Celebs Who Should Just Go Natural

A while back, a reader sent me this adorable photo of Nia Long, rocking some pretty natural curls in the movie Alfie.

I love Nia. She’s funny, feisty, and she could be a great actress if she didn’t keep acting in cinematic tripe like Are We There Yet, Are We Done Yet, and Big Momma’s House parts one and two.

Loved her in Friday, which is definitely one of my top ten favorite movies ever.

I have never had issues with Nia’s hair, but seeing her cute and curly made me think. Why don’t more celebrities go natural? They definitely have the access to top of the line hairdressers and quality products that regular folks can’t afford.

I think it’s a conformity issue. All of their peers have long, silky weaves so they need to as well. But speaking personally, there are some celebrities who I think should go natural for multiple reasons.

Case in point, Eve.

Oh, Eve. To quote Fresh from C&D, “she know that shit is thirsty!” Fresh – you always tell it like it is! But seriously, Eve should know better. Her do is literally fried and dyed. The blond look is so, so old. And yet more and more black celebrities continue to jump on the bandwagon. It’s like a sign of success if you’re black or Latin and in the entertainment biz – one of the first moves is to go blond and blonder, and then to start dressing in more revealing clothing. I would guess that going blond is rule numero uno in the J.Lo guide to career building.

Some celebs can work it, but blond doesn’t work for everyone, people. And that color will eventually turn on you if you don’t moisturize your situation.

Having said that, I believe Eve has what it takes to go natural.

“Hey Afrobella, what does it take,” you ask? Well I’ll tell you.

1. Courage. You can’t be afraid to take the big chop. Judging from Eve’s total transformation, she never has been scared of a haircut, no matter how short, or a hair color, no matter how bright.

2. Strength to put up with all of the snide comments from frenemies, well-meaning albeit misguided advice from family, and chatter about your hair in general when you’ve made your decision.

3. Patience and determination to stick with your God-given kinks and curls despite the temptation to just get it texturized already. It takes will-power to get over the rough transition period, when you might not exactly feel like your hair is your crowning glory.

4.Knowledge of self – if you are searching for an identity, and you’re the kind of person who changes your hairstyle and appearance on a regular basis – natural ain’t for you. The whole point is to embrace, accept, and enhance what you were born with. Which leads me to number 5…

5. Confidence. It takes a great deal of confidence to have natural hair. You gotta know how to style it and how to work it. You have to love yourself, love your hair, and wear your curly locks with pride.

I believe Eve has all of these qualities, but her stylist is just leading her astray.

Two of the most damaging things you can do to your hair are relaxing and coloring. Consistent chemical treatments strip your tresses of their natural oils and resilience, and over time that damage is damn near irreversible.- which is why so many transitioners have to take the big chop to begin with.

I don’t have any issues with hair color – I definitely plan on getting some pretty copper highlights the next time I visit a stylist, because subtle, well-done streaks can make natural curls look alive, defined, and eye-catching. But colored hair needs extra care, extra conditioning, extra moisture. Otherwise, it winds up looking like straw.

So I say come home, Eve! Chop off those dusty dry tracks and watch your curls spring out like fresh, green shoots from the parched earth. You’re gorgeous enough to work it, and someone needs to set an example for your hip-hop peers.

So, fellow bellas, which other celebrities should go natural? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

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Comments

  1. Preach it, sista! As a woman who went through the long, but uplifting, process of getting to know and love my natural hair, I always encourage others to give it a try. It’s nothing like learning to love “the skin (and hair!) you’re in.”

    Poor Eve – her hair is looking straight crispy in that picture.

    If I had to pick two celebs who should just “go natural” for God’s sake, I’d pick Beyoncé – who we know looks good with her natural, curly locks since she’s rocked them before … let the blonde weave go, girl! and Tyra Banks – she’s a slave to that weave and she said it herself.

  2. I know that I will one day go natural. (Hell, I’m just getting to the point that I can manage my processed hair!) You summed up the process beautifully! All of the steps succintly wraps up my inner struggles to let the chemicals go. I have to work on them, like a 12 step class LOL. The process for some is like deprogramming the (remnants)institution of slavery. I love the way you said, “Come home” to Eve. Tyra is a great candidate.
    peace

  3. 70ssoulchild says:

    Thanks for this post, Bella. I’m 11 months into my transition and your blog continues strengthen me in my journey to naturalness. As for my celebrity picks for going natural…Vanessa L Williams, Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Oprah, Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah(stop using the pressing comb), Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan, Zoe Saldana, Halle Berry..basically all of them! LOL Blessings and Peace to all.

