As a proud wearer of natural kinks, I’ve had my ups and downs with my hair. It’s been a wonderful journey and in coming to college, I’ve found others walking down the same road. Unfortunately, I’ve run into some mishaps that I know can definitely be a bit irritating, so here are four things that I and many others have experienced that one should never say or do to a natural hair wearer.
1. “How do you get it to grow like that?”
That question is like asking me “How do you breathe?” The answer is quite simple. Naturally. Hair, like fingerprints are different. No two textures are the same, especially when it comes to kinky-coily hair. It’s a plethora of different textures that grow in every which way; the next time you see hair that seemed like an extra small wand curler was used, believe me, it’s all natural. Although it may seem like a harmless question, it’s actually an offensive one. The best way to answer the question to your curiosity is by starting with a gentle compliment like how pretty or nice her hair is.
2. People touching our hair
A Grammy Award-winning artist by the name of Solange Knowles once sang these sacred words that resonated with every wearer of the curly crown: “Don’t touch my hair, when it’s the feelings that I wear.” I remember I was standing in line at the food court and I felt my hair being pulled and prodded as if I were under examination. I quickly turned around to catch the culprit and faced a girl with her hand in frozen in mid-air. Her eyes were those of a deer caught in headlights, guilty and ashamed. I kept my anger to myself because unfortunately it wasn’t the first time something like this happened. When you want to touch someone’s hair, it’s always best to ask because hair is like personal property, it’s something you wouldn’t want just anyone to touch. Kinky-coily hair is also prone to frizz, so it’s especially irritating if many hands run through it turning it into a frizzy mess, especially hands without permission.
3. “It looks like a poodle”
No matter how pretty poodles are, no one wants to be compared to one, particularly my natural-haired gals. Positive words such as “voluminous,” “full,” or “thick” are considered compliments that will leave us even prouder of what we were born with. Another negative comparison would be “cotton,” which should be avoided at all costs, no matter how nice it sounds in one’s head.
4. “It’ll look pretty straight”
Not everyone appreciates being told that their hair would look nice a certain way if there weren’t a compliment towards its original state. In addition, not everyone wants straight hair, so it’s best to be mindful when saying something like that. Natural girls’ hair – whether they be curly, coily or kinky – are extremely proud of the hair with which they were born. In this day and age, it’s best to encourage us natural girls to be taking pride in our curls.
And now, I encourage you to hear this song that does more than slay.
Photo Credit: thankgodimnatural | Minerve Jean