View Full Version : Please don't touch my hair!

January 9th, 2011, 08:18 AM
I am wondering if any others have problems with people wanting to touch your hair?

My hair is relatively short, but as I am growing it out, my ringlets are revealing themselves and more and more people are coming up to me and saying "OOOOhhh how pretty" reaching their hands out to touch them. Mostly it's friends, family, and the Life Partner, but especially when I've just showered and have nice looking curls, the last thing I want is people touching my hair!

I told the Life Partner that as my hair grows, I'm going to want it touched less and less... he doesn't like that, but seeing as we are currently in a long distance relationship, it's not that big of a deal right now. However, I can see it becoming an issue when my hair is longer and when we are living together in a couple of months.

So, what is your experience with this problem and how do you react when people do this? It seems to me like a major invasion of my personal space and... well... I just don't want people touching the hair that I've worked so hard to make look good!

Is this less of an issue for straight-haired ladies? Curls seem to be more high-maintenance and less touchable, but maybe not! I'd love to hear from you!

January 9th, 2011, 08:25 AM
hubby always touches my hair and smells it when he hugs me! he loves that im growing it!

my son sam always use to twiddle my hair! using it as a kind of comforter when i gave him a hug laying beside him for a while! this was when he was younger and i didnt care properly for my hair! he is 11 now and when he has a mama hug he still goes for my hair but i say "no twiddling sam! you'll damage my hair"!
suffice as to say! he is not impressed lol!

January 9th, 2011, 08:31 AM
I love when people touch my hair - I actually constantly beg my boyfriend to give me scalp massages. I don’t mind that my hair looks tousled. I have perfect ringlets right out of the shower, but as soon as my hair has been braided, bunned, braided again then left loose for a couple of hours, it’s not perfectly defined ringlets anymore. I think I like the messy look better anyway.

Because of my relatively light hair color, in Italy, strangers have asked me to touch my hair too. I don’t mind that, as long as their hands look clean, I’m not alone and I feel safe. If I was walking home by myself in the middle of the night, of course I wouldn’t like any stranger to talk to me or touch me anywhere.

However, many people I know, especially other girls, find it uncomfortable when people touch their hair. I think it’s because they see hair as something that symbolizes sex, and so (of course) do not want to be touched there by others. I don’t see my hair as something related to anything sexual, it’s a ”normal" part of me.

January 9th, 2011, 08:36 AM
Everytime some one touches my hair I'm like paranoid.I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns!

January 9th, 2011, 08:40 AM
I hear you about not wanting to get the curls messed up!! It's a lot of work for me to get it scrunched just right and then it takes a long time to dry and it looks fine as long as it's not touched.

But I like it when my friends touch my hair and they typically don't ask permission either - it's almost like a hug in that way. Lately I've been styling my hair in stretched-out, brushable waves instead of curly so they can touch it to their heart's content without bothering me. Straightish hair is a lot easier to "fix" after someone ruffles it up...I can just brush it and then it looks the same as before.

January 9th, 2011, 08:44 AM
Years ago some man wanted to touch my hair (which was hanging down my back) and I didn't mince words telling him no! Some people are downright creepy!

January 9th, 2011, 09:38 AM
I hate having my hair touched. When my hair is down ive had strangers stroke it which freaks me out a bit, but I tend to wear it up so it doesn't happen all that often.

January 9th, 2011, 09:41 AM
I don't like people touching my hair, but then again I don't like people (outside of friends and family) touching me (man that sounds bad, lol) period. I'm one of those "stay out of my personal space" people. Luckily I haven't had a lot of that. I tend to keep my hair braided or bunned and people don't notice. When I have it down it's for special occasions which usually include family and they all know how it is. I do have to remind my fiance to watch it though if I've done it nicely. He goes to rub my back and it'll tangle my hair and frizz my waves.

January 9th, 2011, 09:44 AM
I'm not overly bothered, as long as it is a person I know. Family, friends, etc. Strangers, not so much. I have even had students (7th and 8th graders) touch my hair when it was longer. Weird, but since they were mine (my students, therefore my psuedo children) it didn't really phase me. One girl french-braided it during an assembly!

