5 questions you should never ask a black woman about her hair

BY ONEIKA RAYMOND

Five annoying questions you should probably refrain from asking Black chicks about their hair.

If I had a dollar for every question I’ve gotten about my hair from non-Black people over the years, I’d be a rich woman!

But look. While I totally understand that Black girls’ hair is a mystery to many, there are just some questions one shouldn’t ask because they are obtuse, easily searchable if you take the initiative to educate yourself a bit on the topic, or wholly inappropriate.

But, I’m all about education, so in an effort to bridge the cultural divide (and have a little fun!) I made a video answering the top 5 burning questions non-Black people always seem to have about Black women’s hair.

So, to all my non-Black folk in the house, please keep an open mind and give it a watch so you can finally avoid getting sideeye from your Black friend when you inquire about her latest hairdo…

Because I live to give and lurve to serve (what?!), what other burning questions do you have about Black people’s hair? I’m all ears!

To my sistas out there, keep on spreading your Black Girl Magic across the globe! This clip might be a good resource to pass along to all your curious (and perhaps misguided) non-Black friends! I’d love to know: how many of these 5 questions have you gotten over the years?

And to everyone: hope you enjoy the dance break– I think humour is a great way to diffuse tension…

SHARING IS CARING

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116 Comments

  • When I get asked asked if my hair is real -it is because people are truly fascinated by it. I take it as a compliment. I actually made my blog name according to my hair 🙂

    Reply
  • As the owner of limp, thin, sad hair, I’m always fascinated by women with gorgeous ‘dos (like you!). I’m happy to say I’ve never asked these five questions though, and have certainly never tried to touch someone’s hair!

    PS- Thanks for all the travel inspiration you’ve given me!

    Reply
  • Normally, I do not reply to your posts even though I really enjoy your blog. It’s so inspiring. However, I just had to leave a comment because the way you did the countdown was hilarious!!! I have been asked all of those questions and I just tend to roll my eyes and slowing shake my head. Thanks for reminding me that our hair is really quite fascinating and I should be more patient.

    Reply
  • Great video Oneika and so hilarious! Usually I can’t watch them at all due to the music video laws in Germany….!

    I love the way you were swinging your hair about. Great stuff. And for the record, I looooove your hair.

    I don’t usally get asked about my hair from Germans who (I’m guessing) are too polite to ask, and moreover, I don’t have hair extensions just relaxed from time to time as I can’t be bothered with anything more complicated. And well, where would I get it done anyway? My hairdresser is a British gay man of colour and he keeps begging me to do something more complicated than relax and a trim!!!

    I usually get comments from Americans and Canadians!! One American actually told me that he hated my hair! And this was at a Gay Parade in Berlin. I discovered he was a haidresser…! When we went on our first trip to America, we were at a random cafe on Route 69 in California, and the waiting staff noticed that I was European before I even started talking (I’m British by the way!). I asked her how she knew. She said it was the way I dressed and my hair!!! I thought that was pretty strange as I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt! An ex – Canadian boss also told me that I could do anything with the new school I was opening at the time, but I shouldn’t do anything wild with my hair. I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. I mean, I’ve cut it any which way and I’ve had it coloured pink, red, gold, and even blonde over the years. Not a good look it seems. It turned out ginger..!! Apparantly, it wasn’t that, and it nudged me for years until I met an Afro-American girl on the ferry to Finland! I told her and she explained that there was hair politics in the US about natural hair and non-natural hair! I googled it later and was pretty shocked. I hadn’t heard the like!

    Weird!

    Reply
  • I have never asked any of these questions. But I would totally ask #5! I love beautiful braids, twists, etc. But you’re right, if it’s that important to me I should ask Mr. Google.

