Is That A Texturizer?

Sooo…something has been happening to me lately, and I am genuinely confused as to whether I should be offended, or flattered, or just…nothing. Since my hair has grown out more and you can see the curl pattern more, people (usually older) have approached me, and the conversation goes something like this:

Stranger: Excuse me, I just wanted to tell you that you have really pretty hair.

Elle: Thanks!

S: How did you get it to curl like that? What do you use? Is that a texturizer?

E (with a puzzled look on my face): No…it’s just like that. I usually just use conditioner and maybe a gel.

S (sort of looking at me in disbelief): Oh…um…alright then. Well, bye… *walks away*

Usually I am witty in my retorts to people, but with this one…I seriously just can’t think of anything to really say because a) I’m not trying to preach about being natural to anyone, and b) I’m sure 95% of people would have no idea what I’m talking about if I told them the products I use. But my thing is…what the heck about my hair looks like a texturizer? I mean, no, I’m not rocking a picked out afro, but I wouldn’t place my hair in a category outside of the norm of what I’ve seen natural hair look like. Therefore, I just don’t know how to feel at all! Am I crazy, guys?

On one hand, I want to ask them what makes them think I have a texturizer, then explain that all afro hair is not 4b/c/z/q (no, all those hair types do not really exist, lol), and Black people can have all types of hair…but, I don’t want them to think I’m batty or a natural nazi (big ups to the jerk who tried to call me one in my Miss Jessie’s post – kick rocks). On the other hand, I sort of want to think, “Dang, they think my hair looks so good that I had to do something to it to get it like this,” BUT, I don’t even like texturizers for the most part (okay, I like Jasika Nicole’s, but her stylist must be the Goddess of Texturizers or something because her hair is puuuurdy)!!! I think that if I even attempted one I would end up looking like MJ after his hair caught on fire during the Pepsi commercial (RIP MJ!).

Anywho, does this happen to you guys as well? If so, how does it make you feel? I need some feedback, because I am all kinds of baffled! In the meantime, here’s a rather boring video of me doing my wash n go – hey, someone asked for it, lol, I told you it would be boring! Until the next time. xoxo

27 comments

  1. Ok, So I know I’m totally late on responding to this post, (naturally obsessed mentioned you) but I get this ALL THE TIME!!! I’ve been natural for almost 2 months now and have two very distinct textures in my head. The front is just plain old wavy. It doesn’t curl up at all, the sides do, but boy that section in the front is just wavy (which i’m trying to adjust to because it’s growing longer and wants to flop forward, kinda like what you mentioned in your video) Anyway, these older ladies came up to me and asked, “Who does your hair?” Me: *puzzled look* Ummm, I do? Them: What did you put in it? Me: Ummmm conditioner……water? *thinking what the heck are they REALLY asking me?!** Them: THAT’S NOT A TEXTURIZER?! Me: No mam’ Them: “wooooowwwww” all the while they are touching my hair and apologizing at the same time for putting their hands in my hair……

  2. Most Black people don’t even know what their real hair texture is nor do they know what their hair would look like if they took care of it naturally or healthily. When I use that KCCC people think I have a texturizer lol.

  3. I get this comment all the time, even from other naturals! When I say, no this is how my hair grows out of my head, I then get asked, “what are you mixed with?” This is annoying but all I can do is point them to natural hair forums and other sources of information for being natural.

  4. The reason this happens is simpy that there is a lot of ignorance in the black community about hair. I am grateful that a whole generation are paving the way with new approaches to our hair texture and are discovering wonderful techniques. But be patient! A lot of folks just don’t know. And they’ll never learn unless you teach them or at least point the way. It’s important to spread the word without coming off preachy. Especially to women with young children so they won’t ruin their hair. I refer people to the Internet, to youtube and blogs like this one. Awakening and discovery is a process. It takes time. BTW, your hair is beautiful. Thanks for the info!

  5. This happens to me all the time. The part that gets me is when people ask what are you mixed with because they are convinced that I’m not fully Afro American. My response is always I’m black and proud..theirs…a disturbed look as if they don’t know how to reply. Loving my natural tresses though.

