Do Not Touch…Without Asking: Strangers Touching Your Natural Hair

African-American woman hand to stop touching natural hair
CNN just released a very good article today titled “Can I touch it? The fascination with natural African-American hair“. The article discussed why “natural hair” has been so prolific in the African-American community recently and also shared views on whether touching an African-American women’s hair is acceptable or not.

She Just Grabbed My Two-Strand Twists!

I have had experiences with people just reaching out & touching my hair and also people asking first to touch my hair. I must say that the first time someone just reached out and put their hands in my hair I was astonished. I couldn’t believe that things like that actually happened. One experience that I can vividly remember was at my previous job and my Manager, during our One-on-One discussion, in mid-sentence reached out and squeezed one of my two-strand twists. I’m sure you can imagine the initial reaction that came to my mind, but I quickly took into account my surroundings and allowed her curiosity to wonder. After exploring my hair, she asked me how I styled my hair and I took it upon myself to use this interaction as a learning experience. I shared with her that I was natural, the different textures in my hair, and how I styled my hair.

Educate the Ignorance

As much as I think people should know to ask before touching your hair or any personal property, I know someone with do it without asking. It is actually pretty common for people of other cultures, races, or even within certain geographical ares to not have interacted with someone with afro-textured hair. If you can, take it upon yourself to educate that violator about your hair (and also common courtesy) so that they are more knowledgeable and can take away something positive about natural hair, instead of a numb, you are creating a more accepting environment for natural hair for everyone.

Have you had an experience with people touching your natural hair? How did you react?

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

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