I always feel apprehension and anxiety.
It's not cool if you're wearing your hair in a cute little puff and an aunt tells you she prefers when you have it twisted. It's not alright when you cut your hair really short and your mother repeatedly tells you how much better she likes it that way than when you had it in braids. It's not OK when your close friend tells you she's sad that you've decided to wear braids again because you look so mature with your short hair.
I enjoy compliments, yes, but not when they, explicitly or implicitly, put down something else about me.
When I wear braids, and you like them, tell me that you like them and leave it at that. Don't say anything about missing my shaved head. When I shave my head and you like it, leave it at that, don't say anything about how you like it so much more than my braids. When I wear box braids and you like them, say so and leave it at that. Don't say how you like them so much more than my twists, and vice versa.
I hate that apprehension about people noticing and commenting on my hair actually affects/inhibits/influences how I choose to wear my hair. The final choice is always mine, of course, and people always end up liking what I do regardless, but I resent the feelings I go through before I make the choice, feelings that are largely a result of people's past comments on and "observations" of my hair.
Anyway....I can do more to take back the power and just say 'fuck you, I don't give a damn how you like my hair, I'm going to do what I want and do it well and you're just going to deal with it,' and to fully embody that sentiment...and I'm going to actively try to do that.
I just had to share these feelings first.