7 Things White People Don’t Understand About Black Hair

October 18, 2011  |  
2 of 8

Black hair in any state can be down right fascinating. Whether it’s silky, straight and draping or kinky, coily and wild, or something in between, our hair has the ability to shape shift like nobody else’s. Nobody has hair like ours. So it’s no surprise when people from other races have tons of questions about our hair and the way we take care of it. They’re honest questions and if asked in the spirit of genuine curiosity, I don’t mind educating someone about black hair. Which is why I’m taking the time out to educate non-blacks about a topic that’s so near and dear to our hearts and our minds: our hair.

Check it out:

1- We don’t want you to touch our hair because we’re human beings not some type of specimen in a zoo

I have no problem with people touching my hair… if they ask. As a stranger to walk up and touch someone’s hair… or anything on their person for that matter is rude. I understand curiosity and I’m into texture so I like to touch people’s hair too. But for the love of God ask first. Don’t let your curiosity get you cussed out. I do believe Biebs asked to touch Esperanza’s hair in the photo above but still black women felt a little twinge about it.

2- If my hair is cut in a pixie cut one day and down my back the next, it’s probably some sort of extensions

This one always amazed me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to say to someone “You know this isn’t my hair, right?”. It’s funny I can’t think of a time when I didn’t know about fake hair. Even my grandma had some pieces she’d slip in her head if she wanted some extra body that day. As much as mainstream celebrities rely on extensions and fake hair it’s amazing that the general population can be so oblivious to their prevalence in everyday life.

3- Our hair, as it grows out of our head, is not unprofessional

Honestly I hear this one perpetuated by whites and blacks equally. The notion that our hair, chemically unaltered, is unprofessional is simply ridiculous and discriminatory. It’s the equivalent of asking a darker complected individual to invest in bleaching cream so he or she can fit into the corporate world.

4- Wearing our hair natural is not to make some type of rebellious statement

Who knows where this notion came from but wearing our hair unstraightened is not indicative of being a member of a counterculture. It’s just who I am.

5- I don’t have to wash my hair everyday

I remember back in elementary school I stayed the night over one of my friends’ house. Before we went to bed or when we got up in the morning my girlfriend informed me that she wasn’t going to wash her hair that day and she didn’t want me to think that she was dirty. I told her I wash my hair once a week. And the look on her face was absolutely priceless. Afterward I had to have the “black hair” conversation with her. Black hair thrives on oils and washing our hair and having to replenish the oils again requires entirely too much time (and money). So once a week it is.

6- Oil is actually good for our hair

Ooo there is nothing worse than seeing someone’s hair being weighed down by oil. It’s gross. And while oil is a the arch nemesis of someone with European hair, it’s actually our friend. Black hair thrives on oil. So much so that the activity of oiling our scalps has become a romantic gesture.

7- It may take some time for it to look right

Which is exactly I won’t be coming to that pool party. Because after I spent 13 hours in the beauty shop and paid a small fortune on this do– if someone throws me in the water somebody’s going to get cut.

Please note that it’s all about love and education. Most black women don’t have a problem taking the time to explain our hair to you as long as you approach us the right way.

What questions have you had to answer from non-black people about black hair?

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  • Jane

    In the beginning you say no one has hair like us, it’s no wonder they have tons of questions. Are white people the only ones who don’t understand everything about black people’s hair? Because the name of this article is “7 things white people dont understand about black hair”. Black people have very unique hair, so everyone else but black people misunderstand it. Not just white people.

  • Clo

    Lots of people of various ethnicities have a good relationship with oil when it comes to my hair. It’s quite common and it’s not just blacks – made me raise my eyebrows that you even included that in an article Toya’s meant to be about things unique to the hair of black people when this is clearly not. I’m surprised you don’t know that. I’m white and wash my hair once a week, anything more and my hair is too dry. My hair also “thrives on oil”.

  • Judyallbrite

    This was very helpful. Thank you, and now one less black person will have to be pestered with these questions. I guess I wondered how often black women washed their hair. I knew it wasn’t daily but had no idea how often other than that. So thanks again!

  • naynay

    I got tired of these comments — I thought that this article was about Black hair, etc., and I read comments arguing about being called African American or Black and it went to wherever you were born — European, Africa, etc., I’m done with this article!

  • weirdo

    I think that the whites should not be racist about black people’s hair because this is a true honest fact that black people were rich and they had hair styles that are magnificent until today when they were suddenly tied up and was forced to do the work and give the money that they owned to them.so people listen up if your white don’t be rude to the blacks because your ancestors are black believe it or not but its true. not to be rude but black peoples hair are quite better than the whites because their hair is the quite old the same just straight just curly or turning into being curly or frizzy just frizzy, but the blacks don’t need to add in any accesories because it already prepared for our need, and if you see the blacks wearing extensions its a good thing however its healthier for our hair and in a way making us have the best hairs for life so you might want to keep quite because the one had already spoken the truth and that’s a tip.

  • Miracle LaGrange

    “Black hair thrives on oils” Uh, that’s true of all hair……… LOL Also, seriously, the ads……. Nie clickbair but I literally almost couldn’t get through this.

    • Judyallbrite

      I think she meant added oils. My hair is too oily sometimes by the end of the day if I wash it in the morning. I certainly don’t need to add more.

  • Fobes

    the title of this article is racist. “why people sometimes don’t get a black woman’s hair” – why not that? Are all “white” people the same? What about those with different colors in their families? How about we stop with the labeling

  • Jess

    I have some Nordic ancestry in my predominantly French/Scottish self so my hair is confused. It’s not super dry but I can’t wash it more than once a week, and I need to oil my scalp in winter. It will also twist, my hair isn’t curly it’s wavy and when I need a curl back I just finger twist my hair and it stays. So it’s really hard to find things for my hair and I feel really unwelcome asking black women about their hair or going into the “ethnic” section because of the looks I get. I hate the ignorance about natural hair and black hair, but it still hurts my feelings when people assume that all white people have limp Anglo Saxon hair.

  • Leslie Harrington

    The one about about natural hair being unprofessional got to me. Not quite the same thing, but I had frizzy corkscrew hair before my son was born (from my Irish side, I assume), and I’ve been criticized for its “unprofessional” appearance many times. I had a boss offer to buy me frizz ease (does nothing when your “frizz” is actually natural curls popping out of my pony tail at a restaurant job where pony tails were required). My brother called me before a job interview just to inform me that I should pull my hair back in a “tight pony tail without frizz” (again, not possible!!). All the same, I miss my curls.

  • Eva Bittner

    Yeah ok, I have never walked up and grabbed any strangers hair but I have had a strange black woman do it to me. I do not wash my hair every day just when it looks and feels dirty maybe twice a week because I naturally have some what greasy hair. My hair loves oil too. Takes forever to dry or style and no matter what I do it will look crazy the next day. I however only get my hair done every six weeks because I can’t afford to spend $100 to $150 per trip and nothing special either just straightened. I’m white and I’m sorry but having “white hair” isn’t a walk in the park either.

  • Toronto27

    One thing black people and white people don’t understand: there aren’t just black-skinned and white-skinned people in this world. You aren’t the only ones who matter, so to the author of this post, insinuating that brown-skinned people are synonymous with “white people” is extremely insulting. Shame on you.

  • Alex

    As a white chick with blonde “European hair” I can understand *ALL* of this. I have crazy frizzy curly curls that get into dreads if i don’t oil my scalp frequently. Not sure if it’s the Scottish in me but I learnt how to deal with my hair from my afram friends. Lord love them. <3

  • iWritethetruth

    I hate African American hair it’s too nappy and it makes no sense to wash it because it take to damn long to flat iron it it’s not like I can just blow dry it and call it a day

  • I wish I had known the Romantic part, because that’s personal! White people are very talkative about each others hair, we don’t view it romantically and so it’s not personal us. (we don’t want anyone to say bad things either, but it’s not that personal to most white folks)

    Now I understand there is a personal boundary here and I can respect it! THANK YOU a million times thank you!!!!

    I have lost black friends because
    I was curious about their hair. I just put it on the taboo list because
    I was scared of loosing more friends, until one day I didn’t understand
    something about my friends hair and then there were the awkward questions, and I tried to ask them matter of factly, which let to more awkward statements.

    Thank you!

  • Kaleb A

    I’m proud of myself for being white and pretty much knowing all of these. I remember being the white person who didn’t know all these things, and I can now, even before reading this article, understand better why black people/women are so frustrated with us XD

    • Kaleb A

      Whoops, I just realized how old this article was. Welllllllllp….

  • GreatCatSbee

    I wish you’d give us some advice and hairstyle ideas to help our metis family instead of calling us out on being idiots. -_-

  • Linn Kamst

    Some ‘European’ curly hair doesn’t like being washed too often either. It dehydrates the hair and makes it feel like straw. This type of hair also likes oil treatments. 🙂

  • RDKirk

    Well, when we first started wearing ‘Fros in the 60s, it WAS as a deliberate political statement. I had to argue with my mother about it, and there were people who asked me, “You aren’t one of those revolutionaries, are you?”

  • Baekbitch

    The struggle of waking up in the morning and thinking hey… should i brush my hair . Like nah this hair is wayyy too curly

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  • YeahISaidItyousmellittoo

    Your hair stinks! You wear your wigs and weaves and don’t wash them. Smells like sour fiunk!

  • Sarah Benefield

    Some white people are aware of all of these facts. Even white people with very dry hair can relate to the not washing daily and oiling their hair. Additionally, the “don’t touch without asking” goes both ways. I have very soft, very fine, reddish hair. When it was long, I would often have people of all races, but especially blacks, who would just walk up and touch it. Not nice.

  • Zack Myers

    Question; I’ve been looking into why people have different hair color and why. Every site says it due to the melatonin of their skin. But this doesn’t make sense to me. If black people have black hair due to their pigmentation then why do white people also have black hair due to their pigmentation also??? If hair color has to do with pigmentation then no white people would have black hair right???

    • Adriannan Nonyo

      I always thought because it was genetics, aboriginals have blonde hair passed down from their parents (black).

  • ShaNayNay

    In my childhood my mom forced me to use coconut oil every other day and combed my hair. I washed my hair every other day. I’m thankful for that, as now I have better hair than many others.

  • Josh Yoni Shechter

    I’m a very pale European Caucasian guy
    With naturaly crazy wild kinky hair that does whatever it likes. I completely understand this list!

  • sophlames

    you sound slightly ignorant. why dont you call yourself white american and be part of the majority. Black american is still stating that you are different. The only group that complains or gets called out for sticking something in front of american are blacks. The italians, irish and polish all say it and get no flack about it. There is no difference between black and african american. Its a means of describing ones self. All this philosophy around it is bs.

  • Isabel

    Ethnic hair is awesome. I’m Hispanic, with a hint of black ancestry, and I have extremely thick, curly brown hair. I can relate to so much of this.

  • Dawn LaRae Jones

    i alter the frequency of washing a little here and there, but i’m black and i wash my hair about every 2-3 days. cowash mostly, but every third wash or so i shampoo. so about once a week i shampooo my hair.

  • MiMi

    I think you need to be Veeeeeery specific about why we don’t wash our hair as often… Because we don’t need to. I noticed that white people’s hair get’s very oily. If they don’t wash their hair everyday, it’s oily enough to deep fry a turkey(I’m over exaggerating).

    Our hair does not get oily. This is how it works for black hair.

    day 1: wash hair (Clean non oily scalp, smells like shampoo)
    day 2: hair still clean, non oily scalp
    day 3: hair is still as clean as day one. no oil on scalp
    day 4: still…. clean. no oil on scalp
    day 5: tiny bit of oil
    day 6: time to wash hair

    That stuff that comes out of their scalp, does not come out of our scalp as much and in such huge amounts as them.
    Then you need to be specific about oiling out hair. BECAUSE our hair doesn’t naturally get as oily on it’s own(stays clean longer) we substitute for store bought oils to give our hair moisture. Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, carrot oil, argan oil. Put some on our fingers, then massage it into our hair 🙂 Because otherwise our hair will be dry since it doesn’t oil up on it’s own like white people’s hair. coconut oil smells fruity and sweet, and doesn’t leave your hair feeling oily to the touch. Matter of fact, you don’t even know it’s there.

  • wifey

    Thank you for this article. I had wondered some of these things but had never felt comfortable asking friends or coworkers. Black hair is beautiful and I have seen many wonderful hairdos over the years.

