My Reaction to 'Can I Touch Your Hair?' as Told by 5 Gifs

My hair serves as an important aspect of how I view myself and is therefore a big part of my identity. As a Black woman, I know that my hair texture is different than that of the majority population, so I can see how people are intrigued by it. However, I also know how long I’ve worked to love my hair and the different ways that I can wear it. Due to my long history with my own hair, I feel that it’s not my job to let others touch my hair in an effort to understand how it differs from their own. I think that it’s a good idea to educate oneself on how hair differs in other cultures, but I just don’t think that I need to serve as a lab rat when we have amazing resources like the internet and books. When I hear “Can I touch your hair?,” a lot of things run through my mind. Here are 5 of my reactions as told by gifs:

1. 

Whether you’re in a professional setting or just around friends, this is a great reaction. Feigning excitement only to let someone know that they actually can't touch your hair is a funny and polite way to let them know what’s up. I often do this because I’m non-confrontational and a lot of people take it lightly but also understand that I’m serious.

2. 

There is most likely a gif of Queen Rih that works with any conversation that you’re having.This one in particular gives an exact view of how my face looks when someone random asks to touch my curly kinks or my new wig. The classy judging look that Rihanna is serving encompasses how I think I look when someone I don’t know at all asks me to touch my hair.

3. 

Anyone who knows me knows that this is actually my favorite gif. I feel that a conceited lip curl works for most situations, but especially when you hear something particularly messy. This is a great way to picture my face when I hear “Can I touch your hair?,” especially when I have a new wig or weave in. I often like to switch up my hair so hearing this only makes me cringe and curl my lip in hopes that you get that I don’t want your grimey hands on my hair.

4. 

On days when I’m feeling extremely bold, I feel the nerve to go the extra mile. I recall the time when I first listened to Solange’s hit “Don’t Touch My Hair” and this became my reaction for months afterwards. For me, Solange correctly encompassed how I felt about my hair and its deep roots that touch my soul, and the disrespect I feel when people touch my hair.

5. 

On the occasion that I don’t even get the question but I see someone's hand reaching out towards my hair, this is exactly how I feel. Some people don’t even have the courtesy to ask but just reach out, assuming that it’s okay to do so. That’s one of my pet peeves because I work hard on my hair and don’t appreciate people touching my hair as if I’m just a science experiment.

All gifs courtesy of Giphy.