January 9th, 2011, 10:10 AM
I hate it unless it's someone close to me, such as family and my SO. I love it when my DBF plays with it and he loves smelling it, petting it, combing it..etc. :)

Becky Safari
January 9th, 2011, 10:19 AM
I feel weird if someone wants to touch my hair because I try not to mess with it myself, and the last thing I want is someone putting their fingers on it haha

I have this more so about my face...Don't touch my face!

January 9th, 2011, 10:19 AM
It makes me very uncomfortable when anyone other than a life partner touches my hair, especially without my permission. It's not that I'm concerned they'll mess it up or damage it, just that I don't like any part of my body to be touched. I feel just as uncomfortable when people ask me to braid their hair; I suppose I just consider hair a private area.

January 9th, 2011, 10:26 AM
Other people touching my hair usually sends a shiver down my spine. If we're talking about hair or something like that it isn't so bad but random unannounced hair touching is not cool with me! To me it is a very intimate (maybe romantic?) gesture. My dad will touch my hair sometimes and it just feels wrong to me even though I know it's really not.

January 9th, 2011, 12:38 PM
I agree with Rennire. I wouldn't object to my partner touching it (long-distance ATM), but parents/ friends/ anyone else feels bizarre, and not entirely pleasant. Plus, I'm a little bit paranoid everyone is out to cut it off. :p (Quite true in my mother's case!)

January 9th, 2011, 12:47 PM
I love my hair being played with/ touched as long as its people i know. For example a female friend in work always plays with my hair, and braids it and stuff. it relaxes me, as long as people are gentle with it!

January 9th, 2011, 12:48 PM
My hair isn't very long at all, but since I started taking better care of it in an effort to grow it out, I find it being touched more and more. I do find it to be creepy when it's someone other than a close friend or a family member.

January 9th, 2011, 12:50 PM
I cringe when people touch my hair (or any other part of me, for that matter) but the closest ones, like family and best lifetime friends are the exceptions. I don't see it as abuse or obtrusiveness from THEM. It may ruin a curl but relationships are worth that, IMO. Some people are tactile, they need to express themselves like that.

January 9th, 2011, 01:14 PM
It just depends on who it is. My husband can touch my hair all he wants. My close family (sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law) love to touch my hair and play with it and it's not a matter of my hair getting messed up but more a matter of my hair getting caught on people's rings, watches, or bracelets that bothers me. It hurts to have someone pull back their hand and my hair is still attached. Some random stranger?? I rarely wear my hair down in public to avoid this.

January 9th, 2011, 01:17 PM
I don't think the hair-type makes much difference.
I always had red spaghetti-hair and as a kid it felt like everybody wanted to touch and pet my head. Like I would be a cat or a dog or somesuch o.O eek! I did not exactly like it back then, but eventually I grew taller and it wasn't as easy to reach my head :silly: so thankfully those attempts got less. Or I'm just not cute enough anymore :poot: nah.

I'm generally not a very "touchy" person and have a large personal-space area, which is totally normal in Scandinavia, so thankfully most of my friends would never have the idea to touch my hair.
I got a few "princess hair" compliments of children who wanted to touch my braid/hair *aww* I usually let them - muddy icecream-fingers or not :laugh:. Hey, they will be the long hairs of tomorrow :wink:

January 9th, 2011, 01:21 PM
I duck & doge, and give them a really dirty look if they try it without asking. If they ask, I politely say, "No thank you, I'd really prefer than you not."

My SO is only allowed to stroke the top of my head, and he's been explicitly told this. I don't know how someone with "surgeon's hands" can be so darn clumsy, but if I let him run his fingers through the length, it hurts my scalp & I end up with tangles.

January 9th, 2011, 01:23 PM
/\/\ Little kids are a different story sometimes. I had a little girl petting my curls last summer and she kept saying, "Pretty." We were in line at a food buffet and I just turned around and smiled at her and her mom. Her mom was fairly embarrassed. I just shrugged it off. A few elderly ladies with pet my hair and they exclaim about how it reminds them of when they had long hair or something along those lines. That doesn't really bother me. A 50ish year old man...'nother story.

January 9th, 2011, 01:37 PM
There have been countless threads about this in the 5-1/2 years that I've been a member, and I really don't get it. People touching hair rarely happens around here, but on the few occasions that it has - no big deal. I take it as a compliment. Now if somebody with an open wound on the hand or somebody unkempt and stinking reached for my hair - I'd be upset; no doubt about it. But the old lady across the street who declared my hair "magnificent" and touched it - sweet!

