Is that your real hair?
While sitting in the nail salon, one of the workers proceeded to ask my if my hair was real. I quickly said yes because 1. I felt it was not their business and 2. It is.
That’s when I got to thinking, over the years I’ve gotten that question many times. Over the years, I’ve noticed that mostly black women are approached with that question. It’s almost as if we cannot have long, thick, or full hair. When I thought about this, that is when I began to realize how offensive the question is. Then I wondered if that worker would have asked someone who wasn’t black the same? Would it have been more believable if it were someone else? And why? Why does it matter so much to other people if their hair is theirs or not. At the end of the day, the hair on someone’s head is theirs because they are wearing it and have paid for it. Asking black women if their hair is real gives off the perception that you don’t believe their hair can be real if it isn’t at a certain length or dimension. If you would not ask that same question to any one else in the room? Why ask me? Simply put, you wouldn’t because the perception was shock, that a black woman like me could have so much hair on their head. I left the salon feeling offended but also more aware of how often this happens to women especially black women on a daily basis. A Black women’s hair comes in all shapes, lengths and dimensions. To believe that a Black women can’t have long hair and more specifically a dark skin Black woman is ignorant. Maybe I should not blame him for the question. Maybe I should blame society for placing these perceptions into the heads of many. Furthermore, asking someone if their hair is real solves nothing if anything at all. Most answers result in a yes or a no. The hair we have on our heads should not be the definitive factor of believability. It point blank and period just should not be questioned.