  • Dara Nicole Boyd-Galleguillos

    What white people do not understand this…?

  • kita

    I personally don’t understand when anyone try’s to to understand something that has nothing to do with them…… Don’t worry about the kinks if you don’t have to! Im offended if when they even speak on mine, Im like we don’t have time to explain ALL of our differences lets find the things that make us the same. (heart, mind, feelings, etc)

  • MikeH22020

    Talk about using race card for headlines……the headline is ” 7 things white people don’t understand about black hair ” yet the article states ” So it’s no surprise when people from other races have tons of questions about our hair and the way we take care of it”

    Why in the world would they single out “white” in headline then claim all races have questions????


  • Lucky502

    Exactly. I am a Black American woman. Some choose to be called AA, others call themselves Black. Different strokes.

    • truth_seeker

      The funny thing is we’re actually different shades of brown.

    • Kate Newton

      Why not call yourself just American? 😉

      • Lucky502

        Because I prefer being referred to a Black woman.

        • Kate Newton

          Usually people prefer to be called by their name. But be well Black Woman.

          • Lucky502

            Thank you and I will!

  • Ashely

    I hate black people hair, it’s always so disgusting looking

    • Try to keep your opinion to yourself, although I kinda agree with you.

    • Guestest

      Not as disgusting as white people’s hair. It’s so stringy. You have to wash it all the time to keep the lice out of it.. Eww Lol

  • Tyra

    First of all you can’t determined nationallty just by looking at your hair compared to others . Yes I am black but just because I am black doesn’t mean I instantly fall in the African-American catorgary . I’m more than just African , I’m Native American and Cauasian . As we Americans should have figured out by how the mixed race has increased that black genes are stronger than most races . I think who your parents you are . Im American and if a black person is born and Asia and delevop there teachings the Asian . If there was a Asian and black couple then of course their child would be Asian and Black .

  • KD

    Even when you ask
    The answer is still NO

  • Andilady

    I am a caucasian woman with “black girl” hair. I don’t appreciate being treated as if I don’t know anything about how it is. There shouldn’t be this divide, or rudeness to one another. It’s not just one race. I’m half Italian, that’s how I got this hair type.

  • Anna Rather

    I love this article! I was just curious about African American’s hair. I think I was told once in high school from an African American friend that their hair is hollow. I was wondering if this was correct or maybe I’m misremembering the conversation. Thank you for writing this!

  • Rebecca Bonar

    I am a Cosmetology Instructor and can tell you that almost everyone hates their hair! I hate my hair too, straight, fine, and can’t do anything with it. Not even extensions will stay in my hair so I am very envious of the multitude of styles that can be done with a good texture. All races and nationalities have people with straight, curly, extra curly, coarse, fine, etc. People just need to be more educated because ultimately hair is hair and goes through the same growing process and is made of the same thing!

  • kp

    I’m a white girl with stringy, blond, pathetic hair who’s always been fascinated by dark and luscious curls. ALways figured I’d be happier with black hair, but I’ve gotta accept what I’ve been given. I work in the salon industry and want to gain a better understanding of ethnic hair products and the results/challenges/hair type needs. The title of your article gets it all wrong. I could say the same exact seven things apply to me, a white person. It’s universal stuff. Every single point on the list. Touching, oil, washing, letting it grow natural being unprofessional (hippy/slacker etc….All of it. Totally universal. I’m surprised to learn that you think this is something white people don’t know or doesn’t apply to white people too. Thank you for sharing your article, it was a pleasure to read and i could identify with every point. Just think maybe the title should have been 7 things people don’t know about hair.

  • W L

    so what does happen to black hair when it gets wet? cause i know my hair starts off straight enough out of the shower, but if it dries uncombed it’ll curl like nobody’s business

  • rainbow

    Well, again. Some black women are different. I don’t like when black women speak for me, particularly when it comes to hair. I have no problem getting in the pool. I’m not going to sacrifice having a good time because of my hair. I am not that type of black girl, hence, we are all different. You don’t want to get in the pool because of your hair, I on the other hand don’t mind.

  • rainbow

    Well some black women do wash their hair often so it’s not a white thing.I would like that myth to go away. Some black women prefer to wash their hair once a week, some do it everyday or every other day. And it does not dry out our hair either. Some white people wash their hair once a week as well. I personally love that just washed feeling and smell

  • coytle

    Ive had so many people try touching my hair. I am native american, I had a black girl in school scare the crap out of me one day when I was in line for lunch. I didnt know anyone was behind me and she and her friends grabbed it and picked it up real high and dropped it. She just exclaimed “look it just falls back into place!” Ive had white people walk up to me in stores to touch it and even during hair cuts ive had the stylists bring over other stylists to touch it and hunt for split ends because she couldn’t find any. I love aa hair, that girl was right about mine falling back into place, even after a perm it falls back into place. It does nothing but sit straight. So boring.

  • CC

    If you do not live in this reality everyday, then you need not apply. That’s just like a man trying to tell a woman what she should do for her monthly cycle (not talking about a doctor that has at least studied it, but the average male). Save it, thank you

  • sanjidude

    Kayla is absolutely right about black hair needing moisture. I ‘wash’ my natural hair twice per week with conditioner, once every 10 days with shampoo (just the scalp where the oil gathers – the suds will travel down the hair and wash it quite well thank you) and rarely use heat to dry it. Because our hair is drier than straight hair, it MUST have moisture and oils on it regularly to stay soft and strong. If it gets a little frizzy, I spray it with a combo of water and a leave in conditioner. I comb it ONLY when it’s wet or damp and I start carefully from the ends up, not the other way around like straight haired gals do. Sometimes I detangle with just my fingers to avoid breakage. Curly hair is indeed very different and it would be silly to think that it should be treated the same as hair that isn’t.

  • Hello


    • Rob

      Race doesn’t exist?
      For example blacks get diseases that other races don’t.
      Blacks are the only race with no DNA from the large-brained and tool-using Neanderthals.
      What about IQ differences among the races. Or “races”. LOL

  • Cubert

    Yes, it’s true. White people aren’t born with an innate knowledge of extensions.


  • Kit23

    It took years, but I love my hair. Unfortunately, it is thin and weak and starting to grey!!! I also like my weaves, so don’t hate a sister who likes to wear hair that didn’t grow out of her head. My natural hair to living and breathing and getting stronger under my weave (no chemicals in my hair).

  • tonya

    Are you really black?

  • Chelsea

    My white friend: ” Why do you have that on your head” Her refering to the silk scarf on my head before I went to sleep.
    My other friend: ” What the f*ck is that?” She’s not shy, perse…

  • j a sassy aka salon22w

    I love my thick curly wavy afro hair… wouldn’t want any white folks hair… my hair is so versatile and thick.. I can wear it up in a bun and don’t have to stuff it, or I can wear a fro which is natural.. I can wear it straight if I choose to ..but I choose to keep it curly and natural! I really don’t care what white folks think or say about y hair.. I just wonder why it is their business and why is it so important to them to know anything about my hair.. all I can say is ..white folks please don’t touch my hair or put your hands in my hair.. that is totally pathetic that you white folks have so much of a interest enough to touch a person hair..WHY?

  • dumb blonde

    I’m a clueless white woman, and my little brother married a lovely black woman. In the tiny town that I grew up in, I didn’t notice who was what race, I just saw each person as a different individual with whatever unique traits made them who they were. I remember my mom being dumbfounded when I commented once (in sixth grade) that I had never seen anyone of another race before. She named several of my good friends from school that I had known since kindergarten; two were Native American and three were black. I must say, I took a second look at them the next time I saw them, and felt rather stupid and even wondered if they had felt offended with me for treating them as though they weren’t any different than me. Then I decided they still weren’t any different than me and forgot about it.

    When my brother got married and moved back from the city, I’m afraid I assumed his beautiful new wife was no different than anyone I had ever known, and expected we’d be great friends. She’s full of fun and laughter and compassion and I just love her.

    She doesn’t like me much at all; she tolerates me, but goes out of her way not to be around her husband’s side of the family. I’ve asked him why, and he says it’s because we often offend her. For instance, he said, when giving their children a hug, I include their little heads when I squeezed them. I didn’t really know what was offensive about that, but I started just giving them a quick, self-conscious side squeeze when I saw them and any other little kids I hug…I wondered if it had bothered everyone, but nobody else had told me.

    Then one day they were here and I had been reading a story to their 3 year old (who had her gorgeous curly hair down) and I tugged a strand and said I LOVE your curls…and all of a sudden everyone was packing up their stuff and leaving. My brother finally informed me that I shouldn’t EVER touch their hair, or comment on any differences. OH.

    I wish I had known that a long time ago. I did not realize that admiring different and/or unique traits was hurtful. There are so many things I’ve done over the years, that I’m quite sure I’ll never redeem myself. All I can say is that it came from being unaware, not racist. I have touched the hair of so many of my friends’ children over the years…reds, blondes, browns, slick straight, curly; there are so many variations of hair it’s incredible. It has never appeared to bother anyone else, nor has it bothered me when my friends have done the same to my children. To us, it seemed affectionate, even complimentary.
    I have been completely oblivious to differences in perception and sensitivities among races.
    I so wish my sis-in-law could see me for what’s in my heart, instead of my clumsy, awkward and stupid actions.

  • mancavedude

    so why do “white people” have to understand this? do asians understand? or eskimos?how about mexicans,do they understand?

  • marie

    Who cares what white ppl understand.

  • Aris

    If I wear my hair straightened one day and natural the next, I’ve had people ask me if I have gotten a haircut. No, my hair just coils back up into its natural curls.

  • Jennifer Burton

    I’m white and I can’t believe people ask these questions. I couldn’t imagine just walking up to a stranger and touching them??

  • Jennifer Burton

    I’m white and I can’t believe people actually ask these questions. I could never imagine just walking up to somebody and touching them like that??

  • Fesah Rollins

    Some white ppl have bi racial kids so to generalize them all is a stereotype, just like believing all Black ppl know how to take care of there natural state of hair.I know Asians who braid better than som Black ppl.

  • Bubbles

    The most awkward hair moment for me was when a white kid in school came around and tried to touch my hair as well as others that were black. I asked him why he was trying to touch our hair, he said his friend told him that black people’s hair feels like cotton…. really?!?!?!, I asked him since he did touch my hair did it feel like cotton, he said no, okay there you go stereotype debunked.

  • Shaniqua L.

    Apparently, the people who are saying oils are better for our hair than water drink glasses of extra virgin olive oil when they feel thirsty or something. Water = moisture. Period. Wetting hair cannot possibly dry it out. Rather than assume it’s the water making your hair dry (for no other reason than that’s what you’ve been told all your life, even if it’s not a scientific fact/possibility) why not ask yourself what other hair products/habits could be contributing to the dryness you’re experiencing? Shampoos with sulfates are very drying to black hair and are normally the culprit. But blow drying, flat ironing, and curling (really ANY heat styling period) depletes moisture from hair faster than anything else can.

    So if you’re hopping in the shower and washing with sulfates, then blow drying and flat ironing without properly moisturizing (ie using WATER or a hair product with water as the first ingredient, and THEN following it up with an oil [because oil and water don’t mix, so a barrier is formed, keeping the water INSIDE the strand]) or course your hair is going to be dry and brittle. Research and actually KNOW what you’re talking about when you say what causes dry black hair, don’t just THINK you know, or repeat what you’ve been told by people no more knowledgeable than yourself. Sheesh.

  • iHM

    Well, I’m not white but I’m not black either and I call shenannigans. Washing your hair once a week is dirty. It’s simple logic. If you don’t wash something, it will get dirty. Imagine not washing your own body for an entire week. There’s no excuse for it, even if you had some kind of condition that made your skin dry out. You’d just use extra strength lotion. You can’t deny that it gets dirty and smelly if you don’t wash it, it isn’t magic, it doesn’t protect itself from getting dirty. It just dries out. Some people act like that’s the end of the world. Wash your hair every 2 or 3 days and just replenish it back with some oils. Or just don’t wash your scalp as much and try to wash the ends. There’s no excuse for not being clean as long as you can afford soap and water.
    Also, oil isn’t bad for anyone’s hair, it’s just that if you’re European or otherwise have straight hair, you’ll need to rinse the oil out after treating your hair. Hot oils and conditioners are good for everyone, not just black people. It’s just that black hair can absorb the oil without needing to be rinsed out, the rest of us can’t do that.

