Holy Hair, Batman!

I got my hair cut over the past weekend, nothing extreme, just a few inches cut off. I added some highlights, and that was that. The people that I’ve run into have simply passed along a compliment or acknowlege the haircut and keep it moving. This is what sane people do. But of course, there always has to be someone who oversteps their boundaries. A co-worker of mine whom I haven’t seen since before Thanksgiving came up to me a little while ago and said, “Ohmygoodness, you look so great. Let me touch your hair”. She said this with arms outstretched toward my noggin and before she could finish her first sentence her fingers were all up on my scalp feeling the texture of my hair. I actually had to swat her away like I would a mosquito.

I absolutely hate when people do this. It could be after a haircut, or after I do something different to my hair like get braids or *gasp* a weave, but the end result is still the same. Someone always feels the need to touch my head to inspect the work. And the offending party is never ever, neva evah evah a black person. I guess we’re born knowing the rules of hair touching, or we’ve had the same thing happen to us so many times that we wouldn’t dare do something like that. Sometimes, the end result is a bit different–there’s still the inevitable hair touch question, but also the “is that your real hair” “how do they add that to your real hair” interrogation. My friends who have suffered with these questions forever, it’s time we put this to a stop. The madness has got to end. I’ve decided to finally address this subject. So those of you who ask these questions, read closesly.

My inquisitive friends,

Black people have hair. Surprise, I know, but I say this because many of you act like what grows out of our heads is playdoh spaghetti or something. For the most part, the texture is a bit different than yours, but it is still hair nonetheless. Do not ask to touch someone’s hair unless you are very close with that person. Period. Yes, I know the braids look like so much fun, but do.not.touch.our.hair. We don’t go around messing in your dandruff-laden crown when you get your hair done, so please have the same respect for us. Yes, we get dye jobs and cuts just like you.

No matter what style our hair is in, it is ours. We may have purchased some of it, sure, but there is always natural hair involved. You may not be able to get to the natural hair because it is braided up under a sewn in track, but trust me, it is there. Our hair can grow to the same lengths yours does, and a lot of the people you assume have weave in their hair are actually flinging around what God allowed them to grow–no weave, no nothing. If you want to know how extension braids are put in, there are a number of websites you can check out or videos you can watch. It gets really tiring when we have to explain the process 50-11 times and you still look like a deer in headlights. Some of us, myself included, change up our hairstyles quite a few times a year and braids are part of our repetoire. If we’ve been known each other for a few years or we’ve been working together that long, you will see braids more than once. Please do not ask each and every time you see them.

I’ve heard some of you giggle and tiddle about how black people put crisco oil in their hair to moisturize it. Where did you get this? We don’t put vegetable shortening, or lard, or crisco, or butter, or anything of that nature in our hair. Well some people might, but not the majority of us. We use hair moisturizers, not food products, and if you want to know why we need these things according to the chemistry of the keratinous protein makeup of our hair, please ask a cosmetologist. They’d be glad to answer.

We’re glad you’re interested in our hair, and genuinely want to know more about it. But please understand that we get asked questions about our hair and everything involved with it more often than you realize. It gets annoying. But we still love y’all. Don’t be afraid to ask a cosmetologist to explain some things to you or do some of your own research online. Doing so and actually coming to us with a little bit of knowledge before hand really helps and warms our hearts.

Thanks ever so much.


6 thoughts on “Holy Hair, Batman!

  1. Great post! People don’t generally ask to touch my hair, but whenever I bought carrot oil at CVS, which I do use on my hair, the same cashier would start asking me all sorts of questions about what I used it for. She would ask every time!!

  2. I use carrot oil too, but I don’t really consider that a food product lol. But I hate that, sometimes cashiers will be like “And what does this do, and what does that do?” ARRGH!! It can be so frustrating.

  3. I get a lot of questions about how long I’ve had locs and what I do to maintain them, etc. But that didn’t bug me as much as the man on the bus who claimed I had a piece of lint in my hair that he wanted to pull out.

    “I don’t mean nothin’ by it, but you got a piece of lint in your hair, and I don’t want a sistah like you to have that in your hair—” blah, blah, blah. I knew he was trying to touch my head because he would’ve simply said “You have a piece of lint in your hair” and left it like that instead of that long declaration he made.

    I even pulled out my mirror and went to the bathroom when I got to work (to do the look at the back of the head trick) and nothing was there. Just a creepy older guy trying to touch my head. Ewwwwwwwwww.

  4. If he had just said he was interested in your hair, that would have been a little better. People and their lack of basic manners really burns me up!

  5. Being a large, 285 pound man that perpetually looks like he is redy to kill you has certain advantages.

    People are almost never rude to me, peoople never try to take advantage of me, and people never make uninvited physical contact with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s