Dear Ms. Coilier Than Thou

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Dear Ms. Coilier Than Thou,

Please don't mistake this letter for another natural versus relaxed debate, Miss Lady! I'm here to let you know that your attitude is alienating potential natural "converts" and even your natural sistren find your behavior distasteful. You may be asking yourself, "Well, how would she know? She's still hooked on the creamy crack." True, indeed. I am also a featured member of Hairlista, an avid follower of CurlyNikki, Black Hair Information and all things related to hair on YouTube; I think I've earned a platform.

Despite what you think, I applaud all women's healthy hair choices. I love my natural-haired sisters just as much as those with chemically altered tresses. Precious little is more exciting to me than well maintained hair. In fact, I'm a pretty "live and let live" kind of person. What I have no tolerance for, however, is your attempt to shame other women for their choices. Going natural is an endeavor that can both unshackle and unsettle a woman in the same breath. Manipulating your natural tresses to your will without the aid of chemicals is a blessing! It takes talent, skill and a level of confidence not all women have yet attained.

When I see a natural woman (whether she's rocking a TWA, fierce braid out or locs), my first instinct is to inundate her with a series of questions about her process. 90% of naturals I have approached in this unorthodox way have detected my genuine enthusiasm and mirrored it back ten-fold. Their eyes light up, hands lovingly caress their manes as their words tumble out with excitement. I listen contentedly as they recount product successes, styling fails and loved one's off-hand comments; I love talking to those naturals.

This letter, however, is directed towards that 10% of the population you fall under. You glance contemptuously at my relaxed tresses as if they have issued you a personal affront. You don't want to engage in hair talk with someone not nearly as enlightened as you clearly are. You refuse to entertain my questions about natural hair as if such inquiries are beneath you. You have adopted an impregnable attitude that no amount of sincerity or genuine interest can breach.

Your natural tresses are no less beautiful than any other's but your demeanor is unfavorable. Your behavior I can most closely liken to religious fanatics. Your new conversion should give you perspective since you have been on both sides of the fence. We can ill afford any further division in our community and your cavalier attitude saddens me. As opposed to embracing your sistren, you adopt a coilier than thou attitude, simply because I have made different styling choices than you. My advice to you, Miss Lady, is please do not forget where you came from! Even though you feel you have reached the Holy Land of Hair, is this a reason to discourage those still in "bondage?"

Am I implying that you not be proud of their curls, waves and kinks? Absolutely not! Your joy and pride are admirable and need to be further cultivated! I just pray that you will consider the type of ambassador you are for natural hair. Considering the number of women who have started their hair journeys, this is the perfect time to engage and influence all the women you can. Trade war stories, gush about your journey and don't bat an eye at their styling choices. Ultimately, we are all still family: straight, kinky and everyone in between.

Tai Nycole


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