    • maggie

      Sounds good but no cigar. Washing black hair every 2-3 days and putting back in the oils has more of a stripping effect on hair strands than washing it once weekly and putting back in the oils. Also, manipulating hair so often can create a stripping effect especially with kinkier hair that can get easily tangled if you are not gentle. Plus, who wants to dip their hands in oil and moisture every 2-3 days only to finish the product every 2 weeks?

      • iHM

        While that may be true, it’s something people just need to live with an deal with, and manage, the way everyone else does.

        • Jessica Haines

          You should do some research…know why your hair gets dry and brittle? Because the shampoos you use that strip the natural oils from your hair and puts harmful chemicals back into it that are supposed to “moisturize” it. And why do you feel SOOOOOOO dirty every day??? I can understand if you’re going to the gym and sweating it out every day, but seriously…I sit at a computer for 8 hours, go home, clean a little, do a little laundry and make dinner. That’s the extent of most of my days. What part of that is going to make me SOOOOOOO dirty that I HAVE to shower every day to be considered “clean”? I shower on average about twice a week…nobody shies away from me, my husband doesn’t ever mind being close to or intimate with me, my kids snuggle with me and don’t comment that I am “dirty” or “smelly”, my friends who can be BRUTALLY honest have never mentioned it. So tell me, does that make ME dirty??? Why are people today so insistent that to be “clean” you MUST shower EVERY day???? People have only been doing that for the past 60 years or so, and it was caused by advertisers trying to sell you a product more than anything. We have become the most mindless consumers. You are BRAINWASHED. Wake up and do some research…

    • tapiteasy

      Speak for yourself iHM. After 3 days my hair is not dirty, stinky,or smelly. African American hair is different in many ways to Caucasian hair. I hear that white people have to wash their hair every day because it gets oily and flat and smelly. Well big deal, wash it. My hair does not get oily, flat, smelly, or dirty after 3 days. So there you go. Until you have African American hair don’t say our hair is dirty if we don’t wash it in a week because you don’t know you are only assuming.

      • iHM

        It’s not about myself or anyone else, it’s common knowledge. If you do not wash something, it will get dirty. Pretending that I’m the only person who needs a wash after three days is ignorant and not even part of the point, it’s just your weak attempt to make a jab where it’s not a jab. I’m not talking about “Caucasian” hair (which makes no sense anyway since there are many many many black caucasians). Your hair is DIRTY if you do not wash it. Texture has nothing to do with things going on your hair, you touching your hair, and it needing a wash. You are dirty for not believing your hair needs a wash. You just don’t realize it and you are not applying logic or reason to the issue.

        • tapiteasy

          How dare you call me dirty. Again your whole comment is simply your assumptions. After three days my hair is not dirty. I do understand your ignorance because I got the same reaction from my non-black friends. They couldn’t believe I didn’t wash my hair everyday like them. They have never smelled any foul odors from my hair or seen it oily or flat. I’m not saying one type of hair is better than another but I am saying there are different types of hair. There is nothing wrong with washing your hair everyday if you want to but the fact is I don’t have to. I don’t know what you do that gets your hair so dirty that you have to wash it every three days, but by all means wash it. When my hair is in it’s natural state I wash it everyday. Not because I have to but because water is the best natural moisturizer. When my hair is flat ironed and curled it gets washed once a week maximum. Nobody has ever held their nose around me or told me my hair smell or is dirty. Fact.


    A myth that non-black people think is, that all black people have the same hair texture and grade of hair AND that’s definitely NOT TRUE. I am dark skinned black with soft spiral curly hair, very fine hair t, relaxers and straighteners damage it (half native American indian and white grandmother). BUT I can wash it every other day if I keep it natural. If I am straightening it then I have to be careful, , only straighten twice per month.

  • Mike Smith

    Well first your man is black! Those are fighting words for a black woman. Just like we went to an interracial home for dinner, and a black woman scrawled “White Bytch” on the mirror.

  • The Mztress

    Thank you sooo much! I loved ‘Good Hair’ too it gave me a lot of information! I LOVE the versatility of styles available for a Black woman’s hair. 😀 So creative and artistic, like sculpture <3 I can't imagine the patience it takes to sit there for hours on end either. Ladies, you have my admiration! -and I totally relate to having your hair touched by strangers – dyed mine lots of different colors. People can be SO rude!

  • Goddamit!

    You cant have it both ways! Either black people are the same as white people, or they are different!

  • Cody

    I’m white, but I have many black friends. I completely agree with all of your points, and I loved how you go about this in such a relaxed, professional, and some lines, funny way. My friends’ hair range from straight, silky, short, curly, just about everything. But they all wear them differently, and beautifully. Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed and appreciated this. Oh, and you could not be any more right about touching people’s hair. It is the most disrespectful, irritating thing a person can do. I also feel some people can be mentally handicapped when it comes to recognizing fake hair. Some people can be so oblivious. I, nor anyone else in my family, at least that I know of, has used fake hair. But really, how can you not tell? Thats just the issue with some people, they can so easily be blinded by their own stupidity.

  • Helen

    It’s sad to see how women are pitting themselves against each other. Natural black ladies’ hair is a thing to be celebrated and embraced. The euro-centric culture we live in has made every effort to stomp out that kind of hair and now it is time to reclaim it. Just as it is time for women to get out of the male-centered culture we live in and stand up for female comradery. Look what females of all races to do themselves to try and fit into cultural beauty norms. It’s sad and disgusting.

    Then look on this board. Look at the comments. You’ve got white women proclaiming “I’m not like those other DUMB white women, I know about this.” You’ve got black women calling white ladies’ hair “dog fur.” NO ONE IS DUMB AND NO ONE IS COMPARABLE TO A DOG.

    Ladies! Ladies! Why are we attacking each other? If everyone just used their words to explain how they feel when they are treated in a certain way, this wouldn’t happen. I grew up in a heavily diverse area and when i went to sleepovers, my black classmates used to love to play with my hair. I hated it. I hated it so much. I never did anything to my hair because it held no interest for me. So having a bunch of people doing my hair at a party was probably my worst nightmare. So you know what I did? I said I didn’t appreciate my hair being touched. That’s all. People fussed with me a bit and then they dropped it. People are and always will be interested in whatever they don’t personally have, because it’s new and different to them; this isn’t somehow a unique trait to white people.

    Black people, however, have it way harder than almost anyone else, I believe. Simply because of this euro-centric culture. Even though all hair is different, even between people of the same ethnicity, black peoples’ hair seems to fall the furthest out of euro-centric norms. They have been harassed, belittled, chastised and degraded because of how their natural hair looks. As white people, especially, we need to understand and remember this whenever we make a comment about a black persons hair. Yes, we are all people. Yes, we are all one. However, everyone has been affected differently in this life and all people need to be aware of that. What may seem like a relatively benign question about a black woman’s hair to you may carry the emotional baggage of a history of negativity regarding their hair that you are not aware of.

    Ladies, all ladies, please. Just be considerate and aware. I want women to feel good about themselves for the first time in history. We get so much sh*t as women from our male-oriented culture that the last thing we need to do is add to that negative female experience for ANY woman by our actions as women. (To the lady, “Lucky” down a bit on the board: It hurts me to hear my hair referred to as “dog fur,” too, ya know?)

    We’re all women, let’s make each other finally feel good about that.

  • Jamie

    I’m Native American and white people love to touch my hair because it looks like a horse’s tail (yes, it is that coarse). The only time it doesn’t drive me crazy is when my developmentally disabled students do it, because they don’t know any better. But, please eurocentric people, ask first!

  • HateIsPoisonToTheSoul

    Searched for answers regarding grey hair texture, saw this topic and clicked on it just out of curiosity. Soon realized that this thread is more about HATE and less about HAIR.

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  • I would like some information please my daughter is 15 now she’s mixed and had natural curly black peoples hair type. So we relaxed it and now I’m trying to find a way if there is one to help her hair grow long cause she hates her hair and gets nade fun of at school kids call her chucky as in the doll cause thats what her hair looks like …Please help if you can

    • maggie

      Tell your black man to have the black women in his family help handle his daughter’s black hair.

      • Radiant One

        Ever think she doesn’t have a black man – possibly her daughter is adopted etc?

  • Ltlibra

    If black hair is the driest,why would we need to wash it every three days? If so,then our hair needs to hold on to as much of its natural oils as possible…in other words….take it down a notch on the washing.

  • I found this article very interesting, and the comments even more so. I’m white, and always found AA hair to be fascinating. It’s beautiful and anyone born with it is lucky to have it’s texture and volume!

    I agree fully with the no touching thing, #1. No one should be touching anybody whether it be their beautiful black hair, or their pregnant belly, or a soft looking sweater. It’s just plain rude.
    I’ve grown up in Toronto, and here we are very multicultural. In elementary school my best friend was Chinese, and now many years later my best friend since high school is West Indian. I’ve learned so much from them, and others whom I’ve worked with, about different cultures and enjoy learning about other people. I don’t think anybody who’s asking questions about you in earnest means any offence, I’d like to think they’re just curious. I even ask my West Indian friend about her hair all the time. It’s so thick and long that if she puts it in a bun it’s the size of a very large grape fruit, while mine would be more like a small kiwi fruit. It’s just fun to learn new things! 😀

  • Allenabradley

    There is no 1 size fits All beauty regimine. I have 2 sisters & we all have different hair needs. Unfortunatly I always hear in this (long hair circle) these competitive statement comparing how much they wash their hair in comparison to how much other women do. Its no1’s buisness as long as you have good general hygeine you should wash your hair when it “feels” like you need to.

  • It needs moisture…not dirt. I rinse my hair every other night with clean water…i only shampoo once a week….btw my hair is natural…

  • Proudnaturalista

    Let me say, kudos to you for wanting to truly understand hair textures so utterly and completely different from yours. Part of the reason we cant get along is because we refuse to take the time to get to know eacth other.

    Now, a great deal of what you erroneously percieve as anger is actually hurt and frustration.

    You see, as has been explained previously, blacks in america have been vilified, demonized and marginalized for quite some time as a justification for treating human beings as chattel and regarding same as 3/5th of a person.  Both overt and covert racism is still prevalent today in schools, hiring practices, and housing. Certain ugly stereotypes are perpetuated, applied to an entire group without regard for socioeconomic status or education then exported to other countries by the media.  What has this to do with hair you may ask?


    Since YOU directly benefit from the constant message that eurocentrism is best and that anything that deviates from it is less than, dirty or just somehow unacceptable the reaction seems strange. This psychological warfare begins very early, is deeply embedded in american society and affects us as blacks. From the time we are very young, our own families view straightening hair as a rite of passage and to make our hair more “manageable”.

    Later we are subjected to ridicule by other women’s uninformed comments (some here on this site for example), and in the dating pool sometimes rejected by our own men because they too have been indocrinated against the textured hair that grows out of the scalps of women that resemble their mothers. A great deal of our culture and the knowledge to bring our beautiful, coily, curly, wavy kinky hair to its shining glory had been lost to us. Thankfully, some of it is resurfacing online. Youtube, curlynikki and other sites are instilling a sense of pride in our non chemically altered hair.

    So dear Cat, since you may have a black daughter and yes the world will view and treat her as black make no mistake about that, I think it is great for you to be curious, acquire the skills to care for her hair and to arm her with the knowledge that her hair is beautiful.

    All the best to you and yours.

  • Chack50496

    There is no such word as “complected”.

  • Kellee

    And also the touching thing is universal, I’d say. Even my cousin touching my hair makes me mental!
    Touch your own hair, no one else’s!!

  • Kellee

    Not trying to start a argument or anything but I’m white and I’m pretty sure I have near the same type of hair that you described in the article. Very thick, almost uncontrolable without at leeeeeast an hour with a hair dryer/straightner/curling wand (you name it, I probably use it) and can be very dry if I’m not careful. I wash it once/twice a week and use argon oil to control the frizz.

    Just wanted to say that while a lot of white folk have the flat straight hair, alot don’t.

  • Kimmiep89

    For the record, I do NOT sit for hours getting my hair done,if your sitting several hours, then your stylist, needs to manage their time and clients better. Not every salon service requires hours and hours…..

