Do NOT Touch My Hair!
Why not?! I truly believe natural black women have taken this stance way too far! When I hear black women with this attitude, I don’t feel like they are preserving their blackness, instead they are making it appear that their hair is better than someone else’s. What makes your hair more untouchable than the next persons? People want to touch you hair because they like it or really just like hair. Me, myself am a hair fanatic! To the freaking core, do you hear me! I love hair, all kinds of hair, different textures, lengths, colors and styles…all of it. I am simply infatuated with hair and always have been. There are times when I see someone with a really neat hair style that I feel compelled to investigate. I don’t desire to ask about their hair because of their race or ethnicity or what their hair style may represent, I am simply intrigued by it and want to know how it feels and/or how they accomplished their look! I had a male coworker who always wore the most awesome frohawks, or whatever style it is called when the front bang has a lot of height and volume. Every time he switched up gels and pomades to achieve his look, I touched it to see whether it was crunchy, sticky or a product that I may want to try (I was rocking the Halle Berry pixie cut at the time). Of course I asked permission to touch his hair, then I would proceed to pet him, chat about it and move on with my day. He actually enjoyed having his head rubbed, no pun intended. Sometimes I’m drawn to people’s hair who have styles and textures that I simply cannot achieve. It’s gorgeous to me! It doesn’t mean I secretly hate their hair or am jealous over it, I just like it! Feeling the urge to touch someone’s hair is no different than seeing a wool sweater in a store and trying it on to see if it’s soft or scratchy and whether or not you need to wear a cami underneath it. That is all, nothing more and nothing less!
People ask to touch my hair all the time and I say go for it! In fact, I enjoy it. I enjoy the compliment, the positive interaction and the opportunity to exchange hair talk. My man tells me all the time that I was blessed with beautiful hair and it’s a nice trait that I have. Plus, people kindly remind me every day that not everybody has hair like the JuFro (please note this is not a derogatory term and has absolutely nothing to do with the Jewish culture, it is my hair’s name, thank you, and yes, she has a name). I have not felt negative stereotypes being a black woman with my natural hair, but admit there are a very few select people who look at me awkward when I am wearing my Pam Grier afro. Other than that, I am showered with compliments on a daily basis. My former boss and another coworker joked with me on two separate occasions that their daughters want hair like mine and were upset that they couldn’t get their hair to curl; they were white. I wasn’t offended or thought they were being racist, it was hysterical! Especially after hearing their stories of how they tried to explain to their daughters why it’s not possible. I think one of the problems is most black women hate their own hair so much that they assume others do too, but I digress… Everywhere I go, my hair winds up being the main topic of conversation, and not by my choice, just from other people’s observations. I find myself in so many hair conversations that I made a group on Facebook. People think I started talking about my hair when I went natural, but that is not the case. This is not new for me. I was that child who would have a full blown temper tantrum and not go to school if my hair was not done and frizz was under control. Whether my hair was straight or relaxed, long or short, curly or in a thick afro, my hair has been in the spotlight. When it was long people wanted to touch it, when it was short and colored with a tapered neckline, people wanted to touch it and when I went natural people really wanted to touch it. I realize that black hair is different from most people on the entire planet earth. So why are we so alarmed that people are intrigued by it? They are not secretly hating your hair by taking the time to touch your hair, they are in awe of it. And not to be too harsh, but they are probably shocked to see a black woman wearing her own hair! I mean let’s be real. The moment we stop acting like our own hair is an anomaly, will be the moment it is more widely accepted, just my opinion anyway.
Of course those people who are rude and feel entitled to grope your hair need to have several seats, but that’s their problem, not yours. Don’t allow a few rude people who do not know how to keep their hands to themselves make you become some hair snob. I’d imagine this is how pregnant women feel. People love a big, beautiful baby bump and want to rub it up and down and all around. It’s amazing and the symbol of life. Some women couldn’t care less if you touched their belly while other women wouldn’t want you to touch them with a stick. However, I would think that pregnant women appreciate people asking them versus violating their privacy. And in turn it’s okay if she says no. It’s her prerogative and she should not be judged! I just say all of this to say, stop taking yourself and your hair so seriously when people want to touch your kinky, curly, coiled, thick, luscious, exotic looking locks. It is truly not that deep and you seriously need to get over yourself and accept the compliment and give them a friendly hair flip. Yea, I said it. Bite me.