  4. Definitely Sanaa Lathan. It’s funny, in that movie Something New they show her taking her weave tracks out after her white boyfriend wonders out loud why she doesn’t just wear her hair natural.

    I also think Halle Berry would look great rocking a fro, or at the very least, wearing her short hair cut again. For some reason, long, straight hair ages her.

    Mary J. Blige would look cute wearing her hair natural. And she also looks better with dark or red hair than she does with blond hair.

  5. @70ssoulchild, Call me slow, but I thought Zoe Saldana was already rocking her natural Dominican roots.

    I vote for Tyra and Beyonce (they seem to use their weaves as a crutch the most) and add Vivica A. Fox to your list.

    Keep up the great work afrobella. :-)

  6. Yes!!! Totally agree. by the way, i loooove your blog.

  7. TYRA and CIARA…PLEASE TAKE OUT THOSE WEAVES first of all. My word, they have so much fake hair on their head it’s just ridiculous. I think, that’s their first move, parting with the horrible looking weave jobs.

  8. Stephanie says:

    that article was great… i totally agree..i think all our sisters should go natural.. they will all see the true beauty within themselves.. not only does perms and dyes damage your hair.. but these weaves damage the roots of the hair. plus the chinese are getting rich by supplying these products

  9. you know i love when you talk about hair, some celebs are going natural and are using weaves as a way to ease into being natural. i don’t have any candidates but two women i really love natural is S. Epatha Merkeson (Law and Order)and Marianne Jean Baptiste (Without A Trace). please do a post on the obsession some women have with blond hair.

  10. I love Wanda Sikes and Terry McMillan’s naturals. I would like to see Sanaa Lathan natural.

  11. Love this place!

    isnt it “strange” it takes courage for us to wear our own hair?

    I am currently dreadlocking…12 wks..and its a challenge to not always wear a scarf…

    any way…Eve definitely needs to “go back” even if just to grow some healthy hair…hmm probably all the ladies for just this reason!

    but all these weaves ..got to go..and ok Black women can do blonde also…proven…lets rock our luscious dark strands…

  12. Natural Sista says:

    I love sistas like T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh and Floetry natural hair styles. I would like to see Oprah and Tyra Banks go natural.

  13. I am not sure she still has her sista-pass but Nicole Ritchie.

  14. ok i didn’t know this but Beyonce is natural, because of the color process she stays away from relaxers and rocks weaves.

  15. Her sista-pass…that made my day!

  16. So let me ask a question. This will definitely be an upcoming post (as will the “blond” issue, Coffy!) but what defines natural? Is wearing a weave or extensions “natural”? I mean, it’s your hair underneath, but you’re wearing fake hair. So I’d say it isn’t, because your visible hair doesn’t grow naturally from your head. But I’ve never had a weave so I don’t know. Opinions?

  17. nattygirl says:

    I often wonder why it’s such a big deal or decision for so many sistas to wear their hair natural…I don’t know if it’s me ( everyone in my family always wore natural hair) but I think we all look so much more beautiful with our natural tresses….I also find it very difficult to find a lot of black men who can appreciate a natural sista…I also agree that Tyra and Eve are both good candidates for a transformation….

  18. coiltastic says:

    eve’s hair is a tragedy and i am not so sure why she reverted back to blonde and didn’t stay red at least.

    i don’t think that weaves makes you un-natural. they don’t change the texture of your hair and its not permanent. I think a nappy weave is a good way to transition too. but when I think of wearing natural hair, that means to me no relaxer, no texturizer, and hair that hasn’t been permanently burned straight by heat.

  19. I think anything the wearer uses to cover or change what grows out of her head on a regular basis = not natural. I don’t have a problem with women who wear weaves, wigs, or relax/texturize their hair. I do think that the point of actresses wearing their natural hair would be to stop the idea that Black women should look like brown versions of White women, IMO. If those actresses like the ease of a weave of a lace-front, then why can’t the texture resemble something a little less European? I hope to see this topic keep going!

  20. I gotta say the only reason I don’t have Natural hair is that I honestly have no clue what to do with it, and am not willing to go through a discovery phase. I will say I never felt prettier than this Halloween when I was rocking an Afro puff. Then again, I don’t know that my Natural hair is anywhere near that kind of curl, so I’m very hesitant to even imagine going natural.

  21. @Dee, i feel ya. i say do what makes you feel your absolute best. the only reason i went natural was because i moved and by the time i found a hair artist my perm had grown out so i just went with it.i can honestly say that if i still lived in Chicago, i would be rockin my perm. when i had a perm i always did a wet set on rods, and that gave me a look i now have naturally. funny how things come full circle

  22. LBellatrix says:

    Regular visitor, first time poster! Love your site! :)

    The following is MY PERSONAL DEFINITION of natural. Others’ definitions may differ.

