Picture-377There is always that scene when the long and slim, bikini clad woman jumps out of the pool in slow motion. She slowly pushes the water off her face that drips down her long flowing hair. The male gaze says she’s sexy. She’s fun.

We all can agree that we are judged by our clothing. Walk in a high-end retail store with sweats and sneakers, then return dressed the next day looking like Tyra Banks and I bet you’ll receive different treatment (if you can even make it in the door the first time).

So, what about your hair? Are there pre-conceived notions about your hair color, length or style?

I had a bad hair year—no, a bad hair period, which I decided to end before the summer and my first internship in NYC. I did the only thing possible: chopped it all off up to my ears. Instantly, I went from cute and young-looking to “mature” and “sexy” (not my words). It was the same summer Rihanna brought back the bob and the little boys from the block I was staying on would taunt me after work everyday singing, “Umbrella…ella…ella,” which brings me to my first hair personality:

Short Stuff

Usually when women want to make a major hair statement, the first thought is chopping it off (or taking the tracks out like Sanaa Lathan in “Something New.”). It’s the most easily noticed hair change. That’s what Rihanna did–going from cute, fun and innocent to mature and sexy. She didn’t really have to prance around in little booty shorts, all she needed was a haircut. The lack of hair says, “I’m older,” or in the words of Tiffany Evans, “I’m grown now.” Little girls can’t rock the sophisticated short ‘do’s of Nia Long and Nicole Ari Parker.

Fu-long Diva

Beyonce. Diana Ross. Jennifer Lopez. Need I say more? Their hair can take on a life of its own. There’s a type of persona, the diva, that’s expected with this hair style.

Changing Hues

Some women, like me, change their hair color like the seasons. It’s comes off as fun and unpredictable. It says you’re bold, a risk taker, and maybe you don’t give a *what*? Oh, and forget the chemicals. If it starts to fall out, you’ll shave it off.


Our hair is our glory, so for some, shaving it all off is unthinkable. However, anytime I see a woman rockin’ a close crop like Chrisette Michele, I immediately think ‘fierce’ and that she has the ultimate amount of confidence. Also, rocking a baldy ensures you can really see a woman’s beautiful face and features.

Braids and All

Remember when Brandy used to rock the braids for years? That was before lakefronts. Braids and plaits give me this sitting-between-grandma’s-legs-on-the-porch-holding grease feel. My mother braids hair as a side hustle, and I used to love watching her work her craft. Braiding and plaiting is one oldest hair styling techniques, sowhen I see a woman rocking them, I feel she’s connected to her roots.

Curly Sue

Isn’t it the first style you wanted when you were a girl? “Mommy, I want curls!”

It always gives me a little giggle. I feel flirty and cute when my head is covered in curls. Unfortunately, this is one of the styles that can give off a less serious perception.

All Nat-u-ral

Though, unfortunately, we are still talking about good and bad hair, I smile big when I see a sista rockin’ a natural ‘do. Notice I said sista. I confess, I do want to throw up a fist in respect when I see a natural diva. In our most natural state, we can color it, twist it, shave it, and anything else. Fab!

While there are negative and positive assumptions that are made about you based on your hair, it’s ultimately your attitude, the way you carry yourself, and your confidence that shows when you’re rockin any ‘do. So, just wear the hair; don’t let the hair wear you.

What are some pre-conceived hair notions you have realized?

- Shavon Donnell

  • Frizzy power

    I have long hair. I wash my hair once every 2 weeks, braid it and keep it that way until I wash it again. LOL. I am low maintenance, mon! It gets frizzy because I dont do anything to it and it stays that way. I may not brush it for 2 weeks. I have probably shed alot of hair when I brush it and alot of hair from having it braided. My hair has and is breaking off alot. It seemed flat ironing made it break of less oddly. It was less frizzy and I lost less hairs from the tugging. I have cute neat braids. I use bobby pins that I’m sure damage my hair.

    The only time I take down my braids is when I am going out in public. I just unravel my braids and brush my hair back and it looks pretty darn good I think. I just put it in a bun. LOL Too much people’s disdain. They want to know why do I just put it in a bun. I rarely where my hair down.

    I couldnt stand for my mother to do my hair when I was a kid. She use to brush me to death. She would beat the crap out of me like she was brushing a doll. I think my skull bone increased from the lashings. Her and mineral oil based products were best friends and I hated that stuff. Now I just use regular store olive oil in my hair when I do moisturize it. Which is not very often. When I do my hair I never had to deal with the agony. But, I swear it was like she was trying to kill me.

