Image from giphy.com
I find it quite amazing how boldly some white people think they have evolved with their education of Black people’s hair just because Black hair styles on white people have gone commercial.
It was just the other day that my manager asked me how I wash my box braids. Now y’all know she didn’t use the words “Box braids”, so it was more of a pointing in the direction of my head with something that sounded like “How do you wash those/that/thingy’s?” Eventually, she safely landed on the word hair.
She asked, “Do you have to take them out every time?”
It was in that moment that I caught a major attitude. First of all, how dare she even assume that my hair is not real? In fact, the only reason I pay an extra $250 in the first place for the hair was for even other Black girls to have to second guess.
So for my white manager from Wyoming to be calling me out… you know I really wasn’t feeling her.
So with a smile to cover up my rising temper, I told her,“ I wash my hair like you wash yours.” But man do I miss the days where you could come to work on Mondays with the short Halle Berry hairdo from the 90’s
and then show up Tuesday with hair down your back.
I miss that time period when white people would just say, “Wow did you do something different with your hair?” Genuinely not having a clue.
However, are we to blame for their looking glass into our world? Or maybe is it realty tv show that expose us patting our weaves?
Business all out in the streets. My grandmother always taught me that there is no need for anyone to see a woman’s “Process.” This why I hate it when men come into the beauty salon to wait for their wives and girlfriends. I’m like damn, could you not wait at home or at least in the car?
However, my girlfriend has no shame rocking her removable hair piece bun at any given moment. Just the other day she almost left it in a cab and I had to be like, “Girl, seriously. You can’t be just forgetting your hair.”
But she just has no shame. In fact in prepping for her weekend ski trip to the Swiss Alps, we went shopping in the city for a helmet and goggles. We approach this white sales guy and ask him to suggest a helmet. He brings over a couple of different options for my friend to try on. Looking at the size she says, “Can we start with a large, I have a big head complex and don’t want to embarrass myself by trying on a small helmet.” The white sales guy insists that the medium should fit if she takes down her bun. Of course he did not know that her hair bun was not hers as as in did not grow out of head. For what he meant was to just unwind her hair from the bun to a ponytail.
Unfortunately this bun doesn’t come with that option- it’s either bun or no bun. Sure enough not having any shame in her game, my friend removed the entire bun and in fact asks the white sales guy to hold it…
He didn’t seem to have a problem, in fact he looked as if he had done this before for other Black girls who had to remove their hair pieces to try on helmets for their ski trips. Moments later and whaddaya know? The helmet fit and just like that we were off to picking goggles while she clipped back on her bun.
What a time to be alive.
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Urban Chameleons are people of color who chameleon between white corporate America and their kinky hair handling, curry spice eating, hip-gyrating America. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers, the resident Urban Chameleon news reporter who gathers stories from people just like you who just need to “release” to a community who understands and gets your pain. Read what others have already submitted. Have an Urban Chameleon story? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org