The Dark Side of Natural Hair on Twitter

twitterRoughly, 32 weeks ago, Jael and I started blogging.

At the time, we were completely unknown in the natural hair community and in the world of online blogging – but our number one goal was to help as many naturals as possible.

Privately, Jael has made this statement to me several times: “Kenneth, if I could, I would help every natural in the world.”

We both know that’s impossible, but it goes to show the amount of passion behind the Curl Centric blog.

Now, we’re starting to live our dream. We are working with naturals all over the world and they’re constantly emailing us about how much we’ve help them during their journey.

Every time we receive an email or comment about how something we did really helped them – it really makes us feel good and provides the fuel for us to continue writing articles and sharing information.

Unfortunately, we now live in a time were some people literally try to tear you down by posting inflammatory messages to you.

These people are “trolls” according to Wikipedia and represent what I call the dark side of the natural hair community on Twitter.

On the dark side, I mostly encounter two types of trolls on Twitter:

  1. The “Call You Out” Troll: The “call you out” troll is the person who waits for you to post something and immediately “calls you out” by challenging everything that you post.
  2. The “Public Shaming” Troll: The “public shaming” troll is the person who sends you a message solely for the purpose of trying to embarrass you.

I will provide two common examples of issues that I encounter on Twitter. I call them common examples, because these are things that happen nearly every day on Twitter.

Example #1: I recently tweeted a link to one of our most popular articles called, “What Men Really Think About Natural Hair”.

Almost immediately, someone calls me out of Twitter.

Their response was, “You must mean what YOU think about natural hair, because YOU can’t speak for all men. I hate it when someone thinks they’re smarter than everyone else.”

This lady went on to barrage me by calling me a few names.

I ended up having to block her. I didn’t even know you could block people until just recently, but I digress.

Example #2: Just a few days ago, I tweeted “transitioning is the mental and physical journey you go through as a result of no longer relaxing your hair”.

Again, nearly immediately, someone replied with the following comment: “That [four letter word] is not mental. I did not give a [four letter word] when I went natural. I just stopped getting relaxers…”

I told her that many women struggle with the process of going natural. Additionally, several women do not receive support from their spouse, family members or friends during their journey.

Those things are undoubtedly mentally taxing on the individual going through it.

This lady responded by saying, “I’ll give you that.”

So, once I explained my tweet – she agreed.

Conclusion

These types of messages and comments fill-up my Twitter inbox.

I would honestly rather spend my time helping people, but I have to spend a significant amount of time filtering through messages like these from “trolls”.

This post wasn’t written to make you feel sorry for me.

You probably know by now that I like to be transparent, informative and truthful when I write for the blog. I’m not sure what I expected when Jael and I started blogging, but I now see the dark side of the natural hair community.

Why do some people spend all of their time being negative – when we’re really trying to do something positive?

I will probably never know, but I greatly appreciate each one of you who have been supportive during the process of building the Curl Centric blog.

29 Comments

  • I can barely think of what I want to post right now because I’m so upset that there are people out there who actually have something negative to say about the positive work you are doing for the Natural Hair Community. Not only do you educate, inform and offer support to those of us who are new to this, but you actually interact with the members on this site and I thank you whole-heartedly for that. When I log-in I know that I am getting knowledge and advice from people who take this Natural Hair Journey to heart. You guys are the perfect team. Keep doing what you do. God Bless!

  • Unfortunately that’s the nature of the internet. Some ppl don’t know any better. In the case of your last example, I think she probably just speaks that way. Some ppl cuss in their every day speech. It’s like using the word “the”. Gotta just pray for them.

    As for those who don’t agree with what you are saying or promoting, it doesn’t even matter if you are dead wrong. There’s a correct way to disagree with someone and rudeness is not it. Oh well, more folks to pray for!

  • I can imagine how many messages you get in response to your advice. I, personally, have received negative feedback whenever I’ve mentioned my own regimen and love for my hair. I’ve recently met opposition from men, one of whom called me a “centric” who was obviously trying to be spiritual because I chose to go natural. Initially it shook me because I couldn’t understand why embracing my natural self and living a healthy lifestyle would bother anyone. Twitter can often be a hostile environment, but we also have to remember it is one of those platforms used not only for information and networking, but also for attention. I attempt to enlighten then I move on. Great post.

  • It’s very crazy , no matter what you do or say -there is someone out there that would not like it, but for that one person, there are several that will appreciate what you’re doing!
    Keep tweeting and Blogging- Luvs it!

