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For those of you who are unaware, the term “natural” is used in reference to African American’s who choose to keep their hair in it’s natural state (i.e. kinky curly and no relaxers). Or some may argue to really be considered natural your hair must be sans all

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chemicals such as hair dyes. But for arguments sake lets just say it means your hair is in its natural, kinky curly state. When an African American woman chooses to go natural, she unknowingly opens the doors to baseless stereotypes of assumptions. After making the switch to natural in 2009, I’ve heard my fair share of assumptions spewed at me. They include:

1. I have an afro so I must be afrocentric.

2. I’m low maintenance and don’t care about how I look.

3. My idols must be Angela Davis, Jill Scott, Macy Gray, Diana Ross and India Arie. Why else would I wear my hair like them?

4. I have “good” hair otherwise I wouldn’t go natural.

5. I don’t comb my hair. I just roll out of bed and keep it moving.

6. I have a bohemian-chic style.

7. I lead a very earthy lifestyle and only use all-natural, organic products for every aspect of life.

8. I’m a starving artist.

9. I’m a rebel always fighting some cause.

10. I spend my nights grooving at poetry slams.

11. I’ll be single for life because no man will ever find my hair attractive.

12. I must not need a pillow because my big hair is extra comfy for impromptu naps.

13. It literally takes me hours to style my hair in any other style but an afro.

14. I must not own any hats because there is none that can fit over hair like that

And my absolute favorite….

15. I can’t be American. American hair doesn’t look like that.

What assumptions have been made about you because of your hair? Or have you been guilty of making baseless hair assumptions?

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Written by Terri


  1. Dani January 27, 2012 at 10:42 am Reply

    #12 made me cackle!!

    Great list. People do make silly assumptions about natural haired ladies….

    One I’ve gotten is that I don’t like permed hair because I’m natural. I like HEALTHY hair, permed, natural, jerry curled, whatever. I only went natural because my hair isn’t very tightly coiled (WTF). Those are the two I’ve heard said to my face.

  2. Top Billion CMG January 31, 2012 at 7:25 pm Reply

    all the afrocentric ones are things even i would automatically assume. :-/

  3. Sabrina R Perkins January 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm Reply

    I really like that list. I have to admit that I am #3, #6 and #9 so I may be more of a stereotype than most!

    • TERRIfic Words January 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm Reply

      There’s nothing wrong with identifying with some as long as you are happy. Besides, Angela Davis and India Arie are great role models! 🙂

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