Surprisingly I have had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback since starting my natural hair journey. However, I have had a few times where people have said some out of this world stuff. In most scenarios I found myself feeling more annoyed than anything else and in some cases their ignorance was pretty funny.
#3 Letting Peer Pressure Get the Best of Me
During my transition I consulted with my aunt who is a cosmetologist. I was in college at the time so during this phase of my life the weekend was lounge/club time with my friends. It was more convenient to have my one friend come with me to my Aunts house and then go to city. So she accompanied me as my aunt trimmed my hair and helped me to style it. As my aunt is working on my hair, my friend says you should wear your ponytail (weave) your hair would look so much better. My aunt started looking like her patience was being tested. I was indecisive about what I wanted to do, because at the time to be honest I still wasn’t comfortable with having shorter hair so while some part of me did want to just wear my hair all natural a bigger part of me wanted to cling to my clip in ponytail. My aunt chimed in and said you don’t have to wear the ponytail if you don’t want to, you look fine without it. I ended up clinging to my ponytail in the end because my confidence just wasn’t there yet. My aunt seemed to be a little disappointed and now I know why.
#2 Random White Lady Touching My Hair
During my dreadlock journey, I worked part-time at an after school program (I also worked before school hours). After I finished getting all the children ready to start their day and lined up for class, this random teacher that I don’t know just walks up to touch my hair. She complemented my hair and goes into how she wishes she could do different things with her hair. Then she tells me how my hair reminds her of yarn. : | I know many people would be offended by this, but after I learned about Yarn Braids, I thought it was a funny and fair comparison.
#1 Insulting Questions from a Co-Worker
I think this one has to be the worst scenario I had, because out of all that I have mentioned for whatever reason I took it to be the most offensive. After I decided to remove my dreadlocks I went through an experimentation phase. Some days I wore my hair straight, braided, and then I also wore an undefined afro. However, in the very beginning I frequently wore my hair pressed. I continuously received complements from this lady I worked very closely with. However, one day I grew tired of straightened hair and I came in with my fro. Her first remark was, “What did you do to your hair?” Right from the start I was super annoyed by this question because the tone in which it was said, it sounded as if she were implying that something was wrong with my hair. My response was “What do you mean?” I can tell that she got the message after receiving my irritated reply. Then she tried to change it to, “I mean your hair is all curly and yesterday it was straight”. My final response was, “I washed my hair”. Being that she was a woman with naturally curly hair, I find it hard to believe that she did not grasp the concept of my hair reverting back to its natural state even if she is a white woman. I don’t think there was any misunderstanding, the real connotation behind her question was why did you change your hair it look so much better before.
I have come to a point where I fully accept and love my natural hair. I have no qualms about changing my hair texture up for interviews; if an employer doesn’t like my hair this simply isn’t the place for me. If I had friends or family that didn’t like natural hair this wouldn’t prompt me to change my hair either. However, thankfully at this time personally and professionally my natural hair has not been a barrier.
I am sure I am not the only with awkward/weird natural hair stories. Share yours below!