Foolish Child #8: Black Girl Hairing

Foolish Child is a biweekly web comic series by Dickens


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I am a queer coparenting mama to Dickens Jr. Doodler by day, 911 dispatcher by night. All my favorite shows look better on Tumblr. I am two years and 450K words deep into constructing a fanfic called Ages and I'm never giving up on it. Bering & Wells.

Alana has written 49 articles for us.

26 Comments

  1. Hahaha the Hour 12 picture in the braiding scene is so real. Oof, that moment when you lift your hand and start patting around your head and your spirit soars because it seems like you’re almost done. Don’t let that last tuft of hair fool you.

  2. I’ve never understood the compulsion to touch people’s hair. Every time someone tries to or succeeds in touching mine I want to smack them. Is it just a white person thing? Because no one else has ever tried to touch my head. Does not compute… and I’m white. I just can’t even, Dickens. Adding in the racism to that.. ugh. People. 😛 (I’m also in love with your comics and art).

    • No it isn’t just a White person thing. Blonde missionaries going to other countries often get bum-rushed by little kids wanting to touch their hair. Mind you, I mean little kids. As a White adult, I can relate to the fascination with natural hair because it IS beautiful, and kind of a novelty. But I would not touch someone else’s head–that is assault. And criticizing how someone cares for their hair is just a lack of basic respect. You right, the struggle is real! No one should go around patting their coworkers’ heads like a six year old!

    • I know it’s been forever since you posted this – I don’t know if it’s a “white people thing” I just know that I’m facinated by nice hair and really like to touch it. All hairtypes too: black, asian, natural curly or straight. It just feels so nice! However: I don’t just go around touching random people’s hair, that is just rude and terrible in so many ways. (Sometimes I need to suppress an urge though…)

  3. Thank you so much for this comic. Black hair is such a life long journey (and struggle), and I’m so glad to see it so well illustrated here. Especially when the rest of the world is completely ignorant about it. I’ve been through every stage this comic describes. Still rocking the natural! No matter what, I’ll never relax my hair again. I relaxed it for most of my childhood, and I think that the toxicity of the process itself– physically and spiritually, has contributed to the difficult relationship I still have with my hair/general self image. I wish I’d never been taught that my natural hair was something I needed to have chemically burned out of me. Black women deserve to feel beautiful just as they are.

  4. I can relate to some of this, but from a middle eastern perspective. I especially familiar with 1993.5, which was like middle school all the way to HS for me. Random classmates just touching my hair, asking me why does it feel like this, and then making comparisons a Persian rugs. Side note: as a kid I was offended by the comparison, but as an adult I’m fine with it, as if one ever priced an authentic Persian rug, it cost about the same as a used late-ish model Subaru Forrester. I even got my hair relaxed at the advice of a relative, and the fact I didn’t want my hair to be compared to a Persian rug at the time. It did nothing at all.

  5. Ugh, I recently moved and started a new job, and they’ve only seen my hair in braids so far. I took my braids out, last week, so I could rock my Afro for a bit, and it’s just like EVERYONE wants to touch it. And I’m not used that since I used to live in an area that’s mainly POC, and the white people that did live there had long since gotten the “don’t touch my hair” talk.

  6. “None of these things are true!” oh man the fucking STRUGGLE. i have cut my hair off at least 3 times in the past 2 years because it’s SO COMPLICATED!

    love this. hate white people touching my hairs.

  7. Loved this so much! I’ve been through every stage of this and am growing out my second big chop as we speak. I’m glad that I’ve come to love my natural hair as it is because it took a loooooong time to accept. I still have scalp issues due to mama and auntie “nem” perming and putting tight braids in my hair as a kid. Now that I know how care for it, I don’t feel so bad. This spoke to me on so many levels!

  8. *Turns to the other white people* You’ve been touching POC’s hair?? Omg, stop! Behave yourselves for chrissakes!

    -Ahem-

    I will never whine again about my straight hair. Never again. This comic was educational for me, and I’m so glad I got to read it. The grueling processes behind braids and relaxing makes knowing that people heckle POCs about their hair so much worse. IMO, your hair is beautiful no matter how you wear it. I say do what makes you feel good, regardless of social pressure. And karate slap the crap out of people if they reach for your head!

  9. I’ve been natural for a little over a year and a week ago a black father came over and told me that his daughter thought my hair was beautiful but was too shy to say so (she looked so embarrassed, it was so cute). I started wearing my hair natural more as part of learning to love/accept myself, but I never thought that other black girls in the area would be seeing that and feeling validation. I also may or may not have Solange on repeat from now until eternity.

  10. I feel all of this in my soul. Thank you for writing this piece. After I graduated from high school, I got locs put in and I’ve never looked back, lol. I haaated hot combs and relaxers, and people who are mesmerized by 10 inches of growth overnight. Now that I’ve been growing locs for almost 10 years though, now even other black people want to touch my hair. smh

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