    Your natural hair is the hair that is programmed to grow out of your follicles. My DNA is coded such that my natural hair is highly textured nappy-kinky, mostly drak brownish in color (a few blacks and, now, some silvers mixed in), and somewhat fine-stranded.

    If you wear your hair in a style in which that hair’s texture and color is unaltered and entirely visible (and not hidden), then that style can be said to be a natural hairstyle.

    Given this definition, all natural hairstyles are chemical-free, but not all chemical-free hairstyles are natural. Weaves etc. are chemical-free but they’re not natural because they’re not made up of the hair that naturally grows out of your head.

    My $0.02…

    Who should go natural? All of them, but two people in particular that come to mind are Susan Taylor (Essence) and Brandy. I fear for their hairlines.

  23. brittaney says:

    Love your site, Afrobella! I think they all should go natural, but especially the more powerful ones such as Oprah, Tyra, Beyonce, Angela, and the like. If these ladies went natural it would make such a powerful statement.

  24. AMEN!!

  25. Apple Diva says:

    I thought we were not our hair.

  26. Erykah Badu has a saying that has stayed with me for a long time, “every perm aint for the fall and every dread aint down for the cause.”

  27. OPRAH, OPRAH, OPRAH!!! Granted, her hair is ALWAYS bangin’, and I know she has sense enough not to step out the house with a fried-dry blonde weave (or whoever she has on her payroll is looking out for her). But, i think, since she’s always preaching this touchy-feely be true to yourself thing, she’s a perfect candidate! Unless, of course, it will alientate her from her white viewers… don’t know.

  28. love the post! i have to disagree slightly with the explanation for #4 though. a woman who likes to switch up their appearance and hairstyle often can absolultely go natural. i think whether chemically processed or natural, creative hairstyling is the cultural birthright of black hair. when i used to wear locs, i switched up my style often. now that i’ve cut them and wear a fro, i wear cornrows in different styles and hook the fro up…which i’m sure you do as well.

  29. I too love love love Nia Long. I wish she’d do more stuff, she’s a wonderful actress. I love the many tresses she decides to wear because she has the kind of face that can pull anything off, but I’m with you, just love the natural on her. Eve, wow what is she thinking? Just get a weave like every other celeb and not ruin your own hair.

  30. RoseBurnt* says:

    Oooh girl, you hit the nail on the head! I was looking at that ratty-haired weave of Eves and thinking ” Oh dear..”

    I’d like to add Naomi Campbell to the mix & Michelle from Destiny’s Child

  31. Great post Bella! I have to admit I didn’t know that much about weaves, relaxers, or “going natural” until I started reading your blog. My world is just a bunch of bleach and flatirons, LOL (how silly does that sound?). Anyhow, I wish Halle Berry would go back to her cropped hair…like Dani said above, the long hair ages her. And Tyra is starting to look all top-heavy like Barbie with that weave.

    Now that I’ve been thinking about this natural hair issue, I realized that about 90% of the black women at my job just rock the “librarian bun.” Yuck. Do you think there’s a stigma against natural hair in corporate environments?

  32. Fianlly a blog about inspiring black women! Love it Love it Love It!!!!! I agree natural is better. I have locs myself 3 years in the making.

    The transition was hard, but once that’s over you look in the mirror and finally see the real beautiful you. My man loves it and stood by me threw the whole process.

    And don’t think it will hold you back from getting or keeping a job. As with all styles keep it fab!!

  33. Hey BeautyAddict, our hair issues are so different and so complex! For African Americans and black women all over the world, the issues are more than “a bunch of bleach and flatirons”, although looking at Eve obviously those items are contributing to her crispy fried look, LOL. But in many cases, dreadlocks or natural hair isn’t seen as “professional” and is discouraged in the workplace. There definitely is a stigma, and that’s worthy of a follow-up post. I know in Trinidad, many youths are discouraged from growing dreads for that reason “where will you get a job?” Consequently many black women have “work hair” and “weekend hair.” Lucky for me, I work in an office where I can wear jeans and sneakers to work and my hair can be as big and crazy as I like. But still, I tend to style it “down” or keep it neat rather than rock the crazy fro I’d wear to a nightclub or concert.

  34. I know that I’ve found that having natural hair is certainly looked down upon by some in the corporate world. I did let several people know that I *will* rock my ‘fro and my afro puff and/or twists whenever I feel like it and, should the subject ever come up, I am not averse to filing suit for discrimination. If White (and other) women are allowed to wear their hair the way it grows out of their scalps, there’s no reason why we can’t.

