hurtful comments people've made about your hair

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Join Date: Dec 2006
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I have always had curly hair, but my mom would try to brush it out every morning. I would cry every single time.

I usually wore my hair wavy and frizzy, as straighteners didn't exist when I was in high school. I used a curling iron to "straighten" my hair for prom! In college, I realized I had always had curly hair that had been trapped in a ponytail for years so I wore it curly and bought products for the first time. My college friends loved it, but one day when I was working I relapsed into that terrible mental state of junior high (where kids said I didn't have "hair," I just had "frizz"). As a pre-school teacher, I had very sweet students. One girl (4 years old) had stick straight hair and loved my curly locks. Then one day she told me that her mom had told her that I didn't brush my hair and that's why "it looked like that."

What's funny about that incident is that I felt like we had the same mothers. This incident actually propelled me to straighten my hair the next week and received lots of compliments for the last few years whenever it's straight.

Other wonderful comments--

From a co-worker: "I have curly hair but only wear it that way when I feel like being lazy." Same co-worker: "You could be a white Beyonce for Halloween."

Another co-worker: "Are you going for the 80s look today?"

My cousin's wife saw a picture of me with straight hair and said to me, "You look like a model with straight hair. You should wear it like that."

Hairdresser: "You have a ton of hair. I hear that when people get pregnant their curls naturally relax and change texture. So there's hope for you!"

In junior high: "Your hair is ugly." Also I got the name "Poof Poof." And the kids who tried to throw junk into my hair thinking I wouldn't feel it.

Now I'm in my mid-20s, and one of my students said, "Wow, how do you manage all of that hair?" And then giggled to her friend.

Also, last Christmas my mom actually stopped taking the family picture to have me go to the mirror and "tame the afro." The tears began forming, and I felt embarrassed that it still affects me so much. When my mom met me for lunch last month she said, "Well I'm sooo glad you tried to fix your hair when I take you out to lunch (sarcasm). Don't you own a comb? It looks like a mop. Did you bring a rubberband?"

What's sad is that I actually believe the comments in a way. I still wear it curly a lot, but I'd like to be confident enough to wear it curly everyday. I also don't understand why people act like it's my fault that my hair is curly, that it's some sign of being ugly in itself.
Originally Posted by KC Curly Girl
I'm sorry but you're story makes me smile. When you wrote that your mother said "tame the afro" it made think of a sitcom or a movie. also the fact that you're a preschool teacher is very interesting. I guess I'm saying that you're a very good writer, maybe you should consider writing a book about your life? I would read it.
Thanks, keiko. Don't be sorry, I'm glad it made you smile! That's why I posted it here. It was a bit excessive (like my hair), but I think I've been looking for a place like this to release it all.

I did leave the pre-k gig after college, and I'm teaching English to HS kids right now. Although I've learned that HS kids are just really tall 4 year olds.

I have thought of writing a book someday, always been my dream. Maybe I should listen to mom is definitely like a character you would see in a movie. I do love her and consider her a really great friend, ever since I realized she's just a human being who has no filter with her kids. Happy to hear I might have someone somewhere who would read it!
I am 29 years old. I have very, very fine curly hair. In the 80's when I was a kid, moussed perms were all the rage, so my hair was stylish. When I was in high school--I think this was one day in 1995 when I was too "lazy" to straighten my hair--a popular boy on the basketball team said, "what happened to your hair?"

My mom insisted that I have short hair cuts and always asked the stylist to "thin it out." Must have been a self-fullfilling prophecy, because now I feel like my hair is too thin.

One of my friends, who has straight hair and lived in Hawaii for ten years and so it is dark, silky, straight, and grows down to her behind, said, "you should get it chemically straightened."

But about a year ago, I was on a long car camping trip with my boyfriend and my hair was dirty and curly from the humidity....and I sprayed it kind of big and he said he thought it looked hot.

I like my curly hair. I just wish it were thicker and grew faster! Anytime I trim the split ends off, I feel like I have no hair anymore (it has been just past shoulder length for about 2 years and does not seem to go anywhere).
As yet another curly girl whose mother made her sit through hours of painful, frizz-inducing brushing, I hate it when well-meaning people suggest that I brush my hair. I was staying with a friend in Bombay over the summer, and one night when I complimented her on her hair while she was brushing it, she said “If you brushed your hair once in a while, it could look as beautiful as mine.”

Seriously. Straight-haired people are lunatics.

