Curly Hair Pet Peeves: What Not To Say To A Person With Curly Hair

By: Carrie Murphy

Most of the time, I love my naturally curly hair. I decided many years ago to just let it be, to stop fighting it, to “embrace the curl,” as they say. But that doesn’t mean my hair isn’t a source of fascination for quite a few other people. I get a lot of truly nice compliments on my curls, but I often get infuriatingly rude comments, as well. And so does basically every other person who has ever walked the earth with hair that doesn’t hang straight as a ruler.

I asked some of my twisty-tressed (LOL) friends what their curly hair comment pet peeves are and wow, did I get a lot of answers that are basically insults masked as compliments.

1. “Can I touch it?”

It’s certainly better to ask rather than not to ask, as I’ve had total strangers walk up to me and cup my curls. Not ok, by the way. But curly or natural hair is—GASP!—hair. It might feel different than the hair you’re used to touching but those of us who have it are not magical exotic unicorns from the Kingdom Of Curly. And please, be gentle. NO TUGGING.

2. “Have you ever straightened it?”

No, not once in my entire existence have I ever used the many beauty tools available to me to make my hair straight. NEVER. NOT EVER.

3. “How long does it take you to straighten it?”

Well, considering I have to use a mixture of blood from a baby deer, semen from an octopus, and Tinkerbell’s tears to get it to lay flat, it takes me approximately a millennium. Most of that time is spent gathering the ingredients, but applying the magical straightening potion using a $5000 ceramic iron takes a big chunk of time, too. I marathon Friday Night Lights while I do it because I find Tim Riggins’ hair motivating.

4. “You look so much better with your hair straight!”

Gee, thank you. I will certainly keep your opinion of my appearance and my hair’s texture in mind for all future public appearances.

5. “Is it a perm?”

Is your straight hair a Brazilian treatment? Do you use a Chi flatiron? Is it the 1980s? How much did your house cost? Can I see your driving record?

6. “It’s so big!”

Yup! Big enough to hide a dead body in!

7. “What do you do to make it like that?”

I get out of bed.

8. “Can you even brush it?”

Well, it’s hair, so yes, I COULD brush it. But if you must know, I choose not to brush it. I plop it!

9. “Wow, it’s so humid today. Your hair must be going crazy!”

You’re right! I am a regular old Medusa in the summer months. Hisssssssss.

10. “Do you have any frizz-fighting tips? It must be an endless battle for you.”

My life is a war fought on the battlefield of my head.

11. “Why do you use so much conditioner?”

Why are you hanging out in my shower, looking at my conditioner levels? Why are you checking my CVS receipts? Why do you use so much lubricant for anal sex?

12. “Does your boyfriend mind that you have curly hair?” 

Oh, shit. He just actually looked at me for the very first time and noticed! (Yes, this is actually a real thing that has been said to a real curly-haired woman. THIS IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.)

13. “I wish I had curly hair! It’s so distinctive, beautiful, unusual, exotic, etc!”

I don’t actually mind this one too much, but I know other curlies do. I usually just say thank you and move on.

14. “Only you could make curly hair look good.”

Um. Thanks? That’s the weirdest backhanded compliment ever and you’re a kind of mean person.

15. “That beautiful curly hair is totally wasted on a boy!”

Now of course this hasn’t been said to me, but I hear from dudes that it’s a common occurrence. Because only women have the right to good hair!

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Have you experienced any of these common pet peeves?  If so please share in the comment section below.