    I’m a non-black lady with incredibly curly hair and I HAVE been asked if someone could touch my hair. In a supermarket no less! Ironically, by some young black girls. (Also my mother-in-law, but that was less weird since I had known her for years)

    Reply
  • I am english with red hair, and I do wear extensions, because my real hair is so curly and frizzy it makes my life easier. I work really hard to make my extensions blend with my real hair and look natural. I HATE when people ask me if it is real as i fi d it embarrassing, and thet if I say it’s extensions, people tend to be disappointed which makes me feel embarrassed and ugly. If you like someone’s hair, just say so. Do not ask if it is real or ask to touch it. I am sure most women like to keep their beauty secrets to themselves.

    Reply
    • @DEEDEE
      I like your answer. They no need to know if real or not.
      What I do now, I ask or do the same to them and clearly they don’t like it. So don’t do to me what you wouldn’t want others do to you

      Reply
      • I think some people are way to sensitive. I ask about anyone’s hair I think is pretty. I also have been interesting in extensions. Many time think positive people maybe asking because they feel like you are someone they can ask.

        Reply
  • This blog just made my day. I have been asked the question a couple of times, and all simply do is show the person a couple of you tube videos on making black hair . The problem is they still go on and on asking is this your real hair? Is it fake?
    What bothers me is even if you do not give answers to their questions and decide to ignore, they still come to your desk to ask over and over, they also ask if they could touch…. grrrrr . They quickly add this… i like your hair, its beautiful and i’m curious because i really wish to do the same with mine. AM i supposed to snap back and say dont you dare ask questions about my hair ever! Its so annoying.

    Reply
  • I am currently living and studying in China, and I get asked many, many questions about my hair. Especially when I’m using braids. All of the Chinese people want to touch it, they are so fascinated by it. Even White European people have no idea how the braids are put in, etc. Sometimes, I invite them to come watch when I’m getting my hair done. I like your blog! <3

    Reply
  • one of my friends also have such kind hairs but i think its so attractive and beautiful. but asking the questions sometimes is more irritate.

    Reply
  • I was lovely to have the most wonderful Jamaican-Canadian friend as a child growing up, so I was lucky to learn about these things from her at very young age. I have to admit I may have been guilty of asking these questions if I hadn’t had early exposure. I think a lot of it is fascination and adoration but I can totally understand how it could get super annoying because it is so repetitive and personal. It quite similar to what pregnant women deal with with people touching their pregnant bellies. You would never otherwise touch a woman’s belly! The personal somehow becomes public without our consent. I work with a lovely South African woman now and yes, she has had a plethora of memorizing hairdos. I have seen people ask her these questions but people are also saying things like “I love your hair”, “It’s gorgeous”, “You look like a goddess” and “You look like a mermaid”. I hope that you have at least received compliments to counter the annoying questions to some extent! If it makes you feel any better, blondes like myself get awkward treatment in countries where we are a minority too. Requests for awkward photos and to hold people’s babies are common. Some people will try to sneakily snip a piece of your hair to keep. I’ve seen people pick up a strand of hair that I have shed and ask to keep it. Also, we get a ridiculous amount of unwanted attention. A blessing and curse!

    Reply
  • boring…! these are simple questions…just level up
    Just tell your fellow sisters to Stop wearing Fake hair…I am frankly tired of them. Wear your natural hair and learn how to better manage them, not tucking them in and wear Fake hair on the pretext of whether your hair is too difficult to manage..That’s pathetic..

    Reply
    • to: gerald September 09, 2019

      hunny you dont know crap cause you aint black. you prolly bald anyways so boo bye. ;D
      baby you really smell like quarters when it rains? and you wanna get after Us bout our hair? We smell like shaved butter vanilla bean and the woman of your dreams go sit down lil boy

      Reply
  • I’m white and haven’t met many black women, as I have lived in NZ and Australia most of my life (so far) and we just don’t have many black people here. So… I’ve never asked any of these questions, nor would I.

    But I just knew that the number one no-no question was going to be “Can I touch it?”!!! 🙂

    Reply
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