Dear Strangers: No You Can Not Touch My Hair!

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I think it’s safe to say for most women you put a substantial amount of time and effort into creating your daily look. You walk out the house feeling good about yourself ready to conquer the world. Your outfit put together like you’re fresh off the runway, makeup flawless and hair snatched and laid. Today appears like it’s going to be an exciting one but while you’re out and about taking care of business a random stranger walks up and sticks their hand in your hair. Now I know your initial reaction is to turn up and give that person a piece of your mind. You’re probably in disbelief that someone would have the gall to even do such a thing. I hate to be the one to tell you this but people touching your hair without your consent happens more often than not and recently it happened to me for the first time.

I was with my best friend headed out to handle some business, surprise my mom and take her out for a little girl talk and a birthday dinner. We were on the train talking, almost to our destination when I heard a guy and a girl walking through the cart from behind where I was seated. I kept talking and paid it no attention because it’s normal for passengers to switch between carts, especially since we were almost at the next stop. As they both reached where I was seated I felt a hand reach into my hair and the guy say “Oh I like your hair, it’s so cool!” Meanwhile, I jerked my head to the left so fast I almost broke my neck as I told him not to touch me.

I’m pretty sure cutting my eyes at him with the most unpleasant look I could give to another person (if looks could kill he’d have been a goner). The girl gasped and hit him as he kept walking and told him “don’t do that, that’s rude!” and went on apologizing for him. I heard her but mentally I was already done. Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 7.19.34 PMI wasn’t angry with her but the one thing I don’t like (others touching me) and the very thing I had been dreading the bigger my mane has grown (strangers touching my hair) all happened to me at once. The crazy thing  about it all is that I handled it a lot better than how I envisioned I ever would. Thanks glo up!

I sat there for a moment looking from side to side. I guess the girl realized I wasn’t here for it and it was in her best interest to catch up with her friend. The look on my best friend’s face was priceless. All she could say is that she was scared because she didn’t know how I was going to react. Honestly, I didn’t even know how to react. I was completely caught off guard and it left me feeling somewhat violated.

I had heard stories of other natural haired women talk about their experiences of random strangers walking up to them or walking pass them and touching their hair. The women who’ve stories I heard always said theScreen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.09.45 PM bigger the hair the harder they stare, which I have found to be true. I realize my hair attracts attention but that doesn’t give anyone the right to touch me because they feel entitled to. News flash you can’t ask to touch my hair and then proceed to place your fingers in my hair before you give me a chance to respond. The question is null in void and the violation is already done. I am not an exhibit or a main attraction for your entertainment. I should not have to change my hair nor will I because you do not possess self-control and cannot contain yourself.

86614e71-269b-463a-9246-d504a200ac08I take pride in my lioness, I nurture my mane and I rock it whichever way it decides to fall on that given day. Whether that means wearing my hair big from an old picked out wash and go, braids, a twist out, up in a bun or a blowout. It’s my hair and I have every right to wear it as I choose without having to worry about if a random person is going to stick their hands in it because they feel like it.

A part of me knew it was inevitable but that doesn’t make it right. It’s the one thing I always dreaded when it came to growing out voluptuous natural hair. I always knew this unwanted experience was going to happen, I just never knew when. Unfortunately, that day arrived and I must say it left me feeling a bit violated.

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Ways To Handle A Stranger Touching Your Hair:

  1. Remain calm

I know it can be extremely difficult at times depending on the circumstance but look at it this way it’s already happened. Know that it’s not something you have control over. From this point on how you react will determine the outcome. Yes, I know the inner you wants to turn up but that’s not going to help you moving forward or change the past. You are entitled to feel how you feel and have every right to be upset.  Every pore on your scalp is probably screaming “stranger danger, stranger danger!” to this unwanted experience but remember to try and keep your cool.

  1. Remove your hair from the situation

Simply remove their hand(s) or you can move away if you have the space to do so. Then proceed to tell them that it is inappropriate and rude to walk up to someone they do not know and touch their hair. Ask them not to do so again.

  1. Address the offender(s)

Address the person(s) who you feel violated your space right away if you have the opportunity to. Now when I say address the offender(s) I do not mean pounce on them, though I’m sure you would love to it’s not worth possibly going to jail over. If they’re willing to hear you out explain to that individual(s) that they don’t have to touch someone to get their point across. If they admire someone’s hair, they can simply walk up to that person compliment his or her hair and possibly start up a conversation about it. They’ll receive a way better reaction compared to if they walk up to someone and place their hands on or in someone else’s hair.

  1. Shake it off 

It can really interrupt your day if you let it. Every experience is different. You may have an offender(s) who will hear you out and sincerely apologize or you may end up with one who simply just does not get it, which could tick you off even more. Try not to let it get to you. Go vent to a friend(s) about it, have a discussion on one of your social media platforms or go wash your mane. Whatever you choose to do to help you get passed it remember to shake it off and continue to slay the rest of your day.

In my case, I found this unwanted experience rude and violating but that may not be the case for you. Have you ever experienced this before? Would you allow a random stranger to touch your mane?

2 thoughts on “Dear Strangers: No You Can Not Touch My Hair!

    1. lol I was in shock at first. I think that’s why I had this initial reaction. I couldn’t believe this stranger was touching me. I have a big thing about personal space and not being touched. I really don’t like it so I’m glad the situation didn’t escalate. I think I handled it pretty well knowing the old me.