January 9th, 2011, 01:43 PM
I really don't mind people touching my hair, in fact I quite like it! That being said, the majority of people who touch it are family and friends, i'm not sure if i'd appreciate a complete stranger touching it. I suppose it'd be weird.

January 9th, 2011, 01:46 PM
Friends touching my hair no problem, stranger asking permission to touch it, it depends sometimes, but most of the times no problem. What I don't like is when a strange grabs my hair at the nape area and grabbing all the hair, I don't like the feeling as if any moment they could pull really hard and my head would be pulled backwards.

January 9th, 2011, 05:19 PM
People don't seem to want to touch my hair, but I keep it up a lot so its not like they get the opportunity often. My friend will touch my hair when it is down, I don't really mind.

Other than that the only awkward hair touching moments I've experienced were when I was younger and at a funeral. The little old ladies behind me just kind of. Touched my hair. Startled me a lot, but I didn't get mad or upset at them.

January 9th, 2011, 06:15 PM
I love having my hair touched, it feels amazing. Scalp massages and all that. However that was when I used to straighten my hair. Straight hair= easy to detangle. Curly, not so much.

January 9th, 2011, 09:40 PM
My son is always telling me not to mess up his curls, lol. I love to stroke his hair, and often pat his head gently as I walk past him, and play with his neck curls if we're out and talking with someone. Sometimes he'll let me do it, it's kind of a comfort/connection thing, but other times he brushes my hand away.

He got his own back the other day when I was trying to let my own hair dry curly (I've never had curls till a month ago, just waves or straight), and he was hanging over my shoulder as I read to him, and playing with my hair.

My aunt twiddles my hair for me, when I see her, as we sit and chat, and loves to tell me about how she had to have her fingers cut out of her own hair from twiddling it too much :bigeyes:

Malibu Barbie
January 9th, 2011, 10:35 PM
It really depends who it is, if a stranger asks I will let them (women only). I hate it when when a person walks up and feels my hair without asking. Most of the time they want to see if I have tracks. They gasp, when they realize its real. I live in an area that many of the women have extensions. I guess this is why people are so curious about my hair.

Red Leo
January 9th, 2011, 10:42 PM
Oh yes! people have no hair boundries and watch out for little old ladys!:rolleyes:

January 9th, 2011, 11:18 PM
I've never had a stranger touch my hair, but my friends will usually touch it especially when I have a random ringlet (it ends up getting pulled at). My mom and boyfriend always love to play with my hair and smell it, and it usually doesn't bother me at all when they do it. My dad used to run his fingers through my hair a lot, but I barked at him a bunch because he would snag his finger or ring on it and pull it and it hurt!

January 10th, 2011, 01:35 AM
My brother and dad both do this... They will come up to me and put their arm around me (or while hugging me) and rub my back, up and down. If my hair's down it gets rubbed the wrong way and it drives me NUTS!!! When I tell them to knock it off, they think it's really funny to mock me for it.

January 10th, 2011, 01:41 AM
People tend to touch my hair often, mainly to try and feel how heavy it is. It doesn't really bother me, most people just reach out and touch it before thinking about it.

January 10th, 2011, 01:59 AM
I love having my hair touched! My friends love to braid it and see what looks pretty and it makes me feel nice! Haha :)

I also have a lot of people ask if my hair is extensions and I'm like "NAH UH!! FEEL IT!!"

If you've got it flaunt it :D

January 10th, 2011, 02:00 AM
I don't mind, specially because it often follows with a "how soft" comment. :D

January 10th, 2011, 02:09 AM
The boyfriend loves playing with my hair, and I love the feeling of him doing it.
I hate anyone else touching it, especially strangers or people I distantly know who somehow think they have a right to touch me.
In the winter I usually have one loose braid slung over my shoulder, and a "go to hell" look for anyone that looks like they might touch me.

January 10th, 2011, 03:41 AM
My hair is really curly, sort of like shakira/beyonce hair and ever since I can remeber even as young as 3 people have always always touched my hair even complete strangers come up to me and ask to touch it, doesnt really freak me out as its always happened, but friends think its wierd how people just come up and touch it.

