Monday, October 1, 2012

Touching Black Women's Hair

NOTE: This is not a post about letting random White people you don't know come up and grab your hair without asking. Please keep that in mind while reading this post :)

It's really interesting the way someone can love something while others will hate it. I think it really all depends on your personal experiences (socialization), opinions, your environment, and the way you see the world.
Touching Black women's hair seems to be an issue for some. It's amazing how many women become outraged over the idea that someone wants to touch their hair! It creates anger! I have constantly seen the response, "Why should I let them touch my hair, I'm not in a petting zoo!". No one said you were an animal in a zoo but why do you equate touching a WOMAN's hair with touching an animal? First of all, why are YOU comparing yourself to an animal in a zoo?!! Did the person say, "you remind me of an animal so I want to pet you?" Did they say "you look like a woolly dog so can I pet you?" NO! They usually say "your hair is so pretty/amazing/full/big/coily etc. can I touch it?" It is you who are reminded of racist sentiments that rush to your mind. Isn't it hard always thinking such hurtful thoughts all the time? Why is it your natural impulse to think the person is a racist and has bad intentions instead of good intentions and curiosity? Are they treating you like an animal even if they are Black? If not, then why do you have a problem with Black people touching your hair? Okay, you may not want strangers to touch you, understandable.

But why in the world can't your friends, family, or dates touch your hair? You mean a guy can kiss you or sleep with you but he can't touch your hair??? This is a case where ignorance really is bliss because if your mind was not so filled with thoughts and stories about racism then you would actually enjoy having your hair touched. I had it done last night and I loved it! And guess what...I touched his hair too and it felt good! Did you know that many men LOVE to have their heads touched and massaged by women? If it is so horrible then why do they like it? One of your most powerful romantic tools as a woman is the power of your touch...use it instead of giving up sex so easily! Is this about weaves that you are ashamed of? Some many women say I love to change up their style, it's just hair so it's not important, White women wear weaves etc. so why make a fuss if it's not big deal? Is this about using greasy products? Well then maybe you need to stop buying that useless crap that's marketed to us and start using something different. I don't use any grease or oils on my hair and it feels fantastic (I'm all about super moisturizing with conditioner).

I think this is weird. Why are you so defensive and closed off? Why is this such a big deal? I get grossed out when people burp or pick their noses, but touching my hair, even by strangers doesn't anger me. I just don't feel the way you do about this issue. Here is the link to another funny (but crude) VIDEO about a man's views on the issue. 

Black ladies, do you realize that women of other races let their friends, family, and romantic interests touch their hair? It is a sign of affection and it feels good to the woman and the person touching their hair. People would not allow or try to do it if it didn't feel good. I get that it may be annoying if a stranger just grabs your hair without asking or if you are a germaphobe but if someone you know asks why make such a big deal over it? It make you look like a nutbar! It's your hair not your breast or something! People don't try to touch smelly, dirty, ugly hair. They touch hair that looks like it would feel good or at least not unpleasant. I would think that after having a horrible experience touching nasty hair people would stop trying to do it, so obviously they have had good experiences with it. The people who ask to touch have probably also had the pleasure of having their hair touched. This may explain why some are shocked by your aversion. It reminds me of how weird it is when people react negatively to a compliment...that goes against the complimenter's experience giving and receiving compliments.

The whole hair thing also reminds me of those stories of babies raised in Russian orphanages. You can read about the benefits of touch in this article called Touching Empathy. It's like some Black women are deprived of being touched in a good way and the article explains all the positive things that these women have not received. It's really an unfortunate thing. But there is a reason why hugs and massages feel good and they have nothing to do with you being treated like an animal in a zoo! These things are pleasurable, this is the "good touch." Ask yourself how often you received the "good touch" from family, friends, and love interests in your life? Are you uncomfortable showing or receiving physical affection? If so then you are missing out on one of the most enjoyable things in life. If you have received the "bad touch" and that is the reason why you don't like being touched then this may actually be good for you so you can find out that not all touch is horrible. You need to desensitize yourself to the anxiety raised when someone touches or wants to touch you. This also reminds me of all of those movies where a person is afraid to do something they have never done before and an experienced teacher tells them to "let go of your inhibitions" because they will see there is nothing to fear and it is their thoughts that are keeping them back from experiencing something that could positively change their life. Maybe it would help you to let someone you care about touch your hair and you could touch theirs. I think Black women need to get over this issue and allow themselves to feel what other people are experiencing.

