Natural Hair Community State of the Union Address

natural hair communityLast night, I had a dream that I was the president of the natural hair community. The constitution of the natural hair movement declares that from time to time, the President shall give to its member’s information about the state of the union. So, like any respectable president I must now address the union.

State of the “Natural Hair” Union: President Byrd’s Full Speech

President Byrd’s State of the Natural Hair Community Union Address

To the Vice President, readers of the Curl Centric blog, distinguished guests, and fellow naturals:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the natural hair community. (Applause)

Our Progress has Been Tremendous

It’s tempting to look back on the progress of the natural hair movement and assume that the progress that we’ve made was inevitable — that the wonderful women within the natural hair movement were always destined to succeed. But when I look back at some of the things we’ve encountered over the years I’m encouraged at our progress. We’ve dealt with people making inflammatory YouTube videos or making off-topic comments simply to provoke an emotional response. I’ve heard some women refer to the group(s) of naturals who participate in these endeavors loosely as “the natural hair Nazis”.

Until recently, I had never met anyone who I would even remotely consider for this infamous label. Now I can confirm with first-hand knowledge that these naturals exist. There are literally some naturals out there who make over-the-top insults towards other naturals. This is truly the dark-side of the natural hair community, but as your President, I will work every minute of my term to build unity and eliminate bipartisan politics. So we face a big challenge, but what the individuals of the natural hair community can count on, is that their President will help them work through the differences and overcome the numbing weight of natural hair politics.

My most urgent task upon taking this office was to provide unity to the natural hair community. From the day I took office, I’ve been told that addressing this larger challenge is too ambitious; even that such an effort would be contentious. I’ve been told that things are too gridlocked, and that we should just put things on hold for a while.

I have one simple question: How long should the natural hair community put things on hold? (Applause)

Natural ladies – it begins with you. If you have concerns about going natural, you’re definitely not alone. In this new decade, it’s time that naturals all around the world have a governing body that matches their decency; that embodies their strength. (Applause)

And tonight, I will address exactly how we can deliver on that promise.

Heat Damage

We can’t afford to be overtaken by heat damage – a story that we heard all too often during the last two years – where flat irons and curling irons were used at high temperatures. As hard as it may be to understand, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may become, there is really no way to ensure that your hair is protected from the heat being applied. I urge you to use heat protectant and I know you will, but also ask that you only apply heat to your hair on special occasions. Consistently applying heat to your hair, you will greatly increase the chances of having heat damage. We need to make sure that current naturals and soon to-be-naturals have the information they need to make decisions about applying heat to their hair. (Applause)

Water

In the coming year, we’ll also work to rebuild our natural’s faith in the institution of water. Many new naturals, who relaxed for many years, fear water and don’t want to get their hair wet. If you’re natural and avoiding water, this is a mistake. Our success towards accepting water will require reform and responsibility. It will also require that each natural approach water with a new level of engagement.

Stress

Of course, as I speak, stress and its affiliates continue to plan attacks against our naturals. Thanks to our intelligence agencies, we’re disrupting their plots with additional exercise and relaxation techniques. As this silent killer attempts to inspire acts of violence on our delicate natural hair, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the power of our enemy, and with the conviction that the natural hair community will prevail. (Applause)

Tonight, let each person in the natural hair community, speak with one voice – reaffirming that our community is united in support of every natural and their families. Let us serve them well, by giving them the information that they need to have a successful natural hair journey, by providing them with the care and benefits that they deserve and by enlisting our natural hair veterans in the great tasks of building the knowledge of our youth. We should have no illusions about the work ahead of us.

Breakage

The hair industry is changing. And for many, that change has been very painful. I’ve seen many women complain about hair breakage and the lack of hair growth. But this shouldn’t discourage us. Naturals, the future is ours, but to get there we can’t stand still.

We must continue to inform naturals about the benefits of protective styling, proper nutrition and sleeping on satin pillow cases or wearing satin scarfs at bedtime. We can’t allow cotton sheets and pillow cases to rob our naturals of moisture leading to dry hair. Just remember — for all the negative comments that we’ve received during the last few years and for all the naysayers predicting our demise and calling this movement a fad, the natural hair movement is as large and prosperous as it’s ever been. (Applause)

Furthermore, the natural hair movement was founded for the sake of instilling confidence in natural ladies all around the world — the idea that each natural deserves the chance to shape their own destiny. That’s why over the centuries natural hair pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to join the natural hair movement.

It’s why our naturals don’t just choose products, but research them fully before applying them to their hair. Naturals, the future is ours to win. The dream of a successful natural hair journey has never been about standing pat. It has required each natural hair blogger to sacrifice, and struggle, in order to meet the demands of naturals around the world. (Applause)

We plan to do big things.

