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Curly Nikki

Excuse Me, Are Your Boobs Real?

By January 27th, 202157 Comments

Excuse Me, Are Your Boobs Real?

Phoenyx Austin, M.D.

Ok ladies, the headline of my post was kinda meant to grab your attention. We’re not really talking about boobs today on CurlyNikki- at least not directly. LOL.

So why did I mention boobs? Well let me give you the boob-backstory:

This weekend, while taking time out to celebrating my birthday (yay!) and pondering life questions like – “Man, why couldn’t I have known what I know now at 20?” – I also had the pleasure of winding up in a highly controversial conversation about hair- more specifically whether it’s “rude to ask a woman if her hair is real.”

I’ve been asked this question a bit- especially after going natural. And a young lady (also natural), who brought up the topic, said that asking someone if their hair is “real” is the equivalent of “walking up to a random stranger and asking if her boobs were real.” Furthermore, she believed the question is sometimes asked not out of genuine curiosity- but rather to embarrass a woman.

So while I would definitely see why the “are your boobs real” question is worthy of a not so gracious response- especially if the question was asked maliciously- I wonder if many others think the “is that your hair” question is always worthy of a “are you serious right now?” type reaction.

And not everyone thinks the question is rude or worthy of an embarrassed reaction. For instance, a girlfriend of mine said women who do wear weave/wigs/extensions should proudly respond to this type of question with: “yeah, it’s mine- I got the receipt for it!”

So do you think it’s rude or tacky to ask a woman if her hair is really hers?

Would you be offended if someone asked you if your hair was yours? Have you ever been asked this question? How did you respond?

Liked this article and want to ask Dr. Phoenyx Austin a question or leave a comment? You can find her on Facebook where she offers advice on natural hair and wellness- and you can also find her on Twitter @Dr_Phoenyx!


  • Chelle says:

    I have really beautiful hair, for someone to ask me if it's real or not is insulting. For offerings its none if your business and two I am insulted because if you have to question it you already thi.k it's not mine.

  • ElanV says:

    It is very sad that many have no understanding of civil and polite discourse. As individuas, feel no compulsion to satisfy the idle inquisitive interest of another in our concerns.

  • Anonymous says:

    i am never offended…it makes me laugh…i especially love when i am asked where i bought my hair…or what brand hair do i buy…it tickles me…lol…

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been asked many times in my life if my hair is real due to the fact that I have such thick hair on my hair. I guess the stereotypes associated with black women is we cant have long or thick hair and if we do we are mixed or we are wearing a weave. I personally do not feel offered when people ask because it makes me feel like I am sharing the truth with the world that yes long hair and thick hair is possible for black women. Like stated above so many people are curious about black hair because many honestly know nothing about it. So don"t be offended, enlighten people and hope that they have learned something new and will cease to carry that ignorance with them.

  • Aisha says:

    It's rude no matter who does it, and I seee it as just another way of disgracing Black women and taking shots at our femininity.

  • Anonymous says:

    I get asked the question all the time. Naturals need to remember that most black women DO NOT wear their hair in the natural state. And most who do SEEM to have natural hair are wearing weaves. So it really is curiosity. I've never been offended by the question. And I'm always happy to tell people that it is my hair. It lets them see what is possible. And maybe they'll join our ranks. 🙂

  • Naomi says:

    I don't have particularly thick hair, and the shrinkage on my 4a hair is killer, but still I have had people ask to touch my hair, or how I achieved a style. What makes me laugh is the look of astonishment when they find out that my hair is soft. Like it should feel like a brillo pad or something just because I'm natural *rolls eyes* and then they proceed to ask me what products I used to achieve softness. I name products I use to keep moisturized, but none of them make my hair "soft", because it is that way naturally. Surprise, surprise!