Someone may come back stating during slavery this, during Jim Crow that, racists think A, B, and C as reasons why they won't let someone they know touch their hair. I don't see the point in referring to the way people acted so far in the past (before many were born) or to what happened in another country. My being Canadian from the Caribbean is probably part of the reason why I don't look to those things as reasons why someone shouldn't be allowed to touch my hair. I also know my hair feels amazing so I have nothing to fear. I guess when it comes to touching my hair that's one issue where I'm extremely liberal. I've heard that in some countries there are actually people called "Untouchables" because of their social caste, they are treated horribly, and they are prevented from having the opportunities that the rest of society enjoys. I think that's awful. Why are you labeling yourself untouchable? What's the worst thing that could happen if someone touched your hair? It's one thing if you used too much product or it's too dry so you think the person will react negatively, but thinking up all of these racist, animal in a zoo fears is really, really excessive.

But you can do whatever you want to do and you don't have to let anyone touch your hair what you want. I'm writing about this because I find it annoying when people put out statements saying "never touch a Black woman's hair" because I am Black and I don't want people to treat me differently from other women  :)

Related Articles:
Evidence that little touches do mean so much (excellent)
Touching makes you healthier
The benefits of human touch
Touchless society (video)
Hair touching: why I don't necessarily mind it
Black women want their heads rubbed too
Playing with her hair: Does it make sense?
Pick up artists are actually teaching men to touch women's hair (some foul language)
Advice from, "Maintaining their gorgeous locks isn’t the only reason women go to their hairstylists so often. The process of wash, cut, color, and styling can actually be quite a stress reliever. Running your hands gently through her hair is a surefire way to send tingles down her spine. Let your fingers massage circles from her temples to the nape of her neck and she’ll be putty in your hands." not applicable to  some Black women I guess.

Just because...Edgy pixie cuts are back, but do they kill your attraction?
Why do men like women with long hair? "Another reason why men love long hair in women is that, they love to touch it. Men love to touch women, hug women, they like to think about touching your soft hair and it's very attractive to them."
Do men prefer long hair on women? The answer is yes


  1. The first video was hilarious lol. I didn't like that good hair documentary because the last thing black women need is more people having negative ideals about our hair.

    I never understood the not touching a black woman's hair thing. I didn't know it was an issue until I saw Good Hair. And that scene in the second video I did not like at all. Here we have black men complaining about not being able to touch a woman's hair. What also annoys me is the fact that these AA men are always comparing their women to white women or any other non black women.

    I wear clip in extensions all the time but that doesn't mean no one can touch it. My non black girl friends wear extensions too (hair extensions are big in Latin America) but it's not a big deal. I remember seeing a white girl in the supermarket wearing a weave because she had all her tracks showing. She had actually parted her hair down the middle so all the tracks were showing in the back, otherwise I would never have known it was a weave.

    But I bet she won't mind it being touch. Most men are aware that women wear things like fake hair, fake eyelashes and fake nails so I don't think they would be surprised if they find out it's fake. Here in Latin America women get plastic surgery all the time. But they don't tell their men don't touch their fake butt or fake breast.

    I don't know where I'm going with all this but I think the whole not touching a black woman's hair is silly. We need to let the people that love us touch our hair and stop going to those hairdressers who do not have a clue when it comes to taking care of black hair. As for strangers, I'm not at all comfortable with them touching me unless it's like a greeting where we shake hands or something like that.

  2. I actually think it's pretty cute when guys want to play in my hair. I remember a few years ago when I was 16, we lived near this store owned by a Middle Eastern man (I hope that's the appropriate term, I don't want to be offensive), and I'd just started going natural but he and his employees (other Mid Eastern men) openly admired my hair. The one guy complimented me often, especially on my smile or my lips, but my mom wasn't happy to hear he'd wanted to touch my hair one day. She had a huge fit and reacted like he was after sex or like he was getting off on touching it, but I didn't think it was strange at all. I thought he was just curious, especially since I was the only one in our area at the time wearing my curls out.

    Nowadays, I get girls and guys asking about my hair, asking if it's weave or not and wanting to touch it. Whenever I wear my hair pressed, people are actually curious because they don't get how my hair goes from shoulder-length to pressed half down my back and it's not fake! The only negative responses I get are from girls with serious hair damage or black guys who refuse to believe my hair's not weave and will even tell other people that what I mean is "it's mine because I bought it". O_o

    The whole hair issue is stupid, and the sooner it's dropped, the better.

  3. I don't like being touched in general (am working on that, lol)...but I don't mind having my hair touched. Just ask first :)

  4. My lover can touch my hair, but random people cannot. It becomes annoying when 2-5 people a day touch my hair. People don't ask, they just do it. And yes, people of other ethnicities do touch other other women's hair, but you see, blk hair has a quality about it where it stays where you put it. If I spend 20 min picking my hair into a perfect afro, when you touch it, it dents. If someone has just done their hair, you touching it can ruin their hairstyle. Sorry, only my lover can touch my hair. Not everyone thinks it feels good to be petted & touched. I am one of those people.