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Curly Nikki

Chance Meetings With Other Curlies

By January 27th, 202156 Comments

Chance Meetings With Other Curlies
Melanie writes:

Hi ladies, just curious to see if anyone else has been in this situation…

My husband and I recently moved to a state where Blacks make up less than one percent of the population. Because of this, my husband makes a conscious effort to greet pretty much every Black person he sees. Normally this is just a simple wave or head nod, but recently we went to the movies and he made such a fuss over seeing a Black ticket person it was almost embarrassing. Anyway, on to my question: As a curly, do you feel a need to connect and acknowledge other curlies you meet on a daily basis? If so, is your greeting warmly welcomed or turn out down right embarrassing? Or maybe you live somewhere where being curly is the norm…?


  • Mauve_Avenger says:

    i don't go out of my way, but i do live in a city with a lot of black people and i go to a school where a lot of the black women are natural. i WILL however stop a lady who's hair is PARTICULARLY fierce. WERK!

  • Unknown says:

    I currently live in Utah. ( I state the word 'currently' implying my intent to leave) I just did a big chop last month after transitioning for 6 months, but fear made me put braids in my hair. I see maybe 3-4 black/africans a week, and almost all the time we talk about hair! "Where did you get your braids done? Who does your hair? Will you braid my hair?" etc, mainly because of the fear of letting some of these white girls with absolute minimal knowledge of black hair in any state, natural or otherwise, touch my hair! There are about 8 beauty/cosmetology schools within a 10 mile radius of where I live, and NOT ONE of these schools teach black hair care. So hair commonality bonding is ALWAYS in order. 🙂

  • Miah says:

    Yes! I have just recently discovered this site and made the decision to go natural this week (after one year of self debating) and now i notice girls with natural curls or protective styles everywhere! Evertime, I always feel the need to say hello and shower them with questions! However, I do refrain from creeping out random people. 🙂

  • Leo the Yardie Chick says:

    In Kingston, I run into as many natural haired women as I do relaxed and weaved women, so it's not a big deal for me – not to put down anyone who lives in an almost Natural-Free zone of the world, though. 🙂

  • Enjoying Joy says:

    I can't help it!! I am always smiling at those that are natural. I don't know if it is that I have been natural for 2 months and this is new to me or what!! But I have the urge to make a connection with the other naturals out there. Some smile back, others look the other way (purposely, I think!) Will this part of me go away? Will I get used to naturals walking around just like everyone else?…Someone respond lol!!

  • Anonymous says:

    @nedra White people DO do it, as well as blondes and people with permed hair. It's a pretty natural human response to see someone with a common characteristic as you and to then reach out to them either for aid or just because its familiar. You see it all the time abroad when Americans will hang out just because the other person speaks English with a familiar dialect. I'm Nigerian-American and have had quite a few Nigerians and Africans come up to me because they see my name or because I apparently "look" Nigerian. (I don't know what it is, but it happens a lot). Sometimes I just explain to them how a word is pronounced, other times, they may become a life long friend.
    It also happens on a hair level amongst all people. You don't know how many times when I was living in isolated New Hampshire that I would hear people asking where the other person got their hair cut or highlighted. Both males and females of every race.
    So its not surprising, especially considering the paucity of natural hair salons, magazines featuring natural hair styles, and people with natural hair that people are going to stop to talk to each other.
    I think its much more self-destructive to be comparing differences (especially with a lack of understanding) and put them in hierarchical order. It's just human nature to communicate with people with a commonality. And even if it wasn't, why subjugate oneself to the mainstream? Why not branch out a make a little bit of culture for oneself?

  • jaimitch says:

    One of the great things about living in D.C. is that every other person is natural or thinking about going natural. I get stopped more and asked questions when I do somethin a little more funky with my hair like a mohawk or when I have style my twists. I have noteced that any and almost every time I wear my afro out every other African gives me her card to braid my hiar. I still don't know how I should feel about that.

