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View Full Version : Article from The Guardian: Hair today: straight or curly?



Vivapdx
July 28th, 2013, 11:47 AM
"Like many addictions, it starts as a psychological prop, a way of making yourself feel more confident in social situations. At first you only do it on a night out because everyone else does. But then you become dependent. Before you know it, you're indulging first thing in the morning and then in the loo at work when you think no one's looking. You do it after the gym and even on holiday. You forget what you were like before the addiction took hold. The idea of living without it sends a shiver of cold terror down your spine.

I talk not of narcotics, alcohol or cigarettes. I talk instead of something that millions of women can relate to on an everyday basis: the simple act of straightening one's hair..."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/2013/jul/28/hair-today-straight-or-curly?CMP=twt_gu

some of the comments below the article are good, some made me roll my eyes.

Tangle or Curl?
July 28th, 2013, 11:52 AM
Just say no ;)

DarkCurls
July 28th, 2013, 12:10 PM
"A quarter of the respondents to a 2010 poll of 3,000 people said they would rather spend money on their hair than food." -- Really? Did they interview LHC-ers with a hairtoy addiction or what? :)
Then again, money spent on hair can also be spent on food. (Honey, oils...)


On a more serious note, thank you for linking to the article. As a curly... No, wait, as someone obsessed with hair, I found it interesting. It touches on a lot of topics. The idea of hair as a means of self-expression appeals to me. The bit about the origins of hair extensions made me cringe. The quote from Karin Lesnik-Oberstein made me think, Yup. And even what they had to say about long hair was interesting. On the whole it seemed non-judgmental, and had some pretty interesting information.
I avoid comments in general.

sisi33
July 28th, 2013, 12:27 PM
I actually really enjoyed that article- and I applaud the fact that the author didn't go around bashing people, which is a nice change in pace. Thank you for sharing!

Robot Ninja
July 28th, 2013, 12:53 PM
I actually really enjoyed that article- and I applaud the fact that the author didn't go around bashing people, which is a nice change in pace. Thank you for sharing! I don't know. This part: "It's a traditional idea of female glamour and it's kind of boring," says Cox. "It's the whole pole-dancer look: huge heads of artificial hair, faces that look as if they've been dipped in a bucket of make-up, ultra short skirts and huge stripper heels. In terms of fashion and feminism, it's like: oh my God what was I fighting for?" sounds pretty bashy to me. In terms of feminism, I'm fighting for women's right to do whatever they want to their appearance without people judging them for it or automatically assuming they're doing it to appeal to men. And when I say women, that includes pole dancers. I think the whole article is just overanalyzing things. Fashion is reactionary, it has been for the last hundred years and will continue to be so as long as there is profit in it. Curlies used to have to spend tons of money straightening their hair to conform to the old trend, and now straighties have to spend tons of money if they want to conform to the new one. Meanwhile Lady Gaga makes tons of money by having "weird" hair, like Cyndi Lauper did 30 years ago, and fashion journalists make a living recycling the same pop psychology they were citing then.

sisi33
July 28th, 2013, 12:59 PM
Well, if you compare it some other articles that have a focus on hair, then I consider this one of the least bash-y ones I've read. Not saying it doesn't have its not-so-great parts, but only that they've been minimized.

faellen
July 28th, 2013, 01:18 PM
Very interesting article, thanks for posting it :)

curlytwirlykate
July 28th, 2013, 01:32 PM
I think the whole article is just overanalyzing things. Fashion is reactionary, it has been for the last hundred years and will continue to be so as long as there is profit in it. Curlies used to have to spend tons of money straightening their hair to conform to the old trend, and now straighties have to spend tons of money if they want to conform to the new one. Meanwhile Lady Gaga makes tons of money by having "weird" hair, like Cyndi Lauper did 30 years ago, and fashion journalists make a living recycling the same pop psychology they were citing then.

Yes! Great insight :) It's a good reminder to not buy into these things too much ;)

jessokitty
July 28th, 2013, 01:43 PM
This was such a good read; it's interesting how hair can be so tied to our identity. Thanks for sharing!

juliaxena
July 28th, 2013, 02:15 PM
Just...I had no idea straight hair was the norm (ever) and that flat ironing it is such a big deal it is called an addiction. I just find this article to be full of exaggerations... I also wonder if all over sudden if my hair is not in anymore, I should do something about it (not really). I have always adored curly hair and I see plenty of it every day. I don't see this addiction women are finally breaking free from anywhere.

