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Natural Hair Chronicles: Pet Yourself, Not My Hair

Natural Hair Chronicles: Pet Yourself, Not My Hair

"Yearbook Edith" photo courtesy of thepairabirds on

I’ve been natural for a year now and I must say I’ve really enjoyed the versatility with being able to wear my hair curly or straight at my own discretion. I’ve noticed one major and very annoying thing about wearing my hair in its natural state … random people feel as though they have the right to just grab it without my permission.

It actually took me back to my childhood days when my Caucasian girlfriends would ask the infamous question out of curiosity, “Can I touch your hair?” Except they actually asked!

I am totally open to questions about my hair, how I got it to look the way it does, or even if you want to take a picture of it (which has happened frequently), but I by no means appreciate when someone I do not know touches my hair without my say so.

For one, I spend quite some time getting my natural style to curl the way I want it to, not to mention braving through the outdoor elements to prevent frizzing, dullness, or lack of volume. So when someone approaches me with their digits elevating towards my coif, I immediately get uneasy … the previous concerns explain why.

I am not a doll, I am not a pet, therefore my hair should not be treated as such. It’s one thing for another individual to ask to touch my strands and depending on my mood, I may say yes, but for both of our sakes, please do not touch.

Now I’m not lashing out, I just believe I’m speaking for a lot of other women who feel the same way. Whether your wear your hair natural, straight, relaxed, or with a weave, most people don’t appreciate strangers going to town on their hair without their permission. It’s really common courtesy. Unless you’re my stylist or modeling hair at a hair show and a part of your job description is to let consumers feel the product, you should always ask the owner before you reach … and respect their decision if they still aren’t comfortable letting you even after you ask.

I want to hear your point of view and and about your experiences if this has ever happened to you. Were you upset? Did you not mind? Would you rather your hair just been seen and not touched? Both women and men … someone’s got to feel me out there. 

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