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diggem
March 11th, 2015, 11:39 AM
I have noticed that there are certain cultures that seem to have a propensity towards very long hair (classic length and beyond). Some examples I have seen are:


Hawaiian
Chinese
Japanese
Vietnamese
Indian
Russian
Polish

Why is this? What in these cultures encourage people to grow very long hair? What have your experiences been with various cultures? What cultures may I be missing?

Please let's not put any value judgements on our opinions. No culture is better than any other culture.

Thanks,

diggem

Breanna
March 11th, 2015, 12:09 PM
I found this neat essay on Hawaiian hair that you might like! (http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/03/10/native-hawaiian-hair-thick-blood-says-essay-winner-159330)

meteor
March 11th, 2015, 12:20 PM
Honestly, I don't see this at all. I've lived in multiple countries, and I think the only cultural difference I've noticed re: hair length on men and women is between urban/fashion-driven vs. more traditional approaches (and within each country you have both and even a lot more cultural layers). Even that generalization is a big stretch. I find it easier not to generalize like that, since personal choices happily override all that stuff anyway. ;)
I think I've seen more Classic+ hair down in the wild in NYC than in Moscow or Beijing or Mumbai! :hmm:

chen bao jun
March 11th, 2015, 02:37 PM
I think that some of this is modernization. A culture will love long hair and then they will get modernized and discover hair salons (which means bye-bye long hair). Some of it is urbanization, too. therefore, hair harvesters (people who want to buy hair for extensions) will have better look finding people that have virgin long hair to sell in the countryside in say, Ukraine, Poland, India or Brazil, while the fashionable urban ladies will be sporting 'styles' (and 'styles' are never long).

I will get shot for saying this, but there is a genetic component, too. There will tend to be people who are similar to each other genetically in traditional societies MOST of the time (i can think of some glaring exceptions, as for instance where I was born) and then it is a question of if the people in question have the genetics to grow really long hair or not. You can't make it part of your culture if your genetics do not allow. There is a reason why in traditional Japan (Heian) period, upper class ladies aimed for hair trailing behind them on the floor for a foot or two , and in traditional African societies, that was never a goal.

stachelbeere
March 11th, 2015, 02:47 PM
I kind of agree with the fact that Polish girls culturally have long hair (by long I mean BSL - BCL, mostly MBL - WL) - especially in folklore and literature. I know of a few protagonists in Polish literature with a long braid. Two of them are: Zosia (http://ii.forum.mojeosiedle.pl/6e/4c/pan_tadeusz_movie_zosia_120.jpg) - this is a frame from the film that was made from the "book" - a very LHC appropriate picture hehe.
Another one is Helena (http://41.media.tumblr.com/200a97cb51d467430ce73a04be82378c/tumblr_n1qbaoSM7e1qfg0tlo2_500.jpg) - another frame from the fillm. In the book there was a description that she was able to wrap her braid around herself and her lover/ husband.

All this is tradition... my mum always cut my hair short and I've had short hair all my life until I started growing it long actively and I know and see so many girls with short hair (usually it's stylish and well-groomed). However, in my town I observe many girls and young women with long hair (aged 20 - 30). My town is very interesting because there are soo many students who come here to study and they move from all kinds of different places. I don't really know what the view on long hair is in the places they come from to be honest... whether and how it is encouraged.

One thing I find really interesting though is that fact that I learned about the concept that "long hair is sexy, feminine, short hair is not sexy" here on LHC - I'm referring to these articles that are linked here once in a while (do you know which ones I'm talking about?). I never knew about this concept, same with "cutting your hair once you're over 30/ get married/ have kids etc." All my life I had short hair and I didn't feel "stigmatised" and I think that Polish people don't have this concept...

JellyBene
March 11th, 2015, 03:08 PM
I know some religions prohibit the cutting of hair. Perhaps some countries simply don't put as much emphasis on hair and it's more of a benign neglect thing? For example in America most women have their hair colored, and heat styled in some way but I know that in France most women have their natural color and texture.

stachelbeere
March 11th, 2015, 03:17 PM
JellyBene - there might be some truth in that... (the benign neglect thing) I have never ever seen anyone use a curling iron in Poland and Germany (two countries I grew up in) - I wouldn't really know how to use one. Girls mainly use hair straighteners (also to create curls) - but because I have straight hair I never saw the point in using one...?

However, when I moved to the US (Montana) for a scholarship I learned that styling your hair with a curling iron is a thing. So I bought one and was the only person I know who owned one back home ;)

Kina
March 11th, 2015, 03:23 PM
You missed Latinos :)

I was not allowed to cut my hair until I was an "adult" defined as married. Little girls usually have long hair, until at least adulthood, when they are allowed to make decisions about it. My hair is relatively long for where I am (just hitting BCL), but it isn't considered really long by my culture.

luvlonghair75
March 11th, 2015, 04:21 PM
I grew up being told it was a "sin" to cut hair short yet mother kept mine and my sister's hair length trimmed to mid-back. When my eldest sister cut her own hair to shoulder length, all he// broke loose! lol
When my mom eased off trimming my hair in my teens, I grew it out to waist length and kept it at that for several years so long as she didn't have the scissors! Now, I've had my hubby trim my hair maybe once or twice year and now, after having gawked at my looong hair from way back when, I'm committed now to continue to grow it out!

neko_kawaii
March 11th, 2015, 04:27 PM
In my area people with tailbone or longer hair (and wear it down) tend to be Latino or Native American.

lapushka
March 11th, 2015, 04:38 PM
I don't think it's so much a cultural thing, but an age thing. Teens and people in their early twenties usually have longer hair, then once the mid-twenties are there, out come the scissors.

neko_kawaii
March 11th, 2015, 05:19 PM
I don't think it's so much a cultural thing, but an age thing. Teens and people in their early twenties usually have longer hair, then once the mid-twenties are there, out come the scissors.
Also highly regional and, ah, cultural!

chen bao jun
March 11th, 2015, 07:31 PM
Where I live it is, among the white women, partly a political thing. past a certain age anyway. If you see a woman in her 40s with hair past APL, she is a conservative home school mom with traditional values. Not necessarily religious, but it tends to go together. Hair past mid back at any age is assumed to be religious or 'hillbilly. '

Working women or working mom's don't have hair past shoulder if they are over 30 and not longer than a pixie if they are over 40.