  • Msmykimoto2u

    But on a serious note, like someone else said, I wash my hair every 3 days just not with shampoo. I cowash with my own homeade deep conditioner and my hair is so much stronger and has grown tremendously! Also, I hate the fact that people see natural hair as unkept or rebellious especially in the work place. Its how the hair grows out of my head naturally and then those same people want to call us a sell out or want to be something different when we decide to straighten or add weave for a different look

  • Msmykimoto2u

    *sighs* ok…..first, a funny story (atleast to me) I was doing a play (RENT) where i had to portray a poor stripper on crack with AIDS…..lol she had a hard life. Anywho, at the time my hair was really short and cut in that old school Missy Elliot style and it was too nice looking. Well I added some cheap curly weave to my hair and cut it up horribly to look really messy and then went to the directors house for a cast party. When he and his wife (both white) saw my hair they were so shocked and thought it grew over night. They asked to touch it, and how did I get it to grow so fast and when I explained it to them its like they couldnt believe such things as weave existed.  It was hilarious! But

    • Josh D.

      Some people really are just ignorant without meaning to be…they’re like overgrown toddlers. Well meaning but you know…you don’t want to hang out with them all the time.

  • Ok, so to agree with everyone’s comments regarding dry hair and what not.

    I wash my hair less than once a week and I’m going to suggest that maybe it’s just a lot of bloody work otherwise. I have dreds (and they have gotten quite long over the years) and let me tell you, they take AGES to dry. Washing my hair before bed is annoying because I wake up with half my faice raisin-y from a wet pillow. Washing it in the morning before I try to go to work is silly because my hair will be wet all day. So I wash on a Saturday or Sunday when I have the whole day to fiddle with it and get it to dry without having to show up to work and whip people with water droplets all day.

    In my experience, white people wash their daily because, since their hair is so fine it can get greasy looking (and not in a good way) if there’s build-up. Frankly, unless you work-out a lot and sweat up a storm, I don’t imagine that you need to wash your hair that often.

  • Ash

    Oh god, this was fabulous!
    However, a note about the ‘natural hair=rebelliousness’ thing. That probably stems from when black women first started wearing their hair natural as a statement about black pride etc. I know natural=hippie/rebel/etc. but I think there is at least an origin to the myth.
    Either way, it was a lovely piece. Facebook’d

  • Mikialama

    Agreed that Whitegirl is an ignorant racist idiot.  Unfortunately, based on your comments, so are you. In one breath you say that whites are from black genes that mutated (that’s known in educated circles as evolution, dear) and then you seem to put down the white scientists who have been touting evolution as though you think evolution is yet another white supremacy plot again you.  Make up your mind!  And btw, there are many reknowned black scientists who also tout evolution.  Do your homework. Lastly, Celts are one of the root stocks of white genes.  They were also nomads who took fresh spouses from lands they moved to.  And, I notice you apply the adjective “celtic” to your screen name.  Make up your mind who you are, girl. 

  • Ozzy

    How did the guy who smashed the truck driver's head in with a rock wear his hair? I think that is all we need to know about your hair.

  • H.W.

    Just so you know, it's not just black people that have this problem – #1. I am white with blond hair, and went to Mexico.. where everyone and his brother reached out and wanted to touch my very different hair. I didn't feel like an animal in a zoo – mainly because I recognized it was curiosity and I have enough confidence in myself to not be so sensitive. Get a life, people. Blacks are not the only race that may be a curiosity to other races.

    • Susan

      It may have been for you, but it only happened to you on vacation, or when you go somewhere different, and you expect it tp happen to you. For blacks, it’s where they live, when they’re not expecting it. After a while, you start to feel like an animal.

    • iHM

      I mentioned something like that, too. People ask me about my hair all the time, because it’s pretty long, probably. There’s a cashier down at the supermarket near my house who I always talk to – she’s black – the other day she reached across to me and fluffed my hair up a little and then asked me what I did to get it so long (it’s grown crazy amounts in the last year from castor oil use). I told her my secret and we laughed and joked about some other stuff. She’s a woman, I don’t care if she was white or black or middle eastern like me, we’re women, we can touch each other’s hair and have little convos about it. I read these black websites a lot because I’m really into black entertainment / culture, and sometimes I just want to roll my eyes HARD at the fact that people who write stories like this must think that all of these problems are so exclusive to them because they are black. As if. I think whoever thinks like this needs to get acclimated with the real world and stop putting themselves in some kind of separate category. Nope – you’re human – this is human experience, not any certain race’s experience. Most things are not exclusive to any one race. People just want to feel sorry for themselves or feel unique or something.

    • iHM

      I mentioned something like that, too. People ask me about my hair all the time, because it’s pretty long, probably. There’s a cashier down at the supermarket near my house who I always talk to – she’s black – the other day she reached across to me and fluffed my hair up a little and then asked me what I did to get it so long (it’s grown crazy amounts in the last year from castor oil use). I told her my secret and we laughed and joked about some other stuff. She’s a woman, I don’t care if she was white or black or middle eastern like me, we’re women, we can touch each other’s hair and have little convos about it. I read these black websites a lot because I’m really into black entertainment / culture, and sometimes I just want to roll my eyes HARD at the fact that people who write stories like this must think that all of these problems are so exclusive to them because they are black. As if. I think whoever thinks like this needs to get acclimated with the real world and stop putting themselves in some kind of separate category. Nope – you’re human – this is human experience, not any certain race’s experience. Most things are not exclusive to any one race. People just want to feel sorry for themselves or feel unique or something.

  • Jennica

    On numer 5, as a white girl with curly hair I have to say, even white people with curly hair shouldn't be washing their hair every day. Same reason, it dries the hair out and hurts it. Making up for it with a bunch of extra product is fine if you must, but why create the problem by over washing in the first place! Thanks for the topic, it's a lot better than a million individuals answering the same (frequently kind of dumb) questions on their own!

  • Zophya

    To all black girls: Why be so defensive against white curious people? I'm a white blonde, and I didn't know all the ins and outs of black hair until I married my Caribbean long-haired husband and learned all these things. Forgive our naivete and for those times we have made you feel like something "unusual." Just educate us a little 😉 We really don't mean it the way you may take it!
    For the past six years I have traveled to and spend much time in black populated countries where I have MANY times been gawked at and touched and petted for my long straight blonde hair which they find very fascinating. AND, I have gotten tons of questions from my black girlfriends on everything from the texture of my hair to upkeep and washing…anything, you name it! They are super curious, so I just make it a fun time of learning about each other. No harm in that! 🙂
    I didn't know that black girls only washed their hair once a week, and if I had not known that that's what's good for their hair, I would have probably been prejudiced about it, because you know, my hair gets really flat, oily and nasty if I don't wash it absolutely every other day!
    A little education goes a long way…. LOVE YOU ALL!

  • Kathy Drake

    I'm a white woman who loves to see blacks wear their hair any way they want, but I love the natural or Afro look (if that's not an outdated term).

  • limphairedwhitewoman

    I am envious of the thick, texture of AA hair. I look at all the amazing and gorgeous things that AA women do with their hair and wish I could do that.

  • Naja

    Who cares what white people don't know about black hair?! Why is everything always about race & compared to white people. I truly believe the writers @ MN for some reason consider white people superior. Why couldn't this article have been "what asian/indian people don't know about black hair?" Last time I checked, I don't know too many white stylist catering to black clientele. This article is irrelevant.

    • iHM

      That’s the same thing I was thinking when I clicked this article, again, for the 2nd time in like a year because Bossip keeps putting it up as if it were a new article. It seems like whoever wrote this is obsessed with white people. It seems like that on a lot of black websites, though. Like they see everything in black and white, literally. White people are not the only other people on earth with black people.

  • ErinAshley

    You may want to research the structure of black hair before you leave comments like this. The spiral structure of black hair lends to its excessive dryness. In addition to being dried out/damaged by too-frequent washing, black hair simply doesn't get as "oily" (at the same rate) as straighter hair types. Less oil = less washing (and no odor). More frequent washing is definitely recommended for after exercise, work, etc., however.

  • jjj

    My SO is white but he has "black folks hair." (Black ancestry from waaaay back). His hair is extremely kinky/curly (not white folk curly) and very fragile. After we first met, he tried to straighten (against my pleas) because he just wanted his hair to be like a "normal" guy's. It horrified me and turned out so badly he never did it again. It took me years of telling him how much I loved it and how beautiful his natural hair was to build up his self-esteem that had been broken down over the years. The only problem is even though he has black ancestry from way back and I do too our connection to that heritage was severed (mine a generation back) and neither one of us knows how to take care of his hair the way we both know it needs to be taken care of to stay healthy. We're also self-aware about two non-black looking people, despite our heritage, asking for help. Can anyone give me some advice on where to go to get it? We need 101 level help.

    • lizbert

      As many others have commented, the level of variation among hair types is so varied among people with *any* African ancestry that it’s best to just go case-by-case.  I would advise a consultation with a qualified hairdresser or barber who will listen to your husband’s concerns and recommend a regimen. 

      I suspect that what may work best for your husband is a relatively short graduated cut and regular conditioning.  Styling products formulated for “black hair” may be too heavy if his hair is “fragile,” as you describe, but something like a light styling cream might work well for him just to keep things neat if that is the look he’s going for.  But again, please go see a friendly professional no matter what their race!  Hair is not something to get hung up about!

    • Proudnaturalista

      You tube youtube yourtube. Type in “natural hair” there is a wealth of knowledge there regarding different hair types.

  • weaintall…

    All I got to say as a italian woman who grew up in a black hood aint none of this news to me, true I know a lot (if not most) of white folks are ignorant as hell on a lot of isht esp black hair but we aint all stupid like that. Then again I dont even like to say "we" cuz Im def not one of "them"- the type of people who act like the ones in this article are NOT "my" people…SMDH@ the ones who do act like that, but also at the women on here who think that all white folks are ignorant about this type stuff and nobody who aint black knows about any of this cuz I already knew exactly the stuff this list was gonna say before I opened it.

  • chrissy

    when i had a relaxer i wouldn't was my hair until the next one….which was six weeks later…..lol….my hair looked better to me……when it was dirty…..my wrap would lay betta……but now im natural and have to was it every week or two weeks…..

  • chrissy

    you funny whitegirl as you are the ones that wash ya hair everyday…so what does that have to say about you…hello that your hair must smell on a daily basis to have to wash it everyday…simple azz……u put ya foot in ya mouth wit dat one…..silly…good bye im done…..

  • chrissy

    why do they need to know about our hair…….GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    • Sarah

      I don’t know, why do black women like to touch my white woman hair? 

  • Knm

    As a white girl, I'm super jealous!! I always look in envy at beautiful natural hair on black women. I often wish I could rock a fro, even just for a day, to know what it feels like.

  • Erica

    I'm White, My daughters are black. I get asked CONSTANTLY about my daughter's hair. At first I had a lot of people thinking they could just reach out and touch their hair. Teachers, friends, strangers. It drove me crazy. I eventually taught my girls to just duck and say no when people tried to touch them without asking. Seriously, who reaches out and touches a little girl for ANY reason? Creepy. Anyway, I get asked a lot about where I take them to have their hair styled. People act absolutely amazed when I tell them I do it myself. Another question I get asked, Where did you learn how to care for black hair? My answer: online, and a LOT of really awesome black women who didn't mind answering a clueless white chick's questions about hair care.

    • Christina

      I wish my mom had the Internet when I was growing up! My dad’s black and so my mom didn’t know THING about mine and my sister’s hair. I’m 19 now and just learning how I should be taking care of it.

      Your girls are blessed. 🙂

  • Rez

    I am a Caucasian woman and I LOVE to see AA girls with natural hair and do tell them how beautiful they look. I hope it does not come across as condescending…I think their hair is gorgeous and powerful and it makes me sad to think of the societal pressure to use all the harsh chemicals to make it look different. Nothing against any woman who chooses to straighten or use extensions…I'm sure it is a very personal decision and I have no quarrel with any women that does something that makes her feel beautiful. But, when I see an AA woman with natural hair, I think STRENGTH.

  • Charlie

    I was told my hair was super cute short and curly… but not for a professional setting. A black woman told me this!!

  • Caryl

    My hair smells like coconuts. Stop being an ass. How about that one? Whitegirl. Stop being an ass. Doesn't matter what your race. You can still be an ass.

  • Madame E.

    I am a white girl and I read this article just for curiosity. Nothing else.
    I wasn't going to post a comment, if it wasn't for all the comments before. Personally I think black hair is wonderful 😀
    It is thick and strong, like hair should be! 😉

  • Ashley

    The problem isn't with the water, it's with the shampoo. The shampoo is what dries your hair out.