From the earliest days of our founding, Natural Hair Community has been a story of ordinary people who dare to dream. The idea of a unified natural hair community endures. Our destiny continues to be our choice. And tonight, more than two years later, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

Thank you. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America Natural Hair Community.

[Look for more from President Byrd in the future. Comment if there are certain topics that you would like to hear the President address. Also, let me know if you would like to see a live (YouTube) state of the union address.]

34 Comments

  • Awesome post, Mr. President! LOL! Concerning the “natural hair nazis” issue I will admit I have been called that before! Albeit, in my experiences, this term is used for those hardcore natural types (I will place myself in this category lol) who are completely against relaxers and even flat ironing. Most others denounce these views but ehh it’s just me and I don’t mind being strictly pro Naptural (no straightening whatsoever) as to avoid heat damage.

    Anywho, I am all for a video of future State of the Union Natural Hair addresses! Fun and innovative idea and I would definitely watch.

    I’d like to hear how you two feel about the hair typing system (Andre Walker’s and the “LOIS” system)! It is quite controversial and I’d like to hear how y’all weigh in. I know no one head of hair is identical to another and can totally understand how it can be divisive by putting Naturals in “boxes” but I feel it can also be helpful i.e I am more apt to take product advice/hair care advice from another type 4 than a type 3. What do you two think, I’d love to hear!

    Thanks,

    AJ

  • AJ – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. We’re always looking for ways to have fun on the blog and still provide good quality information in the progress.

    I’ve added your requested topics (ex. hair typing systems) to my list of future post. I think I can definitely write something that’s interesting on that topic.

    Kenneth

  • Excellent post. Loved your spin on the Presidential State of the Union address. Will pass this along to several newbies and recommend that they sign up for your regular updates!

  • Great speeeh Mr. President. I am one year into my natural hair transition and I have to say that love the natural hair community! I have never met so many women that lift each other up and only have positive things to say. I work in a corporate atmosphere and my co-workers were a little shock after I did the big chop and had a couple of negativeIcomments thrown my way and had thought of going to to my relaxed hair the natural hair community gave me the courage to stick it out. Now that I have complete confidence in my natural hair I have begun to get positive comments from co-workers. I have seen the videos on You Tube against the natural hair state and true that is not for everyone there is no reason to tear down the ones that chose to go on the natural hair path.

    • Lanetta – Congrats on being natural for one year….and you hit on an excellent point. It’s a must to have confidence during your journey. It’s good to hear that things are working out better at work with positive comments from your co-workers.

  • I love it!! I will be sure to pass it on!! As a new natural of almost 2 months, I am loving this journey and will never go back!! Thanks for all the good info and the awesome Presidential address. lol

  • Mr President that was great and it even inspired me Lord knows I have had my moments of discouragement but, this site has pushed me through being natural almost 1 year thank thank you for your words of encouragement and the information along with it. Thank you and keep up the great work.

    • Rhonda – The mental transition to going natural is sometimes more difficult than the physical transition. So, from time to time, we try to provide some words of encouragement to help out. I’m that you found the article helpful.

  • I’m glad you got our back. A lot of my friends had something to say when I went natural, but I didn’t care. Now they are all on board.LOL

    • Ann – I hear about things like this pretty often and it’s always disappointing. Nevertheless, it’s great that your friends are now on board with your decision to go natural. I’m glad that you decided to stick with it.

  • Mr. President, and I do mean Mr. Mr. Mr. LOL having a positive prespective from a male point of view is all that matters for me. I call the women who are negative “the Eve’s” hardheaded and gullable. People make negative comments because they obviously don’t know what it means to be supportive, positive, an individual or just plain happy with themselves. Thanks, from your positive loyal subjects for being the 1st greatest Natural Hair Community President ever. LOL LOL LOL.

  • What an awesome address, indeed! I must say that embracing my natural hair and all of the sisterhood and camaraderie that I’ve experienced as a result, have been life changing. I feel so strong and beautiful. I’m so very proud of all of us who have taken the plunge and decided to be who we really are. Really, it’s an amazing phenomenon and I’m so privileged to be part of it. I’m also grateful for you two and your devotion to helping us along this journey.

    Thank you.

  • As an immigrant (smile), I have only been in this community for 10months and I am so thrilled to be a citizen of such a great community with such a strong president and VP! Great speech! People in the workplace have tried to make my decision to be natural out to be something political (which couldn’t be further from the truth) so I’m glad we can have so much fun with this! Great job, Mr. President! Four more years! Four more years!

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