    I actually will not mind being asked if my hair is mine, because I'll always proudly say yes. Even the weave checking, because that means they think my hair looks so good, it has to be called to be questioned. Yes it is sad that us as Black women find it hard to believe that our race can have beautiful, full hair, no matter the texture, but it is what it is. We just have to keep proving them wrong one by one 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes!I get asked this question all the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that since the hotcomb was invented, most black women have straightened or relaxed their hair. Except for a short time during the 60s, black women have presented a straight look and more recently an overabundance of fake straight hair. As a result, the world has pretty much only seen that type of hair in black women.
    Therefore, I am not surprised that a black woman with straight hair would not be asked this question vs. one with totally natural and very full hair. Unfortunately, many of US have never seen natural hair on a black woman, therefore, the question will often be posed BY one of us.

    Totally not surprising.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it can be rude or an expression of curiosity. I think the way to root out whether a person is being rude/curious is to just be polite/civil in your response and then see how the person who asked reacts.

    For example, one time I was rocking a weave and a black woman asked me "Is that your hair? Where did you get it from?" I simply replied. "Yeah, it's mine! I bought it at Lugo's- they have shops in Brooklyn and on the east side in Manhattan." The lady shriveled up & went away; she was trying to be rude/embarrass me and her response showed that.

    Another lady saw me in the restroom at work. She and I had said hello to each other casually a few times and exchanged smiles. I was wearing my hair in a puff & she shyly said: "Your hair looks wonderful. May I ask, is that…is that a piece?" I told her it was not and she proceeded to ask me what I did to my hair to achieve the look. Her response (and the way she asked) told me that she wasn't trying to be rude/embarrass, she was curious.

    Bottom line: Keep your dignity and other people will show theirs (or the lack thereof).

  • ThisOwl says:

    Everything takes time and soon these times will come to pass. In the future, (as it should have always been)it will be normal to see black people who embrace all types of textures with healthy, beautiful luscious hair whether it's long or short. For now people will be curious and or skeptical and I think that's okay because things take time. With that being said, I wouldn't see a problem if someone asked if my hair was real but I will never ask anyone that question because quite frankly I couldn't care less. Whether fake or real, as long as your hair looks great or as long as you feel good about it then nothing else matters.

  • Nads says:

    I got asked this question the other day walking to work. By a police officer at that. He stopped me and I was like oh crap, what did I do?! And then he said is that really your hair? (it was a huge fro at the time) and I just smiled and said yes. And he responded, that's awesome! I usually take it as a compliment if anything and don't find it offensive. And if someone was trying to be rude about it I'd probably be like yup it s mine, is yours?! Like hello, don't hate cause my hair looks good. Go natural and yours can look good too! Hahaha!

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think people ever questioned if my hair was real. The only question I often receive about my hair is whether or not my curls or natural or texturized? I have a serious mixture of hair types 3b, 3c, and 4a. Some people will stop and stare, while giving me curious looks that make me wonder if they think my hair is texturized. Other folks will ask me, "How you get your hair to look like that?" When I receive that question I'm often confused because I'm thinking to myself, "I washed it…that's how!" Then, I tell them that it is simply a wash 'n go and they are often shocked for some reason.

    Unfortunately, many Black folks and some non-Black folks believe that natural Black hair should look like an afro. They don't understand that natural Black hair is truly diverse and unique. Hopefully, people will buy a clue soon enough!

  • naturallady9 says:

    ppl ask me that alll the time. i say yes its mine and keep it moving. funny story: When I was in highschool this girl came up to me and asked me if my hair was mine. i said yeah its genetics and she asked where they sell that at. smh!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Because my hair is "real" I certainly don't get upset if asked. If I had a weave I'd probably feel differently.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never got offended by someone asking if my hair was real. I do however always get a great deal of satisfaction in telling said person that my hair indeed is real and mine. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I find that some people don't know how to COMPLIMENT, while others just want to put you in a BOX.

    I'm not a stereotype. I'm a UNIQUE individual. If you like my hair, then just say so. Don't assume it's a weave, b/c I'm black.