    I wash my hair once a week with apple cider vinegar and a cleansing mud mask. Through out the week I just spray it with my oil/water mixture to give my hair the moisture it craves.

  • Guest

    There is nothing wrong with your curiosity. A lot of people here are just bitter and angry and will only be happy that way. They constantly live their lives in fear of "the man" and his "hidden agenda". It has nothing to do with you personally.

    What a lot of the people here fail to realize is, blacks have more insight into white cultures and traditions because it is more readily viewable. We don't have to wonder what's behind white American's closed doors because we see it on television and in real life. However, the only insight most whites have into black life is 'The Cosby Show". We guard our lives like Ft Knox. After many years of injustices, we still have a need to protect ourselves from being vulnerable.

    Ignore the comments and continue to prepare yourself for the family you may have one day. YouTube is also a great resource for caring for natural hair. Just remember, as Black Americans, our hair comes in a multitude of hair textures and curl patterns…even on one head. I have 2-3 curl patterns and 2 hair textures. There is no one set regimen for caring for our hair. You'll have to learn how to care for each of your children's hair individually. There is no guarantee their hair will came out the same. I have 3 nieces who are also natural and my mom tried to go natural and none of us have the same hair.

    I hope this helps!

  • aerinalanna

    I'm white, with relatively curly reddish-gold hair, and I don't have to wash my hair more than every four to six days, depending on the weather. I've always thought it would be really frustrating and feel like a waste of time to wash my hair every day or so like most white girls do. If my hair looks and feels fine, then why wash it again? It needs those oils anyway in order to curl right. One of my best friends started wearing her hair all-natural a few months before my wedding (her mom's black and her dad's white), and she had the most beautiful hair in all the pictures. My husband hadn't seen her hair like that before, and he thought it was the most awesome thing ever.

  • Reese

    I find it odd that of all the stereotypes out there that they are concerned with what white people think of our hair. What other stereotypes that might prevent you from getting a promotion, home or job.

  • Reese

    Who cares what they don't know or know about our hair. What a crazy topic. A better topic would be what we don't know about it or something like that.

  • 2honest

    Why are you on this site. Get a life.

  • bRocka

    Wtf? Some of the ish on this comment section is plain damn ignorant! Good God! Black hair is so different it varies from one black person to another. Some cam wash twice weekly, some less or more. Some need to oil their scalp, some are fine with conditioning cream, or just serum/glosser. Long, short, kinky, silky, curly, or coiled… What works for one may be a detriment to another. Hell, one week my hair is oily, the next its super dry. Keep the got damn heat to a minimum, stay far away from relaxers, use sulfate free products, trim REGULARLY, take care of ur edges, and wrap it in a silk scarf. Everything else depends on ur hair type/texture. Remember, GOOD hair is HEALTHY hair. Peace!

  • heavenlybliss25

    i don’t understand why do whites need to be informed about black hair? i don’t see other races looking for validation nor do i see them explaining themselves. not all black ppls have the same hair texture nor do they all have similar hair needs. whites judge blacks regardless . a few decades back to segregation black women would not even be exchanging such ridiculous dialogues with white men.. ops i mean white folks.

  • The shampoo is what dry out the hair, washing hair with conditioner everyday is fine, I used to do that when I first BC'd but it takes up too much time since my hair is apl

  • jjac401

    I co-wash daily now that I have cut out the relaxer. But even with my long relaxed hair, my hair thrived on keeping it clean. I never oil my scalp.

  • lol i love this. yall crazy. maybe a white person will read this and be more respectful to black hair. especially natural black hair!

  • Layah

    White ppl can be a bit oblivious .. I went to a mainly all white school and I remember time, I wore my real hair and the next day it was longer because I added tracks .. This white girl came up to me and was like "Omg, you hair grows so fast" .. -___- .. as if she's NEVER heard of tracks, well they call tracks extensions .. but whatever, I just ignored her.

  • rene

    To the person who ask if we can all just get alog. No, because its the Devil himself.

  • some of these people on here saying lucky is racist need to look into the racist stereotypes you have thrown out there about black people.. and dont say you havent.. doesnt feel good huh.. to have comments made about your race… lets put it like this,, you can say things about blacks and we can say things about you.. goes both ways!!

    • Lucky

      That's my point, rose. You understand.

      • PassingBy

        It would be far more civil to communicate your own feelings and experiences in an attempt to share your perspective with others rather than to attack an entire race of people in the very ways you have been hurt to “show them how it feels”. What a destructive mindset to lash out rather than inform. Making others hurt will not heal your own pain.

  • Yo!

    My issue with this article is that it lumps every black woman's hair care together. Just as people of other ethnicities have different hair textures and needs, so does black hair. If I waited a week to wash my hair, my scalp would be a bloody, scabby mess from scratching so much. It is a must for me to wash my hair every couple of days. Also, oiling the scalp only clogs the pores of the scalp and stunts hair growth. Maybe that works for some people, but I know that when my scalp is clean and healthy, my hair is healthy and grows much faster.

    • only if there's a chemical called petroleum jelly, but oil it self does not clog pores.

      • Yo!

        You are referring to mineral oil, correct? Oils such as jojoba and sweet almond oil are much like the natural sebum that the human body produces. So true, those will not clog pores. Most people aren't using those oils and other oils like them to oil their scalps though. Most black people don't realize that there is no real need to oil the scalp (unless it's something like rosemary oil to stimulate blood flow to the scalp). The issue with most, not all, black hair is that the natural sebum from the scalp doesn't work it's way down the hair shaft. The dryness is on the shaft, not the scalp. If one is not using the oils that are like our natural sebum, then they are just doing themselves a disservice by putting (mineral) oil on the scalp.

  • Butta

    I dont wash my hair hair every day or week. I go to the hair saloon twice a month every two weeks. So I really dont beleive black women wash there hair every week unless it's natural. No chemeicals just a bush. I dont think people with dreads wash their hair every week. Thats some bull!

    • katie

      i have dreads and tbh you can wash them as much or as little as you want, i hate the fact some people think you dont wash them at all

    • Proudnaturalista

      First, kindly use the spell check salon not saloon, believe not beleive, and chemicals not chemeicals. Whew! Simply distracting if one is attemping a point. Second, natural does not constitute a “bush”. Kindly take your ill-informed self to you tube or any of the many natural hair blogs or sites and educate yourself on just how versatile and beautiful well moistured and styled black hair is.

      • Rose

        It’s Youtube, not you tube. 🙂

        I can’t stand when people insult a person over spelling errors. No one can type with 100% accuracy, and you shouldn’t have a problem if you can tell what they are saying.

        • tt

          youtube or you tube, it was still spelled correctly. there is no excuse for horrible grammar whether you can EVENTUALLY make out what the poster was saying. i’m not going to sit & decipher cryptic posts especially when the poster can’t spell worth a damn or is putting out misinformation. no one has time for that nonsense. set your phone. iPad, or computer on spell check & call it a day.

          • Marie

            Interestingly enough – you used the incorrect word there. It should be ‘spelt’ not ‘spelled’. You probably shouldn’t be correcting anyone’s English.

            • Dawn LaRae Jones

              it can be both actually, depending on which version of english you’re hearkening to. if i type “spelled” it does not come up underlined in red in spellcheck because it’s understood to be the American variety of english, the same way we don’t say learnt, burnt, or dreamt anymore but have changed all of those to learned, burned and dreamed. in fact, “dreamt” comes up underlined red in my spellcheck.

            • tt

              Girl bye! Spelt is a type of grain as well as being the past participle of spell used by the British. Now, since I do not adhere to the British rules of the English language using spelled as a transitive verb will suffice. Now don’t you fell silly? Don’t try to correct me unless you really know what you’re talking about you silly, silly bird.

            • PKBitchGirl

              Both ‘spelt’ and ‘spelled’ are correct though
              Spelt – British English
              Spelled – American English

    • tt

      wow butta, you sound stupid. i have sisterlocks & i wash once a wk. when i workout i rinse my hair twice a wk in addition to washing. washing once a wk is enough for anyone, but w/natural (kinky/coily/curly) hair it loves water so rinsing is good as long as you seal in the moisture w/natural oils using a light hand.

    • Crystal

      I cultivate dreds and they can be washed as often as needed…just like any hair can it depends on the condition of the hair and it’s individual needs. I tend to all different textures in my household and they need different protocols. Daily washing is too frequent for all of people in my house. Ranging from wavy, thick curly, cottony afro, dreds. Water, moisture, seal with oil…that’s what we live by in my house.

  • tggg

    Must we dwell on another thing we are misunderstood about. Can't we all just get along. How long have black people been misunderstood. hmmmmmm – let me see – since we got off the BOAT. So obviously – we'll never be understood – right. NEXT

  • Urban White Chick

    I gave the readers of this site too much credit…

    LUCKY's comment is so classy and educated: our hair doesn't resemble dog fur and it doesn't have the smell of dog fur either.

    Really???!!! I guess some people choose not to advance themselves by meeting ignorance with ignorance.

    I am LUCKY not to be YOU, you ignorant racist fool of a woman.

    • Lucky

      All of the negative stereotypes about black hair and you have the nerve to call me racist? Look at your own kind first. If you were taught that your hair is worthy of shame then perhaps you'd have a different perspective. My comment still stands!

      • Lucky

        PS: Exactly what is your "credit" to the readers of this forum worth? Offended? Oh well! (lol)
        I am Lucky in ways you'll never imagine, so feel free to GTFOHWTBS!

        • Urban White Chick

          My point being… The article (at least I thought) was meant to educate, in order to dispell some misconceptions. I found it ironic that your comment did the exact opposite?!

          So in your feeling shame, you feel better making negative/false assumptions about another "kinds" of hair??? I am not sure I see your logic….?

          My "kind" is human being. If you choose to classify yourself as a different kind, based on skin color, that is your choice. But the last time I checked, that was the root of racism.

          I'm done.

          • Lucky

            Yeah, the article IS meant to educate, but surely you have the presence of mind to separate my statement from the article itself. I have a mighty love for my race but I do not represent all black people. I represent myself.

            There's no shame in my glorious mane, Chick. Let's not try to get it twisted. My people did suffer for having the hair (and skin) they were born with. No matter how closely connected you may feel to the Black race, you have NEVER walked in a Black woman's shoes.

            • Urban White Chick

              And I am very proud of the way the Lord made me… and I never claimed that I have walked in anyone elses shoes but my own. Good for you for being proud of your skin color, I just don't know what that had to do with my comment regarding what you said about "white" people hair. Every creature created by God should have pride. We are His handiwork and your faetures are just as unique as mine.

              I think you missed my point, which was you gave an evil for another, by believing/claiming a sterotype.

              If you believe sterotypes, that's fine… I just found it ironic that you made that comment after reading an article that was supposed to enlighten. Your remark was the exact same thing that you resent; someone making an uneducated judgement about your qualities.

              Is that not correct??

              • Lucky

                Of course you're proud of the way the Lord made you. Tell me, when was the last time the mainstream vilified YOU for the skin and hair you were born with? Sure, every creature should have pride, but do you think my people were fostered to have it? Our pride comes from within and it also comes from knowledge about who we are, and it comes from edifying each other.

                Please don't be foolish enough to believe that all people of your 'ahem' background want to sit around and sing kumbayah with Black folk. Racism in America did not originate with my people, so before you try to even attempt to correct me, you have a lot of correcting to do with you own. You CAN do that, can't you?

                • Celtic Cariba

                  A BIG HEARTY AMEN TO THAT SISTER!! She totally got the wrong of the stick there. I understood your comment perfectly, in that white people have referred to afro hair as 'animal' in texture to make them feel better about classing us as 3fifths human and for them to treat us as such, worse than even their pet horses, so I'm really not sure what she was having such a big huff about it. But as the song goes, ' Uptown girl: she's been living in her Uptown world'… I'm thankful that I live in Britain, where the younger generations are more racially mixed from birth now, so foolish topics like this are not so regularly brought up. Keep your heads held up high always Ladies or Colour – SOMEDAY WE WILL ALL BE FREE! Peace and Love 🙂

    • Yo!

      It is unfair to put all of the readers of this site into one category because of one ignorant comment. Isn't it? Just as unfair as it is to say that all white people's hair resembles and smells like dog fur.

      I am married to a white man. I can assure everyone that his hair has never smelled like dog fur and definitely doesn't look like dog fur. Maybe there are some people out there like that, but it has much more to do with hygiene than ethnicity.

