As you embark on your journey, it is inevitable that you will encounter that one individual, or a few, who feel the need to tell you exactly what they think of your natural hair. When the comment is positive, it’s all good, but when misconceptions and rudeness are thrown at you, it may be hard for you to come up with the right words to say, as the attack may have taken you by surprise or you may just be a soft spoken individual.
So we here at NaturallyCurly have the perfect 4 step strategy that will stop those individuals in their tracks — without making you look bad!
1. Don't Preach
Short of the online community, I know no one else who is even remotely interested in the deep racial and social history of natural hair. It just isn’t that important to most people. To you, this is a huge battle that you have overcome, and you may feel that you are forging the way for those who will come after you, but please, for the love of curls, keep all of this to yourself.
If someone tells you they wish you would go back to relaxers or inquires about when you plan to straighten your hair, do not use this as an opportunity to go Martin Luther on them and give them the "I have a dream" speech where you state that relaxers should be abolished. In a room full of people that know nothing about this issue, you are going to look silly fighting for a cause like hair.
2. Concisely Explain
This is by far the most important. For so long, people have come to expect seeing you with straight hair, and now it has changed. It stands to reason that some of them might be confused and will want to know why you aren’t going with the flow anymore. Explain that you did not have a falling out with your stylist, are not changing sexual orientation, religion or anything else drastic. Without going deeply, simply explain your reasoning and goals, be they that you want longer, stronger, healthier, bigger, curlier, or more dramatic hair.
3. Brush it Off
Do not, and I repeat DO NOT, get emotional. I truly believe that there are people in this world who say things to get reactions out of people. They live for the thrill of breaking others down and get truly excited if they can make you cry. So why give them the satisfaction? Even if they comment about your hair type and try to drum it into your head that straight hair is best, learn to display the art of not caring. After you have concisely explained your position, anything that your tormentor says afterward should be met with a blank, nonchalant stare, a shoulder shrug and a "Whatever."
4. Keep it Moving
Now that you have explained yourself and managed to navigate your way around rude comments, you need to divert the attention away from you. Don’t leave yourself open for more probing and taunting. The longer the convo revolves around you, the more opportunities people will have to think of questions to ask and things to say. By slyly diverting the conversation away from yourself, you minimise the chances of being placed in more awkward situations. Also, it lets your tormentor know that you are through with the conversation.
Hurtful comments got you down? Laugh it off with "Stuff Relaxed Girls Say to Natural Girls."
I hope that following these steps will help you to avoid awkward situations and make transitioning or being a newbie a tad bit easier. Peace, love and happy curling!