And then there was my dad, who stared at me pensively for awhile and then said “Why does your hair stick together like that? You should brush it some more so that it doesn't get so, you know, clumpy." He then proceeded to rake his fingers through my hair, looking confused.

Oh, and my crush in Middle School said “You have a pretty face, but that hair!”
Not that he tried to convince me to brush it. Just, ouch.
Unfortunately, I have struggled with having curly hair for most of my life, until recently... I inherited my thick curls from my dad's side of the family. My mom (who has straight hair) has always LOVED my curls and has always been very supportive of them and thankfully, has never tried to brush them out or straighten them. She likes my curly hair a whole lot more than I do! Anyway, even though my mom supported my curly hair, I still got some pretty hurtful comments over the years... I never got any mean comments when I was little, but middle school was when I really started to notice that my hair was different, and I hated it. I never wore my hair down for 5 years; ponytail everyday, and brushed out, so it looked very frizzy... I had no idea what to do with my hair. It made me have low self-esteem, and as a result I became (and still am, to some extent) very shy. Once in 4th grade a popular guy made a comment about how I wore my hair the same way every single day, so I wore it down one day and he just said "Ugh, you were better off doing the same everyday!!!!" Of course, that was back before I knew how to properly style my hair and I'm sure it didn't look so great, but still... In 7th and 8th grade, girls would CONSTANTLY try to straighten my hair at sleepovers and such, but I never allowed it... One girl would always make a comment like "If there is one person in our whole school I would like to tackle with a flat iron sometime and see what they'd look like with straight hair, it's Taylor!!" In 7th grade I finally wore my hair down one day. I was sitting in my seat, and one of my guy friends came up behind me and started lifting up my hair and running his fingers all through it while saying, "UGH! There's just SO much of it!!!!" So this past year I left middle school, changed schools, and started high school. For the first month or so, I wore my signature frizzy ponytail... Then one day during homecoming week, I decided to straighten it. Everyone was in shock and kept saying how great my hair looked. I was convinced that straight hair was much better after that day, so for the next two months I spent 2 hours every morning straightening it. People from my old school that would see me from time to time were completely in awe, and my old friends told me I should have let them straighten it at those sleepovers a long time ago... However, I felt uncomfortable by these comments. I knew they were saying that they didn't like the way my natural hair looked. My hair was becomming increasingly damaged and fried from the flat iron, so when I came across this site, I tried to embrace my natural curls. It was hard at first, with people asking me why I didn't straighten it anymore and telling me that it looked better straightened, but now I am completely accepting of my curls! It gets hard sometimes because one of my best friends calls me "poodle", but I am finally loving my curls! Although there are still rude remarks made about my hair from time to time. In the locker room before P.E., I was asked by one of the girls about my hair routine. When I told her I didn't brush my hair and only combed it out when it was wet, she freaked out and started called me gross for not brushing my hair. =/ I spent the night with my grandparents recently and had my hair up in a cute, curly ponytail. When it was almost time to leave, my grandmother said "Hold on, I am NOT letting you go home to your mother with your hair messy and unbrushed like that!" I tried to explain to her that it was just in a curly ponytail (which I had thought looked really great!), but she still made me go to the bathroom and brush it... which turned it into a ball of frizz. She went on to say that it wasn't much better, but it was still better than that rat's nest I had before. Ironically, this was the grandmother that I inherited my curls from, but she cuts it short and does so much crap to her hair that it just looks like a giant poofball on the top of her head.
I'm a 16 year old teen who has finally accepted her natural curls!
It's pretty upsetting to hear those stories, Tay-Tay. :hug: But I'm so glad you've acceppted your curls! It's actually pretty brave.

I don't remember any real insults, but I know there have been some. I'm good at repressing things. I'm in a family of people with straight hair, (We think my curls are from my grandmoher that I never met.) so I've been envied by my mom, which is pretty much flattery. In middle school (when I brushed it, a major reason it looked... not great) was definitely when I started doubting my hair though, cause it's when everyone else started using flat-irons and such. In the first few monthsof seventh grade I remember someone (one of my friends) saying something about how I should straighten it. I never did, mostly because if I asked my mom for a flat-iron, she'd probably break her jaw on the floor.

I ended up wearing it in a ponytail the rest of the year (after one comment? yes, I'm incredibly sensitive). And at one point I put gel on the top of my head to smooth down the frizz (and shorter curls), and then I'm asked "What'd you do to your hair?" which I guess could be construed as a complament to my natural hair, but I'm not that positive.