Latina, Asian Indian and Asian and middle Eastern women, if immigrant, long hair,I mean like classic long, if born in US daughter, they follow the Caucasian model, the business woman one.

Women of African descent, inner city, extremely long hair weaves, recently from Africa or the islands, hair weaves and braided extensions, but not as long, and not usually blonde or red, college girls on the way up may have hair weaves if they are from a certain background but if they are middle class, extremely likely to have natural hair and in that case, you won't see it if it's long, it will be buneed up. If they are mixed race or white adopted, they pretty much always have natural hair and are more likely to wear an afro or something more on the wild side. This would be mixed race with African hairtype. Mixed race with Caucasian hairtype follow the Caucasian model.

Older professional black women sometimes have natural hair, if they do its very cropped and tidy, most of them straighten their hair is some way and wear Michelle Obama type hairstyles (they aren't copying her, she fits this model), this is the only group of black women who think your haIr can be too long and who if they have long hair (defined as past shoulder ) will cut it.

teddygirl
March 11th, 2015, 08:16 PM
native americans also.

diggem
March 12th, 2015, 10:04 AM
I know some religions prohibit the cutting of hair. Perhaps some countries simply don't put as much emphasis on hair and it's more of a benign neglect thing? For example in America most women have their hair colored, and heat styled in some way but I know that in France most women have their natural color and texture.

Good point. The Traditional Pentecostal religion uses 1 Corinthians 11:15 as their reasoning for why women should have long hair (the previous verse is the reasoning by men should not have long hair).

diggem

DweamGoiL
March 12th, 2015, 10:29 AM
I live in NYC and we have a bit of everything and all social and cultural values and hangups. I live in an area that is predominantly north Asian and a few blocks away, we have a strong south Asian community. I see longer hair within south Asians. They tend to be more traditional with dress and appearance. The northern Asians tend to follow the fashion trends (bleaching, coloring, curling, straightening...chemicals, more chemicals, and scissors). We have a smaller Latin community and most consider it to be a status symbol to be able to afford overprocessing and cutting your hair. Extensions (with or without braiding and/or twists) are big among the African American peeps. We also have a few Pacific islanders, and they also tend to keep the hair between BSL and MBL as a norm although a lot of the women also rock highlights and bleach regularly.

In the office drone world, women in their early 20's, sport long hair and once they reach mid 20's, they start trimming back to about shoulder length. What is interesting is that now, many women in their late 30's and 40's have longer hair (by this I mean BSL, MBL not long by LHC standards). I am in my 40's and maintain between WL and HL and I am an annomaly. I don't see too many women that fit this model. I tend to keep mine layered so it has a flair of style and does not become an issue in the workplace. I am lucky my office is pretty forgiving, I also wear several hoops in my ears, and a nose ring and in some offices further Uptown in Manhattan that is a HUGE no no!

Medievalmaniac
March 13th, 2015, 01:10 PM
Let me trouble this thread a bit: I'm a caucasian woman, 40, married with two kids, getting my PhD, socially liberal and fiscally conservative, of Anglo-Irish and Germanic descent, and a fantasy fiction reader and writer, gamer, runner, dancer, singer, actress, and artist. So--essentially, none of the things that have been listed as contributing to a long hair culture. I really think that, while there are certainly some cultures and religions that promote long hair in women, much of it has to do simply with personal taste. I love long hair, I always have, and once I realized the only thing keeping me from having it myself was my choices, that was that. :)

gingeralex
March 13th, 2015, 02:17 PM
Here (UK) there's a good chunk of the middle aged hippie/folky ladies who have long hair. And as far as I can tell we don't really have religious trends in hair length. South asian girls (of varying religion) are the group most likely to have hair past waist length I think. And there's a number of teen/early twenties girls with mid back/waist length hair, but it's usually layered and over heat styled. Old ladies tend to go for short and permed, pretty universally.

With men, long hair is either a religious thing (if it's under a turban) or a signifier of being a part of some kind of subculture (hippie/folky, geek, goth etc.)

MINAKO
March 13th, 2015, 02:36 PM
I pretty much agree with most cultures mentioned on the list, but traditionally there would be a lot more countries to be added. As for Japan, i hardly see any women these days wearing super long hair, waist to hip at most and colored outside traditional ways in any variation of reddish brown shades. I think its more important to japanese women to walk along the line of a fashionably professional appearance than a taditional one. Aside from excessive length they pay alot of attention to their hair tho, just like koreans or chinese, no matter what style or color, you dont see as many heads effed up from doing too much chemical harm.

VisionOne
March 13th, 2015, 02:38 PM
I agree with lapushka. In Sweden, where I live it is in fashion among young girls (teen to mid twenties) to have long hair (around MBL to hip) while older women wear their hair shorter. I have not lived in other countries so I can not speak for other cultures but when I visited India and South America a lot of the older women, as well as the younger girls, had long, gorgeus hair.

thankyousir74
March 13th, 2015, 03:00 PM
also add Hispanic to that list. My mother literally cried when I cut my hair short during my teen years.

lapushka
March 13th, 2015, 04:44 PM
I agree with lapushka. In Sweden, where I live it is in fashion among young girls (teen to mid twenties) to have long hair (around MBL to hip) while older women wear their hair shorter. I have not lived in other countries so I can not speak for other cultures but when I visited India and South America a lot of the older women, as well as the younger girls, had long, gorgeus hair.

I live in the EU (Belgium), forgot to mention that.

Shibe
March 13th, 2015, 09:41 PM
I live in a very highly concentrated Spanish speaking part of the state, and tail bone seems to be the most common length here.

chen bao jun
March 14th, 2015, 08:33 PM
bump extra characters

Shibe
March 15th, 2015, 02:27 AM
You missed Latinos :)

I was not allowed to cut my hair until I was an "adult" defined as married. Little girls usually have long hair, until at least adulthood, when they are allowed to make decisions about it. My hair is relatively long for where I am (just hitting BCL), but it isn't considered really long by my culture.

I'm Latina and I had my hair cut many many times when I was young. Perhaps it's different family to family?

