“How long did it take?”
“Doesn’t your scalp get dirty?”
“These are…what do you call them.. extensions?”
“How much do you pay for this?”
“Does your head hurt?”
Oh yeah, she went there:
“I used to have dreads back in the day.”
“In my past life,
I think I was a black girl named Shaniqua.”....
Enough was enough.
I looked around the room to see if anyone else was as alarmed as I was, but ironically everyone seemed to be more “def” than Russell Simmons, smiling at me like I was in the damn twilight zone.
I took a deep breath, gathered myself together, and ignored her.
After that meeting, I solemnly swore that I would not become the Token Black Girl or the personal google for black hair in the work place, and here’s why:
Because it’s 2017.
Because my hair is not a science project, petting zoo, or art show.
Because I was hired to do a job and explaining my hairstyles and hair choices (especially in a meeting) is not one of them.
Ya’ll can pay extra for that.
It’s interesting how we live in a society that is so advanced and always on the pulse of new information, yet we are so ignorant to the differences of our peers. Somehow, I grew up knowing that women of other cultures had different hair than I did, washed it frequently and differently than I did, and yet, no one has ever heard or been told that my hair just happens to be naturally curly, doesn’t require daily shampooing, and is straightened when permed- COME. ON!
I don’t think it’s fair for women of color to have to know everything about mainstream America, without question, but are almost obligated to educate everyone else about our basic math and DNA when we are so influentially apart of the world too. At this point, there’s enough information out there.
While I’m extremely sure that most people who ask me about my hair on a reg-u-lar basis don’t mean any harm, what they fail to realize is that it can be extremely distracting, and sometimes, traumatic just thinking about how many questions I’m going to be asked- how many hands I will have to swat….should I decide to change my hairstyle.
This is the reason why some girl named Trina has worn a side-part with a swoop to work for 6 months straight. Poor Trina L
As black women, our hair texture allows us the luxury of trying out various styles at any given moment, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has the right to ask us about them every single time, and if you do want to ask, be mindful of how you do so.
There’s levels to this sh**.
As for me, I’m pretty much done with the invasive hair questions, and am going to start diverting people to this amazing website.
Feel free to pass this link along :)
Here's the answer to all black hair questions.