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Natural Hair Blog Features White Woman, Black Women Lash Out

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Curly Nikki features a white woman named Sarah and sparks controversy. www.naturallymoi.com

Sarah donning her natural curls

Reported by Kacie Whaley

“Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper?”  That is a question that many black women within the new natural hair community tend to ask each other.  But recently, when Curly Nikki posed this question to a white woman, many black women were in opposition of her inclusion.

There have always been black women who rocked their natural hair, but within the past few years, there has been an explosion of more black women cutting out the “creamy crack,” or relaxer from their hair, and embracing their curly locks the way it naturally grows.

Natural hair guru Nikki Walton has a popular blog, Curly Nikki, that talks everything natural hair, from what products to use to styling techniques.  The blog also allows women who have transitioned to natural hair to tell their story.  On June 26th, Curly Nikki featured a hair profile of Youtube vlogger Sarah.  Sarah, who appears to be white, was photographed with long, loose, medium-brown curls.

When asked whether she transitioned or big-chopped, she answered “I’ve had my hair in its natural state my whole life.”

She said that she used to be insecure about her curls and only wore a bun or braids, but when she turned 14, she learned to care for her hair.

When discussing her hair regimen, she stated that “It’s not that hard to slap a leave in and gel on, which is now my everyday hair routine.”

Clearly, Sarah does not share the same experience as many black women who decide to go natural, and Jamilah Lemieux, Ebony.com’s senior editor, noticed this and voiced her opinion on the matter. “I’ve been surprised and disappointed to see how much of the natural hair movement has centered on ‘curly’ hair, when that isn’t hardly the most common hair type among our people.”

Countless fans of the natural hair blog were also surprised by Sarah’s profile.  Some even said they would no longer visit the website.

Walton caught wind of the controversy and posted a response on her website:

If women from other cultures are inspired by our stories, I’m cool with that. This means that it will become easier for black women to display their blackness outside of our ‘safe’ black spaces. As far as I’m concerned, the site is doing exactly what I designed it to do- promote the natural hair movement. As for the decision to run the article, it was mine alone. I’m a dope black chick, and so I made the site in my image. This is the main reason why it features mostly other dope black chicks. But, I never gave any thought to excluding anyone.

Walton said all of the positive work she’s done within the natural hair movement should not be overshadowed by her decision to feature Sarah.  She also went on to question why Ebony had an issue with her decision when the publication did not lead the push for more black women to go natural, and have only recently jumping on the #teamnatural bangwagon.

With more women embracing their own hair texture, ideas of what’s acceptable and what’s not regarding our hair and this movement are bound to surface.

So, what do you think?  Was Curly Nikki right in accepting a non-black woman into the Natural Hair Community?

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4