Beezle
March 15th, 2015, 04:00 AM
I live in an Arabic country where long hair is the norm. Of course it's not visible, but even under the headscarf, an extra fluffy clip is used to enhance the size of the bun often to enormous proportions. In younger girls before they cover it is quite common to see classic length but I suspect that it doesn't stay at classic for most women after covering.

Kina
March 15th, 2015, 08:37 AM
I'm Latina and I had my hair cut many many times when I was young. Perhaps it's different family to family?

quite possible. my grandfather was a strict pentecostal, which had a great deal of influence. there's also the fact that for many, having long hair was 'country' and a factor in having "styled" hair. if you watch novelas, you only see the poor or country girls with long hair...

picklepie
March 15th, 2015, 09:34 AM
Let me trouble this thread a bit: I'm a caucasian woman, 40, married with two kids, getting my PhD, socially liberal and fiscally conservative, of Anglo-Irish and Germanic descent, and a fantasy fiction reader and writer, gamer, runner, dancer, singer, actress, and artist. So--essentially, none of the things that have been listed as contributing to a long hair culture. I really think that, while there are certainly some cultures and religions that promote long hair in women, much of it has to do simply with personal taste. I love long hair, I always have, and once I realized the only thing keeping me from having it myself was my choices, that was that. :)

I think you fit in quite well with the non-immigrant culture that I see rocking the long hair most often in my part of the world: bohemian/creative-class culture seems rife with long hair. Maybe you don't consider that a "culture", but it certainly forms the basis of many people's identities, and is readily identifiable even at a distance. :)

picklepie
March 15th, 2015, 09:38 AM
I live in an Arabic country where long hair is the norm. Of course it's not visible, but even under the headscarf, an extra fluffy clip is used to enhance the size of the bun often to enormous proportions. In younger girls before they cover it is quite common to see classic length but I suspect that it doesn't stay at classic for most women after covering.

Oh, interesting. Is it just too much maintenance, do you think? Or are there other factors?

endlessly
March 15th, 2015, 10:51 AM
In my family, long hair is actually pretty abnormal as I'm currently the only one. I'm a mix of Swedish, Norwegian, German, and Native American, which is very common where I live, and since I've never actually been to any of those countries, it's impossible for me to know about their beliefs towards long hair. However, that being said, I've had plenty of people with some of the backgrounds you'd mentioned pay very close attention and praise me for my long hair - especially those of Asian descent and those from the Middle East, so long hair definitely must be considered more appealing/beautiful in their cultures than it is here. In the States, I tend to hear that my hair is too long and that it's too outdated, so I always appreciate when someone from a different background praises me for growing it long - they seem to be the only ones who understand how difficult it actually is to have long, healthy hair!

Avital88
March 15th, 2015, 12:01 PM
You can add Israeli and arab girls to the list. In many cultures i noticed that long thick hair is a status symbol.

chen bao jun
March 15th, 2015, 12:32 PM
I live in an Arabic country where long hair is the norm. Of course it's not visible, but even under the headscarf, an extra fluffy clip is used to enhance the size of the bun often to enormous proportions. In younger girls before they cover it is quite common to see classic length but I suspect that it doesn't stay at classic for most women after covering.
Camel hump hijab.
But isn't that haram?
does the hair not stay at classic due to the covering? I hear different things. Some hijabis say that their hair is great condition because its covered when they go out and some say that the hijab and that cotton thing that goes under it to make it stay on, I forget the name, dries your hair out and makes it hard to keep in good condition and in some cases actually leads to at least a little traction alopecia.
Or is it simply that once women become mothers they do less pampering their hair, figuring nobody sees it anyway under the hijab so that hair is in bad condition?
Do share.

chen bao jun
March 15th, 2015, 12:44 PM
quite possible. my grandfather was a strict pentecostal, which had a great deal of influence. there's also the fact that for many, having long hair was 'country' and a factor in having "styled" hair. if you watch novelas, you only see the poor or country girls with long hair...

I wish I knew how to multi quote, I'm sure I'm not supposed to be making multiple posts like this.

Even without being pentecostal, which would be rare, I know that living right next to Mexico (like literally across the street in some cases) like a lot of my paternal family (all Catholics except my dad) the older members valued their long hair and wanted to have enough hair as adults to be able to do a bun, the bigger the better at the nape of the neck. They didn't consider it 'country.' (they did consider speaking Spanish to be 'country' unfortunately, with the result that my dad's generation weren't taught). Long vs. short hair was a generational thing rather than an urban vs. rural thing.

The older members (grandmother's generation), you have to have long hair; the next generation (my dad's, born in the 1920's and 1930's), younger and up-to-date, you got a 'bob' and styled it, except if something trumped this (one aunt got a bob and her hair turned into an afro, which was considered to be a disaster so she grew it out long again in spite of the unstylishness and wore a braid, bunned sometimes but kind of felt the bun was old-school and un-modern); my generation, everyone started to use chemical relaxing to take care of close to type 4 hairtypes, instead of the older methods of doobies, giant hair curlers and directed brushing, with the result that suddenly everyone had much shorter hair, same gene pool but suddenly no one can grow down to waist anymore, much less hip, everyone is APL or shorter; generation under mine, my nieces and nephews (now ranging age 30-40), still the same gene pool, extension and hair weave city.

Even if you have hair.
One of my nieces got married recently, has thick BSL hair and always has had, got it braided up and attached premium Indian Yaki whatever hair (I don't know the terms) that cost thousands of dollars anyway, because apparently its prestigious, people judge your hairweaves and their cost (which they all know), the way some men judge your prestige by the make of your car.

meteor
March 15th, 2015, 12:55 PM
I wish I knew how to multi quote...

You can multi-quote this way:
- first, click on the little quotation sign on the far right corner of the first person you want to quote,
- do the same with the next person you want to quote,
- when you need to quote the last person, click on "Reply With Quote".

HTH :flower:

chen bao jun
March 15th, 2015, 01:00 PM
thanks meteor

Sharysa
March 15th, 2015, 01:21 PM
In California we have a lot of immigrants from Asia and South/Central America, so "long hair" in the LHC sense (natural color/texture) is fairly common among those. Among my fellow American-born friends, I'm uncommon but not extremely rare for having hip-length and natural hair.

