chronic pain/fibromyalgia · hair · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism

Racilious Talks "Nappy" Hair

I’ve written about my hair before but never in such depth as Latoya Peterson’s “Nappily Ever After? Not quite” on the Racialicious blog.

It’s a great post. All you straight-haired folks might learn something. I can’t tell you the amount of times that Jews make comments about my hair. Luckily, very, very few have been racist. Most of them are curiosity based.

Top 10 Things you should know about this “nappy-headed” (I can call myself that but you can’t!) girl’s head:

1. Though I cut my hair very irregularly, it dries differently all the time so people regularly ask, “Did you get a haircut?” The answer is always “No.”

2. I don’t have to wash my hair more than once a week because it is very dry and NEVER, EVER gets oily. No, I know, you can’t imagine that since your hair gets oily every day but really, it’s true. NEVER.

3. I only comb my hair with a wide tooth comb when it’s wet. Curly hair should NEVER be brushed. I “style” it every day by spritzing leave-in conditioner.

4. My hair gets very, very tall towards the end of the week before the next wash. At that point, it no longer fits under a hat, forget a sheitel. Some people think I get more haredi (ultra-Orthodox) towards Thursday because I cover my whole head in a tichel (head scarf).

5. My hair grows up but not down.

6. Yes, I have tried straightening my hair but I am no longer interested in doing so no thanks for the suggestion, no one asked you. Not even my grandmother feeling up my hair with a total look of disgust and asking me why I don’t “fix” it is going to change my views on this.

7. Yes, if you ask nicely I MIGHT let you touch my hair.

8. No, there is no rule book (and if there is one, it’s racist or straightist) that says a curly-haired girl must straighten her hair to be appropriate for fancy events. For my wedding, I went with wash and dry and plopped a tiara over my curls.

9. My husband likes my hair just the way it is. You can stop crossing your eyes now, he really means it.

10. You CANNOT run your fingers through tight curls (read #3), that road only leads to pain and hair breakage.

12 thoughts on “Racilious Talks "Nappy" Hair

  1. I too have very curly curls πŸ™‚I don’t brush it except with my fingers when conditioning. My hair gets washed every other day only. Too much = too dry. Product works for me. I use a leave in conditioner and a liquid gel lotion. I used to use Abba’s but they’ve changed their line. Right now I’m happy with Paul Mitchell which isn’t the most expensive and doesn’t test on animals. I’ve heard that OUIDA (located in NYC) is good for curly hair. I’ve also heard she costs a fortune to do hair. I believe she has a book and website though for curly hair tips πŸ™‚Love, your curly haired sista πŸ˜‰


  2. 2. I’ve always been jealous of that fact.4. There was a girl who got married here recently who has very very tightly curled big hair. One of her friends when going to the sheitel macher with her said when the girl tried on her sheitel before the wedding it was “uplifted”. That’s what I picture your hair doing to a shaitel, yeah? (Also when she was getting it styled right before the women styling it found it interesting that she was cutting it short after the wedding and exclaimed “Well you’ll have the cutest little afro.”)I hope none of that sounded insulting. (I also sort of hope the girl doesn’t read this comment and recognize herself… this was all said in front of more than three people anyways.)


  3. I’ve always been jealous of the silky, oily smoothness of straight hair. I won’t lie. Even when I straighten my hair, I have to add frizz ease to get that kind of sheen. But yes, I just realized I could get a great little story out of my visit to the sheitel shop. I had to borrow my friend’s bandana and tie it tightly over my hair and THEN put the sheitel over my head and there was still quite a bump. Doesn’t seem right that I’d have to shave off the little fro to don a sheitel. But as I wrote in a previous post, I feel uncomfortable with wearing a straight hair sheitel for many reasons.


  4. You’ve got pretty hair. I like. But we carry all that “good” and “bad” hair baggage. Blech.I remember when I cut off my hair. Oh the “horror”, I cut off all that “good” hair; my hair was past my hips, long and thick and straight.I got a super short pixie. Felt really good. Even now, I get haircuts during migraines. Did I mention that my family has ideas about how women should have long hair?My prima Isa has fantastic supertight curls like Alicia keys. I wanted her hair so bad I cried. While she cried for my hair. For years she was convinced her hair was bad. She has since learned that there is no bad, there is what makes you comfortable and happy.One of my best friends in Boston, K., and her mom, Mah, both have gone natural, Mah has an awesome Fro, which she somehow tames under her hijab. I can ask her how; I believe she braids her hair.


  5. Love your top 10 list. As I was reading I was nodding my head in agreement lol. Thanks for giving me another blog to read(bookmarked) :+)

    From one nappy headed sista to another, thanks for sharing your story.


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