5 questions you should never ask a black woman about her hair

Five annoying questions you should probably refrain from asking Black chicks about their hair.

If I had a dollar for every question I’ve gotten about my hair from non-Black people over the years, I’d be a rich woman!

But look. While I totally understand that Black girls’ hair is a mystery to many, there are just some questions one shouldn’t ask because they are obtuse, easily searchable if you take the initiative to educate yourself a bit on the topic, or wholly inappropriate.

But, I’m all about education, so in an effort to bridge the cultural divide (and have a little fun!) I made a video answering the top 5 burning questions non-Black people always seem to have about Black women’s hair.

So, to all my non-Black folk in the house, please keep an open mind and give it a watch so you can finally avoid getting sideeye from your Black friend when you inquire about her latest hairdo…

Because I live to give and lurve to serve (what?!), what other burning questions do you have about Black people’s hair? I’m all ears!

To my sistas out there, keep on spreading your Black Girl Magic across the globe! This clip might be a good resource to pass along to all your curious (and perhaps misguided) non-Black friends! I’d love to know: how many of these 5 questions have you gotten over the years?

And to everyone: hope you enjoy the dance break– I think humour is a great way to diffuse tension…


  • Ele says:

    When I get asked asked if my hair is real -it is because people are truly fascinated by it. I take it as a compliment. I actually made my blog name according to my hair 🙂

  • Barb says:

    As the owner of limp, thin, sad hair, I’m always fascinated by women with gorgeous ‘dos (like you!). I’m happy to say I’ve never asked these five questions though, and have certainly never tried to touch someone’s hair!

    PS- Thanks for all the travel inspiration you’ve given me!

  • MLynne says:

    Normally, I do not reply to your posts even though I really enjoy your blog. It’s so inspiring. However, I just had to leave a comment because the way you did the countdown was hilarious!!! I have been asked all of those questions and I just tend to roll my eyes and slowing shake my head. Thanks for reminding me that our hair is really quite fascinating and I should be more patient.

  • Great video Oneika and so hilarious! Usually I can’t watch them at all due to the music video laws in Germany….!

    I love the way you were swinging your hair about. Great stuff. And for the record, I looooove your hair.

    I don’t usally get asked about my hair from Germans who (I’m guessing) are too polite to ask, and moreover, I don’t have hair extensions just relaxed from time to time as I can’t be bothered with anything more complicated. And well, where would I get it done anyway? My hairdresser is a British gay man of colour and he keeps begging me to do something more complicated than relax and a trim!!!

    I usually get comments from Americans and Canadians!! One American actually told me that he hated my hair! And this was at a Gay Parade in Berlin. I discovered he was a haidresser…! When we went on our first trip to America, we were at a random cafe on Route 69 in California, and the waiting staff noticed that I was European before I even started talking (I’m British by the way!). I asked her how she knew. She said it was the way I dressed and my hair!!! I thought that was pretty strange as I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt! An ex – Canadian boss also told me that I could do anything with the new school I was opening at the time, but I shouldn’t do anything wild with my hair. I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. I mean, I’ve cut it any which way and I’ve had it coloured pink, red, gold, and even blonde over the years. Not a good look it seems. It turned out ginger..!! Apparantly, it wasn’t that, and it nudged me for years until I met an Afro-American girl on the ferry to Finland! I told her and she explained that there was hair politics in the US about natural hair and non-natural hair! I googled it later and was pretty shocked. I hadn’t heard the like!


  • Emily says:

    I have never asked any of these questions. But I would totally ask #5! I love beautiful braids, twists, etc. But you’re right, if it’s that important to me I should ask Mr. Google.

    I’m a non-black lady with incredibly curly hair and I HAVE been asked if someone could touch my hair. In a supermarket no less! Ironically, by some young black girls. (Also my mother-in-law, but that was less weird since I had known her for years)

  • WHEW, I’ve committed no sins =)

    Also, just wanted to pop in to say you have the most perfect skin ever—and no, I won’t ask you if I can touch it either 😉

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