    I use oils in my hair that makes it so gorgeous. One day I am going to get to the point where I may by a product to keep it curly all the time. But, that is alot of work. I dont like to do my hair. I cant stand to brush my hair especially the back of it. My mother use to tell me why do you forget to brush the middle of your hair. Heck, I didnt forget. Just dont want to do it. My arm hurts! LOL I was in a vehicle accident and its painful to put my arms behind my head.

  • Vanessa

    I went from having relaxed straight hair to short natural curly hair. Not because I wanted to make a statement; actually so I wouldn’t make a statement or have to hear comments I did the big chop the evening after my last day of work in Ohio about 12 hours before I left for Vermont for a new job where no one would know me. I cut my relaxed hair off because living in France made it break off and I because I love to travel and I hate feeling hampered about where I could live and travel. Is there OK water for relaxed hair? Can I get a profession relaxer done here? Do I need to learn to do it myself? My hair was determining the destination instead of coming along for the ride so when I moved back to the US I cut it off.

    It was weird to get use to short curly hair but I liked it. I was scarred at first because a relaxer was all I knew thanks to a black mother whose hair grows out completely straight who had no idea how to handle tons of thick curls I got from my black father. Now that my hair is right above my shoulders I LOVE it. I where it in twists and retro up dos and I use products I make myself. I like to think of myself as this eclectic globe hopper and now I feel like my hair matches that lifestyle! Plus I can see both my parents in my hair: the center of my head grows out straight like mom, the sides are tight curls like dad, and the front and back are lose curls and waves like the 2 together which make me appreciate my hair even more!

  • Mimi

    The pre conceived notions that I get is that I’m trying to be someone other than myself since I wear lacefronts. I am not trying to “be white” and you are not blacker than me because you wear your hair naturally. I wear them because I’ve had alopecia since the age of 24 and prefer to have something on my head instead of getting stares and people gawking at my bald head and think that I’m sick. So before you start to criticize (particularly the women who wear their hair chemical free)understand that some of us wear weaves, pieces, etc., because we’d rather not have the sympathetic stares and snickers as we walk by.

    Having said that, if I didn’t have my issues, I’m almost positive that I’d wear my hair curly. I LOVE CURLS!!!! I was standing behind this woman in line at the mall and she had the most beautiful curls and she said it was natural and all she does is wash it and put in a leave in conditioner and let it air dry. It looked AWESOME! I only wish I could do that (or anything really) with my hair.

  • Jane

    Mimi, I’m just curious to know what texture the lace fronts you buy. Do they match your hair texture or are they silky?

  • http://[email protected] Gorgeous Spice

    Been wearing braids for at least ten years and recently decided to stop. It is scarily when you have to deal with your own hair everyday but you learn what works and what doesn’t work fast.

  • Mimi

    They come in a variety of textures, but I use remy. My stylist specializes in cancer patients and people with alopecia and she can get any kind from super straight, to super curly.

  • CutekinkZ

    I did the big chop and I absolutely LOVE IT! Since the cut, I actually recieve more comments on my beauty than ever before. :)

  • Chelsea

    I don’t think it matters what hair texture someone is wearing depspite the ever popular belief we aren’t all born with the same textured hair it’s not a cultural thing. Anyways I wear my hair long with the help of extensions 18 inches. I think I’ve been wearing my hair this way so long it’s become my ” signature look”. I can’t explain it but I feel sexy, I feel bad ass, I feel in a way unlike my self wearing it this way. The thing is I have all natural hair underneath. My hair has beautiful curls and kinks everywhere but I’m not comfortable showing it. I feel I look childish, no where near sexy, and weird. I have no idea how to style it besides an afro puff. I feel like everyone behind me at the store is looking at my hair and laughing because it’s “taboo”. I’m smart enough to know that it’s all in my head, for the most part, I know I use long hair to hide. I’m not smart enough to know how to start building my own confidence without it, because honestly I cant afford it, I’m sick of it, and I want a change. I’m not this stuck up, bitchy, high class broad people make me out to be. ( guys have approached me and told me these things, yes) I’m more goofy, eccentric, and fun but my look gives off the total opposite, I hope to learn soon at 28 how to just be me. : )