Blond On Blond
July 28th, 2013, 02:33 PM
" ‘I felt liberated with curly hair’: Elizabeth Day with poker-straight hair and natural curls. "

Natural curls my ass.

Robot Ninja
July 28th, 2013, 02:45 PM
Just...I had no idea straight hair was the norm (ever) and that flat ironing it is such a big deal it is called an addiction. It might not have been the norm, but it was certainly the fashionable style for a long time, in some places. And I do know women who don't feel they look good unless they spend an hour straightening their hair. Of course, part of it is that they get a haircut for straightened hair. Calling it an "addiction" is probably exaggeration, but "considering it a necessary part of a beauty routine" is not, and some women feel it is still unacceptable to go out without first making themselves beautiful.

Lunadriael
July 28th, 2013, 02:52 PM
" ‘I felt liberated with curly hair’: Elizabeth Day with poker-straight hair and natural curls. "

Natural curls my ass.

I was thinking something similar...

Maktub
July 28th, 2013, 03:05 PM
Just...I had no idea straight hair was the norm (ever) and that flat ironing it is such a big deal it is called an addiction. I just find this article to be full of exaggerations... I also wonder if all over sudden if my hair is not in anymore, I should do something about it (not really). I have always adored curly hair and I see plenty of it every day. I don't see this addiction women are finally breaking free from anywhere.

You have strait hair, right ?
As someone with 3a hair, I know straitening can be an addiction (which I never had, but understand how it can happen). I know people who are really dependant.

I was 3 years old when I first started to hate my curls. And by hate, I do mean hate. This viceral rejection resulted in a life of bad haircare and lasted until I was about 27, around the time I found LHC a few years ago... and I found LHC because I decided my hair-related feelings were crazy, irrational, and that I needed to learn to love myself. I still have a hard time tolerating my natural curls loose all day, even though I do really like my healthy mane now and I know people think it's beautiful. Tying my hair up is the first neccesity when I get stressed, as if the (huge) hair makes me feel stuck sometimes.

When, in the past, an occasion would get me to go to the hairdresser to get ironed strait hair, I'd feel instantly so light, thiner, so pretty, etc. I still remember the feeling, the confidence boost, the instant positivity it would give me. Guys would look at me like I was sexy, rather than nice (which I don't like, so maybe that's why I was never addicted to ironing). No doubt people can can hooked on that though.

Very weird how powerful some thing can be when we give them power.

I think most curlies would agree that there is/was an insidious "strait trend" out there. Even curls in the media are usually "straitened" and not natural.

Charybdis
July 28th, 2013, 03:11 PM
Just...I had no idea straight hair was the norm (ever) and that flat ironing it is such a big deal it is called an addiction. I just find this article to be full of exaggerations... I also wonder if all over sudden if my hair is not in anymore, I should do something about it (not really). I have always adored curly hair and I see plenty of it every day. I don't see this addiction women are finally breaking free from anywhere.

The flat-ironing thing was really, really huge in the UK (and still is, to a large extent). I see more people of African descent in the UK who don't flat-iron than I do in the States, but an awful lot of white girls in the UK seem committed to frying their waves and curls into oblivion. I never have been entirely sure why....

jacqueline101
July 28th, 2013, 03:39 PM
I liked it. That's a great article.

goldenlady
July 28th, 2013, 04:15 PM
I found this so interesting! I was born in 93 in the UK and so was brought up on flat-ironed layered hair! I used the straighten my hair twice a day! You could actually smell the burn.. Now I'm such a hater of hair-straighteners - I use them on a night out on the lowest setting and with such trepidation! I liked this comment - 'According to Harvard academic Thom Hecht, "disciplined" hair symbolises "the unseen disciplined mind".' I'm a trainee teacher, during my first teaching practise I wore my hair loose and wavy everyday.. The deputy head didn't take me very seriously at first, suggesting that I seemed very soft. (I proved her wrong!) I'm blonde too so that didn't help... Now I always wear my hair up on the first day.. it seems to help me appear more serious!

