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No, You Can’t Touch My Hair

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Valdosta chapter.

Don’t do it! Solange made a whole song about this problem, and yet people still have the audacity to do it. Don’t. Touch. My. Hair. 

It is one simple thing to just not do.

About a month ago, a video went viral, like videos on Twitter tend to do, of a black woman wearing her natural hair sitting down in what is to be assumed to be a workplace with a crowd of non-black people surrounding her with shocked looks on their faces. That right there is the first problem: natural hair is not a new concept, and I am pretty sure there are black people with natural hair everywhere so there is no need to look surprised.

As the video goes on, the non-black co-workers begin to touch the woman’s hair. Why? The phrase “Look but don’t touch” is said for a reason. No disrespect to her non-black coworkers, but are their hands clean? That thought is extremely disgusting to think about; we don’t know if either of them are the cleanliest people in the world so them doing so can raise health concerns.

Such a situation even happening in the workplace is incredibly unprofessional and uncalled for. 

Anyone who knows what it is like to be in a workplace knows that at all times we have to keep our composure so that we don’t explode and lose our jobs. It is a difficult thing to do, but when your job is at stake, even if you don’t clearly see it, your reactions and expressions matter. The black woman seems to be smiling but none of us really know what she is going through. She could have been uncomfortable and embarrassed as her coworkers touched and examined her hair, but she held it in. 

When black women are approached by strangers and asked if they can touch their hair, there are three different kinds of responses: “Sure!“, “No!” and ““. The most common answer is no and for good reason. There is no need to get your grimy hands into our well-moisturized crowns unless you are a hairstylist with CLEAN hands. Black women are not adorable pets that you visit in a petting zoo. Black women’s hair is not foreign objects that you NEED to get your hands on. It is awkward to have a random stranger ask to touch your hair, so why would you want to be the cause for someone else’s discomfort? 

Natural hair is a gorgeous work of art, and what do you do with art? Admire it without touching.

Photo by Diana Simumpande for Unsplash


Jasmin Small

Valdosta '23

Hey ladies!! I am a student Valdosta State University. (Class of 2023 WHOOP WHOOP) I major in journalism and minor in mass media. I'm a pretty fun person to be around (at least I hope that I am).
Her Campus at Valdosta State.