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Our Favorite Responses to “Is That Your Real Hair?”

Our Favorite Responses to “Is That Your Real Hair?”

Maybe it happened while you were out with your friends. Maybe you were at a family function with the new in-laws. Maybe you were just trying to buy groceries. Either way, we can all relate to someone—an acquaintance or a perfect stranger—walking up to us, squinting at our heads, and asking, “Is that a wig?” And then you just stand there, tongue-tied at their sheer audacity.

Of course, many of these people are well-meaning, not realizing the question is offensive. Others are just plain rude. Because we believe in equipping and empowering Black women for anything life throws at them, we’ve compiled our favorite responses to “Is that your real hair?” for every scenario.

“Actually, It’s a Wig. Isn’t It Gorgeous?”

The reason it hurts when people ask if our hair is “real” is for some people, we’ve been taught that wearing a wig or a weave is something to be ashamed of. As if we’re “cheating.” But there is nothing wrong with putting on a wig or wearing a weave. So why not own it? Adding a little self-affirmation at the end will help remind you why you chose that hairpiece in the first place and give the person asking the question nothing to say.

“That’s a Really Personal Question. I’d Rather Not Get Into It.”

Even if we know that our wigs are as beautiful as we are, it can be hard to get to a place where we want to own it. And it’s OK if you aren’t there yet. You don’t owe people an explanation, and the person may not realize you don’t want to be asked about it. In this scenario, the best response to the “Is that your real hair?” question is to create a simple, polite boundary.

“Why Do You Ask?”

This is another way to shut down the question quickly while still being polite to those well-meaning people who don’t realize what they’re doing. Oftentimes, when someone has to explain why they’re asking the question, they realize it’s not their business and back off on their own.

“Yeah, I Paid for It and Everything.”

Sometimes, the best way to make yourself feel more comfortable in an awkward situation is to play it for laughs. It’s also a great strategy when you’re trying to give a little sass to the stranger at the bar who is way too comfortable asking you personal questions. Other jokes you can swap out include, “Well, it’s not imaginary” and “Actually, I’m borrowing it from Zendaya.”

Absolutely Nothing

This is another one to give to that overly familiar stranger at the bar. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person talking to you, know that you have every right to walk away. Like we said, you don’t owe people an answer to their questions, especially not personal ones like this.

So, next time someone questions your knotless box wig or that beautiful blonde weave, don’t shrink back. Whatever people say, you have the right to wear your hair the way you want to.

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