Nappy? Does it OFFEND you?

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A lot of people have different views on the term. Ive seen some people take offense to the word nappy and others embrace it and refer to their own hair as "nappy" with pride. Just interested in other views. Are you offended if someone refers to your hair as nappy? Do you refer to your own hair as nappy?
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It depends on what type of "hair day" I am having. It seems like when I feel really good about my hair certain people tend to make comments,mainly saying it must take you hours to comb that NAPPY hair,or how about a perm since its sooooo nappy? At first it used to bother me so I stayed away from them for a while....to my surprise when I saw one of them again she had a twa....so now I just take it as people are just jealous that their hair isn't as fabolous
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After learning years ago what nappy really means, I like the term. It truly describes my hair.
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I actually think it is a good descriptor of my hair, but I don't like it when people use it negatively.

Some person giving unsolicited opinions about my hair: "It's so nappy...it must take you forever to do it. It's like a Brillo pad...Eww!"

Me (feeling a bit immature at the moment): "And your hair is so straight and limp. It reminds me of my dog's fur...Eww!"

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Depending on how it's used, I can take it as a compliment or as an insult.

Insult: *stank face* "You sure do have some nappy hair!"

Compliment: *smile* "I love your nappy hair!"
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I don't care for it because outside natural hair communities it's always used negatively. I know you shouldn't care what others say, but I'm not a fan of the word.

Even I use it negatively!! Never about others, but when I'm talking about my own hair... And trust me, I'm not complimenting it!

So nappy is a no for me.


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FroZen
I don't care for it because outside natural hair communities it's always used negatively. I know you shouldn't care what others say, but I'm not a fan of the word.

Even I use it negatively!! Never about others, but when I'm talking about my own hair... And trust me, I'm not complimenting it!

So nappy is a no for me.
Originally Posted by BlackAngelPlayah
I agree with the bolded. After I get a compliment on my hair, 9 times out of 10 the person follows up with "My hair is too nappy to go natural." And I hear the word used to describe another natural's hair as she walks by. It is never positive. Even sometimes on this forum when people are asking for advice, "nappy" is not used in a positive tone.
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I never really heard of "nappy" being used in a positive context except within natural hair communities and that has been very recent..like within the last 5 years.

But every since I can recall I've always heard the term "nappy" be used negatively. I honestly believe that is still how the majority of people see the term.

I also think there is a difference in the term "nappy" and "kinky". When I was growing up "nappy" meant hair that is very tangled and is uncombed and was always seen as bad. Kinky just meant hair that is either naturally tightly coiled or highly textured hair that isn't curly or wavy. Given, depending on the person the term "kinky" could be perceived as good or bad. But "nappy" was always negative period..didn't matter what kind of hair it was referring to at all.
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I never really heard of "nappy" being used in a positive context except within natural hair communities and that has been very recent..like within the last 5 years.

But every since I can recall I've always heard the term "nappy" be used negatively. I honestly believe that is still how the majority of people see the term.

I also think there is a difference in the term "nappy" and "kinky". When I was growing up "nappy" meant hair that is very tangled and is uncombed and was always seen as bad. Kinky just meant hair that is either naturally tightly coiled or highly textured hair that isn't curly or wavy. Given, depending on the person the term "kinky" could be perceived as good or bad. But "nappy" was always negative period..didn't matter what kind of hair it was referring to at all.
Originally Posted by *Marah*
Yes. I know someone who got upset when I was explaining her hair grew out instead of down because it is kinky. She said "My hair is not kinky. That is just something white people made up to talk bad about our hair!!"
I apologized and told her I didnt consider kinky an offensive term. Now nappy I dont like. Real life people I know use it as derrogatory to mean unkempt hair.
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Nope. I couldn't care less.


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Nappy does not offend me

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It doesn't offend me, but it's not a term I use.
“Mama says pretty comes in all different sizes. And my size… is cute!” -Honey Boo Boo
I'm not offended by it, "nappy" doesn't mean "tangled/matted" to me (although nappy hair can be tangled/matted), and whether or not someone calls your hair nappy to your face, or in their head, they will associate whatever they will with the word, and if it happens to be your hair, what will you do? A "loc", for instance, is indeed...tangled, matted hair, so...where do we go with that?

I will never call someone else's hair "nappy" to their face, because I understand how many feel about the word. But that does not change my perception of what I'm actually looking at. I will think what I will about my hair, your hair, etc. So, it's best to not get too caught up in what others think, and know that education is only good for those who want to learn.

"Rude" is rude, and lots of people are rude...they've not been socialized well, so they say things without thinking. But out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks...so they're just sharing what they really feel, regardless of how ignorant it may sound. They may mention that they can't be natural, because they have that "sho nuff nappy stuff", not realizing that your hair is often very similar to/just like theirs - it's just well taken care of, or/and in a manipulated state which makes the hair "look" a certain way.

What DOES burn me up is when people claim it's just like the "N word", and start talking about slave masters and how "black people need to stop referring to themselves like....", etc. That's when I walk away.
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Last edited by Ninjarette; 07-11-2012 at 08:00 AM.

