- Be clear and explicit in explaining how your hair can be handled by those closest to you. For some reason, a lot of people think that loose natural hair requires no styling and therefore is subject to random probing.
- Explain to your significant other that your hair may come out of its style if fondled roughly. You know what I mean!
- Try to refrain from utilizing martial arts in protecting your coif. This may be especially difficult for the aggressive natural.
- Develop a good side eye. When someone attempts to touch your hair, and you wish they'd keep their hands to themselves, turn to face them, look them squarely in the eye and then SIDE EYE the hell out of them!
- Decide under which conditions you will allow people to touch your hair. For me, I will let another natural touch my hair pretty much all day long; however, random folks get the case-by-case screening because some people get nap-happy.
- Explain to your significant other AGAIN how to handle your hair w/TLC if s/he plans to handle you w/TLC. You may need diagrams. I pretty much allow my boo free reign unless my hair is up and tucked away, which he knows took me some doing. He knows that it's play time if my hair is in twists, a fro, or a puff, as long as he does not leave "holes" in my hair.
- When all else fails, channel Ms. Sophia (from the play The Color Purple, not the movie The Color Purple) and state in a strong, clear voice "Helllllllllllllllllll, NO!"
I decided to write a brief post about a subject that has come up infrequently since I went natural and is very near and dear to me. I am currently in an interracial relationship and some people have been curious to know what he thinks of my hair (he's blue-eyed and brown-haired). In short, he LOVES it! He likes to smell it, touch it, play in it, and he even likes to look at pictures of my different hair styles. He has looked at countless pictures of me w/long, straight hair and always wrinkles his nose and says, "well, I like your hair however YOU wanna do it". When pressed further, he admits that he prefers my hair natural. I love that he loves my hair. When I first went natural, I was a little worried about the reactions of men and didn't want to look masculine. Other new naturals have voiced this concern, too. I noticed that I got one of two reactions from Black men. They either loved it or hated it. I actually had a Black, male co-worker tell me he thought I looked better w/straight hair and that I did not seem suited for natural hair. WTH!?! I heard a lot of talk of "good hair" and "at least you're light-skinned" and I also got a little weary of the "soul sistah" comments. I seriously need to have a shirt made that says "It's just HAIR!", but I digress. I love my hair, but I love it for it's uniqueness, not because it's a political statement or an expression of my Blackness (I was plenty Black with the creamy crack). I really appreciate that my boyfriend sees my hair as an extension of me and not a costume or an accessory. Even cuter, he remembers exactly how my hair was when we met (in a twist out pony puff, although he would never call it that). In general, I love when men are not only tolerant or accepting of natural hair, but wholly appreciative.