  • Renessa says:

    I make it a point to speak to every natural I can. I have been natural for three years (this time) and I am constantly meeting people and learning new things. I feel that sometimes we dont acknowledge one anothers beauty and I think that compliments can go a long way. You have no idea what 30 seconds of conversation can do for another persons day. I was asked to leave a BK drive through once because a curly at the window was asking me questions about my hair and we were talking too long. When I left, I was flattered and she had learned something about her hair. I welcome the conversation and the smiles. I love being a part of this movement of women who love themselves as they were created!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love to give and recieve compliments about natural hair! I live in a predominantly white area, but I've been seeing more and more curly girls lately. I recently started a natural hair group and am trying to get more ladies to participate, so I will definitely be striking up more conversations in the near future.
    Every once in a while, I'll comment/compliment a fellow curly and get the stank-eye in return! That really burns me up! lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I love giving compliments. We as African American female sometimes has a nasty attitude and wonder why the other race treat us so bad… bc we do it to each others. I don't see anything wrong with giving compliments. Especially to another natural sister. You don't know what that person is going through and by you giving that person a compliment, just might uplifted her spirit.

  • Sunshyne says:

    I usually will give other natural sisters an extra smile or maybe even strike up a conversation with them depending on the situation. Where I live, every Black woman in my dept. is natural. Do you know how empowering that is?!? I feel an extra sense of pride when I walk into the office. And the funny part is that we were all natural before we met each other so it wasn't a "fad" or "peer pressure."

  • CocoEuro says:

    I live in Germany so when I see another "black" or "mixed with black" person, they stare, I smile but I don't get any smiles back!! Very strange I know!!! The "black" ladies here are heavy wig and weave wearers!!

  • Ayeshia says:

    Well, I go to TAMU and I BCed the first week of school. Being that blacks make up 3% of the population in College Station (smh), my heart SOARS everytime I see a black natural. As a matter of fact, I met the girl who does my protective styles in a brief exchange of compliments on each other's hair.

    I don't feel I HAVE to do it. I do it because we all need support and it's nice to learn how someone else is doing on THEIR hair journey.

  • Anonymous says:

    I live in NYC and when I see another natural I always say something, or I would just stare at their hair… Last time this girl at the mall just walk up to me and was like OMG i love your hair, she was so friendly my sister taught it was a friend of mine, it was so funny

  • Ms. Sassy says:

    Ha! Never realized I do that until now lol. In fact, I did it tonight to a lady at Lowes. Her hair was pretty and I took notice and talked to her. In my city, I'm seeing more ladies go natural.

  • CoilyRob says:

    I was at a party last night wearing a twist out. I saw another natural wearing beautiful locs. I wanted to say something to her, but I am quite shy. She approached me, and we talked at great lengths about being natural. It was great!

  • Angie says:

    I don't single out natural heads unless I admire their hair, then I will tell them so if appropriate.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am currently transitioning and since I have started reading more about hair and natural products online I have noticed a lot of natural women. I dont know if there is a sudden outbreak of desire to go natural or if I am just noticing because I am learning more. But I always speak and compliment them when I can because I definitely check out their hair and how the rock it. Believe it or not but for the past month or so EVERY SINGLE LADY that I complimented on their hair has given me what appears to be the rudest, meanest, coldest responses they could muster. WOW was all I could say. Now I do not even ask a ton of questions eventhough I want to sometimes about their process, routine, products, etc but I am talking about just a simple compliment. go figure!

  • KeepItMovingDotCom says:

    I like to spread the love. If I see a nice natural and I'm close enough, I definitely pay a compliment. Nothing long winded just, "Love your hair!" and I keep it moving. A lot of times they'll want to talk more: swap tips, blog sites, etc.

  • Breanna says:

    I sometimes will give a natural a compliment, but sometimes I won't. Some females down here, if you look at them to long they might think that you're lesbian and will give you a nasty look. I had this happen one time, this girl I saw had on a outfit that was fly from head to toe, and I wanted to tell her so. But overhead her say why is she looking at me like that I don't swing that way. So I said ok I'll not say anything, it wasn't worth me getting into a fight.

