Nappy Hair: The Most Taboo Words In The Black Community

Nappy, The Other N Word

How do you feel about the word “nappy”? The “other N word”? Do you have nappy hair?

Are you offended when someone uses it to describe your hair?

Does it matter who says it? For example if you’re black and a white person uses it, are you okay with that?

Do you use it to describe your hair? What does the word mean to you?

I just had an interesting conversation with a woman I know.

She said that she doesn’t use the word nappy to describe her hair and she never will because it’s a derogatory word and she’s never heard it used positively.

She doesn’t like the word, and she doesn’t like how so many people are comfortable using it.

Cool. I respect that.

The trip part to me was she said that she would rather use the other n-word before she would ever say nappy.

And y’all know the word I’m talking about.

C'mon son

Now that word I find highly offensive. I don’t care who uses it.

I would rather be called a b* than to be called that word.

To me, there’s too much history behind it for me to ever be comfortable using it or to “take it back”, as some people like to say.

You can’t take back that word because we didn’t give ourselves that word. It was never ours to start with.

But I digress…

I was really shocked though because I know some people don’t like the word, but I didn’t realize it was considered sooo bad.

As you may have guessed, I have no problem saying I have nappy hair.

I don’t use the word to describe other people’s hair though because I know some people don’t play that.

And I get it.

We’re supposed to be past that, better than that now. More educated.

Black woman with afro puff

We should use words like kinky, coily, highly textured.

Yeah, I use those words too… right along with nappy.

Unlike the other “n” word, I don’t think nappy is inherently offensive. In some instances it’s kind of like when you call somebody dark-skinned.

Even today, in freaking 2018, there are people who are offended if you call them black or dark skinned.


Sorta-kinda related sidebar:

One of my old co-workers, a white woman, unbeknownst to me, was trying to set me up with one of her friends, a white guy.

Him: Describe her to me.

Her: Well, my friend is black.

Him: Well, how black is she?

True story, y’all.

She should have told him I’m so black, I like my steaks well done.

natural hair bun styles

Those roots though #extrablack

I don’t like when people make it seem as if they’re on a higher level because they’ve “graduated” from using the word nappy.

Like they were ignorant before, but now they know better, and they’re obligated to tell me that I should know better also.

Y’all I’ve been natural for almost 15 years. I love my natural nappy hair. We good.

I love natural hair period. If you’ve ever read my about page, it says Nappy Headed Black Girl has three goals:

1 To dispel myths about natural hair

2 To provide information on caring for natural hair

3 To offer exposure for new and veteran naturals alike

I think your natural hair is beautiful. That’s why I’m always telling you guys that on my blog and in my videos.

I think my natural hair is beautiful. I also think it’s nappy. The two are not exclusive.

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Photo courtesy Eye for Ebony on Unsplash.

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