Have you ever hung out with a group of friends or acquaintances when the topic of natural hair or YOUR hair specifically became the topic of conversation? Sometimes these natural hair conversations can be funny and empowering, but other times, they can be loaded with words and phrases that have you so side eyed and screwed faced, you’re wondering if you’re just being sensitive! Whether your hair is naturally straight, wavy, curly, or coarse, choosing to wear your hair in it’s natural state doesn’t (or shouldn’t) throw you into some kind of “ all natural women are this way” kind of box. Over the years, I have heard some phrases and comments about me and my hair that people have just flung at me, assuming that I would respond, flattered I suppose, but their remarks just come off sounding kind of…silly. Perhaps you’ve heard a few! Read On!
You must have Indian in your family. This comment has always made me cringe. It just sounds wrong! Lol! When I ask people how they figure “Indian”, the follow up response is usually ”Because you have a good grade of hair and it’s soft”. I typically don’t have the time to sit there and school these people on my family tree and the fact that their statement makes absolutely NO sense, so I usually just give them a card and add CurlyNikki’s website to it. I implore them to visit both sites and learn more about naturally textured hair. My hair is soft because I moisturize and condition, not because I have “Indian Hair”. What the hell? Where do people get this stuff?
I’ve never seen you with your hair uncombed. Doesn’t it just chap your ass to hear someone toss some back handed remark about your hair looking unkempt when you’re sporting a funky looking faux hawk or a fantastic asymmetrical afro that took you HOURS to achieve? Like seriously. (Straight Face) SERIOUSLY. One night while I was feeling myself at the club with my knee high boots and my funky fro, an acquaintance who I hadn’t seen in over a year walked up to me and said those exact words. I grinned and said “No honey, this is very combed, and VERY styled.” She looked very confused, but politely smiled and walked away. All I could do was shake my head and thought to myself ‘Poor lady! She’s so clueless to all of the fabulousness going on under all this hair.’ Lol!
Oh my gawd! Your hair looks like a wig! Nobody would ever believe that it’s all yours! Ok….lol….Thank you? Seriously though, how do you respond to a statement like that? I’ve even had a lady reach over for a quick tug while I was in line at Walmart. I turned around with a string of Jamaican cuss words and found a sheepish looking white lady apologizing and confessing that she thought it was fake. When I asked her what would she have done if it where a wig and she just snatched it off of my head, she answered ” Well, I didn’t think that far into it I guess”. Sigh.
You’re Foxy! As in I’m Foxy Brown Cleopatra…..which I’m not. It drives me nuts when men think that they can reference me to a black actress with an afro, from the 60′s/70′s and expect me to flip in glee or something. Why can’t I just be pretty, or gorgeous, or ME? Other comments referring to me reminding people of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, or Jill Scott don’t cut it either. Though I agree that all of those women are stunning, I respond well to be recognized for being a unique and special human being. I like to think that I am unlike anything or anyone that a person has met. I pride myself on being an individual and want to be approached and treated as such.
I love women with natural hair, because when you see a woman rocking her natural hair, you know that she’s low maintenance. *record scratch* WOOOOOAH! What?!?!?!? Now look, I’m not saying that many naturals aren’t low maintenance,nor am I saying that there’s a problem with being low maintenance, but not ALL naturals are low mainatinance! I can only speak for myself in this situation, but I can certainly say I am more lazy than low maintenance when it comes to my hair. I prefer mini twists and braid outs because I don’t like to comb my hair every day. However, I can be quite high maintenance in every other sense! I’m particular about having pedicured toes at all times, arched eye brows, I insist on using only certain skin and hair care products, and not all of them or cheap. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only natural gal out there that’s like this. I also have friends with relaxed hair (I mean LAYED and shiny) who only care to rock their long, relaxed strands in ponytails, or they cut it short so they don’t have to bother with it! The point I’m making is that it’s dangerous to assume that a woman is or isn’t a particular way just because of the way she wears her hair. Take her out for dinner and drinks before you assume you know everything about her based on the way she wears her hair!