The hair tips, advice and recommendations given on this blog are given based on the experiences of the authors. These tips may not work for everyone and every hair type and it is important to acknowledge this since we are neither hair specialists nor trichologists.

Also many pictures on this blog belong to the authors but there are others that we do not have ownership for and thus we do not claim ownership of the ones that do not belong to us.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Can I touch it?" - Courtesy of CNN

The CNN article titled above was written about a month ago and came to my attention by someone who follows this blog (thanks Ehirox). You can read the CNN article here.

The article highlights the issue of folks just wanting to touch black women's natural hair. You can't really blame them seeing as there are so few of us carrying our hair natural. We look like anomalies sometimes. I have my hand in my hair a fair bit too and was diagnosed with HIFS (Hand in Fro Syndrome) / HIHS (Hand In Hair Syndrome)! Sooooo, I am gulty of randomly jabbing my hand in my hair to feel my kinks.

I don't mind people touching my hair. What I mind is when they don't ask and they just dip their "I don't know where your hands have been" fingers and hand into my hair. And some of them think it is funny! Folks should also remember that even when they ask, I reserve the right to say "No you cannot touch my hair." See Cabella's post "Encounters of the Afro-puff kind".

I don't think it is always a race issue. I used the word 'always' because sometimes it is about race and other times it is not. So, I don't think it is always a race issue because I live in Lagos Nigeria and there are mostly black people here. And they still want to touch my hair especially when it is in some sort of afro (full afro, side afro, afro puff etc). *Thinking* Now they never ask my little nieces if they can touch their hair and people don't randomly put their hands in my little nieces hair even though they are natural too. It seems to be done to grown-ups.

My conclusion is this: fascination. People are just curious and fascinated and want to 'know' and 'learn' more about natural hair by touching the hair. That's cool! Really it is. Just ask first please and don't take liberties with what does not belong to you. And if I say "no" that should be cool too.

Keep it natural!



Zander Robertson said...

The reverse scenario happens too. straight hair goes to a predominately curly haired society and curiosity ensues. I have to admit, it's a little bit weird that this would happen in North America when it's not all that odd to see every kind of hair imaginable on any day walking down the street in any major city.

Omozo said...

Great point Zander! I think the same rule would apply in that scenario. Ask before touching.

SPstyles said...

Yes, true. But i think it has been very alarming to see a black woman's natural hair, even in places like North America because i live in NYC, one of the biggest cultral melting pots and even here the naturals are more recently booming than they have been in the past years, so i understand why it seems like more recently people are having their fros I myself have been a victim, but also a perpetrator at times... i just ask :) And yes, people also need to know im not insulting them if isay no, its my personal space.

Aramide Rufai-Ademidun said...

I was at a workshop in Burlington (I was the only black girl in a gathering of 200 ECEs), during the break away session, the facilitator reached for my braids and stroked it. she opened her mouth in shock/embarrassment when she realised what she had done and called for a break and apologized. Being a teacher, I am used to the little ones asking me why my hair is like that, can I make theirs like mine etc. You are right, just ask before you touch and I can say no be cool like that.