      • Urban White Chick

        Point taken YO, I shouldn't have make that remark about all of the readers having the same thoughts as LUCKY.

        I grew up as the minority in my neighborhood and consider myself to be very educated on black culture, much more than the "average white adult". I thought the article was interesting, but was shocked and irritated that someone would make such a stupid generalization, as LUCKY did.

        I just don't see how our society will ever grow, when in 2011, people still believe such stupid stereotypes… black/white/hispanic/asian/whatever.

        • Yo!

          I agree with you. We will never get anywhere unless we try to learn and understand different cultures instead of relying on stereotypes and making sweeping generalizations about what we don't really know. I grew up in a neighborhood that was oddly ethnically diverse (soooooo many families of different ethnicities). I suppose that shaped my view of the world around me. We were able to live without conflict and enjoy each others' company, but honestly… I don't have hope to experience anything like that again.

          • One species: Human

            Urban and YO!,
            Nice try, but if any rationale besides your own was ever present, it has departed.

        • 2honest

          Guess again. If you were truely intuned to the black individual you would've never made that remark towards all of us. Don't be so sensitive. Blacks as a norm go through way worse comments on a regular basis. We get weird looks,rude comments, & unnecessary suggestions way too often. We dont need a sermon about what we need to do or how to show class. We are good with that, thank you. When was the last time you told a white person they said something racially unacceptable? How have you help the black community? That remark made YOU look like just another clueless white person.

          • proud to be white

            How have you helped the white community? You don’t like it when your words are flipped! This is why I can’t stand black mentality. You seem to always have this entitlement as if white people owe you something. We don’t owe you a damp thing. If you don’t like it than go back to Africa where your “roots” are and shut up.

  • Lucky

    Our hair has a spiral pattern. It's the same pattern as whirlwinds and soundwaves and DNA. Our hair is meant to grow outward, not downward. When black hair is given proper care, it's fluffy soft. Not only that, our hair is high-volume, high-definition. Our hair doesn't hang down, it's not limp, lifeless and flat, we'll never need a volumizer, and you'll never see a sister wearing a "bump-it" to get the illusion of voluminous hair. We don't need it. We can take our hair from kinky to curly to wavy to straight and back to kinky again, if that's our desire. Our hair can even defy gravity, and do so naturally. Others can't…and please don't take this personally, but our hair doesn't resemble dog fur and it doesn't have the smell of dog fur either.

    • I agree with the dog fur comment, our hair has body, volumne and density, its thick curly wavy and we can wear it straight, i choose to wear my nautral because i am not trying to fit in white folks standards and i dare a white person to touch my hair and dont ask me about my hair if you are white because its really not your business, you a stranger and gonna walk up and qurstion me about my hair, more important things in the world, like war, poverty and racism…. if im not asking you about yours.. dont ask me about mine!! Sorry white folks!!

      • proud to be white

        Racism…… you’re definitely racist against white people. Alot of black people are racist and get away with it. A white person makes a comment or statement and they’re considered rasist, is it the same for black people? Double standard here and has been for along time. SMH.

    • Merissa

      That was ignorant to refer to white people's hair as "dog fur" i do see you point and you have a good statement, but i'm sure you wouldn't want someone to refer to your hair as a brillo pad, it was unfair to turn around and insult others in the same way.

      • Lucky

        Are you kiddidng? That statement is made about black hair on a perpetual basis!

        • Heather

          I wasn't aware that my hair smelled like dog fur. It actually smells like whatever shampoo I wash it with. Geez people it's just hair. Who cares if it's thick, thin, blonde, brown,red, black, curly or straight?

        • PassingBy

          I guess it’s okay for you to be ignorant and insulting so long as other people are too?

    • Name

      Have you never seen a poodle?

    • iHM

      You had me until dog fur. Nobody’s hair smells like dog fur. Maybe white people’s hair looks a bit like a dog fur but if that’s the case, you should look at those dogs with dreadlocks.

      • Josh D.

        Yeah “dog fur” is a vague descriptor anyway, since even dogs have all varieties of textures from the Afghan hound or Saluki with its straight silky hair, to the Puli with natural dreads (they call them “cords”) to wire-haired terriers and kinky-haired poodles and Bichons, to very short and barely there like a pitbull or boxer, to no hair at all like a Mexican hairless. But I’m a dog lover though so I guess I wouldn’t mind if someone thought my hair was like a dog…I’d want to be brindle maybe.

        • iHM

          That’s cute. 🙂 If I was a dog, I’d want to be a sheep dog with that shaggy fur in the eyes, haha. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making a happy comparison to dogs and humans, but being racist and saying “our hair doesn’t resemble dog fur and it doesn’t have the smell of dog fur” is disgusting, embarrassing, and sick. It’s getting old seeing black people behaving this way online.

  • Candy

    You're wrong about that. Some people do dry out if they wash too often. Not one of them, but don't start telling people they don't know their own hair.

    • Kayla

      you don't take a shower once a week do you???

      • AutumnMarissa

        You obviously are mistaken. Please continue to tend to your own hair & leave the overall education of Black hair to the professionals.

        -AMA & The rest of the forum

      • Josh D.

        First I thought you were a troll, but then I realized that no, you were actually just super ignorant. So now I feel bad for you. Anyway, you CAN take a shower without washing your hair. Ever heard of a shower cap? I think most white girls of this generation monitor when they need to take a shower by when their hair starts looking greasy (men probably just take an shower when they stink). Think about your grandma or a woman of an older generation who would go get her hair washed and set in the beauty parlor…she would still take a bath at home but wouldn’t wash her own hair.

        • PKBitchGirl

          LOL, nope, here in Ireland the general consensus is if you don’t shower once a day you’re a scummy f**ker

      • PKBitchGirl

        You can take a shower without washing your hair though, what do you think a shower cap is?

  • L-Boogie

    Just enjoy the article people. It was entertaining and informative 🙂


  • I agree… I cut my hair last year and it is growing out in a natural… I love it! And apparently, me rockin' the 'fro is a cause for applause in the hood that I'm from…

  • Vanessa

    Not true! my hair is very dry and brittle, I was told to let the natural oils stay in my hair, when I wash my hair once a week I moisturize my scalp, and every other day I moisturize my scalp. those of us with dry, brittle hair need the oils to keep our hair strong and washing your hair ( no matter what race you are) weakens your hair, that's why you're not supposed to comb your hair when it's wet. Washing your hair too much when it's dry and brittle can greatly harm your hair, and some of us don't need to wash our hair more than once a week.

    • Lucky

      We as Black women can wash our hair more frequently than once per week, if desired as long as we moisturize and seal in the moisture with an oil or butter to replace the sebum that has been washed away from the hair and scalp. Jojoba oil is very similar to sebum and is an idea oil to use.

      On the other hand, Sisters can wash hair less frequently, if desired as long as daily moisturizing and sealing practices are used.

      Bottom line: different strokes for different folks.

    • River

      Thank you! I’m as white as a ghost to look at me and have very fine European white hair. I wash it once a week and brush it with a boar bristle brush, and my favorite hair stylist loves the health of my hair.

  • Pat Evans

    One thing about black hair, you can do anything with it…it's not BAD hair, it's GOOD hair. braids do not come apart. wear it straight or curly or afro. where african hair do's. curly one piece while the other hair stays out of the way. I'd say it's GOOD HAIR wouldn't you?

    • iHM

      Yes. It holds style, has volume, has curl, has bounce. Pretty much everything the hair products advertise, you’re born with. Lucky you.

  • Babydoll

    Sweetie, a conditioner is not a wash. THAT- is one myth we have to kick to the curb! A conditioner is a TREATMENT.
    A conditioner does NOT cleanse hair, but enriches it and sometimes gives it a protective coating(depending on brand).

    When you cleanse your hair is when you WASH your hair.

    • LaLaLaMeansILoveYou

      Actually, sweetie…I do the co-wash sometimes as well…and while it may not be the deep-cleansing wash of a shampoo wash, it works fine for me if I just want to get some of the previous day's product out of it (I hate product buildup yet I understand the importance of leaving my hair's natural oils in it). Then I shampoo wash about once a week. Sweetie.

    • one the "coating" you're speaking of is probably a type of silicon product which is horrible for your hair. a good conditioner will actually moisture and not just "make it feel nice for a while". and co-washes do indeed work just fine, definitely not a myth. by the way.

    • christina

      When you start a sentences with " sweetie" its sounds a little catty to me and any point you thought you may have motto. And rising our hair then applying conditioner is what is best in between washing so maybe you should check with your stylist if you have more question.

  • Vanessa

    I'm really sick of white people acting like we're some sort of aliens, they don't walk up to asian women and ask a bunch of stupid questions about their hair, they don't ask arabic women, or indian women about their hair. white people know that the Texture of our hair is different but hair is hair! we do more with our hair because historically we have tried to fit into the white standards of grooming (i.e, conkolene, lye relaxers and straightening combs) but we also have the ability to express ourselves with our hair just like the way white people wear mohawks, and wild colors in their hair, I'm sick of white people using "curiousity" to treat us like we're something unusual! when white people ask me about my hair I tell them "It's a BLACK thing, you wouldn't understand" and I Dare a white person to try to touch my hair!

    • iHM

      Yes they do. I get asked about my hair all the time by all kinds of people, black and white mostly. I’m middle eastern. If you have nice hair, people are going to ask about it. You’re not an alien, they are curious and giving you a compliment. People ask me all the time, “Is that all really your hair?” and “Is your hair naturally black like that?” Yes to both. Not offensive. You’re looking at it like it’s just you and it’s not. People ask each other about hair.

  • Sam

    I agree with #5 Washing actually dries it out! Just because its water doesn’t mean you’re putting moisture into your hair. That’s why we need to use hair grease and oils to keep our hair from breaking off.

    • That's Wright

      Some shampoos contain harsh detergents and THAT is what dries out our hair, not water. Some water may have more minerals in it (calling it 'hard' water) which can also build up on the hair. Using a shower filter helps to alleviate this problem.

    • Kayla

      water doesnt try out hair…. boo boo

      • Kayla

        and all that grease and oil clogs the pores. so if you wash your hair once a week, then it gets dirty then you add more grease and oil. cogs the pores

    • Riao

      Washing the hair too much for any race is bad. It is not only bad for blacks but if anyone washes their hair too much it thins it out and can create a problem of lice.

      Kayla, exactly. Your hair needs to breath, piling grease and oil on top of it is not better. But our hair needs moisture and for the pores the be unclogged. I just stopped using shampoos as often, maybe once a month.

    • iHM

      I don’t get it. Washing your hair dries out everyone’s hair, not just black people. That’s what conditioner and moisturizers are for. Just add some in after you shampoo. If shampoo is too drying, switch to a more gentle one or use Wen or something. No excuse for not washing.

    • rainbow

      Grease is the downfall of the black community.

  • kim

    5 is bs hair needs to be wash iam half black and indian my is very soft and i just don't understand why you can't wash your hair and tell my cousins why can they wash their hair once a week is not good enough

    • Vanessa

      Once a week is FINE for black hair! Especially hair that's very dry like mines, just because you want to brag that you're half indian doesn't make you or your hair any better than anyone elses! like the article says Oils are very good for black hair, it's not good for hair like yours and white people's hair! if your hair gets dirtier faster than ours and you need to wash it more often then do it, but don't knock OUR hair. We don't need to wash our hair as much.

      • kim

        u got it wrong not saying my hair is better okay hair gets dirty and washing it once a week is not good the scalp needs washing not knocking it that's my dad is hair too so chill

      • ???????

        why anytime a person says anything about black hair you jump on people's throat and play that u think ur hair is better then mine game get over urself take chillpill

      • ???????

        getting a little senstive u wish u have indian hair instead of using it as a weave nappyroots

    • being mixed raced, you probably have a different texture than most black women who are not mixed race. we don't wash our hair everyday because it's not healthy for our hair, point blank. What you do for your hair may be totally different from what the rest of us do . . .

