Never Touch A Black Woman's Hair

Never touch a black woman's hair!

This statement that has been ringing in my ears since hearing Neicy Nash, a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, caution her dance partner on last night's show. This wasn't the first time I've heard this statement; I grew up hearing black women declare this statement all the time. Plus, it was repeated over and over on Chris Rock's Good Hair movie. But for some reason, last night was it particularly unnerving.

Some say it's a personal space issue comparable to touching a pregnant woman's belly. While others say it's a matter of privacy. Certainly, no one wants someone touching their hair and run across a track of weave. Whatever the reason, it's a personal choice and not a "black women" thing.

The problem that I have with the statement "Never touch a black woman's hair" is the fact that it's a generalization of all black women. This is certainly not my feelings or many women like me. Personally, I want people to touch my natural hair and see that it is soft, bouncy, and not filled with products or weave. And if you feel the same way I do, the next time you hear someone make such a generalized statement, please politely let them know that that statement is not representative of all black women.
10 Responses:

I have men try to touch my hair all the time and I must admit that I say 'no' a lot. For me it is my personal space and I let very few people play in my hair.

But the least people can do is ask before they run up to you with their hand out!

The problem with her statement is that every black women does not feel that way at all.

I think the problem is that women of color, not just "black" women, are the ones that constantly have their personal space violated. In the workplace or at school, I have never seen anyone in awe of or bewildered by a "white" woman's hair. I don't see them being stopped in the street and asked "how'd you get your hair to do that?" And that experience isn't isolated amongst naturals. Back when I was still relaxing my hair if I wore a ponytail, braids, twists, etc. everyone wanted to know how I "got it to do that." Just yesterday I had to tell my boss that he could not touch my hair because he just wanted to feel something. He couldn't understand how I could wear it "frizzy" one day and smooth another. And please believe not everyone wants to touch it so they can be "educated" about our hair. Some people want to touch it just so they can go tell someone they did because apparently we're still pretty damn exotic and unusual.

The problem is that people just touch. They don't ask, they don't say anything. I had a woman at a jewelry counter just reach into my head and start touching my braids, WTF?? I wish I could say that only happened once, but it has happened multiple times. So now I do cop an attitude and say please do not touch my hair. It's frustrating to have to explain why I don't need randoms running their fingers through my hair. Don't touch me, lol.

I agree with stacey.
sometimes people come and touch our hair because they feels its SOOOO different and blah blah blah it can get on your nerves.
for example in in college and this girl who is a friend of a friend is always touching my hair. i dont like when she does it because she des so whenever she wants and doesn't ask. she does it when i have my back turned to when she is about to walk off. to me it feels the same as when a guy smacks you on the butt and keeps walking like he didnt just disrespect you. to top it off this girl has the worst sew in ever. she one of those"id go natural but my hair is too nappy" im 4a/4b and super thick, thats about as kinky sa you can get so what is that even supposed to mean. ugh rant over

husband - touchy, randoms - uh no

I've had a guy touch my hair and then say "oooh feels like a sheep" i mean i understand it's a line from family guy, and he may have found it funny, but it was actually very offensive.

for me, it's just a matter of personal space. at least ask before you do it

For me, it's a matter of personal space. Don't touch unless I give you permission too. Touching my hair is one of my pet peeves. Just don't touch and the color of my skin has nothing to do with it. :)

Yea its pretty much an issue of people I dont know touching me, not really one of "dont touch my hair!"

Although I must say that as a natural woman, people just assume they can run their fingers through my sh*t (does my hair even LOOK like you can run your fingers through it??) like just because my hair is natural means you cant ruin my style by playing in it willy nilly.

Amen! Very thoughtful comments, ladies.

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