What DOES burn me up is when people claim it's just like the "N word", and start talking about slave masters and how "black people need to stop referring to themselves like....", etc. That's when I walk away.
Originally Posted by Ninjarette
Yeah that really is doing too much for me as well.. goodness.
Nappy to me means unkept but it doesn't bother me. What bothers the coonads out of me is fuzzy. When I was little when ever my hair frizzed (which was often in the summer dispute relaxers) my cousins would gather around me and sing fuzzy wuzzy was a bear fuzzy wuzzy had big hair.


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But every since I can recall I've always heard the term "nappy" be used negatively. I honestly believe that is still how the majority of people see the

I also think there is a difference in the term "nappy" and "kinky". When I was growing up "nappy" meant hair that is very tangled and is uncombed and was always seen as bad. Kinky just meant hair that is either naturally tightly coiled or highly textured hair that isn't curly or wavy. Given, depending on the person the term "kinky" could be perceived as good or bad. But "nappy" was always negative period..didn't matter what kind of hair it was referring to at all.
Originally Posted by *Marah*
I'm not crazy about kinky either. For some reason to me it makes it sound like something is wrong with that hair. It doesn't hit the nerve that nappy does, but. I'm not sure. Just doesn't sound like a compliment. Even the term "kinky curly" irks me. I'm like have several friggin seats, it's just CURLY!!

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FroZen
I like the term kinky.

Not all naturals have curls and coils. Some have kinks. Some have naps. Most have a combination. *shrug* I guess it's a matter of context for some people, but I refer to my hair as kinky or kinky-coily.
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Nappy to me means unkept but it doesn't bother me. What bothers the coonads out of me is fuzzy. When I was little when ever my hair frizzed (which was often in the summer dispute relaxers) my cousins would gather around me and sing fuzzy wuzzy was a bear fuzzy wuzzy had big hair.


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Originally Posted by kairo1821
That's a good point. I, for the longest viewed "nappy" hair as just unkempt hair. Hair that was matted and tangled and really dry (my perception has since changed btw) ...but then Ninjette (sp) brings up a good point. What would locs be considered then?

I wonder if the majority of the black community views "nappy" hair as simply dry unkempt hair or just kinky hair. If someone with moisturized 4b thick hair is rocking a wash n go, would it be considered "nappy" versus a woman with 3b dry/tangled/matted hair?

I have a friend, who's always talking about good hair this and good hair that. Bad hair/nappy hair this and nappy hair that so thats why I brought up the subject. I find men are more obsessed with hair then we think as well (waves vs no waves).

I also have met people who by default associate nappy hair with dark skin. So for example, a multiracial woman with kinky hair, can wear her hair naturally and it be considered "exotic" and "curly" while a darker skinned woman with the same curl pattern and texture would be considered "nappy".

Its just interesting how the word is so maligned in our community but so many people have drastically different takes on it.
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I also have met people who by default associate nappy hair with dark skin. So for example, a multiracial woman with kinky hair, can wear her hair naturally and it be considered "exotic" and "curly" while a darker skinned woman with the same curl pattern and texture would be considered "nappy".
Originally Posted by Lovemenappy
This is true
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Nappy to me means unkept but it doesn't bother me. What bothers the coonads out of me is fuzzy. When I was little when ever my hair frizzed (which was often in the summer dispute relaxers) my cousins would gather around me and sing fuzzy wuzzy was a bear fuzzy wuzzy had big hair.


Sent from this FABOO cell💆📲
Originally Posted by kairo1821
That's a good point. I, for the longest viewed "nappy" hair as just unkempt hair. Hair that was matted and tangled and really dry (my perception has since changed btw) ...but then Ninjette (sp) brings up a good point. What would locs be considered then?

I wonder if the majority of the black community views "nappy" hair as simply dry unkempt hair or just kinky hair. If someone with moisturized 4b thick hair is rocking a wash n go, would it be considered "nappy" versus a woman with 3b dry/tangled/matted hair?

I have a friend, who's always talking about good hair this and good hair that. Bad hair/nappy hair this and nappy hair that so thats why I brought up the subject. I find men are more obsessed with hair then we think as well (waves vs no waves).

I also have met people who by default associate nappy hair with dark skin. So for example, a multiracial woman with kinky hair, can wear her hair naturally and it be considered "exotic" and "curly" while a darker skinned woman with the same curl pattern and texture would be considered "nappy".

Its just interesting how the word is so maligned in our community but so many people have drastically different takes on it.
Originally Posted by Lovemenappy
First off, black folks as a whole aren't well versed on unprocessed, natural, kinky/coily/nappy hair to consider much of anything. We expect natural hair to "feel" and look..just like straight hair, but not be straight. It's a tricky thing.

For some black folks, "good hair" can be dirty, dry and tangled, and they'll fall out, like it's heaven on the head (when they look at it). But a sista with a mass of well-cared for kinks, that don't "bling" (because "shine" is not a natural property of type 4 hair), gets the "dry and nappy" label. I've seen it. It's ridiculous.

Some of us even associate "dark" with tightly-coiled hair, and when we see a dark complexioned person with type 3 hair, our brain locks right on up, because our limited knowledge thinks the person has to be "mixed" with something, but they don't "look" mixed/biracial/multiracial.
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