Pretty much every Western-in-culture person with hair as long as mine either has straightened or heat-curled hair (natural waves or curls are odd). Asians and many blacks straighten their hair, but many of my black friends have their natural texture.

People tend to mistake me for mixed-race a LOT due to the waves. Asians with naturally wavy or curly hair are almost unheard of in America (Sandra Oh is the only actress I can think of known to have natural curls), because the "straight hair" ideal is even more ingrained in Asian culture than in Western culture. Even I heat-straightened my hair in high school, but that was partly because I made the mistake of getting layers and partly because it was too short (shoulder to APL) to wave properly.

Interestingly enough, Mom immigrated from the Philippines (among the top Westernized countries in Asia) and she disapproves of me having long hair for three reasons:

1) I look like a witch when it's down. (And now I really want to be cast as Elphaba in Wicked for the irony. "YOU SAID I LOOK LIKE A WITCH, MOM? NOW I'M ON BROADWAY. XD")

2) I look older. (Which is actually a good thing because I still look like a teenager in my twenties, due to my build and possibly my face.)

3) I look like a country/tribe girl. (She's from just outside Manila, and urban Filipinos aren't very approving of rural or indigenous people.)

Hairkay
March 15th, 2015, 01:32 PM
I know that in some areas in the Caribbean there's a long hair thing going on complete with their own long hairstyles. I once went to a school where I was one of the short haired at BSL. Other places I've been to BSL was medium and some places that was long hair. My big sis had to hide and cut her hair in secret when she was a teen because girls cutting hair was not allowed. Most of the short haired around had short hair due to breakage problems not because of choice.

DweamGoiL
March 15th, 2015, 02:29 PM
quite possible. my grandfather was a strict pentecostal, which had a great deal of influence. there's also the fact that for many, having long hair was 'country' and a factor in having "styled" hair. if you watch novelas, you only see the poor or country girls with long hair...

This is really true. I am Latina also and when I was about 6ish or so had long CL hair. Around 7, my mother cut my hair to a pixie because she could not deal with combing it and such. She also abhorred long hair because to her it signified not being fashionable and westernized. In her mind, it was like Who would want that? I hated the pixie, but that is yet another story.

In my family currently, there are no women with long hair except for one of my cousins because as Kina stated it is associated with poverty, not being educated, being overly stuck in traditional values, etc. The connotations for keeping long hair are not good. Only very old school Latins or religious folks usually keep their hair really long. I personally don't care about the social implications so I wear my hair as I please. I can't be bothered with other people's preconceptions and so on. I am just me, and if my 'look' doesn't fit into a neat little box, so be it!

Greg
March 15th, 2015, 03:53 PM
Don't forget heavy metal culture!

:rockerdud

Beatnik Guy
March 15th, 2015, 04:19 PM
The most super-long hair I have seen was in Myanmar /Burma and Sri Lanka. Many times every day, past knee. :)

humble_knight
October 28th, 2015, 08:37 AM
Don't forget heavy metal culture!

:rockerdud

During my few years living in eastern Europe, I noticed a distinct association between heavy metal and long hair, in men and women alike. The long-haired folk I tended to see were either Metalheads, Hippies/Bohemians, or from rural villages. I noticed that the pace of change was much more slow in comparison to life in the west where everything can change very quickly. The other thing I noticed was that like in most countries, the perception of how one must look as one enters middle age has changed drastically. Many retain their long hair into their 40s and 50s simply because they can and there are no clear distinctions between how a young person must look and someone of more senior years.

Mention was made of south Asians. Leaving religion to one side for a moment, I think long hair is very common in all of south Asia. Whether they carry it with them as part of their identity if they emigrate to other countries depends on the individual. My mum had floorlength hair and wore saris when she lived in Bangladesh. When she immigrated to England with my dad, she was advised to wear 'English' clothes and to cut her hair into something more 'acceptable,' which would show locals that she was trying to integrate into English society.

Idreamlong
October 28th, 2015, 09:17 AM
I’m late to this thread and haven’t read all of the replies so apologies if I am repeating anyone.

I’m in my late 20’s (28) and am from the UK. The trend/ fashion over here in ALL areas is long hair, by ‘long’ though, I mean BSL, or just beyond.

In your teens/ 20’s and 30’s, it is fashionable and ‘attractive’ to have BSL hair.

There is a big trend then for women in their 40’s to have shoulder length/ APL hair and that seems to be what is deemed ‘acceptable’

50’s and beyond, yes, you do see a lot of cropped/ bobbed/ shorter styles.

I am obviously now re-starting the journey in my late 20’s to the BSL (and possibly a bit longer) hair I had throughout my teens. I won’t realistically reach BSL until I’m 29, so I’ll be dammed if I am cutting it shorter after that for at least another 10 years!!

Thinking about it, if you think of most female celebrities nowadays, of all ages, nearly ALL of them have long hair, whether that’s extensions or real.

Long hair to me is much more feminine and just seems to flatter people’s looks more than short hair. I don’t think I know anyone that looks better with short hair compared to long (female) although I’m sure they do exist.

truepeacenik
October 28th, 2015, 09:26 AM
In California we have a lot of immigrants from Asia and South/Central America, so "long hair" in the LHC sense (natural color/texture) is fairly common among those. Among my fellow American-born friends, I'm uncommon but not extremely rare for having hip-length and natural hair.

Pretty much every Western-in-culture person with hair as long as mine either has straightened or heat-curled hair (natural waves or curls are odd). Asians and many blacks straighten their hair, but many of my black friends have their natural texture.

People tend to mistake me for mixed-race a LOT due to the waves. Asians with naturally wavy or curly hair are almost unheard of in America (Sandra Oh is the only actress I can think of known to have natural curls), because the "straight hair" ideal is even more ingrained in Asian culture than in Western culture. Even I heat-straightened my hair in high school, but that was partly because I made the mistake of getting layers and partly because it was too short (shoulder to APL) to wave properly.

Interestingly enough, Mom immigrated from the Philippines (among the top Westernized countries in Asia) and she disapproves of me having long hair for three reasons:

1) I look like a witch when it's down. (And now I really want to be cast as Elphaba in Wicked for the irony. "YOU SAID I LOOK LIKE A WITCH, MOM? NOW I'M ON BROADWAY. XD")

2) I look older. (Which is actually a good thing because I still look like a teenager in my twenties, due to my build and possibly my face.)

