It’s a Hair Thing, Baby

28 01 2011

The other night I was having a conversation with a guy when I had one of my infamous word vomity moments and blabbed that I’m basically putty in the hands of a man who can do a good hair rub.

The guy was amazed, 1) at my word vomit – he hadn’t really experienced it before. Trust me, it can be kind of jarring if you’re not used to it; and 2) that his knowledge of black women being opposed to any kinds of hands in their hair was off base.

At first he didn’t believe me. But as I pointed out to him – umm sir, I just gave you some very crucial information here, albeit inadvertently! Its not everyday a woman just tells a man her kryptonite; especially a man who’s bound to try and use it against her at some point.

Either way, while I don’t purport to speak for all women, I would like to explain the nuances in the stereotype that black women don’t want you touching their hair (at least for me).

For starters, there’s a difference between the guy I’m with comforting me after a frustrating day/moment by taking me in his arms and rubbing my hair and some dude I don’t know putting his grubby ass fingers in my hair. I thought I had it bad with this because for some reason guys randomly like to touch my hair when I’m out, like there’s a sign that says ‘please touch me!’ on it, but after going out with 3 of my favs who have natural hair and seeing how guys think its OK to touch their ‘fro or pull one of their curls, I realized my plight was nothing compared to theirs.

Still, if you do that to any of us, you’re going to get the death stare. Not because my hair is sacred; it’s because I don’t. Know. You! I would react in the same manner if you touched any other part of my body as well.

Another distinction is between rubbing lightly (which really doesn’t mess anything up) and fussing up my hair, especially if I just got it done. See, here’s the thing… that pic up there looks all cute to you, doesn’t it? Awww I know, so wonderful and fun… except that it’s not. I just spent a minimum of 2 hours at the salon (if I went to a Dominican salon) or all day (if I went to an African-American one… #notthrowingstones #justsayin), and you want to take your hand and fuss that up?! Boy, I oughtta… That would be the equivalent of you spending all day cleaning your car, giving me the keys to go get some food and I come back and it looks like I took the car through a swamp. That’s what you’ve done to my hair… Made it look like I went to the swamp. That’s not okay.

Lastly, I am (and I think most women are) perfectly okay with a little tug during certain activities and if I need to get my hair done anyway, I may just join you in the shower. But what I won’t do is sit under that hell of a dryer for an hour, feeling my scalp peel away from my brain, and then jump in the shower with you that night. Hell, chances are that I’m probably not wrapping my hair* and I’m definitely not putting a scarf on if you’re spending that night… Isn’t that enough? What more do you want from me, mannnnn?!

So folks, does that explain the hair thing a little more? Girls, are those things just me? Do you have other distinctions you have to offer? And guys, has the hair thing ever really impeded on something you were trying to do with your girl? If so, please explain.

*Though I may pin curl it; I think I figured out a way to still look cute with that, but that’s only after like the 3rd night in a row. My hair can last through the 1st 2 and still be fine in the morning (not that I’ve tested out this theory or anything like that).

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5 responses

28 01 2011
S_Lyphe

I don’t know if it’s because we’ve been friends too long, but playing in a woman’s hair is totally like cuddling for me. I ONLY do it if I like them, even if I don’t realize I like them like that. A few times I’ve looked back and been like “wait, was I just playing in her hair?! Maybe she’s more than just a…” I don’t know what that says about, but I’m sure you and CCB are gonna tell me! LOL

28 01 2011
dbaham

Oh, we’re totally there brother! (maybe it’s because we have been friends too long lol)… but yea, as far as I’m concerned, if a guy is playing in my hair, we’re most likely cuddling – so they kind of go hand in hand and thus wouldn’t happen with someone I’m not feeling like that. If I don’t want an rssfeed to cuddle, I certainly don’t want him using my kryptonite on me. ICK!

At the same token, I don’t think most guys even go in for the hair rubbing unless you two are close… so there seems to be somewhat of an understanding when it comes to that lol. And just so you know, if the girl was letting you play in her hair without objections and you two weren’t already in an explicit relationship, she was probably having the same thought process as you… like, “wait, am I letting him play in my hair?! Maybe that means he’s more than just a…” lmao!

28 01 2011
countryclubbarbie

Umm – this might be where we differ.

Although I have a major, major hair complex (like it’s a borderline disorder), I’m not as thrown by a guy who plays in my hair, rubs his fingers through it, whatever. Some guys just like playing with hair and if I’m comfortable enough with you to let you do it then fine. I mean, we’re not talking about the bum in the club or that stranger on the subway who asked me to let him run his fingers through my hair (true story). But, if we’re dating, and you put your fingers in my hair or something, I just take it more like a gesture of affection, like holding my hand when we’re walking down the street or putting your arm around my waist when we’re out.

If you want to use my hair as a test of how much I like you then tell me you like me to wear it a certain way and see how often I do it. I’m very particular aobut my hair, so if I make an effort do it the way that a guy likes instead of how I like then you know I’m falling for you.

Maybe I’m just weird on that one. And you’d think I’d care the most considering how completely dysfunctional I am about my hair.

28 01 2011
S_Lyphe

Oh, i have to chime in here that I NEVER tell a woman anything more than casual how much I like her hairstyle, because changes are I don’t care about it as much as she does. Unless it looks a mess. Then I care about it very much. I told a girl once that I liked it when she wore her straight. A year later, she was telling me how she felt like she couldn’t be herself around me because she had to wear her that way for me. Mind you I never said anything else about her hair in the intervening months. She wore her frizzy for several months after we stopped talking. In protest I think. Lesson learned. Do you homie, do you. Just look good doing it, ok? haha

28 01 2011
countryclubbarbie

Ha ha – well I like when a guy compliments my hair because to me it means he noticed the hard work I put in (and I puts in WORK!). And, if he says he likes it I KNOW he’s attracted to me when I wear it like that. It makes perfect sense to me. He likes my hair that way, I’ll do it. I’m not saying ALL the time. But, for example, Voldy always raved about how he loved when I wore my hair curly because he thought it looked excotic and it was different from how I always wore it. So, more often then I normally will, I’d wear it curly. I like to do stuff to please my man. IDK. Maybe it’s me. But if he notices my hair (and guys usually don’t) then I’m going to take notice.

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