“No, you cannot…” “Why not?” “Because I don’t want you to, and I don’t know where your hands have been…” Yes y’all, it happened. Some lady in the grocery store asked if she could touch my hair, as she was coming at me with her hands. Umm, I don’t think so!
Yes we are about to go there. The “strangers touching my hair” subject has been around lately, and more times than it should be. You have people fascinated and wanting to touch Black hair – especially natural haired women – at their jobs, in the grocery store, during a stroll in the park, and at football games.
I can attest that people always want to touch my hair; they are not just friends and family, but complete strangers as well. Once they have their fingers in your hair, it’s usually added with a few comments to further their fascination. They say things like, “Oh wow! Your hair is really soft,” “You have a good grade of hair,” and “I really like your hair.” I mean, I understand your interest and attraction to my hair, but you don’t need to put your fingers in my hair to validate your comment!
The Fascinated Stranger
This unwanted attention comes about at any given moment. Being natural tends to attract stares, whispers, curiosity, side-way glances, comments, and of course unwelcomed grabs, tugs, and pulls.
Yes, natural hair is becoming more accepted and loved by Black women today, but to do a “sneak to touch just to see if my hair is soft or real” is unacceptable.
Additionally, the claim that only white people get the urge to touch our natural hair would be inaccurate; to tell the truth, it is other black women who come up and make the decision to put their hands in our hair as well. Just because you are my “sista”, it does not give you a right to cop a feel in my natural tresses.
Three Reasons Why It’s Not Right
You might be thinking, ‘Wow, she is really passionate about strangers touching her hair…’ Well, you are right! I can understand if you ask me, and I have the opportunity to say, “No.” But coming at me with that glazed look in your eyes, with your hands in a claw formation is a “Hell no!” in my book. Here are a few reasons why it’s just not right to want to touch a stranger’s hair:
1. It’s strange and creepy – What satisfaction are you going to get by touching my hair? I mean, really, who does that? You are literally extending your fingers out to pet my hair, and you don’t know me. If you think my hair is beautiful, or if you like the style I am wearing for that day, just tell me. I would be less offended by your words. You don’t need to touch me in order to get your compliment across.