    I had a coworker yell down the hallway (older female Caucasian) "Hey, is that your REAL hair?" Now, other coworkers are looking at me, waiting for me to respond. I looked at her calmly and said, "Why would you ask me something like that? I don't think that's very nice." Then she proceeded with, "Oh sorry, I just thought your hair looked really pretty."
    And I told her, "Then, that's all you had to say."

    If my hair is pretty, then just say so. Don't assume that pretty hair on a black woman = a weave.

  • Jeannette says:

    People would ask if my hair was real when I was relaxed opposed to now that I'm natural. I didn't find the question insulting when I was relaxed and I don't find it insulting now natural. BUT I can see how someone can be upset for being asked that question. I've heard that depending on the generation, if it actually being an insult (especially when it's not real), they look at it as an insult. I've heard that the older Women find it insulting and the younger does not.

  • Anonymous says:

    "Ditto Kasey and Nella Bella!
    With the overabundance of fake hair wearing ladies amongst us, I find it hard to understand why this particular question doesn't get asked even more often! As long as fake hair is so "out there" the way it is, I can't see anyone wasting energy by getting so upset over being asked this question"

    The reason I find the question bizarre in my own situation is because although I recieved compliments, when my hair was relaxed with an auburn rinse, no one ever asked me if my hair was real or fake. NEVER. My hair was about the same length as it is now.

    Now that it is natural I get asked that question.

    One time, a gentleman said to me in passing "Oh now you ladies are wearing afro wigs now?" It wasn't mean or was just… random and incorrect.

    I don't get offended… I just think its weird that the assumption that big natural hair is automatically fake. It's like people forgot that most black women have kinky curly hair or something.

  • Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, I think it has become acceptable to ask someone if her hair is real because:

    1)Society, in general, has lost the concept of etiquette and manners. People aren't interacting with each other in person as much, and this is resulting in a loss of "people skills".

    2) It has become acceptable and desirable for so many women to add weaves/wigs. Some of which are obviously fake. I guess people feel like if so many women are comfortable with sporting obviously fake hair, women (as a whole) won't mind being asked if theirs is real.

    Just the way society has become.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can always tell when someone is asking out of curiosity or when they are being "rude". Curiosity does not bother me, but the "rude" questioning is annoying.

  • Mrs. A Marie says:

    Yes I think it is rude. I have been asked this many times, even out right assumption that my hair is fake, and though I am not offended by the question it is rude and tacky. I just do not understand how we got to the point that is acceptable to approach a complete stranger and ask if their hair is real.

  • Shoshoni says:

    I wouldn't get offended if someone asked if my hair was real. But when I have a twa older black women have asked me "Where do you get your 'curl' done?"……they assume I have a jheri-curl!!!! Then they give me the side-eye when I tell them I don't have a 'curl"! It's kinda funny….but not really.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ditto Kasey and Nella Bella!
    With the overabundance of fake hair wearing ladies amongst us, I find it hard to understand why this particular question doesn't get asked even more often! As long as fake hair is so "out there" the way it is, I can't see anyone wasting energy by getting so upset over being asked this question.

    Now if we were living in the 60s, at a time in which there was a ton of naturals AND fake hair was reserved for women who had cancer or couldn't grow hair, I could see being upset.

  • Nella Bella says:

    I do not take offense when someone asks me if my hair is real. Like Kasey said, black women do usually wear wigs and weaves. I personally only approach another woman about her hair if the style is off the hook or it looks really healthy. If I want to try the style myself, I leave it up to the other woman to volunteer the info whether her hair is real or not.

    There are more important issues to be upset about then whether my hair is real or not.

  • glamazini says:

    I have no issue with someone asking me if my hair is real.

  • Kasey says:

    I don't understand why some black women have to turn every detail of their life into a huge deal. If a stranger asks whether your hair is real– it's out of curiosity. Because truthfully, black women as a whole, do usually wear weaves and wigs. It's not an insult, it's a question. And a rather reasonable one.
    I hate when CurlyNikki posts these articles that are intended to rile up people. These "issues" are really not a big deal nor should they be taken as insults.

