Frequently Asked Questions.
Q1. How do you get your hair like that?
Every time I get asked this question, I think of the most sarcastic reply in my head. How do you think I got my hair like this? Have you never seen an afro before? Have you never seen curly hair before? I went to bed and made a wish & this is how I woke up! This is my hair, my dear. I have no explanation for it. This is what I was born with.
Usually, I just settle for a smile (on a good day) and a two-word response…“It’s natural.”
-I didn’t choose the ‘fro life, the ‘fro life chose me.
a) Do you/have you ever straighten(ed) your hair?
Of course I have lol. The funniest thing about this question, is that 9/10 times the ‘interviewer’ has recently seen me with straight hair. Ok I don’t straighten it often. But you seen me with straight hair last month! Give me a break!
b) How long does it take to straighten your hair?
These questions usually come hand in hand. However, tbh its not a ridiculous question and everyone always seems to be so surprised when I actually tell them how long it takes.
On an average day with no interruptions or distractions it takes 3 hours + to wash, blow dry, straighten and moisturise my hair. Arm ache is an understatement. Maybe this is why I don’t do it as often!
Q3. Do you ever brush/comb your hair?
Come on. I obviously brush/comb my hair. The difference is I comb and brush it whilst it is wet to de-tangle it and then style it and leave it to dry. If I was to brush my hair when it is dry, not only would it hurt, I would end up with a gigantic frizzball. Not quite the look I would EVER go for.
Q4. Why don’t you wear your hair down more often?
First of all, my hair never goes ‘down’, it doesn’t ever seem to grown any longer either. Whenever it grows I’m pretty certain it just expands outwards as it always seems to grow bigger rather than longer. I think the correct way of asking such question would be ‘Why don’t you let your hair loose more often’. Basically, It must be tamed. Ok, yes, I agree. It’s nice to have out every now and then or for dressy occasions but honestly, it is so thick it is like constantly wearing a woolly hat. I don’t normally last a full day with it out and I ALWAYS have a hair band on my wrist for back up.
-Also, it attracts too many questions. Ironic.
Q5. How long did it take for you to get your hair curly?
See Question 1.
Q6. “OMG I love your hair! Is it natural?! Is it real?”
Almost always answered with “No.”
Then when I look up at the blank face staring back at me, I start to feel slightly bad and feel obliged to answer.
Yes, it is natural.
Yes, it is real – You can definitely tell that it is real.
Q7. “I wish I had hair like yours. Can I have some?”
Is this supposed to be banter?
Maybe it started off as banter, but I’ve heard the same ridiculous sentence so many times these past years that it I can almost predict it. It is almost like there is an ‘Ask Shanell’ script somewhere that is being handed around without me knowing.
-I don’t even answer this question, just laugh.
Q8. Where did you get your hair from? Your Mum or your Dad?
Finally, there is the question that I dread at the end of every ‘afro interrogation’….
Q9. Can I touch it?
No. The answer is always no. I don’t walk around asking for my hair to be groped. The amount of times I have had to duck and dive from wandering hands. I am not a pet. I am not a zoo animal. I do not wish for anyone to touch my hair. Why would I drag myself to engage in wash day (A Naturalista’s biggest chore) and put all these products in my hair to ensure a frizz-free day – just for you to put your grubby little fingers in my hair?! I don’t know where your hands have been. I don’t wish to ever find out where your hands have been. But they should not be in my hair. It’s weird OK. Especially as most of the time, these people do not know me. Why would I ever want a stranger to grab my hair, its weird.
-However, not the weirdest. I have had a stranger sniff my hair in a lift because it ‘looked like it smelt nice’. That’s another story.