  • Dee says:

    LOL. yeah… if i ever see one i do greet. I live (grew up) in Finland, and i think i've seen approximately 10 naturals in my life out here. so i do feel a major connection when i see one! the black community is kinda small so blacks tend to greet eachother.

  • Anonymous says:

    its funny because when I run into another curly at school, I don't know why but I expect them to give me the nod or look my way and do the whole "I see you pimpin!" wink and a gun type of thing…you know, the same type of black professional nods black people give each other in a professional setting where they are the minority lol…..

    but everytime I'm sitting there waiting for it, no one ever usually says a damn thing haha. So I said to myself: SELF, stop playing yaself. I just have to be confident in how I look and how I am rocking my hair, even if I am the only one with that texture or the only one who 'notices' *shrugs*

  • Ebony says:

    SOMETIMES! But when I DO say 'Hello' or make eye contact there's an unspoken communication that implies that we're "family"!

  • books says:

    When i had dreads it was more common to give a fellow draed a nod. Especially in Toronto where there are actually alot of Rastafarians (a nod greeting is common in their religion) and not just fashion dreads like myself. Now that my hair is loose it doesn't really happen.

  • Breanne says:

    I LOVE reaching out to other women rocking natural hair. It is now a natural part of my day. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Lmao I do it all the time, but not just with naturals i compliment all different hairstyle and textures
    and Camille is rite when i feel pretty low a random compliment makes my day soo much better

  • Kimmy says:

    Ummm….. Not really. I don't act any differently than before when I was relaxed.

  • Camille Janae says:

    I definitely make an effort to speak up if I see a natural hairstyle that I love. I say I make an effort because it does the person no good if you keep the compliment to yourself. But as soon as you verbalize it, you have no idea how it may brighten their day. My hair can get pretty frustrating at times, and whenever I'm out and get compliments on it, it makes me feel so much better. So I feel the need to spread that joy. I do this when it comes to cute clothes and accessories as well.

  • Seriously natural says:

    We live in Colorado and there aren't a lot of us either but there are a lot of curlies here. I say hello becuase that's how we do it also, but I'm usually complimenting them on their hair because I usually love how they are rockin it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think its common courtesy to speak or even acknowlege a person if your going to take an extra long look at their hair. Get over yourself and share your admiration, don't hide behind social norms because all naturals are going AGAINST the norm.

  • PinkGirlFluff says:

    I smile but usually that's all unless some how we strike up a convo which I always welcome. I did the same before I was natural. I love hair! If your hair looks drool worthy than I'm probably going to tell you unless you like mean. lol. From weaves to locks, I don't care. Beautiful hair is beautiful hair!

    My Mom was just recently telling me how she met this young white guy with this awesome curly fro. She complimented his hair and he said that he was so appreciative because he gets made fun of a lot because of his hair.

    Everyone loves a compliment and I think that a good person loves to give them! It's a snack for the soul!

  • Blutopaz says:

    I don't make a point of greeting natural haired ladies, mostly because I live in NYC and I would probably be acknowleding people all day. Every once in a while I'll see a style/texture that will stop me in my tracks and I have to tell them how gorgeous their hair is.