  • Anonymous says:

    I take offense every time and it's happened a lot.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been asked whether my hair is real on a number of occasions. Initially it took me off guard, (especially when I ran into a former hairstylist that I hadn't seen for years and she asked me if my puff was all my hair) but now it doesn't really bother me anymore. Whether or not the question is rude, however, depends on the context and the intent of the one doing the asking. I have had strangers inquire and I could tell their question was genuine curiosity and I wasn't offended in the least. But, I have also had the situation where someone poses the question clearly assuming that it is not my hair and often give me that "yeah right" look when I respond that it is all my hair. When the intent is to embarass, then it is clearly rude and unacceptable.

    Bridget D.

  • Anonymous says:

    If people are just naturally curious, that's one thing. I accept that people aren't used to seeing a black woman with a lot of hair that isn't weave. Okay, lol. Fine. With the natural hair movement, that is slowly beginning to change.

    What I cannot accept is when I tell someone that, "Yes, my hair is real" and THEY DON'T BELIEVE ME. Or when they reach into my hair and try to check for tracks…or when they say, "Well, you must be mixed or something." Yes, this is all my hair, and yes, both of my parents are black. Why can't you accept that I'm telling you the truth??? Honestly, if you think you already know the answer, why are you asking the question?

    Let me just make one slightly off-topic observation, though: black men and women over the age of 50 ALWAYS know that my hair is the real deal. Always, lol. If they come over to question me about my hair, it is to ask how I keep it so healthy. Many say it's because they were natural at some point in their lives (usually during the 60's or the 70's), and that my hair brings back memories of how their hair used to be.

  • Dorscilla says:

    LOL at the "yes it's mine-I have the receipt" comment. That's just hilarious!!

    If a stranger asks about a womans hair, then yes I do find it rude. Just like the post mentioned, you wouldn't ask someone if their boobs are real so how is someone's hair any different?

    If someone is truly curious and asks privately then I respect that, but some people just publicly blurt it out which could be insulting or belittling to a woman. It has happened to me and I've seen it happen to other women and it just can easily turn into an awkward moment.

  • Anonymous says:

    With SO very many weaves out there (appears to almost have become the norm), I can understand why black women with a lot of hair get asked this question.

    I get most annoyed with the social context which has led to the posing of the question in the first place. Perhaps we should talk about that rather than continuing to beat this question to death. Just a suggestion. Lol

  • Natural Panamanian says:

    LOL, I get that everyday, mostly from black women. The majority of time I get "i love your hair" than "is that your hair?" Some people might find it tacky and rude. To me, maybe because I'm quite humble and don't take it offensive. I look it at curiosity. If random stranger tried to touch my hair, I will definitely Kung Fu their hands. LOL

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    I definitely think it's tacky to ask someone if their hair is real or not, especially if you don't know them or don't have that type of relationship with them. Thankfully I'm not easily offended, so when I'm asked this question, I just give a simple, "yes," and a smile. Why is it anyone's business if your hair is real or fake. Now if someone is really just curious (and they know you some what) they should pull you to the side and tell you how much they love your hair and want to know if it's your hair or not and what your routine is.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think it's rude. I get asked this question a lot. I think it's a compliment. When my hair was relaxed, no one ever asked me if it were real or fake. It was so ugly, that they just assumed that no one in their right mind would pay for something that looked like that! So now that my hair is huge and natural, I get this question often. How can I not take it as a compliment? It feels good to know that your hair looks so good, that people assume its fake. Now, what I do hate, is when people stick their hands in my hair to check for tracks. If I tell you it isn't fake, then it isn't! Why do people feel the need to prove it for themselves? After they are done checking my head and realizing that its all mine, they look all sheepish and embarrassed.

  • Tiffany says:

    Yes and I just look at them, usually they figure it out from the look on my face. It is very rude to ask anyone is any part of them "real".

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  • ThriftyKinkyCurly says:

    I think its extremely rude, call me naive but I don't automatically think a woman is wearing a wig or a weave if she has gorgeous hair. And I also would never ask someone to touch their hair no matter how much I admire it, some people don't have a sense of what's proper etiquette

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it is very rude to ask anybody if anything is real! It is nobody's business. I cannot even imagine how ill-mannered someone would have to be to think it is okay.

