Solange Knowles song, “Don’t Touch My Hair,” spoke to me on levels
I hadn’t thought about in years. Most people whom are not Black, always want to touch your hair like you’re a pet. Or look at it as if it is this mystic center or force!
David Banner said that Black hair is a crown because it grows UP, not down.
When I was little Black girl with ‘thick, nappy’ hair I was always told how pretty my hair is or would be with it straight. I was always told how thick and unmanageable it was. This was in the late 1980’s, loves! The next worst thing you could tell a Black girl was that she was ‘nappy headed’! I’m sure most of y’all can attest to this.
it’s different when a Black girl touches your hair! That’s a source of pride and comfort! Like, sis KNOWS the struggle of Black girl hair! Becky, Katie, and Jamie don’t! They don’t know what it’s like to have your whole weekend eaten up because you have to get your hair done! They don’t know or understand the ritual of greasing, rolling and wrapping up hair! They don’t know what it’s like to have this substance that looks like lard applied to your head to straighten (read: fix) the hair that grows out of your head! They don’t know how to Doobie wrap extensions and oil sheen them!
Don’t touch my hair.
DO. NOT. TOUCH. MY. HAIR!
My hair and I have had a complex relationship, and we are just NOW getting along! Of course it looks amazing!
Yes, it’s all mine–whether or not a grew it or bought it!
Yes the tips are lavender (because that’s how it came in the bag)!
What is worse are the hair policies at the jobs that I have worked which stipulate that you can only have ‘naturally occurring hair colors.’ We know exactly who that is aimed towards. It’s not cute. Slick, but not cute. How Black women wear their hair is just another form of creativity and expression!
See, with the mother and father I had, I couldn’t be as creative with my hair as I am now. It had to look a certain way: no outrageous hair cuts; no dying; no braids. So to have that freedom now? Sometimes it’s overwhelming! But I remind myself that, it’s just hair. It grows back. I can buy more. Or I can change if I don’t like it.
But my hair, doesn’t make me any less human. It does not make me an oddity for non-Black people to grope or comment on. I have a natural crown, and if I want? I can make it a 16″ Remy with a 1B and a 4. Ya’ll can call it ‘ombre’, but it’s two-toned hair. We been doing this, and doing it better.
I know my cut and style is cute. But don’t you dare put your hands in my head.
[images from hair.lovetoknow.com, hypehair.com]