Hair just never seems to be hair. The debates of natural vs. straight hair are continuously found on blogs and magazines. Hair seems to be a popular topic, especially when it comes to the Black woman. But now are we really trying to answer the question, can I touch it?
In a recent post on CNN titled “‘Can I touch it?’ The fascination with natural, African-American hair” the author highlights how natural hair on African-American women creates curiosity, stories of experiences these women have and also race relations when it comes to beauty.
The author writers:
“Natural hair” for black women is, by definition, hair that is not processed and not chemically altered. Straightened hair is oftened viewed as easier to care for and more attractive.
Rather than use chemical straighteners known as relaxers (also sometimes called “creamy crack” for both the damage it can do to black hair as well as the inability of some women to live without it) some women wear their hair in its natural state.
Natural hair can be described as curly, kinky, wavy, or — the sometimes dreaded and considered by some to be an offensive word — nappy.
Black hair fuels a more than billion-dollar industry which includes products, weaves, and wigs that can enable African-American women to change up their styles at a whim. Tons of websites, blogs, books and videos about natural hair exist to educate those desiring to “go natural.”
The story also features self-confident commentary from writer and blogger, Los Angelista experiences with natural hair:
“Are you serious, I can’t touch your hair?” by writing that no she couldn’t, “Because my black ancestors may have been your ancestors’ property, and had to smile while they got touched in ways they didn’t want to, but I am not YOUR property and never will be so you’d best move your hand away from me.”
Where is all the tension coming from about Black women and hair? Are we that pretentious that people can’t touch our hair?