No. You Can’t Touch My Hair!

No. You Can’t Touch My Hair!

720 480 Malia

Hey Curls!

I need your thoughts on this topic.

As we all know, our natural hair attracts a lot of attention. Whether it be stares from curious on-lookers, or the topic of discussion at every social event, everyone wants to know the physics behind a black woman’s curls.

As naturals, we are used to being the center of attention when we step into a room, but I don’t think that we will ever get used to people randomly, without permission, touching our hair.

I’m all down for the cause of explaining the dynamics of my curly roots, but I will not tolerate somebody digging through my tresses, as if they were searching for a pot of gold because their curiosity has escaped them and led them to my head. I am totally against my hair being touched by strangers for an obvious hygienic reason, but also because I just feel like it is really disrespectful.

Our hair is apart of our personal space, and I don’t believe that space should be invaded unless I invite you.

Many women have different views on this topic, but more times than not, a woman is not going to go for some random person just walking up on her and touching her hair.


This past weekend, natural queen and our favorite “directher”, Ava Duvernay, had this experience while attempting to board her train.  A man who on the surface seemed very intrigued by her gorgeous locs, crossed the line when he touched her hair without asking. Check out Ava’s account of the incident below:

Missed train dealing w/ a man who touched my hair + when I asked what in all the hells he thought he was doing replied “Is this racial?”

Other women came over. Guy is screaming at all of us. Station police involved. It was a whole thing. As I see my train blink off the board.

Now he’s having charges pressed by another lady for harassment. Moral: DON’T TOUCH anyone uninvited. ESPECIALLY not this black woman’s hair.


A similar incident happened to our Spring 2014 cover model, and natural hair queen, Teyonah Parris, recently at the Ritz Carlton, when a man approached her and asked her if she was wearing an “add on.”  He was so fascinated by her hair that he asked the waitresses to style their hair in the same fashion because Teyonah’s hair was “stimulating” to him.  Check out Teyonah’s account of the event below:

Having tea at The Ritz w/beautiful brown folk. Old Man walks over boldly asks me “Is that yours or an add on?!” Clearly referring to my hair.

I firmly state “Sir, that’s rude.” And turn to finish enjoying my company. He continues w/ “I told the manager he should have the waitresses wear that hair because it’s stimulating.” I say, “Excuse me?” He says, “I’m saying I like it.” I reply “That’s all you had to say. You like it.”

I turn back to my company to once again END this convo w/ my body language, and this man grabs my hair- I swear to Goodness- as he says “It’s stimulating!” His 40 something yo daughter is clearly uncomfortable as she sees my and the whole group of brown folks reaction and she goes “He’s trying to give you a compliment. C’mon Dad!”

I’m dumbfounded and in shock. You have objectified, fetishized, attempted to demean, and a number of other things all in one quick exchange. The sad thing is after all of my explaining to him about how inappropriate he was. I’m pretty sure he left as clueless as he arrived. Yup, it’s 2015. There’s levels to this type of #ignorance and #privilege.


Curls, I want to know your thoughts on this topic. Are you cool with people touching your hair, or are you against it? Talk to Me.




ITS LIT!! Malia Brown is the creator of UrbanSocial and Natura magazine. She is the former college ambassador for ESSENCE, a Journalist, and an on-air personality. Malia is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she reports on beauty, pop-culture, political affairs, and race relations.

All stories by:Malia

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