As previously stated, I did not wear my hair natural until recently. So, I knew starting up this school year with my curls was going to be, weird, for lack of a better word. Most of my peers did not recognize me initially, a lot of them offered compliments and I can’t count how many times I’ve heard “YOUR HAIR IS AWESOME!” But, there are always those comments that are a little weird.
“You’ve got a different look today, like, the frizzy look.”
“You are in the picture with your hair THAT BIG?” - a friend of mine after someone took a photo of us
I’ve even had three friends tell me they’re jealous of my hair, which was definitely cool and something I am not used to hearing. In addition, one of my friends sent me a vintage-looking photo in a text message of a girl with a perfect, circular, picked-out afro. She said, “This is what I would do if I had your hair.” Another friend of mine also suggested I try the picked-out look, so this is something I’m considering.
The weirdest thing about these conversations and comments is that I do nothing to warrant them, I don’t really talk about my hair. Everyone else just constantly brings it up.
“Work that afro guuuuuuuuurl!”
“Your hair, did you do something to it? Are you just letting it do it’s thing? That’s cool, I like it.”
“Oh my god, I love your hair. It is so cute!”
“It’s kind of intimidating.”
“I like your hair SO much better curly. It just looks so much more fierce. I forgot what it looks like when you flat-iron it, honestly.”
“Your hair, it’s amazing. I just…I really like it.”
“Your hair is PERFECT.”
“Holy hair! It looks so cool! You had a boyfriend that didn’t want you to wear it like that, right? He must be crazy.”
Not everything is complimentary though. One particular customer at work told me as I was explaining our hair products—that I use—to her, “And they work?” I told her yes, she replied, “But…your hair is so DRY. They must not work that well,” she left a couple minutes afterwards.
A couple of days ago a family came into my workplace. I greeted them and started polite conversation as I normally do with customers. The teens looked around the store while I spoke with their mother. At one point the mother looked at her son, who wore his 4b curls in an afro and told him:
“You need a haircut, kiddo.”
“No, I do not.”
She laughed, “Yes you do, your hair is a hot mess.”
“Mom, no its not!”
“It looks ridiculous, we should dip into the salon upstairs and see if they can take you.”
The boy looked at me desperately, as if he wanted my help in appeasing his mom because I was also wearing my hair in an afro. However, I remained quiet.
He looked up at his mom and said quietly, “But, I like my afro…”
She chuckled at him and mentioned the salon again, soon enough they took their leave.
Does an afro equal a “hot mess”? Does natural hair look “ridiculous”? Absolutely not. Is it more acceptable for a black woman to wear an afro than a black man?
As I was putting in my extensions my roommate made a comment that made me laugh a little. “You look like a lion, you have so much hair right now.”
Of course, most people wouldn’t think that long, albeit straight hair looks lion-ish. Honestly, most people probably think I look like a lion when I’m rocking my afro. It’s funny to me that since she’s used to the ‘fro “white people hair” looks weird on me.
The weirdest thing about wearing my hair straight was the reaction from my guy friends. Three of them just could not deal with the fact that my hair was straight.
“Can we just talk about your hair for a minute? Why did you change it?! WHEN did you change it?! It looks so good!”
“Oh my GOD, your hair! It is so intense right now! It looks so good, you look so pretty! I’m sorry, it’s just…I’ve never seen it like this before, it’s actually kind of weird. But it looks really good though!” —-this friend continued hitting on me all night…Awkward.
“It IS kind of weird isn’t it?”
Good to know I’m only shockingly pretty when my hair is straight, I guess.
Okay, nerdy confession time. I love Harry Potter. In some of my photos you will probably notice that I have a Dark Mark tattoo.
A friend was visiting a couple days ago and commented on the fact that I have a wand from the Harry Potter amusement park in Florida. He said he had one too, but he just got one of the generic wands because he wanted to have his own. I told him that I had Bellatrix Lestrange’s wand and that I think I want to be her for Halloween eventually.
He looked at the wand and at me and then said, “I could definitely see that. You basically have her hair, hers is just longer.”
He was comparing my hair to Helena Bonham Carter’s hair in the HP movies. This is the first time anyone has ever compared my natural hair to that of a white person or white celebrity. I’m not really sure what to think of it. Anyway, as you can see her hair is very curly, though her curls are not as tight as mine. However, her hair is curlier in other photos.