3) I look like a country/tribe girl. (She's from just outside Manila, and urban Filipinos aren't very approving of rural or indigenous people.)


Working near you and people watching a lot, I mostly agree with this. With the glaring exception of a mixed Black/Fiipino male colleague, who has fabulous curly mid back hair, I have correlated long hair in the Filipino community with high school and younger females, with the occasional guy in a longish hair social subculture. (Gamer, goth, hippieish)
East Asians and Subcontinental Asians dribble long into college and very early professional careers, and might entertain BSL at older ages.

African American and other black diaspora women (we do get some islanders, South Americans and the like- the European-African-Native and possibly Asian backgrounds) seem to have stronger age points, with political views and sexual orientation at play.
Hair pieces, extensions or weaves pop up in the teen years (mostly clip ins.) once earning, I see more weaves, and they can transition to wigs with longer natural hair underneath in the 40-60 range. Some do have cute crops, but I feel a lot of braids coiling up the back of the skull. (Yes, I get permission to touch. But they are paying me to touch, so I get more yeses)
I see a lot of fabulous natural hair, too.

Shorter, meaning above shoulder, is either very fashion forward with an edgy vibe, lesbian/boi/post dreadlock.

In the Caucasian women, hair is a playtoy, a pride, or a wash and wear issue.
Very short is again, edgy, lesbian/bio/butch/ post dreads. Or a newly ordained monk from the Buddhist communities. We have several, but the ones attracting westerners tend to be Tibetan or Zen. We have Thai and other Theravada temples, too.


I'd say that I see layers: long hair culture in recent immigrant families ties to the homeland. In the westernized family members, it becomes subcultural or fashion. I also see the third generation swing back to the grandparents ethos.
(Think of the family where grandpa was Orthodox, the American born or raised generation assimilated and the next generation saw a rabbi or two.)

littlestarface
October 28th, 2015, 09:35 AM
Id say culturally long hair is highly recommended with some mexicans and arabs but thats just what ive been around and know from my families. like when were little we dont ever cut our hair at all, my dad wouldve flipped out at my mom looool In skool every little mexican girl had super long hair lol the only ones who didnt were like maybe 1 or 2 of them but i did go to a very small skool in the country so mostly we were all in farmer families.

RavenRose
October 28th, 2015, 04:47 PM
I think long hair culture here in the Midwest is more about what subculture you are apart of. I never really heard of after blank age is must be short.

Coming from a poor background- it has never been very fashion oriented, there are obviously exceptions, teens and 20 something's mostly, or rockabillies. To be honest many feel the fashion forward are frivolous and/or vain- and is sort of frowned upon unless young or have a valid reason- Ie professional office. I would say longer natural/unprocessed hair (BSl +) was actually common for most ages- except the older grandmas. On another note short hair was common also, and unless it was shorter than a pixie, was never thought of as butch.

Some religious sects value long hair, but they almost always wore the demin floor length skirts, unless Amish or Mennonite- but they hair up or covered.

I also know a lot of pagans/hippies/medieval geeks, and hubby is in the metal head/gamer set- both of which long hair is quite common.

In rural areas I do see more older ladies with longer hair, than in the cities.



Being immersed firmly in the middle class the past couple of years- Hair is more important and a bit more of a status. People spend a lot more time dyeing/bleaching, striating, blowdrying etc... I am at APL and there is only one other women in the office with hair below her collar. Although a few of the factory workers associated with the office have bsl+ hair.

SexyWitch
October 28th, 2015, 06:25 PM
People in my area who have long hair are Latinas and Amish, Mennonites and Brethren. I don't know why the first group grows out their hair, but the Anabaptists do because of the Bible verse "But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering."

yahirwaO.o
October 28th, 2015, 09:51 PM
Well here in mexico is a mixture of western approach and age group.

Most rural, countryside often indigenous women have proper LHC typical hair. Georgeous one lenght natural texture dark color and often in simple twin braids, a ponytail or a bun. Waist lenght till knee lengh is common.

Most women in city have shorter styles and those who have long-ish hair is often dryed and hair extensions going on. Heat styling is usually done with a straightner for younger gals, perms with older women and even curlers on public.

The mantra with little girls is often waist lenght hair, no matter texture. Older wealthy or mid class women have shorter pixie styles but working class poor women often have super long hair.

... and men are pretty boring here, but us guys who decide to grow our hair is usually georgeous and shiny!!! :o... and here is mexico we have some pretty bad ass metal culture as well!

chen bao jun
October 29th, 2015, 06:33 AM
I have been seeing longer hair in American mainstream culture for about 5 yearsvnow.
especially in younger women.
Recently I have seen college age girls complain that their APL or BSL hair is short. They want waist or hip, which many now have.
I don't know if it will get cut off wh e n order.
I do notice that among white Caucasians both women and men 50 to 65 have long hair if they were/are counter culture. Ex hippies cut their hair when they needed jobs in their 30 s and now that they retired they want it back.

And Hairkay is right, african diaspora women most often have h a ir length based on damsge, not choice. The older women will have shorter natural hair or wig s and have stopped wearing weaves not because they don't prefer longer hair but because their hair will stand up to the horrible abuse of weaves perms extensions high heat etc no mor e.

littlestarface
October 29th, 2015, 09:24 AM
Well here in mexico is a mixture of western approach and age group.

Most rural, countryside often indigenous women have proper LHC typical hair. Georgeous one lenght natural texture dark color and often in simple twin braids, a ponytail or a bun. Waist lenght till knee lengh is common.

Most women in city have shorter styles and those who have long-ish hair is often dryed and hair extensions going on. Heat styling is usually done with a straightner for younger gals, perms with older women and even curlers on public.

The mantra with little girls is often waist lenght hair, no matter texture. Older wealthy or mid class women have shorter pixie styles but working class poor women often have super long hair.

