Please Stop Saying These Things to Women With Natural Hair

by Patrice Grell Yursik for Seventeen

1. Is that all yours? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. It's really not your business, and it's rude to ask. Also, do people ask Kylie Jenner or Ariana Grande these kinds of questions? There are women with sew-in and clip-in hair of all ethnicities and hair textures, folks. Never assume.

2. Can you comb it or brush it? In my experience, the "Can you comb your hair?" question is an awkward attempt at shade, meant to imply that there's no way the impenetrable forest on top of my head could be tamed. I'm happy to tell you that, yes, I can comb my hair. I prefer to comb it when it's wet and drenched in conditioner and comb from tip to root when I'm in the shower. Brushing can make my natural hair frizzy, so I choose not to, but some women with natural hair totally love using a brush. I'd say in general, it's wisest and best to assume that we're all taking care of our hair in a way that works best for us and keep the personal grooming questions to a minimum lest you sound ignorant.

3. Do you wash your hair? Seriously? Rude. And, yes.

4. How'd you get it to do that? It depends entirely on what you mean by "that." If you're referring to the spirally, voluminous, and upward nature by which my hair grows out of my head, then I didn't do anything. I just let it grow and be fabulous on its own terms.

5. How come your hair looks like this and [insert another person of color] has hair like that? Because we're different people with different genetic makeups and, most likely, different ways of styling our hair? No two heads of natural hair are alike. It's like comparing snowflakes. Why compare when you can just appreciate that they're all beautiful in their own way?

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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