Then in eighth and ninth grade, I find my hair impossible and way too frizzy and evil, and cry at least once a week over it. Still wore it in a ponytail pretty much everyday through the first half of tenth grade, and I found the CG method a little over a month ago, and now I only put it in a ponytail or bun when I'm hot or funnily enough when I'm eating.

Yes, my hair, the opinions of others, and probably just as influential as people I know's opinion, ad's for straightening products, actresses and models straightening their hair, makeover shows, and just pop-culture in general have all pretty much messed with my brain. I'm through my depression, but still really shy. I'm sure time and more compliments on my hair can change that!
I'm truly amazed at the comments people make... When I was reading Curly Girl, all the stories like this made me curious as to whether most people deal with it.

The closest I've ever come to a 'hurtful' comment is when an ex-coworker told me on a day that I'd blown my hair straight that it looked 'better than usual'. I didn't really care about her opinion to begin with (pin-straight hair, very damaged bleach blonde...), so the comment didn't affect me at all. I suppose my adopted mother knowing nothing about curls and teaching me to use a paddle brush on my hair all the time was bad... and the constant complaints from her that my hair was like 'a rat's nest', even though the things she taught me were what made it that way... but she didn't really know any better.

Most of the time, all I hear is how gorgeous my hair is. And that was before starting the CG routine; it looks much better now, just a week later. I'm so excited to see where better haircare takes me.
The recent ribbing I had about my hair was from one of the ladies at the cash-and-carry warehouse in the same building as our office.

"A customer brought this back saying it didn't work, could we try it on you?"

I took one look at the box she was holding up, and recoiled in terror.

the other day one of my friends said i needed to sort my hair out, which i took offence to grr. and a few years back, i was argueing with my best friend and she yelled GET A HAIRBRUSH at me.
aah, nice people.. :x xx
People always tried to pull my hair in school when I was little,
and then let go of it and say "Boing!" or something like that as it bounced back :x
copper-red, 3a corkscrews
addicted to Fructis Curl&Shine Mousse

link to photos on flickr on profile
Not that I'm condoning being rude to people and knocking their self-esteem, but I wonder how these straight haired people who have always made their "oh so helpful" comments about our hair would feel if we started dishing it back to them. If we said to them "too bad your hair is not curly like MINE"!! Personally I've always looked at my hair as talented hair, meaning anyone's hair can just lay flat and straight, but our hair makes curls, you add water and gel (mousse, whatever your styling product of choice is) and you get curls. After a long love/hate relationship with my hair, I read the "Curly Girl" book by Lorraine Massey and haven't straightened my hair since!!! I think we should all take a stand and not straighten our hair and stand up to people who make their comments!!!
Not that I'm condoning being rude to people and knocking their self-esteem, but I wonder how these straight haired people who have always made their "oh so helpful" comments about our hair would feel if we started dishing it back to them. If we said to them "too bad your hair is not curly like MINE"!! Personally I've always looked at my hair as talented hair, meaning anyone's hair can just lay flat and straight, but our hair makes curls, you add water and gel (mousse, whatever your styling product of choice is) and you get curls. After a long love/hate relationship with my hair, I read the "Curly Girl" book by Lorraine Massey and haven't straightened my hair since!!! I think we should all take a stand and not straighten our hair and stand up to people who make their comments!!!
Originally Posted by Amandacurls
i agree totally! i personally love it when it rains.. i mean, sure, my hair does go pretty messy, but with straight haired people, their hair just sticks to their head and they just end up looking like samara from the ring ha :]
Had to join in. My mom never really put down my hair (she put us down about everything else - different thread), but I do remember always having to have it cut short because it was "unmanageable" or too hot in the summer? Did I say it was too hot, I don't think so.

I do have someone in my life right now that calls my hair nappy and it bothers me. Especially when it's coming from my husband and he's telling my older son he gets his bad hair from me. I remind him that even though I do have "bad" hair, his isn't perfect either.

Once I found this website and read everything possible I told him the other night at dinner that not only am I doing this to make my hair healthier, but to look nicer and that I'm tired of hearing his comments about my hair to Nikolas.

Now I must say that when he does call my hair bad he's only joking and really didn't know it bothered me. That is also the only thing that he says about me that I don't like. I don't want you all to assume that he's a horrible husband who abuses me verbally or anything.