It annoys me if they make it go frizzy though

January 10th, 2011, 04:12 AM
People always wanted to touch my hair when I had this hairdo. They would tap on the top and say "Ooo itīs so bouncy". Even people i didnīt know did this. A bit odd.

31/12 2010
This is how my hair looks now. People donīt come to me on the street anymore and touch my hair. I love it. But my friends and my boyfriend love to touch it because itīs so soft and shiny. :)

January 10th, 2011, 04:39 AM
I don't like most people touching my hair. Certain family members and close friends I'm ok with, other family/friends think it's hilarious to mess up my hair. Strangers and people I barely know are not welcome to touch me or my hair. I don't like having people I don't know in my personal space.

January 10th, 2011, 05:05 AM
Oh i definately think that you beautiful curly-haired women is having a harder time than us straighties. When i look around i hardly ever see any real curlies, but if i do, and they have healthy hair, i will look twice. And i think that many people fint it kind of exotic, and if they dont think twice they might find themselves hands deep into a curly hair. Thats not ok, unless you asked first and got the green light, but unfortunately thats how people work.

I havent had any problems with that, only my friends tuch it, with My permission i might add. But mostly i wear My hair up and theres nothing to grab, so strangers are kept out. I did have a girl try to pull my hairstick out once, but she wasnt fast enough for me. :D

January 10th, 2011, 05:17 AM
I don't mind people touching my hair in general, but it doesn't happen that often, I've a reputation for looking pretty unapproachable. Lately though, I've gotten more touchy about it and certainly don't want it pulled or man-handled. A recent fling had a big fixation on hair and would like to pull it and mess it up in, ehm bedroom situations and I was very strict about that. Which may have contributed to it only being a fling. :)

January 10th, 2011, 08:01 AM
I'm always wearing it up during the days, except at home. So I've never been in a situation were random strangers touch my hair. My beloved partner and a dear semi-LHCer friend (she's a bit intimidated by this big English forum to really hang here, but she's definitely taking care of her hair LHC-style) are exceptions. I love to have the partner gently play with and brush my hair, it's so soothing. :cloud9:
And my friend touches my hair sometimes when we discuss hair-related stuff. I don't mind that, since she's trustworthy. :D

I don't know how I would react if a stranger touched it... I guess it depends on the situation. If it's someone who compliments my hair and maybe ask to touch it, I think I'll be fine with it. If it's just a random drive-by touching with no explanation or anything, I'd dislike it. Hands have to be clean of course! It's finally getting longish (mid-back length), which means it will slowly become above average length, which will probably draw attention. I'm going to wear it down more often in the two summer months, so we'll see what happens then...

January 10th, 2011, 08:18 AM
Konstifik, I had a lot of people wanting to touch my hair when it was shorter (and much curlier) and I wore it down all the time.

I think how one reacts is totally a personal thing. Some people like the attention, and other people don't. I honestly prefer to have "stranger" people give me as little attention as possible -- of any kind. That's just me.

If you truly want to wear your hair down because you are enjoying your curls, I believe you are going to have to accept that other people will enjoy them too, and that you will have a certain percentage who are "feelers" and need to touch them.

I don't know your goal length, but eventually it will get long enough that it's just simpler and better for your hair to wear it up most of the time, either in a braid or a bun or something. You will find at that time you get a lot fewer "feelers" coming at you. :lol:

In fact, if you want to be a Stealth Longhair for a day and not attract ANY attention, a nice firm bun is the best way to go. People who don't have long hair do not have the Bun-to-Length Mental Calculator that we strange LHC folk have. ;)

So bottom line, accept you're going to get touched if you wear it down. You don't have to like it, but you can also choose not to freak out and mentally prepare yourself for it, too. :)


January 10th, 2011, 08:21 AM
My lovely colleagues at work used to touch my hair as they found it "so soft" ( I have to say they are from Nigeria and Jamaica and love to straighten their own hair - unnecessarily in my opinion as their hair IS lovely the way it is). So yes, THAT touching I liked but if anyone else apart from my partner tried to touch it I don't think I would like that. Obviously it depends on the person and if I trust her/him. To me it's just a very intimate thing touching someone elses hair, or being touched.

