I never used to like my hair. It was always too ‘bushy’ or ‘puffy’ or more accurately, non-Caucasian and it really pissed me off! From as early as 10 I have permed, relaxed, braided and weaved the fuck outta my hair in order to keep it under control and looking ‘normal’. Every other month I would sit for 10 hours straight as my Auntie braided my mane and then endure another 10 hours taking them out a month later. Beauty is not just pain… beauty is a pain in the fecking ass! It wasn’t until I took out my braids I was wearing at the time and popped into the living room to show my flat mate how insane my hair looks naturally, that I stopped trying to pretend I didn’t have afro hair. Who knew that it only took the consent of one drunk Irish guy for me to feel confident about my Mufasa mane!
That was about 6 years ago and I haven’t tried to restrict my hair from doing what it wants ever since. I now however experiment with it a lot and have gone from a full ‘fro to half a ‘fro, bright orange (or ‘attention seeking orange’ as my friend liked to coin it!), red, and now a bleached blonde ‘fro-hawk. I totally understand and appreciate the fact that I look slightly different when walking down the street or frequenting local bars, especially in Dublin where looking different isn’t as celebrated as it is say in London. I’ve had people take pictures of me, stop me in the vegetable aisle of Tesco to comment and small children fleeing like I’m an ogre… but I can just about handle that. However… I dare you to touch my hair one more time without my say so and without me knocking you the fuck out!
What is it with people wanting to get a hold of afro hair? I get that it may seem like a foreign concept to the vast majority who own dull lifeless hair, but really… it’s just hair. I have to be more relaxed about the touching as if I freaked out every time it happens, I would be involved in daily street brawls reminiscent of Street Fighter II on the Sega Mega Drive. It’s just rude. Those who ask me with genuine inquisitive sincerity whether they can have a quick feel of my ‘fro I usually allow. I mean every day is a school day, and if touching the soft bounce of my well-crafted coiffure enhances your understanding of black hair, then get right in there and manhandle that shit until your heart’s content! BUT if you’re just being a complete an utter twat who finds it totes hilar to grab my hair as I walk past… you and I are gonna have issues.
Now I know some folks THINK they mean well and by fondling my hair like an animal is somehow a compliment… but it’s weird. And just no. You may be fascinated with black women’s natural hair, but it’s disrespectful to pet us like a bloody hamster.
I have decided that the next random stranger to grab and sometimes pull my hair just for shits and giggles, I will exercise my sense of touch and grab their penis or breast whilst violently tugging until they back the hell up… or their junk just falls off. You know… just for shits and giggles. My hair isn’t a playground and I have no idea where your grubby hands have been. So please retract your mitts from the top of my head… oh and go buy me a drink.