It's happened enough times for me to comment on it now, at least six times in the last few months. I'll be crouched down next to a female student helping her with class work and she'll be paying no attention to what I'm saying. This will dawn on me at last and I'll turn to see the student looking dreamily at the side of my head. Slowly she'll reach out and touch my hair, a quizzical look on her face.
The kids are amazed and disturbed by white people hair. They think it's magical. Some compliment me for having "perfect" hair, which is ridiculous. My hair is a frazzled, wiry mess if I let it grow more than 1/4 an inch, which is why I often shave it completely off.
Today I was helping a new student named Katina. She is mean and brassy, which is a combo that almost always earns my respect. I was trying to help her write a Brief Constructed Response, but she obviously wasn't listening. "You nasty," she said. "Why don't you shave that hair out yo hands." I couldn't help but laugh, but Katina wasn't kidding. She was completely disgusted that I had hair on my hands.
The hair on my head may be "perfect," but apparently arm or hand or chest hair is "nasty."