Meeting a Natural Officer

While checking out Afropunk in Brooklyn this past Sunday, among the fabulous clothing statements and incredible hairstyles, I noticed one of Brooklyn's finest without her police cap on.  Instantly I'm drawn to how lovely her hair looks while she's on duty!  Every curl lying in place perfectly and looking super healthy and shiny!  I instantly want to ask how she achieved these amazing curls but she was clearly on duty, and having a conversation with one of her fellow male officers.  I thought to myself "If I approach her, she might get defensive or be annoyed...she may even shoo me away.  After all, she IS on duty and supposed to always be ready, on guard, aware...this is Brooklyn and who knows what drama she's been through as a professional women of color in a male dominated field."  The other person in my head (who is fearless & highly curious) said "But she is a woman and she's a Natural who clearly spends time on and cares about her hair...just ASK!"  Well after 3 seconds of arguing with my practical & curious self, I make the decision to make my move, walk back up the street to where she and her fellow officer are standing and politely interrupt the conversation.  Once I committed, their was no turning back.  "Here we go", I thought, "she's either going to be annoyed that I'm interrupting 2 NYPD officers with something seemingly petty or..."  I begin "Excuse me...I LOVE your hair!" Immediately her eyes light up and she begins to smile.  "Why thank you" she says politely.  Now, feeling emboldened, I decide to go further, right in front of her male coworker: "Has going Natural in any way affected your career as a police officer? Have you had anyone complain about your hair?"  She looks surprised by my candor, however, not at all concerned about what the other officer is thinking "Well you have to be willing to try new things and see how it goes.  Through trial and error and just make it work. No, no one has given me any problems about my Natural hair."  Thrilled that she was being so open with me, I decide to throw out another question.  I look down at her police cap.  She is holding it to her side the way a soldier rests his or her helmet while taking a break on active duty.  I blurt out: "Does your police cap ever pose a problem and ruin your hair?!" I know that sounds shallow and almost immature but honestly for my hair it WOULD be an issue!  She smiles, and graciously says "No. No problem at all."  At this point I could not believe I had asked her all of these questions and gotten away with it!  Thank you!  Thank you Officer for your openness and willingness to give me sisterhood time. Thank you for being willing to talk hair in front of your fellow officers and for being so bold as to wear your Natural curls, looking fabulous while keeping Brooklyn safe. Ladies, if you ever feel apprehensive about wearing your Natural hair to work, fearing possible negative feedback...think of what this Officer says from Brooklyn: "Be willing to try new things and see how it goes.  Through trial and error...just make it work."