So, this one time, I was at a housewares store. (Stick with me. I promise this is going to become relevant.)
I was buying a glass bowl, it was yellow, and too much money. Aka this was a fancy home goods store with upscale shoppers and overpriced dishware.
I went up to the counter to make my purchase, when instead of reaching over the counter to scan the bowl, the cashier instead reached over and grabbed my hair.
“UH EXCUSE ME MISS WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
That’s what I should have said. Instead I just kind of gaped at her, open mouth, like a fish.
Did that really just happen?
She proceeded to tell me that she loved my hair and thought it was beautiful. Thanks. But I was still confused, did she think this was socially acceptable!?
So then I asked another curly girl, and another, and another.
“Once while working as a waitress this woman passed by me, turns around, and puts her hand on my head. I turned around and she says, “Sorry I couldn’t help it, your hair is so beautiful.”” – @fitgurlmel
“The Vice President of my company was in town one day and after a friendly hello, he reached his hand out and before I knew it he was touching my hair! – @BeatsbyKD
“I was in a beauty supply store and a lady asked if my hair was real. Another lady replied, ‘There’s crochet hair that looks just like this.’ I politely nodded, agreeing with her. And as soon as I turned my back, she touched my hair and ran off!” -@AshleyLynnn05
“A girl came up to me and said ‘Can I touch your hair? Because I’m going to touch it anyway.’ I just stared at her in pure shock.” -@AmandarrWalker
Apparently this happens all the dang time (which is probably why Solange wrote a song about it).
But the real question is, should this be happening?! Is it okay for strangers to touch your hair? We asked our curly community to weigh in, and we’d love to hear your thoughts too!
The Pro Side:
“I don’t have a problem when people ask to touch my hair. If anything, I take it as a compliment. I feel like people are fascinated by natural hair. Plus when they touch it, they tell me that it’s soft and smells good.” -@Beautyhealthandcurls
“At least once or twice a day, depending on the hairstyle, people ask to touch my hair. I personally don’t mind it, I say ‘proceed at your risk, it may bite.” -@fitgurlmel
“Honestly, I know the feeling of wanting to touch. When I see different textures, especially tighter coils, I feel strongly about wanting to learn more about it. I don’t have many friends with curly hair, so to see someone so different from myself is fascinating. But I’m also a firm believer in personal space and respect it.”-@AmandarrWalker
The No Side:
“I understand some people are fascinated by curls and fros, but it just makes me feel uncomfortable when they attempt to touch. Also, I worked really hard on my curls this morning, please don’t give me frizz.” -@FarahPink
“It’s rude when people walk up to you and touch your hair without asking or talking to you first about it! It’s like grabbing my butt. You just don’t do that!” -@_aubreanascurlss
“It doesn’t bother me when my hair is the subject of conversation or when I am on the hair aisle or at the salon or when my mom plays in my hair. It DOES bother me when I am at work, having a nice/special evening out or especially if it is a stranger. I would say to be safe, if you don’t know, don’t touch the fro.”– @BeatsbyKD
The general consensus? It’s cool when people are interested, but personal space is totally a thing – and it should be respected.
How do you handle when people want to touch your curls? Do you let people touch your hair?! Share your opinion (or your curly stories) with us in the comments below!