Read any Vixen article about natural or relaxed hair and you’ll find a flood of comments from readers debating about which style is better. Remarks often veer on the argumentative side with naturals and relaxed pitted against one other.
The comments can get ugly. Claims that natural hair is unattractive and that women with relaxed hair want to look white are hurtful and antagonistic. When did our hairstyle choices make us enemies?
When the natural vs. relaxed tension materializes in our personal lives, the divide is felt even deeper. Hair is a bonding experience for many women who run style ideas by each other, share product recommendations and even coordinate salon visits. So what happens when you decide to go natural and your best friend is relaxed?
Though my best friend didn’t initially understand why I went natural, we haven’t had one argument or even a negative comment about my transition. Instead of attacking each other because of our differences, we chose to reach a place of mutual respect and understanding.
Here are three things I learned in the process that can help us all celebrate our individual hairstyle choices while still loving and embracing those who rock their hair differently: