Natural Hair Rant

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Natural Hair Rant

Post by fuzzypuff on 21st March 2011, 12:00 pm

Hi Ladies!

I'm coming out of lurkdom to post my very first topic. And it's a post where I have to let off some steam. Hope ya'll don't mind too much, because I'm sure it's been covered before, and it's a little lengthy.

I've been natural for 8 years and it was a personal choice to do so. I have no problems with perms, weaves, texturizers, texlaxing, jheri curls, permanent color, etc. It's your head, do you Boo. I've just started to take care of my hair and truly understand it. I've also started to read some hair blogs and scroll through forums. And to me (this is my opinion only) I'm noticing a slightly holier than thou attitude from some naturals. "Don't touch my hair / don't ask me no questions about my hair / accept my hair or else / don't LOOK at my hair / if you perm you're a sinner / you ain't natural if you color / to be natural is to love all things great and small, conform to the popular opinion or burn in Hell" Ok, that last part may have been overkill, but do you get my drift?

It's becoming too much for me. When I read posts that go something like this (totally made up by the way, but very similar):

Original Poster: There was this one girl who came up to me and asked if she could touch my hair, I about flipped OUT and said Hell to the NAW, I don't know where your hands have been!!!!

I can't help but to get a little sad and disappointed. What if that sista was simply curious, or totally digging your hair? What if she had been admiring you from a distance, got up the courage to break the ice and indirectly compliment your awesome fro? What if she was drooling over how soft / fly it looked and just was dying to experience it up close? This may not be true for all people and all situations. I understand this. And some people are really iffy about people invading their personal space. But what IF? I had my own personal experience with a coworker last week that went like this:

Coworker: Erika, can I ask you a question?
Me: Sure.
CW: Why do you wear your hair like that? *Note: My hair was in twists that day, hanging down and swinging all over the place, but still professional. This COULD have been the perfect opportunity to tell her about herself, but instead...
Me: What makes you ask that?
CW: I really like your hair. Were you scared of going natural?

THIS RIGHT HERE made my day. Instead of cursing ol girl out, I'm GLAD I asked her a question back because I am currently giving her the support she needs to try to transition to being natural herself. The point of my post I guess is to wonder: Why have we stopped listening? Why are we (naturals) starting to become so....militant? Are we inadvertantly driving people?

I know this was long and I rambled. But basically I'm interested in knowing if any other ladies have experienced a situation like my own? Or, if you are one of the Don't Touch Me's (and I mean absolutely NO HARM in saying that), have you ever wondered if your approach could have potentially turned someone off of natural hair? Thanks for listening.
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Curly Film Chick on 21st March 2011, 12:13 pm

I've actually noticed this too and I think it's a good question you bring up.

I've actually let people touch my hair. i work with children of color and the girls always talk about having "good hair" or manageable hair and I'm one of only women without a relaxer or with a lot of hair and who wears it curly and big and "poofy" as they like to call it. They ask to touch it and I let them because I see no harm in it.

A couple of natural women have stopped me in the street and have been bold enough to ask if they can touch my hair and I've let them. I mean I do think to myself I don't knw where their hands have been, but then I know I can just wash my hair later Very Happy

I don't really see an issue and I think this helps the natural movement. But it's up to discretion. I don't want to be "petted" if you know what I mean.
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Madeaj on 21st March 2011, 12:16 pm

Great post. I feel the same way. I have seen many a natural I wish I had the guts to ask if I could touch their hair. I even have wipes in my purse. A couple of times though, I did get into a conversation with another natural and I bet we looked a right sight standing there in the supermarket touching each others hair. lol We talked about hair techniques and products. That was when I first went natural and she turned me on to the Suave products. Suave has been part of my staple products ever since. I always have one or more bottles.

I try to be open to conversations like that. I figure as long as they ask I don't mind so much. I hate someone (an adult) to just touch without asking. Little kids I don't mind so much. They are usually just curious.
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by fuzzypuff on 21st March 2011, 12:29 pm

@Curly Film Chick: I agree, petting is definately a no-no. My grandmother does that and I give her the evil eye sometimes LOL

@Madeaj: Your supermarket conversation was funny. I actually saw a couple of women touching hair in Target and I knew EXACTLY what was going on!
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 21st March 2011, 12:49 pm

Fuzzy Puff! I'm sorry, we don't know each other but "Fuzzy Puff" is fun to say to me, lol. Anywho. I certainly see where you are coming from. Like when people get mad when someone refers to their hair as "nappy" or they act like they've never heard certain colloquialisms used to describe our hair. Like seriously, you ain' never heard of bb's or taco meat?? Neutral scratch But back to your question. I don't like it when strange people just walk up to me and just touch ANY part of my body, hair included, without asking. That's a violation. Flag on the play. Gratuitous touching has made me nervous all my life. Its one thing if you ask or are having a convo with me and are genuinely curious as opposed to just trying to prove a point (some people will put money down to say "nappy" hair can't be soft Rolling Eyes), get your perv on, or just being an @sshole. All have happened to me and I am still in transition. I don't know what it'll be like when I have all "good" hair. Its flattering in a way but sometimes I just want my space. I'm always up for some Q & A though. Very Happy
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by creolebeauty1 on 21st March 2011, 12:55 pm

I agree i have noticed that but i must say i think most people have a problem with it if the person just grab their hair without asking first , i now noticed so many naturals and it makes me smile an i want to converse with them all lol , however you right we (me included) should not assume that most people commenting on our hair are being negative listen before assuming since i have been natural i have been sort of on rocks waiting for someone to diss my hair so i can put them in their place but i should take comments for what they are not what i think they may be
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by BrownSkinDiva on 21st March 2011, 1:01 pm

@creaolebeauty1 I definitely agree, my personal issue is when people just reach out and grab my hair. It reminds me of what my friend told me about when she was pregnant, she said people would just walk up to her and rub her stomach, friends, family, and perfect strangers, and thats a bit obtrusive. Thats exactly how I feel about my hair, if you ask to touch it then thats different, but just reaching out grabbing/rubbing/yanking, thats not acceptable for me.
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by creolebeauty1 on 21st March 2011, 1:03 pm

if there is yanking i will be punching lol jk
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 21st March 2011, 1:09 pm

creolebeauty1 wrote:if there is yanking i will be punching lol jk

LOL! I heard that. YOU HAIR IS SOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by creolebeauty1 on 21st March 2011, 1:11 pm

Thank you i tried the curlenhancing smoothie in the front and ended up with a shruken do lol shrinkage is a beast lol
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Luscious Mahogany on 21st March 2011, 1:16 pm

@Fuzzypuff, this is a great post. I work in an office and area where its almost like some of them have never been out in America to see that things are not just black and white. I mean if they see interracial couples some of them are so oblivious to them existing. I have two jobs, part time cosmetologist at a salon, so I am always changing my hair so the questions I deal with on a regular especially when I come to my full time job with a different look. I have had different types of weave, colors, and styles included...I have stood out among my white coworkers, period. Dealing with this population of staff too some getting used to because I've never been one to be comfortable with people all up in my space or to just reach out and touch my hair. But educating them, Yes that I do on a constant basis and I enjoy it because I gain knowledge and then teach them some dos and don'ts with black women or biracial women and hair. Now I don't mind if someone asks to touch my hair before just reaching and doing so, that as Ambitious_Tiff said is a violation and when it has happened the facial expresssion on my face let them know. But once again I had to educate them that its not alright to just walk up to people an do that! Now as far as some of the natural sistas out there being abrasive and offended I don't know what that's about because I'm sure at some point they asked another natural to touch their hair or asked a question about their hair, some of them need to just chill and cease the opportunity to possible enlighen someone!!
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Luscious Mahogany on 21st March 2011, 1:18 pm

creolebeauty1 wrote:if there is yanking i will be punching lol jk

Yes girl now I won't be kidding on that one, don't yank my hair unless invited to if you know what I mean!!
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by fuzzypuff on 21st March 2011, 1:33 pm

@ Ambitious_Tiff: Girl, you funny, "flag on play" I understand where you're coming from. I can see how random fondling would put permanent guards up. I have never experienced that though, so I can't speak from experience. I'm sure if someone randomly touched me, I would cop an attitude

@creolebeauty1 and BrownSkinDiva: Ladies, thank you for your comments. Creolebeauty1, this comment: since i have been natural i have been sort of on rocks waiting for someone to diss my hair so i can put them in their place made me smile because when I first went natural I was so defensive! I was mugging people on the street when I first rocked my TWA. I've calmed down a lot since those days LOL
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by fuzzypuff on 21st March 2011, 1:45 pm

@Luscious Mahogany: Since you change your hair a lot, do your coworkers questions ever get on your nerves? If so, how do you handle it?
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Life.of.Riley on 21st March 2011, 2:10 pm

Thank you for this post fuzzypuff (and all of the ladies who replied). I have been natural for about 3 months and transistioned for 2 years (last relaxer 12/08). I have so many questions when I see a natural out on the street but some of the comments I read on blogs makes me a little scared to say anything. I don't want to say the wrong thing so I keep my poinions to myself. It is nice to know all naturals don't feel that way.
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Luscious Mahogany on 21st March 2011, 2:25 pm

@Fuzzypuff, yes sometimes it did get on my nerves because it would be questions like now is that a weave or a wig? Or exclamations like "Wow you changed your hair again...I just go with it mostly because I know they don't know any better and I tell them its ok to ask certain questions like is it a wig or weave TO ME but to not go in the community asking someone else that because they will get offended, I tell them, you can't be outting someone's weave or wig like that lol! But now since I've been rocking my growing TWA without my hair changing much at all I don't get alot of the questions, got ALOT of stares and questionable looks but they know me I Don't care I do me ALWAYS!! I'm sure as it grows and gets bigger oh the questions and wanting to touch will be back lol!!

@Life.of.Riley, Welcome girl, I'm a Philly girl too, but my body is in Harrisburg Neutral
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by elitebeauty13 on 21st March 2011, 3:09 pm

I definitely see a lot of foolery on hair boards and forums concerning the attitudes of some women with natural hair. I hate to admit it, but I can be guilty of some of these behaviors from time to time. Now that I am aware of my standoffish attitude, I am learning to check myself because I know that it has a lot to do with some insecurities I have with myself.

ETA: I don't mind talking hair and letting people touch my hair if I feel they are genuinely interested. But if I feel they are trying to mock or embarrass me in some way they will get the side-eye and probably a few choice words. I'm a work in progress. Any advice on how to deal with situations when the conversation has taken a turn for the worse?
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 21st March 2011, 3:29 pm

elitebeauty13 wrote:I definitely see a lot of foolery on hair boards and forums concerning the attitudes of some women with natural hair. I hate to admit it, but I can be guilty of some of these behaviors from time to time. Now that I am aware of my standoffish attitude, I am learning to check myself because I know that it has a lot to do with some insecurities I have with myself.

ETA: I don't mind talking hair and letting people touch my hair if I feel they are genuinely interested. But if I feel they are trying to mock or embarrass me in some way they will get the side-eye and probably a few choice words. I'm a work in progress. Any advice on how to deal with situations when the conversation has taken a turn for the worse?

I have been in some situations where it has gotten ugly. I think you should react based on the person and what is being said. Most people know not to try and joke too hard b/c I love to play the dozens. We can get it. I hate to say that but sometimes you have to embarrass people for trying to embarrass you. Its not neccessarily pc but its effective. Sometimes taking the high road works better. But like I said, I like to strike back. Wink I learned very quickly to never just let people slide with that. They will just keep up the bs. Lol, if all else fails, ask them if they have a problem with God's work. That always changes their tune.
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by fuzzypuff on 21st March 2011, 3:33 pm

@Life.of.Riley: Congrats on taking the natural plunge. I have been lurking on a few hair sites and have consistently found that curlynikki.com has a community full of supportive and genuine women. I'm getting a little more comfortable with replying to people and learning about techniques / concerns for natural hair. Feel free to ask questions; I would but someone usually beats me to it, and all I have to do is read the responses LOL

@Luscious Mahagony: Wig / weave outting is a DEFINATE no-no. Insert evil side eye here! BTW, I love your hair color.

@Elitebeauty13: Any advice on how to deal with situations when the conversation has taken a turn for the worse? This is a good question....I'm interested in hearing if anyone has encountered a situation gone bad
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Luscious Mahogany on 21st March 2011, 4:05 pm

@Fuzzypuff, Thanks Girl!!
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by CarlaAR on 21st March 2011, 5:15 pm

That is a good question. I don't see why on Earth someone asking to touch my hair would cause me to "flip out". I don't have a hot temper, so that could be part of it. If it was a homeless man with black/dirty hands and the smell of booze on his breath asking me, I would say NO and just quickly walk away.

I have had co-workers, fellow gym rats, neighbors, etc ask me about my hair not because they are vicious, but simply curious. Nothing more.
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by elitebeauty13 on 21st March 2011, 5:44 pm

Ambitious_Tiff wrote:
elitebeauty13 wrote:I definitely see a lot of foolery on hair boards and forums concerning the attitudes of some women with natural hair. I hate to admit it, but I can be guilty of some of these behaviors from time to time. Now that I am aware of my standoffish attitude, I am learning to check myself because I know that it has a lot to do with some insecurities I have with myself.

ETA: I don't mind talking hair and letting people touch my hair if I feel they are genuinely interested. But if I feel they are trying to mock or embarrass me in some way they will get the side-eye and probably a few choice words. I'm a work in progress. Any advice on how to deal with situations when the conversation has taken a turn for the worse?

I have been in some situations where it has gotten ugly. I think you should react based on the person and what is being said. Most people know not to try and joke too hard b/c I love to play the dozens. We can get it. I hate to say that but sometimes you have to embarrass people for trying to embarrass you. Its not neccessarily pc but its effective. Sometimes taking the high road works better. But like I said, I like to strike back. Wink I learned very quickly to never just let people slide with that. They will just keep up the bs. Lol, if all else fails, ask them if they have a problem with God's work. That always changes their tune.

I've always been one to strike back, but I'm trying to tone it down now and be more tactful with my response to people. I really don't want my kids to see me getting in a frenzy over hair. You're right I can simply ask people if they have a problem with God's work. I know that will have them backing away quickly...lol. Thanks Tiff
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 21st March 2011, 5:56 pm

Lol, no problem. People always look at me like I am going to smite them when I say that. Razz
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by creolebeauty1 on 21st March 2011, 6:12 pm

Yes girl now I won't be kidding on that one, don't yank my hair unless invited to if you know what I mean!!
LMAO that was funny @lucious i know right that's the only yanking i need lol
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

Post by creolebeauty1 on 21st March 2011, 6:14 pm

@fuzzypuff yep i been mugging people lately if they look at me for to long lol
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Re: Natural Hair Rant

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