  35. Hey Afrobella I think that Serena and Venus should definitely go natural

  36. Hi ladies. I’m not really certain who should go natural but I certainly would like to see more sistas wear their own hair. I understand that when you are in the entertainment industry, you don’t have much time to spend in a stylist’s chair, so weaves and wigs are an alternative to that. I like the fact that Malinda Williams and Nia Long wear their own hair on the red carpet..not many sistas do. Both of those ladies have fab short cuts. Halle and Toni Braxton were amazingly gorgeous when they wore their own hair…now they no longer stand out in a crowd. I loved Eve’s short cut as well. I think the goal should be healthy hair, whether relaxed or natural. Relaxed hair can be healthy when properly cared for. Floetry, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Lauryn Hill, and Afrobella of course *wink* are beautiful examples of natural sistas and are true inspirations for me when I decide to transition. And I too am tired of seeing sistas in big, cartoonish, Cowardly Lion-looking wigs! Tyra, Beynonsense, Rhianna..the list goes on…..

  37. Thank you to those who say…the goal is healthy hair…period. If you have natural hair and it’s crusty….what are you proving? If it’s natural and healthy…great! If it’s relaxed and healthy…not crispy…GREAT! Why can’t that be the point?
    I personally have long relaxed hair that is very healthy…i don’t use much heat at all *rare* and i keep a moisturizer in it. If i have a bad hair day, it goes in a pretty bun…sometimes different types of buns…nothing wrong with this. I have had relaxed hair since about age 4 because my hair was so big and thick it gave me headaches. I have seen the damage a relaxer can do to hair when it is not cared for properly, but since I now know (at age 22) how to care for my hair, it’s not a problem to keep it healthy.
    I do wonder what it would be like to have my hair all natural sometimes. I have seen girls with beautiful, healthy, kinky curls….and i have seen such a variety of curls especially with blacks and latinas…but in certain citys it is kind of looked down upon depending on wear you work IF IT IS NOT KEPT NEAT. However, I don’t think your personal choice of how you wear your hair is always about a race issue…it can be about other factors like having to re-learn how to do your hair after taking a life time of learning how to do your hair in a certain state *like processed.
    The goal should just be to have healthy hair no matter how you wear it…..and obviously if you relax your hair already and bleach it blonde and it looks ridiculous….i’m talking to you, Eve (but it looks like a wig)…it’s going to require a lot to keep it looking healthy.

  38. I have had my hair, natural, long with weave, wigs, colored, and short. And I love me most with short, dark hair, and everyone loves it one me, too. I think that society has us fooled into thinking that in order to be accepted we need that long, stringy silky stuff. And believe me I find myself wanting to conform. My husbang LOVED it when I wore my hair natural(no perm). He still loves it, but he will take my short hair, over a bag of weave any day. If actresses were to wear there own hair, and men LOVED it, then we would get more people accepting it. I, too , loved Ms.Berry with her short do’. I love Nia Long and Malinda William’s hair on them. They really do stand out. And sista’ who wear their hair natural, also stand out. It is just crazy that everywhere you turn, someone has weave in their hair. I’m not judging. I struggle with this all the time. Everyone weaved, relaxed, or natural, really need to find out WHY they are really doing it.

  39. I am new to your blog afrobella, but I must say it is an inspiring blog to be honest. Having said that, I’ve been on a few forums posting my opinion about the same topic. What I’ve noticed is the natural sistas ask why the weave wearing sistas will not go natural and vice versa. Me personally, I am not bothered by who wears what. I also cannot judge anyone since I have worn alot of weave in my younger days. I am twenty now. I’ve suffered with low self-esteem for a long time, and I still do even though I am much better now. Having no esteem was one of the reasons I wore weaves. I wanted to be pretty like the white girls, since that is what america says is the epitome of beauty. Now I rock my afro, because it is who I am. God made me this way, and when I am ashamed of my physical attributes I am ashamed of God as well. It is just that simple to me. As for the topic at hand I will answer that.

    I am a huge Ciara fan and I think she looks absolutely beautiful with her weave. It looks well maintained, and natural on her. But I cannot understand this blond weave so many black women celebrities are wearing. It does not look cute to me, and it only makes them look like white women with dark skin. Having said that, there are a few I would love to see wearing their own hair even Ciara. I would like to see Angela Bassett, Sanaa Lathan, Beyonce, and a few others wear their hair as is. I truly believe that the black woman is most beautiful when she is in her most natural state, hair, skin, and all.

