► Smile and ask, “Why do you like relaxed hair?” That’s right. Put the pressure on them to explain themselves. Why should you? They are the ones with the issue so let them fluster about and explain why they like their own hair.
Now, they may come back quick but whatever they say just return with, “Oh, OK. Thanks for sharing…,” and move on. Change the subject, walk away…whatever you have to do to remove yourself from that negativity.
► Tell them, “My hair is healthier natural.” Yup, throw health in their face but make sure to not say natural hair is healthier than relaxed hair. First off, there are many relaxed women with healthy hair as they take wonderful care of it, so make it about you and what you deem right for you.
Secondly, remember that your goal is not to attack them because both of you would be in the wrong. This is not an attack on their hair but rather, an explanation of why you are natural and plan on staying this way. Your point will be made and they should move on.
► Smile and say, “You don’t have to like my hair but please keep your negative comments to yourself.” This is dicey but sometimes it needs to be said.
Not everyone feels comfortable saying this but there will be some for whom this response is warranted. We all have a family member that only shuts up when you shut them up with a curt comment. You know who they are so you are the judge on this one.
► Smile and ask, “Why does my hair bother you?” This is a good one. Most will say that it doesn’t and then they feel uncomfortable. Good. They need to feel ill at ease for saying something negative in the first place.
After they say, it doesn’t bother them then change the subject or move on. Again, you are putting them on the spot and since they chose to overstep their place with you, they need to reel it in.
► Tell them, “You are entitled to your opinion just as I am* entitled to mine.” Leave it at that. There is nothing more to be said and they will probably not know how to keep the negative conversation going. I love this one and use this one A LOT.
I’m a pretty confrontational person (yes, I know this). That’s why I added some calmer tips for the quieter ones or less confrontational naturals. The key in all the tips is to smile, say what is necessary and remove yourself from the equation. There are other family members to talk to but if the whole place is on your back…leave. You do not have to stay anywhere you are being verbally attacked. Family can be beautiful but stressful at the same time! Don’t sweat it though, and remember you want to keep it positive and festive but not at the expense of your sanity.
Enjoy your holidays and your hair and yes, naturals…you can do both!