Trying to explain what you’re doing with your hair to people who know nothing about Black hair when you really don’t want to is extremely taxing, and yet, Skai Jackson handled it very well.
We’re often encouraged to have these conversations, educate people in order to bridge gaps, but that doesn’t mean that when we do, it can’t get pretty awkward. For the 17-year-old Disney star, she explained her fresh twists to someone we assume was a friend (who stayed off-camera) while filming an Instagram Live video. The woman questioned if the twists, which she thought were regular braids, could be taken out at night and if they were soft because they looked “so painful.”
Friend: You sleep in this hair?
Skai Jackson: No, I take it out every night…
Friend: It seems so painful.
Skai Jackson: Yes I sleep with it every night! How else would I sleep?!
Friend: They seem so painful, I didn’t know.
Skai Jackson: No. Look, they’re soft. They’re not painful.
Friend: I literally believed you when you said, “Yeah, I take it out every night.” Oh my God, they are. You know it doesn’t look soft. This is how it is for every braid ever? It’s soft? They’re small, I’m talking about the big ones. This is not considered a braid?
Skai Jackson: This is not a braid, this is a twist.
Friend: A twist. Okay, got it. So every twist is soft? I’m making a generalization.
Skai Jackson: [Laughs] I mean, they all feel the same.
Friend: But braids are hard because they’re braided?
Skai Jackson: Yeah, they’re harder, but they’re not painful to sleep on.
Friend: But these are painful?
Skai Jackson: No. They’re both not painful.
Skai has become comfortable opening up about her hairstyle choices, even when other people don’t get them or necessarily like them. Last year the actress wore a pink ‘do to New York Fashion Week that someone said made her look darker, as though that’s a bad thing.
“I was really surprised to see the comments on social media that were being said about my decision to try out a new hair color and style,” she wrote for Teen Vogue. “Some people thought that pink hair was not age appropriate for me or that it didn’t match my skin color, which I found very confusing.”
“I’m growing, I’m maturing and finding myself at 16 years old discovering the joys and pains of the world we live in,” she added. “I would only ask that before you throw shade, you stop and think about all the people who have ever said something negative about you or someone you love, and how that made you or them feel. Fashion is about trying out new things and having fun, and me and my stylist, Zadrian Smith, are going to keep doing just that. Pink hair for everyone!”