for everyone.” And then my timeline blew up.
2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival - Day 7
Some tweets agreed with his statement. @Ican0NLYbeME said ” I’m natural but natural hair isn’t for everyone. It shouldn’t be that way but hey creamy crazy was created for a reason!” @Serenity_Speak added, “If you cant maintain your hair with a perm it’s gone be hard to do it without one #ijs folks walking around looking crazy lol.” @Meikab85 joked, “That’s so true I know a few ppl that look like they from the Color Purple.”

The Color Purple? Really?
The Color Purple? Really?

Others were just not ok with Derek’s statement. @DoctorRenee said, “Be SMART with your passion about hair, not ignorant. Promote healthy hair care, relaxed AND natural #teamNatural.” She added, “Society has clearly brainwashed us into thinking what’s an “appropriate” look for our hair..” @ButtaBaby typed, “ This natural hair shade on fashion queens is uncool and unnecessary.”
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My stance? Natural hair isn’t for everyone. But weaves, perms, and creamy crack aren’t for everyone, either! I think that whatever hairstyle you choose should be polished/maintained to be the most flattering. So with weaves, make sure it’s done correctly–same with natural hair.
claire sulmers natural hair fashion bomb daily
I’ll admit when I first started my dreadlocks, I rubbed my hands with glee at all the money I would save on salon visits, and how much less time I’d have to spend, say, under a dryer. I thought natural hair meant I could just do it myself. I mean, how hard could hair care be when I was styling what came naturally out of my head?
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But, as all the natural hair care blogs and tutorials suggest, there is a learning curve when it comes to coiled hair maintenance. It’s hard to get that polished look at home. I mean, I probably don’t spend as much time as someone who has a perm does on their hair, but I still go to the salon every couple of weeks for a wash and twist.

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So in sum, I’d say that black women–and all women–should just find a style that works for them. And whatever you choose, take care of your hair the best you can.
What do you think?

*Sidenote: Did you tune in to Fashion Queens? What did you think?
bravo tv fashion queens bevy smith derek j lawrence


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style magazine in the world.

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