There's no denying natural hair stands out -- it's kind of hard to hide, after all (and really, shouldn't feel the need to anyways). Thanks to its gravity-defying, full texture, it easily captures attention, regardless of its size. And with that attention, comes plenty of questions, comments and concerns.
If you’re curious that’s OK. And if you want to give us compliments, feel free (every girls wants to know when her hair’s looking good, right?). But there are some inquiries, remarks and advice that will seriously push natural haired-girls buttons.
Here's what you should think twice before saying to someone with natural hair:
1. "Why don’t you wear your hair straight anymore? It looked so much nicer!"
Whatever one’s reason for going natural -- style, damage, to make a statement -- it’s our hair, and we can do whatever we want with it.
2. "Can I touch it?"
To be honest, even if you ask permission, you most likely won't receive it. Nevermind that touching natural locks excessively usually leads to fizz, but the person requesting the privilege to finger-tango through our hair is usually a stranger or an acquaintance. Do you commonly reach out to touch someone’s body while they’re standing in line for a coffee? It’s a bit invasive. And saying,"Your hair just looks so cool," will not absolve you of your crimes.
Though if someone does ask you for permission...
Smile and touch theirs back.
3. "What’s your curl type?"
This one usually goes from one natural haired girl to another. If you’re not familiar, curl type is used to describe the shape of your curls -- loose, coily, etc. Chances are you have a mix of 4a, 3b and 4c rooting around on your scalp, so it may not be easy to determine. And it may not be helpful trying to use this is a model to determine your best hair regimen. Porosity, breakage, thickness and more play a factor, and aren’t covered in that number/letter combo. Basically, it's way more complicated than the simple answer you'd expect.
4. "Just apply a dime-sized dollop"
Why would you lie to us like that, conditioner labels? And hairstylists too, for that matter.
6. (On wash day): "Let's hang out!"
If a natural-haired girl ever gave you the "I’m washing my hair" excuse for not wanting to go out, chances are you thought it was nonsense. But in this case, please believe us. Wash day is a full-day affair that requires time, upper-body strength and sometimes meal sacrifices. Please don’t take it personally.
7. "You may not want to wear your hair like that for a job interview."
This piece of advice comes with a lot of baggage. Maybe you think natural hair looks messy and unprofessional, and are just trying to help. But that thought comes after years of women being told that using chemicals and extensions to achieve silky straight tresses is the only way to be seen a professional or beautiful. Instead of dredging that up, how about you offer to ask us practice questions instead. We’ll handle the hair.
8. "Don’t cut your hair."
If you want to grow your hair right down to your hips, you work for those goals. If a grown-out tapered cut is your fancy, go for it! If you want to rock a fade with a clean line up to boot, do you boo. It’s your head, only your input is needed.
9. "I just don’t get how you could spend so much money on your hair.""
Good thing it's our money, not yours.
10. "Did you do your hair this morning?"
After deep conditioning, hand whipping some hair butter, putting hair in 18 two-strand twists at night and taking them out in the morning -- gingerly separating each one -- that question is just rude.
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