  • binks

    I have worn my hair all types of ways and felt in every single one of them so to me at this point hair is just hair so I really don’t have pre-conceived notions concerning hair and other women. If a sister want to rock her afro and be pride, if another one wants to be a diva with her wigs, or rock the heck out of a short cut, etc. etc. I say more power to them by complimenting them and keep it moving. Even though my hair is back to natural and is growing out my go to look is and forever will be curls. To me, curls are just effortless and easy to manage for it without the worry of doing this and that to them so they are my go to style, when I want to treat myself I straighten it or do something else to it but other than that I stay with curls

  • http://fashionasmusings.blogspot.com/ alicia

    I have worn my hair natural since 1999 and I was living in NYC. I love my curls and the unpredictably of them. I will say when I finally cut out the last of my perm in 2001, I immediately noticed that the men I attracted were different then the men who I date when my hair was straight. It didn’t bother me but as a writer and a visual person I couldn’t help but notice men’s reaction.

    Now that I live in “weave happy” Atlanta I am still rocking my natural curls and turn down keratin treatments all the time. I have decided that I am natural for life no matter what anyone thinks.

  • ALIG83

    I wear braids because 1. I am not good at doing my own hair. 2. I stopped getting my hair relaxed four years ago and haven’t figured out what kind of natural hairstyle I want to have.

  • ALIG83

    I don’t get the obsession other people have with being annoyed with how someone else wears their hair.

    When I was in high school and middle school, I dealt with a lot of criticism about my hair which has made me very self conscious about it. Kids were always saying to me, “How come you don’t wear your hair out?”, “How come you always wear a ponytail?”, “How long is your real hair?”, and “Why don’t you just gets braids or something!?” I started wearing weave in tenth grade to make my hair fuller and longer. Most people assumed it was my real hair, but those who knew me from previous years would make snide comments about how my hair grew over the summer. I remember one day when I was in ninth grade, I wore my hair in a ponytail, but instead of using a rubber band, I used a fashion hair clip to pin up the back. That morning I was getting off of the school bus, and this one guy said, “Dang, look how little her ponytail is!” I felt bad for the whole day and hoped no one would notice my hair.

    Even now as a twenty-five year old adult, I still get people making comments to me that I could do without. Like, last year I got my hair re-braided and I asked my stylist to braid the front in cornrows and the rest to be single twists. My co-worker made a comment about how my hair was cute, but then she said, “She should have made all of the braids twists, but it’s cute though.” My hair was like this, but better looking http://www.nonyehairbraiding.com/nonye/studio/images/14/img_4986.jpg

    And then last December I got my braids redone and a coworker said to me, “Who did your braids?” I replied that a woman who I always go to had done them. She then replied, “Girl, it looked like she pulled your brains out.”

    I am so self conscious about my hair because of my experiences growing up and even now as an adult. It’s the reason why even though my hair is long enough for me to get natural twists, I am afraid to do so because I don’t feel like dealing with other people’s comments about my hair.

    I am so self conscious about my hair that whenever people have asked me to hang out, I’d refuse because I didn’t feel comfortable with the current state of my hair. Like, if I had my braids in for several weeks and they began to look fuzzy.

    I think I have been dealt some bad women cards in life. Not only was I not given nice, long hair, I also have small boobs. *Heavy Sigh* Sometimes I feel like I was supposed to have been born a boy.

    People all the time tell me that I am cute/pretty, but I just don’t believe them.

  • Jane

    Chelsea I am so happy you are able to recognize your hair insecurities. Trust me, coming from a black woman well into her 30’s it takes a lot of alone time to find the TRUE YOU. you will get to a point in your life when you don’t care what people say or how they feel about you because you know you. YOU have put the quality time in to learn yourself. Once that secret is revealed to you the confidence will exude from your skin through your eyes, from your smile to your step. TRUST ME, take the time, one day you will look in the mirror, take those 18inches off and feel so much lighter…..I can’t wait! Love ya sis!

  • Yamilee

    I have the short natural do like Chrisette and I absolutely love it! At first I has color in my natural hair which was about 5ins long than I decided why not go for something different and cut it all off! I love it! I’ve learned its just hair so it will grow back eventually but for now I’m sticking to this cut!

  • Chelsea

    @ Jane thank you very much for the encouraging words, and I know it’s may not be today or tomorrow but one day I will have the confidence to be myself…and I love you also sis : )

  • adst2nv

    Bless your heart Alig83! I have gone through similiar experiences in the area of people always making some sort of comments about how I chose to wear my hair. Why don’t you do this, why don’t you do that? Im natural now; have been for the last 2 years. I had a few people who questioned my choice to grow my short, relaxed pixie cut to the full fledged afro that is today. Funny, Ive never questioned anyone else’s choice to wear their hair however they wanted to. Why? Because I don’t care how anyone else wears their hair. It’s their personal choice. I wish others would do me the same way.