ExpectoPatronum
July 28th, 2013, 04:22 PM
This article spoke to me on a spiritual level lol. I have kinda wavy hair, but I think I look so much nicer when it's sleek and straight. Breaking the habit of flat ironing my hair took a looong time.

Proximity
July 28th, 2013, 05:22 PM
I was just reading this article in the Guardian and thought, I wonder what all the girls over on LHC would make of this... an lo and behold, I came here and found there is already a thread all about it.

Like the poster above I was interested in the comments in the article about controlled hair being a sign of the controlled mind that is unseen. I am conscious of deciding what hairstyle to wear in different situations based on how I want to present. Since I can have what I think is quite a serious face I generally choose to try to appear approachable and wear my hair down in new situations. So I think for me the control is more about controlling the outside environment rather than the inside.

Interesting...

Kittney
July 28th, 2013, 06:51 PM
I found this so interesting! I was born in 93 in the UK and so was brought up on flat-ironed layered hair! I used the straighten my hair twice a day! You could actually smell the burn.. Now I'm such a hater of hair-straighteners - I use them on a night out on the lowest setting and with such trepidation! I liked this comment - 'According to Harvard academic Thom Hecht, "disciplined" hair symbolises "the unseen disciplined mind".' I'm a trainee teacher, during my first teaching practise I wore my hair loose and wavy everyday.. The deputy head didn't take me very seriously at first, suggesting that I seemed very soft. (I proved her wrong!) I'm blonde too so that didn't help... Now I always wear my hair up on the first day.. it seems to help me appear more serious!

Nice tip! My hair is usually down and blonde. I find that strangers often greet me as if I am going to be bubbly and outgoing they soon discover I am not....so for future job reference I want to avoid this first impression and be taken seriously.

Haybop
July 29th, 2013, 01:50 AM
Just...I had no idea straight hair was the norm (ever) and that flat ironing it is such a big deal it is called an addiction. I just find this article to be full of exaggerations... I also wonder if all over sudden if my hair is not in anymore, I should do something about it (not really). I have always adored curly hair and I see plenty of it every day. I don't see this addiction women are finally breaking free from anywhere.

I have two friends who both have to have perfect straight hair (they've never met each other, lord only knows what'd happen to the electricity bills). One friend straightens her shoulder length hair every one or two days (if the straightness lasts) and then makes sure she has product on to keep it straight. The other is a lot worse! She claims to have incredibly curly and frizzy hair but I've never seen it. She straightens it in the morning, in the evening, if she's gone out & it's been windy or raining - she can end up using her straighteners about 4/5 times a day. The damage would be incredible but she never has it longer than below her ears. She's almost as addicted to getting her hair cut as she is to keeping it straight.

LadyCelestina
July 29th, 2013, 02:33 AM
Hair tied up = control over your life?... What if you are just a lhcer ? :D

goldenlady
July 29th, 2013, 05:34 AM
Nice tip! My hair is usually down and blonde. I find that strangers often greet me as if I am going to be bubbly and outgoing they soon discover I am not....so for future job reference I want to avoid this first impression and be taken seriously.

Hahaa It's like if you have long blonde hair people assume you're like Hannah Montana.

MissAlida
July 29th, 2013, 06:12 AM
I have no idea why, but the whole time I was reading the article, it was as if Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City was reading it to me. Maybe it's the style of the article, or the topic...But it is a good article, and I feel it represents the current trend/reality very well. Thankfully, where I live, having curly hair is not viewed as something strange, but still, about 75% of young women wear their hair straightened with a flat iron. The rest wears it curly or wavy, and then there is a small number of women who wear it in a pixie or dreads. The "norm" around here (middle-eastern Europe) seems to be between shoulder and hip, layered and stick straight. I've had it straight, in a pixie, and now, curly BSL. From my experience, men like womens hair to be long, regardless of the texture. I have only met 2 men who liked it short.

sisi33
July 29th, 2013, 08:51 AM
Hair tied up = control over your life?... What if you are just a lhcer ? :D

Obviously, we are a dedicated, severe group of people, who never laugh, and are judging everyone we see. :p (This is so not true, just to clarify)

dancingrain91
July 29th, 2013, 09:11 AM
Just...I had no idea straight hair was the norm (ever) and that flat ironing it is such a big deal it is called an addiction. I just find this article to be full of exaggerations... I also wonder if all over sudden if my hair is not in anymore, I should do something about it (not really). I have always adored curly hair and I see plenty of it every day. I don't see this addiction women are finally breaking free from anywhere.

