Words by: Jacque Amadi
I've been natural for over 4 years now, but I very rarely wear my own hair out. Trust me when I say I've tried. I've had mohawks, tapered sides, and all sorts of colors but nothing could make me comfortable with rocking my own hair. It's not the kinkiness of it, I definitely love my texture! But my hair has always been thin and sensitive to any manipulation due to health issues. So, I turned to weave.
I was super excited to find weaves that matched my hair texture (Like KCY Afro Coily clip ins!) and I found myself changing styles almost bi-weekly. I loved my new found volume and I wore wigs so big they could probably block the sun. Eventually people online took notice and I was contacted by a natural hair site that wanted to interview me. Of course I said yes! I was happy to share different options for people with difficult hair like myself. I submitted my answers to their questions about hair care and styling, explaining my love for my kinky extensions. A few days later I received an email back saying something along these lines: "I didn't know that was a wig, unfortunately we can't post the interview, contact us when you start wearing your own hair".
At the time that sentence was devastating to me. One sentence made me feel like I "didn't belong" in the movement. One sentence brought back all the insecurities I've felt with my own hair. And although I had told the truth, and always have, one sentence made me feel like a fraud. That one sentence left me asking, "am I not natural enough"?
It took me some time to realize that the answer is yes. Weaves give me the versatility and added oomph that I need, without compromising the kinky texture that I love. I still feel like I'm part of the natural hair movement, because I'm embracing and representing kinky/curly/coily textures through my wigs and weaves and my hair underneath is still as tightly curled as ever. I mean, I still use coconut oil, and I still do twist outs and co-wash my hair. Wash days are still a pain to me, just like they are for every natural girl. So why was I made to feel like I didn't belong?
I understand with every burgeoning movement there will always be gatekeepers concerned with rules. There will always be people who say you don't qualify because of this or that. And although the hair on my head may not sprout from my scalp I still consider myself and natural gal.
But what do you think? Would you consider a weave-wearing sister like myself natural? Why, or why not?