January 10th, 2011, 08:26 AM
I sort of like having it touched, even at random.

January 10th, 2011, 08:34 AM
DBF has a habit of brushing it out of my eyes or stroking it when it's down, both of which I love. :) Other than that no one really touches it, I wear it up most of the time though, which helps.
Occasionally someone (usually a guy) will grab it and give it a tug if it's in a braid/ponytail though :mad: They get the dirtiest look I can muster up until they let go.

January 10th, 2011, 09:30 AM
I've not got a problem with it at all, my DP rarely touches it (I wish he'd stroke it more!), but I have one particular friend who always likes to stroke it and play with it and I love it!

January 10th, 2011, 09:57 AM
Not mine, but my friend growing up had wavy, red, waist-length hair and people ALWAYS wanted to touch it. Her mom had to remind her to say "Please don't touch my hair" because she was more inclined to yell at them to leave her alone. The hair touching drove her crazy.

January 10th, 2011, 10:04 AM
I like it when people touch my hair. I guess it doesn't happen that often. I remember when my coworker used to ask me if she could brush my hair and put a braid in it! My hair was so different from hers that she said it was like having a 'barbie'. Well, anyway, that was so sweet! I can understand why you don't like your hair touched. I have another coworker with long curly hair. She absolutely does not touch it as it dries and it stays in perfect separated curls. My boyfriend hates it when his hair is touched. I guess we are all different! I wish people would touch mine more! (of course, the right people!).

January 10th, 2011, 10:46 AM
The thing I don't care for is someone grabbing my braid/ponytail and pulling. It's happened a couple times so far. (note that my hair is not long yet)

1. It hurts really bad and is rather startling.

2. Why? Just why would you do that to someone?

January 10th, 2011, 10:47 AM
Depends a bit:
the girl sitting behind me at school (we had fixed positions in class, and could not change them) constantly fiddling with MY hair was a real pain, and finding little braids in it all the time was not my idea of fun. You want to fidget with hair? Use yours.
Having my hair combed and brushed is nice, I was never "afraid of hair" as we said when I was small. It does not happen very often now since I do my hair myself but I like it a lot, if it is done as it should: start from the bottom, detangle and go ahead, I'll start purring soon.
Curious children are ok if they don't pull, random little old ladys I'm not sure, sometimes they can be a bit creepy.

January 10th, 2011, 10:55 AM
I like it when kids and old ladies touch my hair!! I hate when any random strangers try to. You betta be a very close friend or relative to touch my hair. It's pretty rare (unless my hair is in two seemingly irresistible pigtails) and I find it kinda shocking.

January 10th, 2011, 10:56 AM
I have an autisum mentor that i see each week to help me at univesity.
we have only met four times but without even asking, shes picks up my plats, like she wants to play ring a rond a rosie, touched my braids and grabbed my hair when it was loose to talk about it to her co worker like im not even human.. im aspergers, im not oblivious to my own existance! you would think someone who specialises in supporting people on the autistic spectrum would know that we comonly do not like to be touched... o yeah,. and we are awear when you are talking about us. especialy when wer'e close enough to be touching.


thanks, i needed that little rant.

January 10th, 2011, 10:54 PM
I have an autisum mentor that i see each week to help me at univesity.
we have only met four times but without even asking, shes picks up my plats, like she wants to play ring a rond a rosie, touched my braids and grabbed my hair when it was loose to talk about it to her co worker like im not even human.. im aspergers, im not oblivious to my own existance! you would think someone who specialises in supporting people on the autistic spectrum would know that we comonly do not like to be touched... o yeah,. and we are awear when you are talking about us. especialy when wer'e close enough to be touching.


thanks, i needed that little rant.

maybe she's trying to desensitize you to touch a little bit because people with asbergers dislike it? My cousin has asbergers, and she's very lucky to be in a touchy-feely/bothersome loud household. Being left alone to their own devices seems to be more harmful to people with asbergers...even if sometimes they don't like it. She's way more extroverted, because we all know what's up with her, and we've been gently hassling her for years. "X, look at me when I'm talking to you, waii you haate meeee :p " or "That's not nice, Katherine, saying 'you're fat' makes her feel bad about herself!'. She's learned social cues that other girls with asbergers that I know just never picked up on. Maybe that's your therapists theory? therapy through botheriing? Or maybe she's just a biatch. Call her out next time on it, and see what she says.

