Black Hair: You Can Look, But You Can't Touch
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Black Hair: You Can Look, But You Can't Touch

Seriously, don't touch.

13
Black Hair: You Can Look, But You Can't Touch
Super Selected

I had not understood why people looked at the hair of black women to be something so foreign…the way people's eyes would widen when you came to school with a fresh pair of braids, or the way their hands would reach out and pet you, irritating your sore scalp.

Today I'm going to try and explain my favorite part of black culture. Hair. Since the subject of hair is so complex in the black community I am going to narrow it down to the hair of black women.

It isn't hard to notice that usually, African American hair is a completely different texture than other ethnic groups. Our texture of hair makes it not only very frustrating to manage but also very difficult, which is why there are so many varieties of hairstyles. We choose our hairstyles based on how much we are able to manage it and it's basically different for everyone. You may see the following of these usual hairstyles:

*Box Braids

*Faux locs

*Cornrows

*relaxed or permed hair (which turns our hair straight.)

*natural curls

Many will judge black women solely based on their choice of style. For example, a black woman does not "love" her blackness if she has a weave, yet she looks unprofessional with her natural curls. If she wears her hair in locs it appears like she smells of "marijuana and patchouli".

Even if Black women wanted to embrace their culture without getting criticized, there are always people who turn our protective styles into new "urban" fashion trends.

Braids such as Box braids and cornrows go all the way back to Africa. Braids were a way to differentiate tribes from each other and I guess that part of culture shifted to become more of a cute and easier way to manage our hair through time. Box braids have recently adopted a new name "Boxer braids" (thank you to whitewashed media). There have been many white women who have put their hair into these hair styles. For example Katy perry, and Kylie Jenner. The reason why this is made such huge deal is because when black women wear the hairstyles that have historically been a part of their culture it is found by white America to be "unprofessional" or "ratchet". Yet, when white women decide to wear these styles for fashion purposes they are seen "hip trendsetters." and "unique."

Recently, I saw a youtube video that showed how you can get your "white hair" to become curly and kinky, by again using another black hair management method called Bantu knots. Why would a culture be so disgusted and turned off by our natural kinks and curls and then turn around and try to mimic our texture and style? These examples are forms of cultural appropriation...when a culture mimics another cultures styles and traditions for fashion, folly, and style, but turns their noses up at the style when it is fashioned by the culture that created them.

The process of getting your hair braided, permed, knotted or loced can be a long and painful one for many black women. I guess the same would be true for those white women who are trying to mimic these styles. We take great pride in our hair and the styles that we painstakingly maintain. So, please refrain from picking at it, rubbing it or touching our hair, because not only are our scalps sore from braiding, processing, and hours of tugging but quite frankly it's also rude and annoying. We are not animals in a petting zoo that you can pet.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

How I Celebrate Valentine's Day

Every person, every couple celebrates Valentines in different ways, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

1505
How I Celebrate Valentine's Day
https://stokpic.com/project/love-heart-art-on-urban-street/

Ah, Valentines Day, a day of excitement for some and heart break for many. There are three kinds of people on Valentine's Day: the ones who make it a big deal, a little deal, and those who are single, but Valentine's Day can be fun for anyone if you have the right spirit in mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Warner Bros. Television

1. You don't have to feel guilty about flirting with customers for tips (or just for shits and giggles).

2. You can be obnoxiously flirtatious with anyone you want. You are free to be that girl that flirts with everybody and makes 'em all smile (it's especially fun when the guy is as cute as Collin Jost). No shame.

3. Making random men nervous with your superior beauty and intense eye contact just for the hell of it is really amusing and empowering.

4. No one gives two poops if ya legs are hairy (your man shouldn't either but *Kermit the Frog meme* That's none of my business)

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Black History Month? Try Black History Year

What does Black History Month mean to you?

1846
madamenoire

African Americans have done so much and will forever be remembered for their accomplishments. In my opinion, there is no such thing as Black History Month. All year, we should celebrate the amazing poetry, music, inventions, and accomplishments that has surfaced over the last 100 years. Let's take a look...

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

A TikTok Ban? Nope, That's Not Happening

We've seen this movie before with the popular social media app.

4766
tiktok

Here we go again. There's a groundswell of support to ban TikTok in the United States.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Check out what's trending on Odyssey!

4861
writing on a page with a hand holding a pen as if the person is beginning to write something
c1.staticflickr.com

Looking for some inspiration to kick off your Monday? Check out these articles by our talented team of response writers! From poetry to tips for manifesting your dream life, there's something for everyone.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments