Stiff, tangled, and dry: A naptural horror story — Just Being Funny By Caribbean Comedian Onicia Muller


A warm body to snuggle against, silky-straight hair – winter was going great until my #1 Cuffing Season draft pick asked me to be “more natural.” What’s more natural than rocking your hair as it grows from your scalp?

“Be more natural.” Humph, I would have traded him mid-season, but finding a new lover in the middle of winter sucks. This relationship had the potential to survive a Hot Girl Summer.

Yes, his “be more natural” idea was like drinking tap water tea ‘cause it’s more natural. That’s a misinformed health kick. But his booty tho –

SPLUNK. I slid my entire body into the bathwater. I felt like Janet Jackson in her ‘Every Time’ music video. I didn’t know anything about hair types, but I knew my naps looked good.

Nubian queen? Who dat? I slept like an all-natural Caucasian countess: No hair products, no twists or braids, and no head wraps or bonnets.

After so many years, I finally discovered my true texture: I’m a combination of type B and C hair – B for brick and C for cement.

Wearing a hat or a scarf was impossible because my afro was a concrete cloud. It was stiffer than a granny’s knees after flying with Spirit Airlines. Stiff like a freshly pressed linen shirt with a triple layer of spray starch. If my hair was any stiffer, it would be a three-month expired corpse at the bottom of a frozen lake.

I needed to restart the process by wetting my entire head, but I did not have time. I had to run errands pretending that my ‘natural urban bush babe’ look was intentional.

It’s unnatural to be natural. Do you eat a salad without dressing? Using body and hair products is like adding oil to a salad – it’s still natural.

For some blacks, using veggies and salad dressing ingredients is the secret to a bomb twist-out. Don’t sleep on yoghurt, avocados, mayo, or apple cider vinegar.

My hair became one big dreadlock after my night as a Caucasian countess. Life Pro Tip: Dreading the LOC method is the method to dread the locs.

There was nothing to do but go outside and face the world. To my horror, the menfolk went crazy. I couldn’t believe how much they dug my au natural look. Most likely they assumed my raggedy appearance meant I’d go with just anyone. But don’t trip, I accept all compliments. I was catcalled so much that day that I became fluent in Meow.

“You look beautiful.” His words were sincere and heartfelt, so I forgave his ignorance. Then I made him stay up six hours while I washed, detangled, and styled my hair.

Shout out to wide-tooth combs and organic coconut oil. You’ll always be my hair MVP.

Award-winning Caribbean comedian, Onicia Muller’s weekly humour column, Just Being Funny is chicken soup for the naive sceptic’s soul. You can hire her to write anything from blogs and newsletters to bathroom poetry funny greeting cards. Join her newsletter for funny stories and stand-up comedy.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

About the author

Onicia Muller