January 10th, 2011, 10:57 PM
I don't like to be touched by strangers in general. I'm pretty standoffish about physical contact, so if someone touched my hair I think it'd really bother me. I wear mine up so much I don't think it's ever happened. My husband doesn't bother with it much except to complain that I plugged the shower drain!

January 11th, 2011, 01:12 AM
I'm in the category of people that guards my personal space well. Little about my demeanour in public encourages people to take liberties with any approach. I have had only two adults manage that kind of an intrusion since I've become particularly aware of my own boundaries, and they both backed off fairly quickly. Children I don't mind so much, but I'm not around them very often, so it's not much of an issue one way or another.

My issues with that type of behaviour are related to how I do consider touching my hair quite an intimate act. The corollary holds true for that too though. For those for whom the touch is welcomed, it's quite welcomed, and I do like having it brushed out for me a lot.

January 11th, 2011, 01:54 AM
For starters, I don't like strangers touching me. My personal space, it's pretty big. Strict boundaries. My hair is in my personal space (obviously) so unless I know you well, or gave you permission to touch me or my hair, don't do it.

Anyway..... Kind of hard to fully answer this without coming off as really creepy, but I'll try :laugh:

So like, being that I have real issues about people violating my personal space, I'm also highly affectionate with people I am close to. My hair is reserved for people who have free access within my personal boundary. The odd thing is that the closer to my scalp, the more intimate it feels to me. So like a good friend can play with my hair, but I'll feel a little weird if they were to go running their fingers through my scalp area. On the flip side, I'd be pretty pissed off if my significant other didn't want to touch my hair or my scalp. I'd be almost as offended as if they refused to touch other personal areas on my body.

The people at the salon can though, because that's what I'm paying them for. It's clinical. Kind of like a visit to the gynecologist :laugh: I don't want anyone in my scalp unless I have an intimate relationship or if it's their JOB to be in my scalp.

January 11th, 2011, 07:56 AM
Speedbump: Yeah, I know. :)
Mid back length is not very uncommon here, so I don't think I'll be much of a grab-hair-interest yet. Once I reach my goal, tailbone, it might be different though.

As I said, it all depends on the situation. I'll probably be fine with random encounters, a long as they give a (positive) reason to touch it. It's the anonymous, sneaky ones I'm most afraid of...

Thanks for your reply. :)

January 11th, 2011, 08:54 AM
I dont want strangers to touch my hair..only the closest persons in my family or my friends

January 11th, 2011, 09:02 AM
When I was a kid, whenever I wore my hair down at school, all the girls (and even a boy haha) delighted in touching my hair. I guess at first I didn't mind because it made me feel that I had nice hair, but when I figured out what germs were...well that put an end to dirty unwashed fingers in my hair lol.

January 11th, 2011, 09:03 AM
I think part of my hair touching issue stems from a couple of years back when the news was all over that guy who was running up to women, hacking their hair off, and running away with it. That gave me a fear of strange, scissor wielding maniacs sneaking up on me :o

I also suffer from PTSD and am extremely hypervigilant.

January 11th, 2011, 09:34 AM
Is this less of an issue for straight-haired ladies? Curls seem to be more high-maintenance and less touchable, but maybe not! I'd love to hear from you!

I haven't read the thread, so this may have been mentioned already, but many people seem to be fascinated with curls. A friend of mine has ringlets, and she says that a lot of people want to touch her hair and pull her curls to watch when they 'bounce' back. She doesn't like it either.

January 11th, 2011, 11:23 AM
That gave me a fear of strange, scissor wielding maniacs sneaking up on me :o

I don't know why, but I also got this fear for some reason. Never heard about it happening in real life even close to here, but still, it scares me... O_o

January 11th, 2011, 06:10 PM
I would not be able to stand just anyone touching me or my hair. Like many of you have already stated..."I like my personal space".

January 11th, 2011, 06:45 PM
Although, as i said i don't mind people touching my hair, i do have that irrational fear of someone cutting my hair! especially if its in one braid (suppose it would be easier to cut!) and if im on a bus with someone sat behind me....