How Mixed People Fit into the Natural Hair Community
Let's talk about hair ba-by!
The natural hair community is very diverse. There are different types, different textures. Each person's hair has different characteristics and reacts differently to different products.
The key word here is different.
If you ever wondered what people mean when describing their natural hair with numbers and letters, here's a quick guide.
For example, my hair texture is somewhere in the 3B–3C range. It's 3B in the front and 3C in the back.
There has been a lot of debate within the natural hair community when it comes to representation. Sorry to say— type 4 hair is typically underrepresented within the natural hair community. Big brands use some biracial/ racially ambiguous person with type 3 hair to show the amazing effects of their product.
But I still want to make it clear to biracial people that their hair is still natural. You're still black.
I recently saw the dumbest post ever that tried to make this same point about natural hair representation, and instead of being mad at the brands that only hire loose curled models, they attacked mixed people. They claimed mixed people are less black because their hair is looser.
This argument, of course, is idiotic and pointless. It's exactly like the light skin/dark skin debate in the black community. Colorism is real, and yet instead of trying to dismantle that institution, people are still arguing about who's the most oppressed or who's "really black."
I struggled with this same question growing up. Am I really black? I'm half white and half black. Where does that put me? But I decided to follow slave code mentality, because that's what this country does. Basically it was maintained during antebellum slavery that if a person had even a drop of black in them, they were black. This was established in reference to children that were concieved when white slave masters raped their slaves.
If you think about it in a current setting: Is a racist person going to ask me, "What percent white are you?" before they're racist towards me? Do cops who perpetuate police brutality do this? They don't ask questions, they just shoot.
So I'm black, and I'm natural.
All this is to say that mixed people should also fight for equal hair representation. We are privileged in that our hair is, "good hair." So just like I tell non-POC, use your privilege as gateway for allyship and equality. Don't let people compliment your hair and discriminate against type 4 hair. Call people out on it. Let others see the diversity and beauty of the natural hair community.