Please Don’t Touch My Hair

I know. I get it. It’s inviting and curly and exotic. What does it feel like? How does it stay like that? What’s in it????

You can ask those questions to me if you have them, but for the love of god, if one more person touches my hair without permission I will freak out. 

(Just a side note: I very rarely deny you if you ask me. If I spent an hour finger curling my hair and you want to mess it up then I’ll say no, but other than that go for it.)

Story time:

Ever since I was little people wanted to touch my hair. I grew up in a predominantly white area, going to predominantly white schools with predominantly white friends and white moms. That’s cool, I don’t mind it. But my hair was always like a rare bird, or like the fuzzy blankets at the store; people couldn’t keep their damn hands off. From peers to parents to teachers, I was used to just feeling hands on my head. “Did ya feel that???” I’d hear as someone played with a ringlet in my ponytail, thinking that I couldn’t feel the hair on my head because…. actually I’m not sure why. 

And then there were the (low-key racist and ignorant) comments that followed. 

“Oh wow! I didn’t think it would be so soft! I thought it would be rough like wool!”

“Wow it looked crunchy but it’s actually so soft how do you do that?”

(Or the less rude, less racist comments that just screamed ignorance)

“What do you put in ‘it’ to make ‘it’ do that?”

I was a really good sport about it, considering how many hands were so close to my face at any given time. It’s super weird, if you think about it, to put your hands on anyone, let alone on anyone’s head. So let’s start this process of learning why that’s just not cool now. 

First and foremost, let’s just put it out there that we should keep our damn hands to ourselves. If you, as an adult, can not control your impulses, then I highly suggest you start learning now. You wouldn’t walk up to someone with straight or wavy hair and touch it, would you? You would say “can I play with your hair?” You wouldn’t just grab on and thrust your hands deep into their hair like you’re mining for gold. So don’t do it to anyone. 

Ask questions, but don’t be a dick. You can ask what I use in my hair (nicely), but don’t ask if it’s real. That’s so f*****g rude I can’t even express it in words. You can ask if it’s always been this curly, or how long it takes to straighten it, but as a general rule you cannot ask me anything you wouldn’t want to be asked. 

Ask every time if you can touch it. Don’t just assume that you are allowed to touch my hair always if I let you touch my hair once. It takes me 2 and a half hours on wash day to wash, detangle, condition, deep condition, condition again, and then style and dry my hair. If I just did that, I don’t want anyone (including my boyfriend, sorry Shaun) touching my hair period

Most importantly, understand that it is not our job to educate you, and we do not have to let you touch our hair. If someone says no, take that as gospel and keep it movin’. You can ask questions, but keep them appropriate and ask in an appropriate space. And if that person doesn’t want to answer, google is free. 

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