From coworkers, other people’s children, aquaintances, and friends, I have had a real problem with people sticking their fingers in my hair without asking ever since I went natural. I get that afros are cool, but there is a little something called personal space —have you heard of it? It’s really not cool to touch people without their consent, and I’m not really sure why that has to be explained. Natural hair tends to require quite a bit of maintenance, and when I’ve spent hours styling, detangling, and picking out my hair, my face tends to look something like this when some random person decides to pat it down and scrunch it up in their fingers:
I generally try to be nice about it because I know people are just curious. They don’t mean any harm. But you can imagine my discomfort when I go to hug someone and suddenly I feel their fingertips rubbing my scalp. I usually just smile and say “ask next time,” but sometimes I really just want to slap their hand away from me. Just keep in mind the next time you might see a tantalizing head of curls coming your way that it’s not your personal petting zoo.