1. Know that it’s a personal choice.
Women go natural or choose to relax their hair for various reasons which are ultimately personal. While one woman may find the natural hair journey liberating and self-affirming, another’s motivation might be purely aesthetic. There are women who relax their hair to fit the mainstream standard of beauty; others simply because it’s easier to manage. Sweeping generalizations, like the idea that all naturals embrace being black and women with relaxers don’t, are not only disrespectful, they’re inaccurate. It’s important to own your choices and experiences without projecting them on others.
2. Educate yourself.
Few things insult naturals more than ignorant comments regarding the look, texture and style of their hair. Comments that equate all natural hairstyles to a “nappy ‘fro” are insulting and untrue; not every natural wears their hair in the same style and some even regularly straighten their hair. Likewise, the myth that natural hair is unkempt and undone is highly offensive; it takes a lot of work, patience, time and money to achieve and maintain natural styles. Before making incendiary comments about natural haircare like Method Man for example, educate yourself about it.