    And the funny thing is, almost each time I've done it they were so helpful in sharing information even without being asked. I have found such a friendliness among us-I told one older woman in the bss how beautiful her thick curls were and she told me she had just came from Miss Jessie's, and she even showed me the corksrew curlers in her bag that she just purchased to maintain her style. Another lady whose afro I admired in the supermarket told me all about the natural hair line she uses. And I was so flattered when another lady on the subway asked me how do I take care of my hair, because she is considering never getting another relaxer. Esp. when she said 'your hair is so thick'–me, who has fought with fine, thin hair all my relaxed life being admired for my own thick hair. Wow.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that for a lot of people, acknowledging other black people with a smile or nod is pretty normal, although I've noticed that in some parts of the country, it isn't returned. I was raised in the South, and I feel as though black people with southern roots are more likely to greet each other (so in my experience, people in Detroit, Chicago, and DC are pretty friendly). When I moved to Boston to college, they were not. Same has been true on the West Coast. I think it also matters if the people in question have American roots, b/c I don't get smiles back when the people in question are black but not American.
    At any rate, even when relaxed, if I was looking for a hairdresser and same someone with really nice, possibly relaxed hair that was long and thick like mine, I'd stop them and ask for the info. Most people are okay with that, esp. since it is a copmliment to them and/or their hairdresser.
    I think that EVERYONE compliments people for things that they either do or don't have. I compliment other women for their bags, clothes, and shoes if I really like what they have, and if I was in the market for a hairdresser and had no local black acquaintances, I'd totally ask another black woman that I saw.
    It's not even about natural vs. relaxed, it's just about finding something that you want or need and asking the person that is more likely to be able to answer your question (so my white or Asian co-workers advice about hair salons would be useless to me.)

  • Anonymous says:

    In H-town(Houston) there are lots of curlies, but sometimes I do feel the need to reach out to another curly.

  • Bitty Boss says:

    I ALWAYS compliment my fellow curlies! Whether she be white, black, or any other "race" it keeps us uplifted and positive in a world where straight hair is the beauty standard. Sometimes that curly sis may be having a bad day or feel self-conscious about their glory. That is when I feel a compliment can go a loooonng way.

  • Anonymous says:

    I try to compliment all hairstyles I find appealing. It could be a hair color, sew in, braids, roller set, wrap, natural do whatever I like I try to be open to telling other women how I'm feeling. I do feel a special connection to natural haired women for whatever reason.

  • Anonymous says:


    I do make it a point to nod or speak to other curlies when I see them. Or at minimum give them and encouraging smile. My smile or method of acknowledgement is usually returned. I have only one exception and that was when I saw a 20 something curly recently (I'm in my 50's) and she looked at as if to say she couldn't believe it (and not in a good way). Younger curlies must realize THIS has been attempted before. I as an older curly appreciate the new energy and commitment I see in young women carving a natural method of beauty in new ways but please note it's not new territory.

    My older sister sent me this poem…

    Should I lose faith in my Ability to succeed, I need only remember that I walk in the footsteps of sisters who endured and overcame for me. written by Carol Joy

  • Simply Naturel says:

    I usually greet all my natural headed sisters, either with a smile or a compliment. Most if not all of them receive it well and greet me back. I think that it is a great idea to welcome the idea of being natural by not only rocking what God gave us, but also by showing acknowledgment to fellow natural woman alike. The support is very encouraging and sometimes great info is acquired in the process.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nope, unless her hair or bag really moves me. I may say something like "Hey, cute hair." or "Nice bag". It doesn't have to be kinky, she doesn't have to be black. LOL, I'm not in a Kinky gang or anything. -AishaSaidIt

  • Anonymous says:

    I will compliment all sorts of nice looking hair. It doesn't have to be natural or even curly.

  • Jeannette says:

    If I feel a connection with that natural person, then I will comment on her hair. But I try to make connections with everyone I meet. Other naturals have embraced me and the comments I've made but again, I determine the connection if I like the person I am speaking to.

  • Anonymous says:

    If i see another natural rocking a bad ass style i'll compliment her…
    Or if i like her hair…i'll tell her…

  • Fia says:

    I lived in Utah for 10 years, and I just recently started my transition to natural. It's less than 1 percent black, and it was common practice to stop other black women (relaxed, natural, braided or whatever) just to find out about their hair. Or just to introduce yourself. I don't see anything wrong with celebrating each other's beauty. I think as black women, we should do that more often.

  • Jarmelia says:

    If see something on ANYONE that I like I'll comment if appropriate. Where I live I see a lot curlies and I would be "nodding" all day if I nodded at all of them.

    Honestly, my hair isn't on my mind that much and I am usually distracted with whatever I went to the store, park, class, etc. for to be concerned with acknowledging hair.

    If it's nice and catches my eye, I may say something but, I don't go out of my way to do it.