    Please believe that you are beautiful I’m sure, both inside and out. Who cares who questions your hair styles/choices? If you are content, that’s all that matters. You don’t need anyone else’s approval or disapproval. Be confident and know that God made you in His image, and you are exactly who you are supposed to be, and you look exactly how you are supposed to look.

  • adst2nv

    Great words of encouragement Jane! I totally agree! Chelsea, I too have gone through that “People are staring at me” stage. Actually, sometimes I still go through it. Case in point, after wearing twist outs, afros, puffs for the last 18 months, I decided this week to wear my twists out in public. They are small and curled cute. I have gotten a few compliments, and a few stares. I was really scared to wear my hair like this because its different. But all in all, Im enjoying it, its cute, and its a great protective style. Who cares what others think? Im a beautiful, black woman made in God’s image, who has chosen to accept my hair for what it is- all mine!

  • minna k.

    Binks is that you in that avitar photo? I am totally not hitting on you, but you are gorgeous.

  • shrinking violet

    Black hair is so gorgeous it is art on a runway itself! Anyway…My hair personality is that I dont do much to it. It is simple and plain. But, if I ever want color I dont plan on color my hair itself I would prefer to wear color extensions. So many white and black women wear extensions its like a drug. It makes thin whispy hair look extra beautiful and it does different things to add extra beauty to black hair depending on what you want from it.

    I like to cut my hair into layers sometimes. My hair takes forever and ever to grow it is ridiculous! It evens out to wear it started but I better be prepared to live with that style for 2 years. So, I think when I want to get innovative and not wait I might improve my hair personality and give it some shabang!

  • ms. complexity

    Oh my goodness ALIG83…you hit the nail on the head.

    I thought *I* was the only one who always got asked “why don’t you wear your hair down? If *I* had your hair, I’d do so much with it.” My hair is naturally long…goes down to the middle of my back. I started relaxing when I was 23 and I don’t regret it. It’s still thick, lush and wonderful. But I get asked continually why I don’t wear it down.
    Why should I? Other women do…and they look the same everyday. I wear it down for special occasions and I feel glamorous.

    But don’t beat yourself up, dear. Don’t let other people’s comments dictate your crowning glory. If you don’t have long hair, don’t fret. I’m sure you have beautiful tresses that you can style in any way you want! If you want to do twists, do so! If you want to braid it, go ahead! Flat iron, relax or go natural. It’s YOURS. Be happy, girl!

    I’m sure you ARE a pretty woman. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll be okay. :-)

  • ms. complexity

    That’s Aaliyah in Binks’ avi.

  • ALIG83

    “Funny, Ive never questioned anyone else’s choice to wear their hair however they wanted to. Why? Because I don’t care how anyone else wears their hair.”

    That’s how I am. I never make comments about other people’s hair. And I’ll never understand why people, especially women are so critical of other women’s appearance.

  • http://far-above-rubies-and-pearls.blogspot.com/ Alisha

    Your comment really struck a nerve with me, ALIG83. People can be cruel, and I’m sorry you have been hurt so much by the insensitivity of others. Like the other commenters said, wear your hair how you choose, how you feel most comfortable. Let me tell you, no matter how “perfect” you might try to be, there will always be some person to let you know you’re not. So never mind them!

    And btw, I know how it feels to have small breasts, too. I was the same B cup size since 15… until I got pregnant. Now I’m nearly 7 months along and am outgrowing a C. And you know what? I miss my smaller chest! HA!

  • Amura

    I agree. Even today my boss-a black woman, wants to kno y i dont get my newly formed locs as tight as possible. tried to explain that my hair is extremely soft and even when i go to the stylist the next day it looks like i didnt. I dont need your approval jsut kno that im happy with the state of my hair and i look damn good in it. It took me a year and a half to get it to reach the bottom of my ears and it is baby soft. have u ever tried to get baby hair to hold a curl or braid??? thats my head. Why black women must we be the hardest critics around???

  • http://www.RealTalk123.com AlesiaMichelle

    I am the changing hues girl all the way… I actually just died my hair today. Hair is fun. I wrote a post about my hair and included pictures, http://realtalk123.com/?p=679. It is funny cuz I was born bald and now I have a full head of hair… CRAZY