  • Omg! This is so ridiculous. I cannot understand why or how people thrive on this type of behavior. I can attest to the fact that you and your wife are sincere. Just days after signing up on twitter, you followed me. Thankfully. You and your wife have provided a wealth of knowledge to me. Sometimes, as a people we can be like crabs in a barrel. Please don’t focus on the negative but keep doing what you do. Thank you so much!

  • So glad someone is bringing this to the forefront….at the beginning of this year I posted on another blog site and brought up the fact that, in my opinion, a lot of our hair problems stem from slavery and how we did not have time to care for our hair because we were taking care of others under force. I noted how these bad hair practices were past down from generation to generation and it is not until now that our hair is being revealed. The ignorance of some of the responses made me feel very bad because I was only voicing my opinion as others do. Some peope desire chaos rather than unity. Even though I should not have, I stopped posting anything for a long time because my love for black hair is pleasurable, and I refuse to let anyone take that away from me.

    • Hi NaturalGlory – As you noticed first hand, Twitter can be a hostile environment. There are literally some people who will disagree with you regardless of what you say. Don’t let those individuals steal your joy. Honestly, I’ve never really been a fan of the social networks – especially Twitter and Facebook. Even so, I use those networks and many others every day, because they’re now a critical part of how we communicate in today’s society. I hope you continue to share your love for black hair on Twitter and in other places. Take care.

      Kenneth

  • mhmmmm I dislike it when people’s only purpose seems to be to “call you out”. Its like nothing you say, despite how perfect it may be, will ever be good enough. Please dont allow them to affect you (am sure you’re nt). I have only joined this site last night and already I addicted because its so informative and the members and Jael are being such darlings by responding to my comments and updates. Thanks once again :)

    • @Sonia – No worries. I won’t allow them to affect me. I just find it odd that people will literally try to discourage you from helping other people. It simply doesn’t make any sense to me. One thing that we try to do is be very transparent with our blog readers. We don’t hide anything from you. You will always know exactly what’s going on with the blog and what we have planned next, etc. The reason we do that is because we’re all a part of the community and want you feedback. By the way, if you don’t currently follow us on Twitter, we tweet several natural hair tips. I’m at @kbyrdjr and Jael is @naturaljael.

  • Maybe I’m wrong for saying this but I’ve noticed an influx of ghetto-minded individuals joining the ‘movement’ as of late. Since I’m a very spiritual person and consider my hair and its greatness a part of my spiritual identity, I always get thrown off track when I read on twitter someone saying ‘f this nappy s***t, I needs my weave!!’ And other things along those lines. Its good even they are understanding the beauty of their hair but did they have to bring the classless mentality with them? I’m sorry you encounter these people. They’re almost like a poison in the game now…:/

  • First, let me say how much I enjoy your site. I’ve only been natural about a year now, so I’m still learning so much. i decided to go natural because it worked for me. I begun researching the science of hair after I discovered that everything I “thought” I knew about hair was wrong! I have been shocked to discover how mean spirited some are in regards to how I choose to maintain my hair. Where did these “natural nazis’ come from. I am so disappointed to see how this natural hair seems to be dividing us even more. i just don’t understand how we are always tearing one another down. If someone does not agree with you, I say “keep it moving”. I’ve read plenty of blogs that had misinformation and have offered my opinion, respecfully, of course. You don’t have to be mean, or disrespectful to someone when offering oposing views. I wish we could all just get alone. I don’t agree with everything you write, but I have most of the information that you have provided has indeed helped. Please keep up the outstanding job!

    • Kimberly – You’re exactly right. Tact is a lost art for many people in society today, even in the crazed policitially correct environment that we live in today.

  • I love your site. I have been natural for about 9 years but I haven’t been taking care of my hair because I didn’t know exactly how to go about it, so I kept chopping it off every time I get bored. I am so glad I came across your site now I can actually learn to take care of my hair n let it grow. Thank u

  • Keep up the great work and forget the trolls Ignore them. I work with internet research and people are like that. They love sites like twitter as they have a cloak to hide behind. They just sit around waiting to for something to grab unto. Slavery or not our hair is different form all other races and we need to pay some attention to it. Even the people born and raised in Africa have issues more so us. I am really happy I have found a way to deal with mine as the chemical relaxers are designed to destroy our brains LOL. (For another discussion) Great blog

  • hi, for what its worth, i have been natural for one year to date and reading blogs like yours helps me on my journey, so take courage! lol

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