    I don't understand the second lady that thinks it is okay to ask so she can get sassy. Life is way too short for all that aggravation.

  • Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty says:

    I think it's a little rude but I don't really care. I suppose I'd care if I weren't rockin' my own hair but I never do fake so I guess it doesn't matter much to me.

  • Anonymous says:

    although it can be taken as a compliment in one sense, on the other hand i think it is very rude. if you like someone's hair, outfit, car, etc. then compliment and move on. but unfortunately, most folks are curious, don't think before they ask questions and feel the need to pry. i couldn't see myself saying to someone, 'hey that's a nice benze … how much did you pay and do you own it?'

  • Anonymous says:

    I think context is everything. It can be rudely done or politely done.
    I was recently asked by someone in another country who clearly had had no exposure to black people (no black tourists where I was and probably not many who come).
    I've been asked while both natural and relaxed by other black women b/c of the AMOUNT of hair I have. Not in my family, since most of us have a lot of hair, had natural hair more than relaxed, and of course, they've seen me my whole life. Having no hair would be a shock to them.
    My natural hair got complimented by a black woman who then said "oh my, it is yours isn't it?" Which was fine b/c it would be an awkward faux pas if it wasn't.
    And the Korean BSS owner said it was really pretty and she wasn't sure b/c I had so much. She said at first she wasn't sure but when I got closer she was and said "very pretty hair. lot of hair."
    Now if someone stuck a hand in it to check, that is rude.

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't gotten this question, though someone did tell me my hair looked like a wig. She meant it as a compliment.

    But…people try and weavecheck my kids! I mean is weave and kids going hand in hand these days? First time it happened was when my oldest was 2. Little 'girl' running the cash register at Toys r us says, "oh is that all her hair. I thought it was fake." My husband says I gave her the side eye, which I did.

    Then just a few weeks ago at the chinese buffet our waiter is all 'is that her real hair' at my six year old. She can give her own side eye, which is hilarious cause for six she's already got it down.

    Then the lady asked if she could touch it. She was all 'i thought it wasn't real then i saw yours and thought maybe it was.'

    That's not the first chinese buffet where they be all up in my daughters' hair either. My husband is always saying, "there's a lot of women out there that would pay a lot for the hair on our daughters heads."


  • Neesh says:

    Sometimes (very rarely) I wear weave to add a bit of body and a tad bit of length to my hair. When people ask me if it's all mine, I answer them with no problem. I don't get offended because I paid for it and I'm proud of it. I get the question whether my hair is natural or straight. I just answer and move on. I love getting the questions when I have my hair straight because when I know people are being smart, I flip it and say "Yes girl, it's ALL mine." 🙂

  • Unknown says:

    I wear weave occasionally. I'm not ashamed by it so I would not be embarrassed if someone asked me if my hair were real regardless of what their intentions were.

  • Dee says:

    I think it all depends on the approach. For the most part you can tell when someone is asking out of rudeness or curiousity. What I do find rude is when a stranger I don't know proceeds to track check me. Now that's just down right RUDE! When I straighten it can really get annoying from strangers and people I know. I guess it's hard to believe that someone can have a headful of beautiful healthy hair. On the flip side, right now I'm rocking a sew in that is actually a bit shorter than my actual hair straightned and people that I know just assume that it's mine…LOL….

