Here’s the debate we’re all sick of hearing about; if you dye your hair, is it really natural? It is something that is talked about in our natural hair community all the time. In addition, if a woman uses a sulfate filled product instead of an all natural made product they have broken all the rules of being natural. Before you freak out because you aren’t following ‘The Rules of Natural Hair Girl’, remember you chose this lifestyle because you wanted to.

I chose to wear natural hair because I was always a DIY person and I love creating different hairstyles. I never really took care of my relaxed hair. I needed a fresh start from the box perm and flat iron.

One day I decided on a whim that I would do the big chop. I didn’t even tell my husband! I went to a barber shop and let the barber cut my hair. The barber left a little hair on my head even though I told him to make me bald. I expected to walk out the barber feeling like Mary Tyler Moore, but suddenly I felt very vulnerable. I had no hair and I didn’t feel hot at all. I came home and begged my husband to go get me a wig. Yes I was having a full blown freak out. He calmed me down and told me that my hair would grow. Who knew that a man could say something right for once.

I finally started accepting myself and loving myself for who I truly was. I started being a natural hair fiend! I started following natural hair blogs and vlogs. I started doing YouTube hair tutorials and I was actually able to do many of the hairstyles. I was feeling good about myself! And of course when you actually start to feel good about yourself, you find yourself with a hater.

I get on Facebook to see if I really liked a photo I just posted (you don’t how many pictures I don’t use). Under my photo, I noticed a friend posted, ‘Are you truly natural if you dye your hair? I think not’. It has never been confirmed if she was reading me or if that was projected to the whole community. It threw me in a huge loop. I thought it was a silly comment until I started reading different websites on the subject. Come to find out many feel the same way.

So no matter what I do, I always feel like an outsider. Now many people in this community feel like I’m not a part of the natural hair community because I dye my hair and use a few products that aren’t 100% natural. Then I got to thinking, I didn’t become natural for them, but for myself. There are always going to be a people who think that their way of thinking is the best way. There will always be haters and naysayers. But remember that your hair is your hair. Do whatever you feel like doing to your hair! As Rihanna puts it, “Who cares what you haters feel?”

Brittany Stringfield Logan is the writer and creator of The Lows and Woes of a Natural Girl she’s into all things nerdy including Star Wars, Star Trek, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels. She is currently featured on Black Girl Nerd’s BGN Girl series and co-hosts the weekly BGN podcast.