Just by reading the title, I'm sure you are already thinking "What is she talking about?" "How can it be toxic?" and "What does that even mean?" Well, it is exactly as it sounds. The natural hair community is a mean girl world and I will tell you why. The toxicity mainly ranges from colorism to length disputes, lack of real presentation especially for 4C heads, and putting a type on our hair when we are all supposed to be "natural" no matter what our hair looks like. The divide is huge and the media has taken advantage of it by putting out faces that do not represent the majority.
I believe the media have many conditioned to focus on unimportant issues instead of seeing the bigger issue. There are too many problems affecting the black and brown community right now including discrimination of all forms, police brutality, high incarceration rate, systemic racism, etc. So why is how a woman styles her hair on anyone’s priority list is highly questionable. Are some using this as a distraction to avoid facing their own personal issues or is making another black or brown woman feel out-of-place and inadequate because of her preference the actual goal?
The natural hair movement now seems to focus more on loyalty than reality. However, the reality is, we all don’t have the same hair texture. Hence while it takes some a few minutes to get their natural hair styled for others, it takes hours. Some hair textures, in general, require a lot more resources to maintain and hair care products is expensive!!! Hair texture and length discrimination is a major issue within the natural hair community. And it doesn't help when the media puts women who have a looser curl pattern on bigger platforms while the rest of us are less seen and heard.
Colorism is also a huge divider within the natural hair community because media outlets are putting women who do not represent the whole community on products, in commercials, YouTube boosts their videos more than those of darker complexion and the list goes on. We all go on the natural hair journey for many reasons whether personal, medical or even spiritual, but that does not give the greenlight for bullies to override what is supposed to be a unifying movement in public and private social spaces. What works for one woman may not work for others and the natural hair movement needs to be better for our black and brown communities. We are divided enough and our hair types, textures, lengths or preferences should not be another reason for people to continue to attack and degrade us.