... and men are pretty boring here, but us guys who decide to grow our hair is usually georgeous and shiny!!! :o... and here is mexico we have some pretty bad ass metal culture as well!

agreed the men always have more prettier hair then us always lol

pailin
October 29th, 2015, 10:01 AM
Here, until recently most of the women kept long hair. School girls are not allowed long hair, so they all have the identical chin-length bob (unless in private school; apparently they're allowed longer hair, but it must be braided). They're allowed somewhat longer hair in high school. So that means long hair goes with being grown-up. The way it was explained to me was that only little girls and old ladies have short hair. One of my friends actually cut her hair and got told it didn't look good, for that reason. Now, in the past few years short hair for 20's and 30's agd women has been becoming fashionable, but I still see a lot of long hair. Not usually past waist / hip, though.

Arete
October 29th, 2015, 10:08 AM
Hmmm. Here in the midwest I've noticed a trend to "longer hair (BSLish) in adults and waist-hip length in young adults in teens. I've never really gotten any negative comments about my hair, but I also think it's because people usually mistake me to be 3-5 years young than I actually am and it's "acceptable" for highschoolers to have long hair. Being TBL, I'm getting to the unusual point, but there were a handful of girls on my campus with CL hair. It was uncommon, but not a rarity.

Sweets
October 29th, 2015, 06:14 PM
I know a young woman that I work with who is an Islander - she has never, ever cut her hair. I was commenting on her gorgeous locks and she told me that in her culture, a woman is not allowed to cut her hair unless her father passes or she gets married. I thought that was very interesting.

I always had very long hair, and my entire family is pro-longhair. My dad has longer hair than me right now! And growing up, both of my brothers had shoulder length hair while I could sit on mine. We were NOT the norm (Texas - Dallas - 90's).

Mavi
November 30th, 2015, 12:35 PM
What interests me in the interesting shift in hair trends that I have observed in my general area. I live in a pretty big city and it seems like two big things are happening. Women in their 20s are all cutting their hair shoulder length (think Taylor Swift's hairstyle), I feel like I'm watching people do this in droves. Secondly, there has been a massive increase in men growing their hair long and adopting the "man-bun" style, but also just letting their hair go free.

chen bao jun
November 30th, 2015, 04:51 PM
The Taylor Swift haircut hasn't come here yet. I jsut looked it up. Its very cute (at least on Taylor Swift)--and also looks as if it will need like, incredible maintenance to keep looking like that. You'd be at a hairdresser very, very often (I'm thinking at least once a month) to keep that length and those layers in it in from looking raggedy, which is I suppose is the point.

MsPharaohMoan
November 30th, 2015, 08:03 PM
Looks like a regular ol shoulder length bob to me :shrug:

turtlelover
November 30th, 2015, 08:40 PM
I'm in a city in the midwest part of the USA. I see a trend for longer hair on younger girls (through mid 20s) though a lot of the hair is overprocessed w/ dye and fried w/ heat styling. 30s and up tend to be more likely to have shoulder length through APL. It seems at 50 that the trend for REALLY short hair begins, though a small percentage of women will keep their hair at shoulder length or just below. At 40, I don't feel particularly out of place with APL hair, but if it were waist length, it would probably seem more unusual, though even in the 40s age bracket, I think the hair is tending to get a bit longer lately. I'd say some sort of layering is the norm also. I think layering is seen as more "current" though I am noticing a very subtle shift towards blunt cuts in the younger age brackets. I would say longer hair is more common w/ older women in some of the minority communities -- Latino, Asian, and Indian come to mind right away.

poli
December 1st, 2015, 12:52 AM
It's not much of cultural observation, but I live near 2 high schools and they both have different fads. One - most of young people wear they hair natural (colour and textures) and quite long (both boys and girls), second - girls experiment with dye, bleach and haircuts and boys tend toward buzzed haircuts. I think nowadays hairstyles are more of the fashion thing then cultural requirement, so the group you are in or things you watch or listen to tend to influence a personal tastes.

Waffle
December 1st, 2015, 04:28 AM
It's not much of cultural observation, but I live near 2 high schools and they both have different fads. One - most of young people wear they hair natural (colour and textures) and quite long (both boys and girls), second - girls experiment with dye, bleach and haircuts and boys tend toward buzzed haircuts. I think nowadays hairstyles are more of the fashion thing then cultural requirement, so the group you are in or things you watch or listen to tend to influence a personal tastes.

Thats how I see it now that everyone is connected through the internet they see more hait styles they like.

Ve
December 1st, 2015, 08:09 AM
Living in Costa Rica

70% girls under 25 have Waist to Tailbone length hair
30% older women than 30 have Waist to Tailbone length

I rarely see classic or longer... they don't seen to grow past the butt

But the hairdressers have still stuck their noses in there and the common style is to have it cut in a deep V with the shortest angle at the shoulder down to tailbone at center back.... such a shame on their beautiful straight locks....I'd love to say STOP IT!!!

chen bao jun
December 1st, 2015, 08:13 AM
I'm in a city in the midwest part of the USA. I see a trend for longer hair on younger girls (through mid 20s) though a lot of the hair is overprocessed w/ dye and fried w/ heat styling. 30s and up tend to be more likely to have shoulder length through APL. It seems at 50 that the trend for REALLY short hair begins, though a small percentage of women will keep their hair at shoulder length or just below. At 40, I don't feel particularly out of place with APL hair, but if it were waist length, it would probably seem more unusual, though even in the 40s age bracket, I think the hair is tending to get a bit longer lately. I'd say some sort of layering is the norm also. I think layering is seen as more "current" though I am noticing a very subtle shift towards blunt cuts in the younger age brackets. I would say longer hair is more common w/ older women in some of the minority communities -- Latino, Asian, and Indian come to mind right away.

This sounds exactly like where I am in the mid-Atlantic. Its shifting slightly infavor of longer hair in the past 2 years. In high school and on college campuses, you now see longer hair than in the past, quite often mid-back or longer and they all want waist or hip--a lucky few have it. Also the little girls (under high school) quite often have waist or even classic now. And the older set, women in their thirties will have BSL now an d there are a fair amount of women over 50 with APL but its not the norm. I think that's mostly because they can't it to grow though. That is, the 50 plus set mostly has dyed and processed hair that's damaged so they keep it shorter, its not because they think that longer hair is a bad thing. If you are over 50 and you have longer hair people are likely to ask how you get it to look nice and say that they can't do it and chopped because of that, not that you require a haircut.

Amapola
December 1st, 2015, 08:32 AM
In my state there are over 20 different tribes of Native Americans. Many of them wear long hair, including the men where it is a tradition among many of the tribes for the men to wear their hair in a bun. These differ from tribe to tribe. The women too will wear buns. Therefore it's difficult to say how long the hair is. But generally, long hair in my area is fairly common: by "long" I mean, waist length or longer.

As far as culture goes... in at least some cases, people do what is relatively easy for them to do. I live way out in the sticks on a ranch. When I go to town to do errands I see other women who also live way out on a ranch, and most of us have long hair (=waist or longer) because for one thing, it's hard to keep going in to town to have your hair cut. You generally need an appointment and life can be a little unpredictable out here. So while these women may be keeping their hair long due to a desire to keep it so, it's also way more convenient not to keep having to go in to have it trimmed!

Oh yes, and you may wonder how I know these women live on ranches. Because they go to the same type stores I do to buy things like feed and hay. Someone having one ton of cattle feed loaded in their truck does not live in a city! :lol:

mira-chan
December 2nd, 2015, 12:10 PM
In Russia traditionally a long, thick braid without taper is admired as the old (19th century and earlier) ideal of beauty for women. Those with such braid will get compliments still mostly... and offers to buy/ sell their hair. <_< Heck, even my tapering braid got the dubious offer... thanks grandpa, but no thanks. My tapered braid is not looked on with favor. Trims are recommended, usually to where the taper starts. There is definitely a whole industry of herbal and "traditional" hair treatments, both in magazines and in stores.

What I generally see though is girls with braids, some quite long, till about middle school age or high school, and then they cut it. It is not uncommon to see ladies of 70-80 years old with buns though, usually also covered with a scarf. In the middle, it's around BSL or shorter for most people I've seen when visiting.

As for Japan, The Heian ideal is that of 1000 years ago, and for a very select few people (court nobility). Though hair was generally long 100 years ago, it was mostly not that long.

chen bao jun
December 2nd, 2015, 12:29 PM
In Russia traditionally a long, thick braid without taper is admired as the old (19th century and earlier) ideal of beauty for women. Those with such braid will get compliments still mostly... and offers to buy/ sell their hair. <_< Heck, even my tapering braid got the dubious offer... thanks grandpa, but no thanks. My tapered braid is not looked on with favor. Trims are recommended, usually to where the taper starts. There is definitely a whole industry of herbal and "traditional" hair treatments, both in magazines and in stores.

What I generally see though is girls with braids, some quite long, till about middle school age or high school, and then they cut it. It is not uncommon to see ladies of 70-80 years old with buns though, usually also covered with a scarf. In the middle, it's around BSL or shorter for most people I've seen when visiting.

As for Japan, The Heian ideal is that of 1000 years ago, and for a very select few people (court nobility). Though hair was generally long 100 years ago, it was mostly not that long.

MIra chan, The Ukrainians (related culture) still have quite a few people who admire russkaya krasa, dlinnaya kosa (excuse terrible spelling). One of my friends (adopted orphan) has been working for about 3 years on growing her hair to at least classic. She had long hair before but they cut it off in the orphanage. Unfortunately when you are in an orphanage and there's a corrupt staff, they don't have to ASK you before they give you a big chop--and sell your hair. A whole lot of the most expensive hair weave hair, I understand, comes from orphans and inmates in the Ukraine who don't have a choice and don't themselves get the money for their braids (and even the orphanage director didn't get anything like the price that people pay at the end of all the markups over here for naturally light colored, European texture human hair.

Yes, it was only in Heian period that the ideal was for your hair to drag a couple of feet behind you on the ground when you walked (not all that often in that social class), on top of the train of your tastefully matched set of silk robes. But the Japanese women even of 19th and early 20th must have had a decent amount of length to do those updoes you see in their photographs. It could be that main change was that they were wearing it up (and hopefully not revealing too much of the erotic nape of the area, if they were nice women and not geishas) as opposed to hanging down. Pinned with those exquisite pins that you still see on the market nowadays, not cheap if they are antique.

Like the Chinese, following the europeans, they all got bobbed in the 1920's and now when someone reenacts either Heian period or puts on a wedding kimono or does Japanese dance, they are wearing a wig. :(

mira-chan
December 2nd, 2015, 01:57 PM
MIra chan, The Ukrainians (related culture) still have quite a few people who admire russkaya krasa, dlinnaya kosa (excuse terrible spelling). One of my friends (adopted orphan) has been working for about 3 years on growing her hair to at least classic. She had long hair before but they cut it off in the orphanage. Unfortunately when you are in an orphanage and there's a corrupt staff, they don't have to ASK you before they give you a big chop--and sell your hair. A whole lot of the most expensive hair weave hair, I understand, comes from orphans and inmates in the Ukraine who don't have a choice and don't themselves get the money for their braids (and even the orphanage director didn't get anything like the price that people pay at the end of all the markups over here for naturally light colored, European texture human hair.

Yes, it was only in Heian period that the ideal was for your hair to drag a couple of feet behind you on the ground when you walked (not all that often in that social class), on top of the train of your tastefully matched set of silk robes. But the Japanese women even of 19th and early 20th must have had a decent amount of length to do those updoes you see in their photographs. It could be that main change was that they were wearing it up (and hopefully not revealing too much of the erotic nape of the area, if they were nice women and not geishas) as opposed to hanging down. Pinned with those exquisite pins that you still see on the market nowadays, not cheap if they are antique.

Like the Chinese, following the europeans, they all got bobbed in the 1920's and now when someone reenacts either Heian period or puts on a wedding kimono or does Japanese dance, they are wearing a wig. :(

Yup on the wigs for modern performances. Those wigs are actually made to accommodate longer hair under them, unlike most western wigs. The assumption is that you'll bun your hair when wearing one.

The long untapered braid is admired in Russia (and most slavic countries as far as I know), not many wear it by percentage. It's certainly more common than USA, and usually I see waist length braids but not much longer. Taper is seen as an awful thing and you don't wear it in a braid and show it off if you have taper. There are plenty of stories of hair being cut on busses and such against people's will, for the hair trade. :( I'm sorry your friend had to deal with that at the orphanage.