As for strangers making comments now about my hair, I have no problems telling them off. I am not a rude person in general, but if you don't know me, come up to me and make some kind of comment like that, you need to expect to get something back. I'll be mean and attack something about them. It usually shuts them up. My favorite is, "I'm sorry have we met? No. Well then mind your business." When my mom says something about my hair or anything else she feels she can comment about (like when she told me I looked like I was getting fat) I told her if she can't say anything nice then she needs to keep her mouth shut. She looked at me in shock and I told her I wasn't a kid any more and didn't have to put up with her verbal abuse anymore.

There is no reason why, family or not, anyone should have to put up with any sort of comments like that. My husband has apologized and stopped, strangers and my mom, they'll always remain the same.
~~Lorraine, mom to Nikolas 8/30/04, Troi 5/20/06 and 3 angel babies

It is hard to say good-bye when you never had the chance to say hello
It's good that you stand up for yourself and have a great sense of self. That's what everyone needs to do, we don't need to let people walk all over us and make their comments, everyone needs to stand up for themselves.
Amandacurls I do stand up for myself. I have to, no one else will

I wanted to post pictures of my family. These pictures will show you what diversity we have in our hair.

Here is Troi. Platinum blonde, very very thick like mine. It is straight on top but he had curls at the bottom. I had to cut it because people were mistaking him for a girl, and it was growing like a mullet.

Here is Nikolas. Very very curly, not fine, but not too thick either. Still soft and will stay that way, I'm going to CG him too. Tight curls that sit against his head.

And here is a family shot so you can see the diversity of us and you can also see that I am not completely responsible for Nikolas' curly hair. Brian's is soft because his is bi-racial but still, he has to take some blame.
~~Lorraine, mom to Nikolas 8/30/04, Troi 5/20/06 and 3 angel babies

It is hard to say good-bye when you never had the chance to say hello
Your family is beautiful!!! The kids are so cute!! Like I said, I"m super glad you stand up for yourself. That's what my grandma always told me, if you won't stand up for yourself, no one else will! Have a great weekend!!!!
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They nicknamed my hair "Home for Wayward Spiders" and "Nappy Headed Monster." I cried and cried in private because I tried to *not* let people see if hurt me. Until one day I laid my head on my desk and cried. Most people felt really bad knowing they hurt my feelings because they weren't trying to be mean.

I didn't get my first haircut until I was 10 and my grandmother wanted to take me out for a "treat" one day. She took me to a hairdresser and my hair was cut as short as a boys cut. I cried and cried and hated my hair but what could you do once it was cut? I always had a bowl cut and it was horrible because it'd look like Bozo when it started to grow out. My grandmother hated my curly hair because it was so bushy and awful. I have the curliest hair in my family and I didn't know how to take care of it. I'd wash and brush and brush and it'd be a big old bush. So, it was off to the hairdresser when it grew enough to curl. *sigh*

I currently have chin-length bob that I'm trying to let grow and it's such a curly mass. I don't know how to wear my hair curly and have it look good. The top is so dry and frizzy from dyeing too much and the underneath is okay. I finally went to a hairdresser and let them dye it all one color (close as they could to my natural color) that I can grow it out without roots.
I usually let it grown a bit and than cut it off 'cause it's such a unruly mass of curls...well, it's gotten to the point where I can pull it into a ponytail (a 2" ponytail but still a ponytail) and I pull it up when I think about chopping it off. I also am getting good with a flat iron. I flat iron it when I don't know what else to do with it. I just don't know how to wear it curly but I don't want to cut it off. Any suggestions??

When I was a little girl, my parents always gave me short boy cuts because they didn't know what to do with my hair, and people used to think I was a boy.

My wavy hair is actually probably closer to straight than curly, but it is thick and tangles easily, and I used to act up when my mom tried to comb the tangles out because it hurt so much, so my parents would just take me to the barber and tell him to just cut most of it off.

I was always jealous of girls with long hair.
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I've always been jealous of people with wash and wear hair (my husband). My son has very curly, blond hair but it's really healthy and shiney because no dye or blowdrying. I always had to go to the old lady salon with my grandmother when she got her perms and I got mine chopped off. I swear she said, "Just cut off any curl you see."

I always used to put my hair in a low ponytail so my big and frizzy hair sat on my shoulders. So my close friends and sister would call it The Bush.

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