  6. This has happened to me on several occassions… BOTH when I wear my hair is straight or natural. I even have had ppl come up to me and the convo goes like this

    THEM: I love your hair!

    ME: Thank you!

    THEM: [starring at me like they r waiting for something]

    Me: [a tad creeped out]… yea thanks for the compliment! *prepares to walk away*

    THEM: So where did you buy it?

    ME: [finally realizing y they have been looking at me like that] Its a kit called “Thanks Mom and Dad”. You get it at birth.

    Okay maybe my retort is mean, rude, or nasty but I’m just as offened when ppl ask those kinds of questions. Like what because I’m NOT mixed with anything I can’t have hair that natural waves up? I have to had bought it from some hair store run by Koreans because my Black a$$ can’t have long flowing hair that grew from my scalp? WTF… that boils my blood. And sadly the ppl that ask and say these things, think that they are in fact paying me a compliment. Yea *blank stare*… if that’s the story they are going with then okay. I would rather ppl just say “Your looks really nice” and leave it there.

    If you’re curious about what products a person uses then just ask that! Its a simple question that gos something like this “Excuse me ma’am but may I ask what prod. or creams your use on your hair? It looks very nice and healthy.” See… simple!

    1. Um…I love that response. Of course, no one thinks I have a weave right now b/c my hair is about 4 inches, but people used to ask when I had a relaxer…like really? I can’t have hair?

  7. Now that more women are going natural, its common for them to assume so as we know the #1 reason we chemical relax our hair, to “fit in” and so forth. Most don’t know natural hair comes in all texture so again its thought that all hair texture is tightly coiled and texturizer gives it curls… I wouldn’t get that comment with my texture. my mom who has the juri curl gets the question, is that your real hair?

    on the bright side, you just have to ignore people like that who choose to be stuck in that time period. rest assure that someone will come up to you and recognize the difference.. after all natural hair is here to stay.

  8. I get the same thing when I wear my twa. It’s almost like people are in disbelief that natural hair can be curly without you being bi-racial or as me and my friends say “you got some Indian in your family.” This is the issue that I have with our community and relaxers. Some of us are so accustomed to having relaxed hair that we never know or experience what our natural hair texture is until we are grown.

  9. I get that all the time, but instead of texturizer i get asked immediately, what are you mixed with? And i have to explain to complete strangers which i find weird. Or sometimes when i’m out with my younger brother some people actually ask us if we’re wearing wigs, when we say no, they protest that it must be and then touch it.

    I wouldn’t take it personally though, i guess it’s sort of ignorance and sheer disbelief!

    1. Yep, I get that too – I even had someone argue with me saying I had to be mixed with something because my hair wasn’t “totally nappy.” Smh.

    2. I feel your pangs! I was in the nail salon and the pedicurist asked me what I was mixed with… and kept naming races til he finally got it that I’m not mixed.

  10. Yes, the texturizer comment happened to me before. A relative, who lives out of state, had never seen my natural hair in its natural state. I’d only worn press-n-curls around her. So one morning when I let the natural curls out she says ever so casually as she buttered her toast, “I used to have texturizer.” At the time I had no idea why she was dropping this tidbit into the conversation. It went right over my head. Then someone else said something else about hair and texturizers, only then did I get a clue that the texturizer comment came up because everyone thought I had one. LOL. I corrected them and I told them what I used–Knot Today, gel, conditioner etc. And just got this huffy “Keep your secret then!” look. Weird.

  11. Yes this happened to me with a co-worker just after my BC. At the time my self-confidence was at a serious low regarding my natural hair…so I felt very embarrassed at this unwanted attention and her unsolicited two-cents about my hair.

