We applaud the hair discrimination laws passed in New York early last year. The laws that makes targeting people based on their hair or hairstyle an act of racial discrimination. But many Black people still face biases in everyday life. Some of which we project onto one another.
This article is about how to talk about black hair. So, we won’t be allowing the good hair/bad hair terminology to take up space here. However, we will say that ‘good hair’ means healthy hair. Period.
And while it’s easy to identify the obvious biases. Some of these can be more ambiguous. Even shrouded as a compliment that those with non-natural hair may not even register as being ignorant.
Although VIP’s largest clientele are Black women, we stock products for every race and ethnicity. We believe in inclusiveness, even when there are those that focuses on division.
That said, here are dos on how to properly compliment natural hair:
- I love your hairstyle
- Your curls look great
- Wow, how did you get your hair, coils or curls to do that?
- Tell me how you got this ringlets or curls
These are all things that can be said easily and openly to someone you want to gratify. And that is just one step to changing perceptions of Black hair.
Also, if you’re sincerely interested in educating yourself, you can ask questions. Unfortunately, some black men and women need educating the most about black hair.
How To Talk About Black Hair: The Don’ts
Now, we come to the inappropriate things to say to someone with natural hair. Some of these may seem obviously rude when reading them. But as we all know, common sense isn’t always common.
So, here are a few things to avoid saying to someone with natural hair.
- I like your hair better straight. Natural hair is amazing just the way that it as it is. With all the beautiful patterns and textures. So, saying it’s better straight can easily come across as rude.
- Oh, you have ‘good hair’. Essentially, this is say it’s good for someone with natural hair. All hair is beautiful. Period.
- When are you going to get your hair done? This suggest that it isn’t ‘done’ at that moment. It also gives the impression that you don’t like it. Instead, ask about their hair routine and what their favorite styles are.
- How did you get your hair kinky like that? Some hair textures are just naturally kinky. But not everyone likes their texture. Instead, revert to a simple compliment that their hair is beautiful.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg for many people. However, they run deeper than just passing comments. It’s important to note that it starts with us, inward, within our community.
We need to exercise how we see ourselves and those around us. This makes us better examples as to how the world should describe and speak of our beauty.
To learn more about black hair and the best products, call VIP House of Hair Beauty Supply at (661) 723-0990.
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