We’ve all heard or used the word “nappy” when it comes to black hair. I’ll admit to using the word a few times back in the day. I used the word because that’s what I heard growing up to describe tightly curled hair. One day when I was a little girl I was getting my hair done and the comb broke. Why did the comb break? Because my hair was too “nappy”. I decided to google the word and I found a few different definitions. The word “nappy” as it relates to hair, I found these words: Gross, disgusting, extremely curly, kinky”. Historically, the word has a derogatory meaning. Remember a few years ago, Don Imus called the Rutgers University students, “Nappy headed hoes”? I’m sure he meant that as a compliment…yeah right! In early African civilizations, hairstyles could indicate a persons tribe or social status. Frizzy and kinky hair protected our hair from the sun’s rays. During slavery, black women have been conditioned to believe that our hair isn’t beautiful. For years, black women who had straight hair or wavy hair that looked similar to white women, were known as having “good hair”. Others who had tightly curled hair or kinky hair, were known to have nappy hair.
It’s okay when we use the word nappy amongst each other right? but if a person from another race uses it, we get offended? or should we all just stop using the word nappy when it comes to black hair?