Clearly you don't live in my city where girls would literally be crying in the bathroom because the ends of their hair flipped slightly. It was crazy. A lot of people now are ditching that trend and adopting more curly and wavy looks. I have wavy hair and most the straighties I know will just use cheap gel to scrunch theirs. So this curly trend doesn't seem to have the profit of straightening. But oh well. Less murdered hair and more people IRL with waist-tailbone hair where I live at least.

chen bao jun
July 29th, 2013, 01:24 PM
In terms of feminism, I'm fighting for women's right to do whatever they want to their appearance without people judging them for it or automatically assuming they're doing it to appeal to men. And when I say women, that includes pole dancers.
I'm not a feminist so I have no horse in this race, but you do realize that pole dancing=doing it to appeal to men, don't you? I mean, that whole career path is entirely based on appealing to certain male instincts. Whether you want to call this feminism or not is up to you, but how many women do you know who would take their clothes off and clamber up poles in a raunchy manner in a dark bar full of liquored up guys solely for their own amusement (i.e. not getting tips for it from said guys)?
Sorry for the thread jack.

chen bao jun
July 29th, 2013, 01:26 PM
Any one who doesn't think straightening your hair can be a compulsion should talk to black women over a certain age.

chen bao jun
July 29th, 2013, 01:41 PM
Seemed a like a slow news day article to me. She really had nothing to say except that women care about how their hair looks and that hairstyles people think look good change over time. Duh. I'm glad she thinks she might think its okay not to straighten her hair eventually, but I really didn't see that she said anything more substantive than that, even though it was all wrapped up in the current intellectual jargon with a lot of examples, some of them dubious (I really don't believe that about the Kenyans and the blond-haired lady in the bridal dress. Probably they weren't so much expressing deep admiration as saying, my, she looks wierd, in a language that she hadn't bothered to learn, KWIM?) But it's nice when people link to articles and the discussion is interesting, even when the article said nothing to me personally...

Unicorn
July 29th, 2013, 02:26 PM
I found this so interesting! I was born in 93 in the UK and so was brought up on flat-ironed layered hair! I used the straighten my hair twice a day! You could actually smell the burn.. Now I'm such a hater of hair-straighteners - I use them on a night out on the lowest setting and with such trepidation! I liked this comment - 'According to Harvard academic Thom Hecht, "disciplined" hair symbolises "the unseen disciplined mind".' I'm a trainee teacher, during my first teaching practise I wore my hair loose and wavy everyday.. The deputy head didn't take me very seriously at first, suggesting that I seemed very soft. (I proved her wrong!) I'm blonde too so that didn't help... Now I always wear my hair up on the first day.. it seems to help me appear more serious!

This is interesting! As someone who always looked younger than my years, I scraped my hair back into a very severe style for work and rarely smiled (at work), for many years. It was the only way to be taken seriously. As I worked in systems maintenance (I.T.) I needed to be taken seriously in order to do my job. In my late twenties, people thought I was around 16-18! I always avoided displaying my "big hair" at work. As I've got older, I can relax a little. I allow more smiles and have allowed myself to grow locs, but still wear my hair scraped back and dress in a rather masculine way, for work.

Overly styled hair can still be a problem in many work environments for women. That the 'style' may simply be one's natural texture/curls/waves doesn't seem to matter in some environments. I think much of the straightening craze has been a symptom of this need avoid being viewed as a soft target in the work environment and city life in general. Curls are just softer in general, with many perceiving that as also being a softer person.

Unicorn

goldenlady
July 29th, 2013, 03:12 PM
I think it's just something psychological within us to believe that scraped back hair equals a more disciplined person. Whether this is innate or taught I'm not so sure. Within children's books and films there seems to be examples of this.. Miss Hardbroom and Prof McGonagall are both describes in The Worst Witch & Harry Potter as having tight buns.. making them appear strict and severe..