Hey Sis: What if I Let You Touch My Natural Hair?

Hey Sis: What if I Let You Touch My Natural Hair?

Hey Sis: What if I Let You Touch My Natural Hair?

Why are people so drawn to our natural hair? Have you seen the look in their eyes? It's like a moth drawn to a flame; our curls and textures are hypnotic. There are even those within our culture who struggle to contain themselves when confronted with a head full of natural kinks, coils or curls.



“Is that all your hair? Can I touch it?”

At first, this question might leave you feeling a bit on edge because you are not a fan of hands or fingers perusing your hair. 

Still, onlookers cannot help themselves. Our curl pattern is unique, and you know better than anyone else about the work that goes into caring for natural hair. Our hair goals center around moisture, volume, vibrancy, length-checks and minimizing shedding. When each of these things is under control, you cannot ignore the fabulosity of natural hair. 

 So why do we dodge those fingers and hands –even when they ask permission to touch? Our instinctive response sometimes is to recoil, dip and dive. It's like participating in a scene from the Matrix movie where you find yourself moving in ways that defy gravity or logic to keep a foreign hand from daring to touch your hair.

Why is Touch Important?

The need to touch something –particularly natural hair, is inherent to who we are as human beings. Touch allows us to process information and explore textures. For those who don’t have it or are contemplating transitioning to natural hair, touch permits them to understand better and separate the differences of what they perceive to be true from what is the reality.

For example, some people believe that all natural hair is crunchy, nappy, challenging to manage, and rough to the touch when in reality, many of us have natural hair that is easy to manage, vibrant, and soft.

So, what is holding us back from allowing us to touch each other’s natural hair?




Why Don’t We Like for Other People to Touch Our Hair?

First, our hair is an extension of our being. Whether it is naturally growing from our root, sewn-in or glued down in the form of a lace front wig, we are extremely sensitive about allowing others to enter this personal space.

The Superstition of Allowing Others to Touch Our Hair

Some of this hesitancy to allow others to touch our hair is steeped in superstition and mistrust of other’s intentions when they touch our hair. While some people are genuinely well-meaning and eager to celebrate your penchant for bold natural hairstyles, we cannot help but question what their true intentions are.

Our culture associates letting others touch our hair with leaving ourselves as being vulnerable to hexes or curses that will lead to hair loss or unhealthy hair for years to come.

Negative Statements about Our Natural Hair

Another reason we struggle to allow others to touch our hair has to do with past traumas and insults regarding our hair texture. Historically, natural hair has not always gained praise within our community. It has been rebuked, ridiculed and rejected on many levels, and therefore, our instinct is to assume that allowing someone the privilege of touching our tresses will not generate positive thoughts or words.

What if I Let You Touch My Hair?

In recent years, natural hair bloggers and enthusiasts alike are challenging women of color to reconsider their stance on allowing people to touch our hair. They encourage us, skeptics, to see this interest as an opportunity to have an open dialogue about natural hair care among our fellow naturalistas, to discuss our differences with other cultures and to debunk falsehoods about what natural hair and the natural hair movement is all about in the millennium.

Solenne Ekeba, a natural hair blogger says its an opportunity to open up conversation and dialogue. She says allowing someone to touch your hair should not be about admiration or validation.

Are you ready to permit to let others touch your hair?





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