  • Newlynatural26 says:

    i personally don't find it rude only because after seeing the lengths women in general go to achieve a look or certain hairstyle, i think people just can't tell what's real or not. I'm real mellow about it. My eye cant tell a weave from a wig from a few extensions most of the time so when people ask me out of genuine curiosity i answer nicely…for the other half that want to make a joke i ride the wave cuz the pure shock in their eye when they realize it's all mine is priceless 🙂

  • Ebcenia says:

    Im always getting weave checked, family & friends that i havent seen in a long time….they go "OMG, your hair looks so nice, is that yours?" I dont get offended….i take it as a compliment rather…but im getting tired of being weave checked!!! LOL

  • Nadine says:

    You will always have those ppl MEN AND WOMEN, who will constantly try to bring a woman down, esp a black woman. Sadly, I feel that black ppl do this to THEIR OWN PPL more. Most of the time it is not curiousity, it is out of envy and hatred. No one told you to relax your scalp to death, and pour glue on your head to hold those wigs on all those years. Now your scalp is damamged, your hair isn't where you would like it to be, and you act like you have to bring someone else down everytime you see something in a better health state than yours. Those ppl cannot be saved.

  • Anonymous says:

    I get the question a lot, and it all depends on how the person ask. I think black people are not use to black woman having hair especially in large amounts (sad but true),and out of pure curiosity they want to know. I try to use the time has a education moment, which leads to a very long hair convo 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I do think it is bizarre that people ask me if my kinky natural hair is real or if it is a wig.

    I mean seriously….I mean even some black people question if my hair is really mine. LOL.

    So many questions come to mind:

    1.) Have we gotten so used to the weave and the relaxer that we cannot tell authentic hair anymore?
    2.) Do people think that black women are bald or have the inability to grow hair?
    3.) Why don't people ask black men if their kinky hair is real? Is kinky hair more believable on black men or something??

    I don't get offended when people ask me this question, but I do think that people who ask it are truly ignorant- (they just don't know).

  • Anonymous says:

    I do find it tacky to walk up to someone and ask that.If i know you real well,that's different. If i see someone and i like their hair i'll say" Who did your hair?" A long time ago , i snapped at a lady and told her ALL BLACK WOMEN ARE NOT BALD HEADED!(i blamed my pregnancy hormones on that)

  • Anonymous says:

    I just had someone this past weekend ask me was my hair real. I had to laugh, it kind of caught me off guard. It's not that I have huge hair so I was wondering why she though my short twist out was not real. I don't get offended but I think there are tasteful you can ask.

  • Anonymous says:

    It can come across as rude, but I think that if your hair is looking so good that people question it, then you must be rockin' it! And I agree with chrlvsbks, that I find that folks are more curious. So nothing to be offended at, really. People will be people. Just have to know how to react to them.


  • ChrLvsBks says:

    I do not find it tacky or rude for someone to ask. I think many are curious. More & more women are wearing their hair in its natural state. In addition, more and more wig/weave manufacturer's are recognizing this and offering wigs that look more like our natural texture.

    I have been asked if my hair was mine. I was in a BSS purchasing rollers & a dryer, and the salesperson asked if my hair was all mine. I smiled & told her it was. I have also had someone comment on my hair on FB stating she had a wig that looked like my hair. She said the wig's name and color. I thought it was cute and responded as such.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have never gotten upset with the question or thought it was tacky. Many women have approached me with this question, after i politely tell them yes this is mine. then next they info me that they are natural and have a hard time defining the curls and from keeping them frizzy!!! We have a great conversation about trial and error, i direct them to the products i use as well as direct them to CN!!!! The only thing i think is tacky is a woman you don't know tries to place their hands in your hair!!! Sorry i just don't know where you had those things, LOL!!!

  • Sham says:

    Yes! It is tacky to ask a stranger that question, not so much someone you know personally. But then again if you knew them personally, then you'd probably already know the answer to the question, huh?

    I try not to take it offensively, but as a compliment instead. Someone thinks my hair is so awesome that they question whether or not it grew from my scalp… LOL!

    The bottom line is that ppl are always gonna say/do offensive things, you just have to decide how best to address them within that context & setting.

  • Jessica says:

    OMG! I was just speaking on this last week. As a stylist I get quite creative with my fro, but it's all mine…..why can't a black women just have a giant mane of her own. I find it rude and saddening. But on the up side I do encourage sisters that are transitioning to do what they have to. If adding extensions help you get rid of over processed relaxed hair, then fake it till you make it gurl!

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