    • rainbow

      I agree with you. Hair thrives when it is clean. It smells good. Yes, black hair thrives when it is clean. Your hair/scalp can generate microbes over the course of a week, a day. So washing it keeps the level of microbes down, rids the hair of excess dht. As far as oil, that is why things like coconut oil exists. You wash the microbes and dht and then add coconut oil(minus the day and microbes). Clean hair rocks.black or nonblack

      • rainbow

        Minus the dht (not day) damn autocorrect

  • MayDay

    Must agree with #1 (the don't touch the hair one… I think). I HATE it when people touch my hair without asking. It makes me feel like I'm an animal. Case in point…
    the other day I was with my friend minding my own business and walking to her house when we passed by this group of white people. This one white lady says very loudly, "How did you get your hair like that?" She was referring to my hair, which I had out in a very large puff (hairpiece; it's been getting cold). I smiled slightly and replied that it just grew that way, and she said it was "crazy" before reaching out and touching my hair.
    I had actually felt that one coming, so I tried to inch away, but her hand caught my hair. I flinched up; right away I felt dirty, like I was a sort of animal to be gawked at. Not to mention the "crazy" part; I was trying not to cry and wondering why my hair couldn't be considered "beautiful", not even to the black kids at my school (I'm in high school and I can't walk a day through the hall without someone calling me "nappy" or "darkness").
    That's my little rant, sorry : )

    • !!!!!!!!!


    • lala

      Beautiful reply Anon, i actually felt my eyes start to water, Mayday i would have said more but i think Anon pretty much covered it.

    • PassingBy

      Is it possible she didn’t mean “crazy” as a derogatory term but rather that it was unique or unlike something she had seen before? I understand your hair is a sensitive issue for you and why you would assume it was intended as derogatory, but at the same time I think of times I may have casually referred to things as “crazy” when I don’t mean it in a dismissive way, but only that it is unique.

    • Josh D.

      Girl, I pictured that whole story playing out as you wrote it and it broke my heart a little. Those people had no class, tact, or intellect. Stupid and trashy comes in all colors. I’m sorry you had such an awful experience. People are ignorant and do not think before they talk and act. They have no idea that their actions can have a negative effect on people’s perceptions of themselves and on their emotions. The kids at your school also sound like total a**holes. Where do you live? My suggestion is go to college someplace diverse and inclusive where you can be appreciated and learn to appreciate yourselves as well as the unique and different things in other people from all walks of life. Keep your chin up because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. If you ever feel like you don’t fit in –be grateful for that. Would you WANT to fit in with a bunch of racist, ignorant, uncultured idiots? Remember that the most precious things on this planet are precious because they are rare and one-of-a-kind, not mainstream and mass-produced.

  • Yeah… I'm not really with letting people who I don't know touch me or my hair. I'm kinda funny like that. If I don't share a bloodline or marriage certificate with you then keep your grubby little hands to yourself. I have no interest in touching anyone else's hair, and since I wear my hair relaxed it's HIGHLY UNLIKELY that anyone will ever ask me to let them touch my hair.

  • Too many questions, and i feel its not white folks business what black women do to their hair,, why dont we have 7 things black women want to know about white hair? Because we black women dont give a damn about white womens hair.. i am so sick of black hair needing an explaination, i love my thick AA hair also and i wouldnt wnat any other type of hair.. i would have a fit if i had stringy flat hair.. so each to their own and let each race of women worry about their own type of hair,, and please white people .. dont touch my HAIR!!

    • I'm sayin'… Amen to that!

    • sooo true

    • Mesucandies

      Amen to that. Ive been going natural for months, no perms, weaves, wigs etc. just either braids with no extensions (which i heard can grow your hair) and afros, with the use of some hot six oil(a light spray oil) and leave in conditioner(contains natural oils) along with washing every once a week, silk scarf at night and using a hair pick in the morning and im good to go. And also using this stuff called wild growth every 2 weeks.And my hair has grown rapidly. It was becoming rathe bothersome to straighten it, so I just went natural, and i am much happier

    • Marysia

      Umm apparently black women do care as you use weaves that resemble white hair-stringy and all.. Just sayin’. i love my naturally long silky straight hair jut the way youlove yours. And btw when i first moved to this country i beame friends with the black girls in high school (they seemed to be less judgemental) and guess what they all touched my har!! Anyhoo, love what you have.

      • Marysia

        Aaarrghh on ny iphone an the case sucks -sorry for the spelling

    • Josh D.

      Totally agree with you about touching people’s hair. I don’t think it’s ok even IF someone asks. Unless someone is paying you to do their hair, don’t touch it.

      That having been said, if there’s a reliable place on the internet where white people can Google things that interest them, they won’t bother innocent bystanders with their educational needs haha.

      Final thought though–one good time when you should consider doing a public service of answering hair questions is when a non-AA person has a mixed child or fosters/has adopted an AA child. In this case, some free hair education is just a charitable service for that poor kid so they don’t have to run around looking a hot mess.

  • Yaaaas!!! #3 ..need to spread this one around to a few ppl

  • Lady D

    I love my thick african american hair

    • Peachez


      • K.

        You are a sad person.

        • Kels

          It’s just a troll. Either a guy or a non-black person. Lol

          • iWritethetruth

            Don’t no black woman in they right mind like their hair if that was the case they wouldn’t wear extensions something is wrong with black women I swear

            • Addie

              Actually, I wear weaves in the winter or summer for protective styles. It gets too cold or too hot and it confuses my natural hair, so I protect it under the weaves. I love my hair more than weaves, matter of fact, I take them down earlier than I plan. Don’t speak on all black women when you haven’t met them all.

      • sanjidude

        Why not? That’s sad.

    • katie

      I am a white woman who was born in Kenya to 4th generation missionaries and now live in boston. Am I African-American? What exactly is African-American anyway?

      • Ashley

        I don't think so but you bring up a painful, but good point.

        Blacks in America have such a hard time defining themselves because we no longer have many of the African traditions but we are clearly different from the stereotypical American. Also, all terms used to describe us have some root in racism (even Black) so how do we define ourselves in a world where all the words were created to oppress us?

        • pepjrp

          Your last words are no longer applicable to the truth.

          • ghanderman

            based on what evidence, precisely? the idea that america is somehow “post-racial” is a delusion of the far too eager to pretend otherwise.

            • pepjrp

              Yes, post-racial in absolute terms is correct, but closer than ever. And those who are really haters are few and far between, I believe. Race does surface in other areas, but not in a hate sense, but certainly in taking sides. For example, a white person states something they don’t like about Obama and Blacks will come out of the woodwork for his defense. Like so many did with Michael Vick or Trayvon Martin without knowing much of the facts. Yes, when will the taking sides based on race dissolve… that is really the bigger question?

              • Zack Myers

                I believe most of the older people like that of the 30s-60s born are more racial than the ones born in the 80s-90s. As each generation comes it seems to be less racial people in it. As each older generation passes there is also less racism. Which I think has to do with their experiences in life, White and black. Right now we are seeing the ones of civil rights movement era speak more on racism. I can understand though with what was going on then. Personally and just personally and hate to say this but I can’t wait for their generations to pass. So this country can start to heal its self from it. No, doesn’t change the past but who wants to relive the past when we have a brighter future?

            • pepjrp

              The comment of “how do we define ourselves in a world where all the words were created to oppress us?’… is about as dumb as it gets. The other comment of but we are clearly different from the stereotypical American is only because so many want to be that way due to their own personal prejudices.

            • MikeH22020

              You can swap “world” for “america”

          • PKBitchGirl

            Considering people might not get called for interview based on them having a ‘stereotypical’ black name then no pretty sure America isn’t “post-racial”

        • Rich Garriques

          its so true

        • Rich Garriques

          you can thank katies missionaires for that.

        • Jarren D

          “Also, all terms used to describe us have some root in racism (even
          Black) so how do we define ourselves in a world where all the words were
          created to oppress us?” Uh…. Any time you identify a group by their race, it’s going to be “racist”. It’s literally impossible to label a racial group without being “racist”. You see the circular logic there, right? Also, FYI, you need to learn some history. The term “black” was not meant to “oppress” anybody (exactly the opposite), just like the term “colored” and many other terms.

      • Deir

        The general idea of African American is a Black person but if we are speaking in true terms of nationality, you are African, your children will be African American. Your race would be White or Caucasian. A Black person born in England would be British, but they would still be Black. I agree with Ashley in the idea that it is hard to really have a clear understanding of who we are, in a perfect world we would just be American.

        • pepjrp

          She is a European American now. Caucasian is a negative term for many of us. And White is OK, but we are more than just a color, just as many Blacks feel about how a color describes them. It’s not enough.

          • John

            No she is African…she was born in Africa. I think it’s difficult for black people to understand that if you were born in Africa you are African regardless of what color you are. African-American was created because the prior term colored was not proper after the 60’s.

            • Ralph Scriptic Long

              NOT true. Sorry to crush your hopes

        • mancavedude

          why not just call yourself american like the rest of us?

          • Guest

            The rest of who? Many white Americans call themselves Irish, Polish, Italian etc. None of that was a problem or ever commented on. It only became a problem when black people started being proud of their African heritage.

            • Kate Newton

              Nothing to be proud of. Let’s not forget that Africans sold their ancestors to slavery in the first place.

        • Le Jamaican Brit

          Hehehe I am a Black British and i love it. The amazement i got when i went over to Florida (this Easter to visit family) and people were shocked to hear my accent, that i spoke like a white ‘supposedly steriotypical’ british person and i LOLed when this guy said he thought that England had NO other colour.

          I wonder why there is no name for black people in England/Uk, what would i be called, Black British, or Jamaican British because often in forms i generally have to tick the ‘None of the Above’ boxes, LOL.

          • kathy

            Lol…I like your humor 🙂 some people are ignorant to the fact that every race lives everywhere. My students say that they are black not African American so I stick with that, they call me white and I stick with that too! 🙂

            • Rich Garriques

              they are right that does not make them ignorant.

              • John26

                I think you didn’t read what she said properly. She said that some people are ignorant (meaning lacking in knowledge — it does not mean ‘stupid’) of the fact that a “black” or “Hispanic” person can live in a non-traditional place for a black or Hispanic person to live. A black person can live in Sweden or Norway, just as a Hispanic could live in the Congo or Liberia.

                She didn’t say that her students are ignorant because they say they are black and not African-American.

        • ghanderman

          in a perfect world people would not be defined by the fallacious concept of “race” or nationalism. they would be defined by their personhood.

          • Rich Garriques

            exactly but we must remember that race was always the social construct of white supremacy but today whites never like to talk about it cause they benefit from it.

      • Olive

        You are African- American dear, but you can say that your ancestors are (insert nationality here). White people in South Africa considere theirselves African simply because they were born in Africa. Its not the skin color that determines the nationality.

        • pepjrp

          You make some good points and I appreciate your kindness in your answer.

        • lol

          But that ils me , white people say they are ican when born there , but a fool knows you re what your heritage and your roots and family are.. How the H are you a true African because you were born there? if my black mom traveled to Russia and I happen to be born there you can bet your last dollar I would never be calling myself a Russian.. gtfoh white folks and WHY and what do you need to understand anything about blk hair.. we aren’t puzzled or amazed by white hair!

          • John

            She is African you idiot she is literally from Africa. You’ve got to be some kind of moron seriously…

            • Ralph Scriptic Long

              That means nothing. An Asian man, born ANYWHERE on this planet is still Asian

          • Baconater

            That’s because there aren’t any pureblood Irish, British, Italian ect currently. Everyone is mixed with different heritages. The reason why we are curious about a black person’s hair is because no one sat all of us “white folks” down and explained what makes a black person’s hair different. If you’re offended by it then you’re taking it personally, if asked out of pure curiosity and kindly I don’t see what the fuss is about.

        • tonya

          She is whatever nationality her parents are, just because she was born in Africa that does not make her African-American……besides I do not call myself AA, I’m black my mother and father black, I’m Black…I do not go by all that my great grandmother was indian, or my great great grandfather was Irish like a lot of black people do…I’m black and would not call it nothing else.

          • Josh D.

            Actually you are incorrect. “Nationality” means the country where you have citizenship. There are, for example, black Italian nationals, black French nationals, etc. Her nationality is Kenyan, but her heritage is (wherever her ancestors are from). America is not the only nation of immigrants! Telling a person born in Kenya (whose heart is in Kenya, home of her birth) that she is not a “real Kenyan” would be like telling someone of Indian decent born in America that they are not a “real American” because their parents are from some other country and were immigrants. Think about how it feels when you flip it. Identity can be a complicated thing with lots of layers, and not just for people of color.

          • John

            Another idiot…She was born in Africa…she is African…maybe you’d understand in your brain worked. .