    Now that I am officially six months and two days post-BC (woo hoo!) and have much more confidence about my natural hair, my personal feeling is this: If anyone thinks and/or says that *only*a texturizer can make my 4a hair look this way…they can go to a Kick Rocks Meet-N-Greet in the middle of the Grand Canyon & practice field goals on massive boulders wearing pointy church shoes that are two sizes too small for all I care. :))

  12. Hi Elle, Do you know that you’ve been highlighted on Curlynikki.com today? Nice writeup. Enjoyed it.
    About the texturizer comment……I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that you can take to educate Black women. Many, including ourselves, didn’t know our hair could do this and so it would be an opportunity to let them know that and get them thinking differently. One day, when they’re ready to BC or transition, they’ll remember you and the inspiration you gave them.

    1. Yes, they sent me the link, and thanks! šŸ™‚

      About educating Black women – my thing is that not all hair curls, so if I were to educate them about going natural, I wouldn’t want to emphasize having curly hair, because frankly, I’d feel bad if they BC’ed expecting curly hair and it didn’t curl up. I understand what you’re saying though – if they asked me about it, I’d definitely talk to them.

  13. I work in retail and I started a year ago. At that time I was about a year and a half into my transition period. I was still blow drying and wearing a wrap. After a while my hair just wouldn’t stay straight enough to blend with the relaxed hair that was left so I just started wearing braids or just pulled my hair into a bun. About a month ago I started wearing it natural and all I get now is “how did you get your hair like that?” I was like, “umm it grows out my head that way and I use gel or something like that to keep my hair from getting frizzy.” I also get the “oh ok” and “yeah right” looks. One girl actually asked my why I cut my hair. Now my hair is like 4a so its really springy (or boingy I like to call it) and I looked her dead in the face and said I didn’t cut my hair. Trimmed a few ends but that’s it. Why did she assume just because I was natural and had tight curls that all my hair was gone, crazy I tell you.

  14. I just think ppl out here still use S curls and texturizers…so when they see a blk person with curls its an automatic assumption. I don’t think you should be offended…just chalk it up to ignorance.

    1. S Curls?! I don’t even know how those things work. I just remember my uncle (rest his soul!) used to have one and that thing was shiny like diamonds!

  15. LOL..MJ. That Pepsi commercial was no joke.

    Black people have been misled – period. Everyone has to take the blame…the media, our parents, black hair care enterprise and ourselves. It was until I had children that I realized that I had come full circle with my hair. Why in the “f” what I putting crap in my hair that burned and I had to stop scratching for a week before to endure it better? How did all those commercial girls get better hair than me? Finally, why wasn’t my stylist telling me the secret and keeping me in their shop for HOURS on end?

    Now that I BC I see natural people everywhere. I play in my hair way too much because I think the curls are some funny joke and I’m gonna wake up with whack hair one morning that will never go back.

    If you can believe this, I am still trying to convince my 60 year old mama that her $25 wash and set stylist isn’t deep conditioning (or conditioning for that matter) her hair for that kinda of cheese. She still wonders why the crown of her hair has been thinning since she started going to this woman a year ago. *shrug* I just keep trying to spread the word.

  16. YES! This happens to me with some regularity. But look, here’s my thoughts on it: both you and I have gone to great lengths to figure out the products that make Izzy and Lola not only thrive and look damn good. We’re picky, but we know what we’re doing and we’re not going to go to any ol BSS and put on any ol mineral oil/silicone containing product. BUT a lot of people do OR they are doing their hair in a way that destroys the natural curl pattern therefore making your natural style look chemically altered. Make sense?

    I think its these peoples “nice” way of saying “Daaaaaaayummm girl, your hair looks good.”

    thanks for the birthday wishes, btw!! šŸ™‚

    1. LOL! Yes, I think I agree with that. But I get confused at their reaction when I tell them I don’t have one….like, this woman responded like, “Oh, excuseee me then,” like I was Little Miss Thang or something!!! People crack me up, for real!

      1. so true…what really cracked me up was when this stylist was like “you must use Miss Jessies….” and I was like
        “HA! That’s the only thing I must NOT use!”…..I did kind of give her attitude because she is a stylist and she *SHOULD* know that there are other WAY BETTER options for natural hair than MJ products…

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