Do people touch your hair without permission?


Just. WHYYYYYYY??? This is not a time for red-heads and non-Black folks with curly hair to come out of the woodwork. Yes, people do touch the hair of non-Black people and honestly, it’s just different. It doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle but it is also a specific Black struggle. 

Hair honestly is a huge topic all of its own. From the time you are very young, it becomes clear to you that EVERYONE thinks they are allowed to touch your hair. Or, if not your hair, then your hair ties, and twists.  When you are young enough for the twists and hairballs look, people bat at your twists. They pull them to watch them spring back. And this comes from children and adults alike, constantly. If you wear your hair in afro puffs, people feel a need to play with them. They want to see how fluffy it is. The issue, they rarely ask.  Children put things into the puffs while you aren’t looking. You grow up accepting that this is part of your life.

It’s just curiosity but it’s also very very rude. As these children get older many desire to have straight hair for a multitude of reasons. This can help but not stop the hair touching. Then the smallest amount of water or rain changes your hair back to curls and the touching begins all over again.

As Adults, it’s the worse

At a later age, many of us go back to our natural style, only to feel like children with no personal space, and strangers and friends alike choose to put their hands in our hair. This happens all the time to most of us, at work, at the store, before surgery, with friends, walking down the street… and it never feels less invasive. Many of our hairstyles are protective for our hair and to have someone touch it is not helpful. Additionally, as we are told over and over how much people love our hair, as they put their hands in it, we are also not allowed to wear our natural hair often because it’ “not professional”. This makes a complicated relationship with other cultures touching us even worse, seeing those cultures are also the ones that make the “professional” standards.

Yes. Our hair is touched all the time. We are desired and yet told we aren’t good enough by the greater American culture all the time. As children, we learn to tolerate this and as adults, it remains a common complaint and bonding experience. It’s so common there a new and fun game out about it. I played it giggling and I think everyone should play it.

Don’t touch my hair!

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