            • Kate Newton

              Yes, and if she is an American citizen now, she’s African-American. 😉

          • British Gal

            I know I’m late but I am a British Afro-Caribbean which basically means my nationality is British meaning I was born and raised in England but my dad – from Jamaica and mum from Zimbabwe making me Afro Caribbean. I also have citizenship in Jamaica and I wasn’t even born there. Meaning I have a dual-nationality. Nationality is different to ethnicity.

          • Ralph Scriptic Long

            ‘Black’ is not a race nor nationality

          • Kate Newton

            It’s funny, that most of the blacks that weren’t even near Africa are calling themselves African-Americans, but someone who was born in Africa and is now American citizen shouldn’t call herself/himself African-American. So easy to rip opinions without a good argument.

        • Rich Garriques

          you are as stupid as they come you think white people are going to label black people european now??? in europe just cause they were born their? you must be a dummy for real. what do you think they do here in america still label us AFRICAN AMERICAN. so how are you going to say whites born in africa are african? NO BIITCH THEY ARE EUROPEAN

      • pepjrp

        You are a European American in the US. In America, it is all about the race.

        • John

          She is African dumbass!

          • sophlames

            Actually, her question was stupid to start off with. If she is african from kenya moving to america will not make her american, If she does take up an america citizenship, she will loose her african status and become what ever america defines her to be. Unless she walks around with her passport on her forehead, nobody will know her nationality. So they will categorise her according to what she looks like.

        • PKBitchGirl

          If I moved to America I wouldn’t be European American, I would be Irish as it’s where I’m from.

      • Jo-Ann

        Yes you are a African Now American woman


        NO .. wtf? you know damn well you are not a African American.. it goes my your genes and heritage ..not where you were born.. I AA and I bet if I happen to be born in Europe.. no damn body qould call or think im European..gtfoh!

        • John

          She is African idiot..she was born in Africa. And if you were born in Europe you would not be African American. Nobody from Europe calls themselves American, even if they are black. No European black person living in America calls themselves African American.

        • John

          She is African…she is from Africa… How do you not understand this? People of every color are born in Africa.

          • sophlames

            you moron, no body is arguing about her african status. The qquestion is what is she when she gets to america. In america, once a citizen she is no longer african. Cause you cant have dual nationality. As her origins lie in europe and her phenotype matches up too she will be classed as white american. what is so hard for you to get?

            • ShaNayNay

              United States of America allows Dual citizenships or even multiple citizenships.. So you need to get your facts straight.

          • WRT707

            I like how you don’t get Africa is a continent not country. She’s not African-American she’s Kenyan-American.

      • lol

        No you are not,, cant you look at your white skin and see that you aren’t African GEESSSHH! Im black and if my mom had traveled to Europe and I happen to be born there,, are you dumb enough to think in European NO well the same thing about you!

        • Josh D.

          There are tons of black Europeans. America is not the only land of immigrants. You are American if you live here and are a citizen, regardless of your ancestry. So why are you not Kenyan if you were born in Kenya? This bizarre American fascination with history from hundreds of years ago and identifying ourselves with those places we have never been and languages we don’t speak…other countries actually think we are quite weird for that. I have a friend from Ireland. He says “everywhere I go, there are white Americans who want to tell me they’re Irish, their grandma was Irish, etc. I have news for you – you are not Irish, you’re American.” So there you have it. Other countries actually don’t think in the way you say they do. Consider examples of famous athletes like Mario Balotelli (black Italian – very much considered Italian by the country who loves him) and Dario Franchitti (Italian ancestry Scottish national, who is very much considered Scottish).

          • WRT707

            “Consider examples of famous athletes like Mario Balotelli (black Italian – very much considered Italian by the country who loves him)”

            Especially when he’s being called monkey and having bananas thrown at him.

            • Rich Garriques

              thank you!

          • Rich Garriques

            what you fail to understand buddy is that it doesn’t matter where you go in the world as a black person you will be labeled and treated the same. it is not fair to us that whites can hip hop their way to any part of the world and have children their after they invaded the place and claim status and not have to put up with being discriminated or being labeled a monkey and treat the same way they are treated in every other part of the world so no you are not african! YOUR EUROPEAN WHITE END OF STORY. and btw missionaries in africa where the invaders!

        • John

          White people born in Africa are African…it has nothing to do with your skin color..

        • ShaNayNay

          Newsflash missy.. People who are born in North Africa with very light skin still consider themselves as African, and they have been there for thousands of years. And this lady is the 4th generation Kenyan. She has every right to call herself African just like the rest of the folks.

      • Malik Blunt

        You were born in Africa got your American citizen ship, you’re African-American….

        • sophlames

          african american is a racial classification and not a nationality. Africa is not a country. So if you are white and born in africa and become american, you are not african american. You are white american. However, if you do not become american. You are just african of what ever country you come from. Its ignorant to think, african american is not a racial classification.

          • Malik Blunt

            It’s also stupid to say “Africa is not a country. So if you are white and born in africa and become american, you are not african american.” and then say “However, if you do not become american. You are just african of what ever country you come from.” Lady, you just contradicted yourself! So if a person becomes an American citizen and they are from Europe, they are European-american… Europe is not a country either, but someone can still identify as such and be black. Just like one can be white from Africa (Come to America) and identify as African-American. Stop being ignorant by trying to pull out my ignorance with falseness

          • cdfbrown

            Are you sure you want to go down that route? If you look at it that way then you’d have to say things like ‘African United States of American’, since America isn’t a country either – it’s a landmass. Zoom in a bit and you can find the continent of North America; zoom in a little more and you’ll find the USA.

            African American is a racial descriptor in the USA, it’s true, but it also describes Americans that have immigrated from the continent of Africa – whatever their race. Assuming she gets US citizenship, katie will be a white, Kenyan American woman as well as a white, African American woman; if she holds on to her original citizenship she’ll also be a Kenyan woman and an African woman.

            Of course that’s just the legalities of it. People define nationality in all sorts of ways, including legal status, place of birth, descent (parents’ nationality), ancestry, place of residence, the place they were raised, cultural affinity…

            • WRT707

              ” but it also describes Americans that have immigrated from the continent of Africa”

              No it doesn’t. It was specifically created is to denote an ethnic group of citizens or residents of the United States with total or partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, America refers to the USA. When someone says American you know they aren’t talking about Canada, Mexico, Brazil. The Americas is the term for the landmass comprising North and South America

              • cdfbrown

                ‘The Americas’ is a term for the landmass (and probably the most commonly used), ‘America’ is another. If North America and South America weren’t both part of America then they’d be called something different, wouldn’t they?

                You seem to be looking at this from the point of view that words and phrases only have one interpretation and that said interpretation must be the colloquial one or the most commonly used. If you’ll pardon the pun, that’s a very black and white way of looking at things – the world tends to be much more grey than that. The fact that ‘African American’ is used as a racial descriptor for some citizens of the USA doesn’t preclude it’s use as a nationality descriptor for others (of course the two groups may overlap).

                I’m not disputing that most people would assume you were talking about the USA if you said ‘America’, I’m just pointing out that there are other things it can refer to and if you rule out using ‘Africa’ as part of a nationality descriptor based on the fact it’s not a country (as sophlames did in the comment I replied to) then you’d need to apply the same rule to the use of ‘America’.

                • WRT707

                  .When people are talking about both North and South America they say the “The Americas” if they are talking about South America, “South or Latin America” is commonly used. Quit pretending that America is not used almost exclusively for the USA.

                  You don’t seem to understand that Africa is not a nation so it can’t be a nationality descriptor as it is a continent. Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt are nations and people from those countries who immigrate to America refer to themselves as Nigerian-American, Kenyan-America, etc. You also don’t seem to be aware that the USA stands for the United States of AMERICA and people are simply using America in the say we say China instead of the official name People’s Republic of China or Russia instead of the official name Russian Federation or Australia instead of the official Commonwealth of Australia or Brazil instead of Federative Republic of Brazil and so on and so forth. In fact there are only a few sovereign nations whose commonly used name and official name are the exact same like New Zealand for instance. You also don’t seem to be aware that the term African-American was created by black Americans who were descendants of African slaves so the term was created with a very specific definition. African-American denotes a specific ethnic group it doesn’t literally mean what the two word separately mean just like dead pan doesn’t literally mean a dead pan.

                  • cdfbrown

                    I did receive your first (now deleted) reply to me that read ‘You wasted your time because I didn’t read any of that.’ If you had read my comment then you’d have seen that I categorically stated that I agreed most people use ‘America’ to refer to the USA; I also explained that, while that’s the most common usage of it, it’s not the only usage of it.

                    The reason that Africa can be used as part of a nationality descriptor is that the main part of the descriptor is the second part – in this case ‘American’; the first part relates to your background, which could be a number of geographical descriptors including (but not limited to) country and continent of origin. Other, non-geographical descriptors include religion (eg Jewish-American), ethnicity (eg White-American) and nationality (eg German-American); your nationality is not necessarily going to be the same as your country of origin – for example plenty of Americans identify as ‘Irish-American’, which is a nation that has its main population split across two countries.

                    As for your comment on using ‘America’ for the United States of America simply being a shortening, the same as ‘China’ for the People’s Republic of China, ‘Australia’ for the Commonwealth of Australia etc, you’re right as far as it goes but you don’t address the fact that there is not just one usage for these terms. Just as ‘America’ can refer to the country of the United States of America and to the landmass of America, so to can ‘Australia’ refer to the country of the Commonwealth of Australia and to the continent of Australia.

                    Lastly, I’m aware where the term ‘African-American’ comes from as a racial descriptor, I’m simply saying that it can mean other things too. Deadpan could be used literally, though the use of ‘pan’ as a slang term for the face has fallen out of fashion so it’s not very likely these days.

                    Your insistence that words and phrases can only have one meaning is holding back your comprehension of what I’m saying here.

                    • WRT707

                      Nationality literally means the nation you’re from. Try as you might Africa is not a nation so it can not describe a nationality. You also don’t know the difference between nationality and ethnicity. Irish-American is not a nationality as no Irish America exists, it is a ethnic descriptor. Jewish-American, African-American, German-American are ethnic groups not nationalities. Their nationality is American.

                      Australia is both a country and continent. We learned this in kindergarten. Africa is not a country, it is a continent. What’s so hard to grasp about this. America does not refer to land mass it refers to the nation called United States of America.

                      Lastly, considering a pan in not a living thing that can die you would be a moron to use it literally. Also I’m not insisting words and phrases can only have one meaning. Languages are not static or non-changing, I’m aware of that. What you can’t comprehend is some words have singular definitions and meanings.

                      You’re not going to change my mind so don’t bother responding because I’m done with your stupidity.

      • Mya

        I think your just african. Your kids would be sfrican american. Honestly that’s a tricky question. Most people think of african american as being black when really its not

        • sophlames

          no it is not, the definition of “african american” is BLACK. Just because you feel something does not make it fact. I feel that planes should be called boats, thats not going to mean i can go tell people im on a boat to kansas and expect them to realise im mean plane. You can just un officially change meaning of words or terms.

          • Shalonda

            If anyone cracked open a dictionary they would see that African American does in fact mean Black American.

      • Kels

        You ARE African American. You’re just not black.

      • Zack Myers

        African doesn’t mean your black lady. All people reside in Africa. Egypt IS apart of Africa and they are Arabic. South Africa has alot of whites. African just means you where born there. Has nothing to due with skin color. There are natural blacks in Australia and South America.

      • ashleyjussayin

        No, you’re a European descendant that once lived in Africa and now you live in America. nothing more or less. An african-american is a descendants of those living in America now that ancestors originated in Africa but ended up in America working on a plantation even though mankind originated in Africa, we’re speaking on those that didn’t migrate and populated the world creating all of the races that we have today but stayed in Africa. The real question is how come you aren’t called a European American in America.

      • Christel

        yes, you are an African American. not everybody that is born in Africa is black look at South Africans. In america, they label blacks as african american because majority of Africans are black. that’s why in the description box it says “[ ] black or African American”

      • tonya

        You passed me off with that stupid question…no your white azz is not African American.

      • Rich Garriques

        oh so your part of the problem in africa i see.

      • Ralph Scriptic Long

        You are not indigenous….smh

    • M M

      You're not an African American anymore then I'm an Italian American-we're both just Americans-the sooner you all drop this identity crap, the smoother the road will be for our country. This plays right into the hands of the race baiters like Sharpton.

    • pepjrp

      And many European American guys like me, love your gorgeous hair too!