How to Deal When People Treat You Differently Because of Your Hair: Clap Back With Class
We asked each woman to write a note to her younger self to share with her what she wishes she knew.
DEAR BLACK GIRL,
Girl. Love yourself! Like? You're a queen, you're poppin, you're gorgeous! You're intelligent! Do your thing, love yourself. That's all that matters! Nothing else can really phase you if you have that foundation.
How long have you been natural?
Probably about...around four years maybe.
What made you decide to go natural?
See I didn't big chop at all, how was that? How did you feel?
Not really. I always wore my hair in braids and protective styles, and I didn't shave it, I trimmed for a couple months and then I cut my hair, so I had a little bit of growth and then I just wore it braids for a while. So I didn't really struggle that much with the beginning stage because it was always covered. It wasn't until probably like, six months to a year after that that anyone outside of my family saw my natural hair, because I would always get my hair done over a break or, you know..I wouldn't go to school with my natural hair out when it was that short.
Did you always accept your 4c hair? If not, what was that process like?
When you went natural what was the reaction from your family and friends? Were they supportive?
Who did you look to for guidance?
Yeah, we've definitely talked about that, about how you can't do what everyone does. Everyone's process and products aren't going to work for your hair.
What’s your regimen like?
Do you have any tips for people with 4c who are just starting out?
Don't give up! Be patient! It's a journey, but I've not known anyone who didn't eventually come back around to saying, Oh, I really love my natural hair. Anyone I know who has given up has always said, Wow, I kinda wanna have my hair natural again. It always ends up being what most people want. Everyone is different so, maybe it's not for you. But I would definitely try to stick it out. It's what you're born with! It grows out of your scalp, it's for you. just embrace it, be patient and it will work out.
Why do you think it’s important for there to be natural hair representation in media?
What have you learned on your natural hair journey?
It's kinda funny because I have noticed that people do treat me differently based on how my hair looks. I've just had so many stages of my hair, I had a jheri curl at one point but we're not gonna talk about that! Like when I think about how many different ways people have treated me, at the end of the day, I really started to notice more people treating me with respect when I started respecting myself, as in accepting what I have. I went though phases when I wasn't sure the way certain things looked with my hair, but people are going to have their bias no matter what. But when you have that confidence in yourself and you know that you're worthy and you are beautiful, and it doesn't matter what anyone else says or thinks, I think that even people who hate you or are judging you are still gonna have to respect you. Because you're owning what you are, you're owning what you have, you know?
I've experienced so many people treating me differently. like when I have my little wig on, or some braids, or a short bob, I've noticed people at my job (not the people I work with, but customers) will treat me more respectfully, will come up to me. They'll be like, Hi ma'am, how are you? But 99% of the time when my natural hair is out they'll walk passed me and go to the white person next to me. But you know, live your life, do your thing sweetie. I'm not bothered but it's just funny! It's just very interesting that this is still going on in 2018. People are eventually going to change, but it's just going to take time and patience.
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