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Monday, February 7, 2011

Nappy Or Curly?


How do you describe your hair? Nappy or Curly? Personally, I refer to my hair as "super curly". Even when I still used relaxers and my new growth would start coming in I would never refer to is as nappy hair growth rather it would be that my "slight curls" are showing.

I don't know......the term nappy just kind of irks me. Makes me itch a little. I mean okay, let me give you more of what my mind is thinking when I concentrate on this topic. My mind rationalizes that I shouldn't refer to my hair that way because all my life when hearing the term "nappy" it was always accompanied by either some teeth sucking (tsk!) or a raised lip or brow and rolled eyes.

"Girl, why your hair so nappy? You need to get that relaxed!"

So therein lies my disdain for that term currently. As a natural now, I just can't bring myself to adopt that term to describe my wonderful head of hair. And why should I? Technically, I haven't yet done my research on the history of where that word came from or who adopted it first, but I can't imagine black people adopting that word for our own natural hair texture back in the day. My mind takes me to a hot and sweaty cotton field and plantation house where the slave masters daughter stares at the little black girl with a longing desire to get her hair to curl just as much as the little black girls. And because she lacks the ability to get said curl, volume, and depth she turns to what? Taunting and name calling. "Nappy." It almost sounds like...

"Not Happy" Hmm....

Us naturals know that our hair is far from NOT happy so why would we call it nappy? It just rings of disdain to me. I've never heard anyone joyously say "Your hair is soooo nappy! It looks great on you!"

A long time ago in high school, I once told one of my Caucasian friends that my hair grows in curly and after a shower if I haven't relaxed it in a few weeks that I get a whole head of curls. Her jaw dropped in disbelief and she said "No way. You're lying." If she saw me today, she would probably go grey on site. Haha!

One final thought, we have all seen white people with just as big naturally curly afros as some of us (the great painter Bob Ross anyone?) but have you ever heard them describe their hair as nappy or hear anyone call them that? I never have. All I have ever heard is "Oh Samantha has a beautiful head full of curls. I'd do anything to have as much volume as she does. I love the versatility she has with it."

But not once have I ever heard a white persons hair described as nappy. Why is that?

Chime In: Okay sound off on this topic, I hope that you all have an opinion either way. Remember though, this site is read by many and profanity is not allowed. Be nice y'all.

My best,

1 comment:

Help! Mama Remote... said...

It depends on the mood i'm in. If i'm pickong my hair out and it hurts, I'll say, "it's nappy". I know it's curly. I've learned to not take it personal unless the person saying it is rolling their eyes at me. LOL I'm a hairstylist too so, I've learned so much during my career.