  40. Tracy Bingham (Baywatch) should go natural! That weave needs to go :)

  41. I WANT to start, by saying hello to every one! Andsay this is my first time ever, visting this AfroBella site;i wanted to say being a mixed African American woman i choose to wear my hair naturually curly and i have had chemicals in my hair in the past Because i too can agree with Angela i was dealing with alot of low self-esteem issues not feeling i was pretty enough or my hair was to thick,too curly and frizzy i wanted it straight! BUT as i spoke to my family they taught me that i had to learn to appreciate what GOD giveme and Blessed me with:SO nowI love my CROWN AND GLORY, THANKS EVERYBODY FOR YOUR COMMENTS THERE INSPIRING AND THANK YOU AFRO BELLA for this site. GOD BLESS EVERYONE!

  42. JUstMYwOrD says:

    I don’t know, I listened to some of your comments about Eve’s do and I compared her look to that of Kalis…maybe I’m just different, but the looks say two completely different things to me. I think ya’ll got Ms. Eve pegged totally wrong. I gues as an artist myself, I adore any females bravery in expressing herself boldly and effectively through her music, clothing, hair, you name it. I think too often on -lookers and spectators have hard time definging the distint difference between someone whose trying to find a look and some one who’s look is making a statement about their self expression. And I know this is about sistas loving the natural them, but many models, white, black and otherwise use extensions and weaves to accentuate bold or clever fashion statements…I love the expression, personally. I think where we get steered wrong is in the media becoming partial to which images or expression are the icons of beauty, that’s why I think any female should go through her own self discovery and find the loof that brings her out the best, not just because someone else is trying to have the final word of beauty. In closing, I think Eve’s messy, unkept hair says, “I’m an artist, I feel sexy cause I am, and to quote India, I’m not my hair” There’s so much more to use than our hair, our bodies, our outward, period. Eve’s sported short and nautural do’s before, if I’m not mistaken, so I think she’s comfortable with just doing what she wants.

  43. Personally, I’d like to see ALL of the sista celebs go natural..especially those who are put on the cover of relaxer boxes when you know damn well that’s a weave they’re wearing! As for me, my hair has flown “TWA” for more than 15 years. Why? Because good experienced ethnic hair care providers (beauticians) in Oregon are few and far between…and I started wondering if these relaxers are messing up my hair what in the hell is it doing to the earth? Those chemicals have got to go someplace…they go to the landfill AND in the water supply. As an environmentalist, I feel it’s hypocrisy for women to say they care about Mother Earth but then keep using all manner of products that gunk up the land, air and seas. I say we should all wear what the good Lord gave us…and stop worrying so much about we look like we could be on the cover of Vogue or if we’ll get a man (and let’s face it, that’s what most women get that fried, dyed and to the side look for…)

  44. Gabrielle Union should definitely go natural! she is pretty now, with natural hair she would be beautiful.

  45. Free to BeWeave says:

    I think that even though some weaves look ridiculous on people (blondes, purple, etc..) everybody knows what they like in their hair.

    They know what works on their face. For me I love weaves because I can do whatever I want with it. Isn’t this the same luxury as people who wear makeup??

    I can go long, short, full, layered, the sky is the limit! I never have to put color in my real hair!
    I know that short cuts don’t look right on me, just like I can’t play off bangs.

    People put weaves and perms in their hair to escentuate their beauty, not mimic others.

    I will wear my weave whenever I feel and IF I ever decide to go blonde streaks I WILL.

    Black women when was the last time that you saw a black woman with ‘natural hair’ that may have been a little unkempt or not looking too right on her and shook your head and said ‘that dont make no sense’.

    If I wear my hair natural, messy heifers snickering behind my back, if I wear a weave they’re trying to ‘out’ me –’its’ unbeweavable!’

    Black women cant win for losing. Damned if we do, damned if we dont. So we might as well do what makes us feel good.

  46. Tameika Monday says:

    Wanting terribly to go natural. 30yo and want to make a change. I am more than ready but not sure where to start. Someone please email me. Give me some ideas. Where can I find some hair styles for my new natural look?

  47. go to nappturality.com

  48. I’m from England, and here women wear their hair as they like and no one bats an eyelid. I live in London and we go from natural to straight to braids and back without a worry. I’ve been natural for about 4 years and am now thinking of going straight.

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Trackbacks

  1. afrobella says:

    [...] The bright red lipstick and Pebbles outfit aren’t helping much, but this photo gives further proof that bleach blonde can be the black woman’s enemy (see Eve for past evidence). [...]

  2. [...] The bright red lipstick and Pebbles outfit aren’t helping much, but this photo gives further proof that bleach blonde can be the black woman’s enemy (see Eve for past evidence). [...]

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