  • Jarmelia says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Jarmelia says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • vonnie of socialite dreams says:

    we usually share a smile. sometimes i've had another curly come up and say "i love your hair!" with a wink and i'll definitely compliment lots of naturals that I see as well. feels good 🙂 My favorite was last new years eve i was at a party and this other natural and i locked eyes then broke into a huge smile and met up in the middle of the dance floor to talk, me exclaiming over her pretty huge sequin flower thingy and she was gushing over my nye headpiece. we were like bffs for the 10 minutes we chatted, lol, it was nice


  • Bree says:

    Honestly no, I just don't think it is that serious personally, then again my campus/city has quite a few curly girls but I don't go out of my way daily to introduce myself or say hi. Now I might linger, stare and get up the nerve to ask a fellow natural a question if their hair just looks amazing and in a style I want to imitate but other than that I greet everyone the same curly or not, black or not.

  • Anonymous says:

    It depends, I have on occasion commented on a “natural hair” beauty’s hair. Since I am growing out my TWA after a year of being natural, I am looking to accessorize and play with my hair more so I have asked ladies how they pulled off the look. It the same as watching a tutorial from various blogs or sites or googling a technigue. Some people are not approachable regardless of hair choice so I have also refrained. I am 38 and not trying to form lasting friendships but I see nothing wrong with complimenting a person’s hair and asking about products used to pull off the look. I have had others compliment and ask me the same and I love that others were inspired by my hair. Before braids got to be as big as they are, the main marketing tool was “word of mouth” or through people who was sporting the look and we did not hesitate to ask about “girl, who did your hair” and “how much she charged”

  • sarah says:

    actually, nedra, white people/blondes/permed heads do it too. i think it's more destructive to not do something because you think no one else is doing it, especially when it is something as small as giving out a compliment or acknowledgement. it's okay to do that.

  • Anonymous says:

    I, personally don't always feel compelled to do it, but don't see anything wrong with others who do. There is a compelling historical basis for the emotions which cause those who think they should to feel that way. Whites and blondes don't have that history. Other may perceive this as being exclusionary to others, but I think that's a mistaken perception. I think those who do this are trying to show support and respect for others who decided to "go against the grain" of what society encourages us to view as beautiful. Permed hair women wouldnt feel the desire to acknowledge each other because straightening the hair allows one to be closer to the accepted image of beauty. Not that all ladies who perm do so to achieve acceptance.

  • Anonymous says:

    A couple of weeks ago, at the doctor's office, while checking out one nurse gets my attention…she had a twist out and I had twists! We gave each other the "get it gurl" nod! LOL The other nurses laughed and said, "Oh, its the hair, right?!"

    I've had a couple of experiences like that…nothing embarrassing, just giving natural love!

    And, no, I don't speak to folks based on hairstyles…SMH. But, sometimes it's nice to get acknowledgement from one who "understands" .


  • nykegodess says:

    There aren't lots of Blacks where I live, if I do see on, I look at her a bit longer than usual, if she smiles, I smile back. If not I move on.

    My hair is usually in braids or a frizzy short afro. No weaves or chemicals for me. I really don't care if it is frizzy, it is my hair!

    Relaxers didn't bother me (I am African) till I married my husband who is white and it felt like I was trying to imitate his hair. lol I have my mad curly hair or braids, DD has her better defined curls and DH has his straight hair. That is the way it is.

    hehehe the pic is me b4 i got married hence stopped relaxer. 😀

  • nedra says:

    No. White people dont do it, blondes dont do it, and people with permed hair dont do it… so why should we? I wish we'd stop trying to separate ourselved from the rest of the world and what they do… it's self destructive

  • KC says:

    I do find myself ogling other naturals' hairstyles. It's like when you get a new car and notice that everyone seems to drive the same model LOL. I am especially in awe of the different hairstyles I see at my church (which is pretty large).

  • Califabulous says:

    I may take an extra peek and acknowledge the style and I am quick to give a compliment but I don't normally speak to others simply based on natural hair-no dis-I just don't do it.

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