Actually for most of the styles of the Edo era, the updo's can be done with with waist length hair if not BSL. Most probably had BSL to classic length as now, because of the styling (the updos do pull on certain areas of the scalp causing bald spots) and nutrition/ health.

Bushi class (Samurai) women actually wore plainer styles usually. From what I've read historically, most women from this class maintained hairstyles of the earlier period of wearing it down but tying it at about mid-back, sometimes looping the ends up to the tie. Even when worn up it was usually simpler than the styles of the merchant class. It helped differentiate their status from the merchant class. Nobles continued the hair styling of Heian for the most part.

Also geisha were seen as nice women, they weren't yuujo. Geisha were artists, and learned what upper class/ noble women learned skill wise. The kimono when worn correctly shows a bit of the nape but not as much as geisha do, nor as much as yuujo or oiran (prostitutes) did especially. Geishas' role was to entertain with music, dance, poetry, conversation and drinking games. They were not to encroach of the domain of the yuujo or oiran, it was illegal. The hair styles of both of these closer resemble merchant class styles.

Even in the Heian era some of that drag on the floor hair was extensions. Not everyone could grow hair that long. The majority in power (Fujiwara) women tended to be genetically predisposed for good hair growth, and they were quite short in height, helping reach floor length faster.

Those pins (kanzashi) by the way don't do much to hold the hair. I have worn a few for dance performances. The actual hair ties (paper ties) are hidden in the hair style, pads were also added to give the hair shape. Also wax was used to hold the shape of hairstyles like momoware. The heat of this can damage the hair pretty badly. When I wear kanzashi, I have my hair in a bun held with U pins, with usually a hair net over, then kanzashi go into that for decoration.

Sorry about the lengthy history post. It's kinda my hobby to research Japanese history, and I do Japanese dance. :flower:

Entangled
December 2nd, 2015, 03:01 PM
That was a fantastically interesting long history post!

HappyHair87
December 2nd, 2015, 04:28 PM
I'm multiracial, but in Black culture (which i identify with the most); it is taboo to cut your hair if it is long.

EVEN if you are Big Chopping to go natural! My family thought i'd completely lost my mind when i chopped my hair off. However, now with shrinkage, most ppl don't get to see that my hair is actually Waist Length when its straightened...but my curls sit at shoulder length/apl.

People literally beg you to never cut your hair! :lol: Since my hair has grown back to waist length, i have had so many ppl beg me to never cut my hair again. I don't plan on big chopping ever again because i just love having my hair long, but its really something to see!

And then to come here and see how all of the people who are known for having very long hair being told to cut there hair or being ridiculed for it is beyond me! like it's new to me, culturally. Black women are always trying to grow their hair and thanks to the Natural Hair movement and the education that came along with it, there are more of us growing our hair beyond shoulder length....sometimes even Classic length (long hair actually runs in my family, APL in Black culture is considered long, BSL to MBL is super long....so i'm at WL...so my hair is considered STUPID long in most Black communities lol, but me and a lot of my cousins have always been able to grow our hair to at least BSL, aside from my dread-locked uncle and his wife, I am the one with the longest "loose" hair in my entire family :) )

Its just interesting to see the different spectrums people go by as to what is considered as long hair :D

Colochita
December 2nd, 2015, 04:35 PM
I'm multiracial, but in Black culture (which i identify with the most); it is taboo to cut your hair if it is long.

EVEN if you are Big Chopping to go natural! My family thought i'd completely lost my mind when i chopped my hair off. However, now with shrinkage, most ppl don't get to see that my hair is actually Waist Length when its straightened...but my curls sit at shoulder length/apl.

People literally beg you to never cut your hair! :lol: Since my hair has grown back to waist length, i have had so many ppl beg me to never cut my hair again. I don't plan on big chopping ever again because i just love having my hair long, but its really something to see!

And then to come here and see how all of the people who are known for having very long hair being told to cut there hair or being ridiculed for it is beyond me! like it's new to me, culturally. Black women are always trying to grow their hair and thanks to the Natural Hair movement and the education that came along with it, there are more of us growing our hair beyond shoulder length....sometimes even Classic length (long hair actually runs in my family, APL in Black culture is considered long, BSL to MBL is super long....so i'm at WL...so my hair is considered STUPID long in most Black communities lol, but me and a lot of my cousins have always been able to grow our hair to at least BSL, aside from my dread-locked uncle and his wife, I am the one with the longest "loose" hair in my entire family :) )

Its just interesting to see the different spectrums people go by as to what is considered as long hair :D

Co-signing this. :P

My hair is only BSL and my family members beg me to straighten it so they can see the length. One day I had my hair in huge braids and a bun. The braids took my hair to just longer than SL. My grandmother grabbed one and commented that it was 'so long!!'. Still I'm not satisfied one bit. It's fun to see year to year growth, but I want moooooore.

My hair is the longest in my immediate family.

chen bao jun
December 2nd, 2015, 05:19 PM
Amazing post, Mira Chan. Thank you for all the information. I studied Japanese history in depth also (as a sideline to studying Chinese) but back in those days even social history (as opposed to military and political) did not include a great deal a bout subjects like women's hair styles. We learned about things like tooth blackening, but not in detail the sort of thing you put in your post. I appreciate it.

one little disagreement--I misphrased perhaps when I constrasted geisha with 'nice' women and I know they were/are artists, but one of the things I do know is that there was a definite distrinction made and that women, except perhaps the very poorest who had a choice to be in a marriage did not want the fate of It geisha. It was not considered something one would do if one had better choices. the writer whose (beautiful) stories best express this is Higuchi Ichiyo, of whom I am sure you have heard, especially her masterpiece Takekurabi (I may have mispelled). Perhaps because she was a woman and lived near the Yoshiwara this comes across clearly in her writing. I don't usually say something like this, because I have issues with feminist criticism (too simplistic, for one thing) but I fear that male writers, such as Saikaku may perhaps have romanticized geisha life because they were men. I mean, of course, before the modern period. Nowadays a geisha is an artist and that's it, without a doubt, there is no longer any smell of 'courtesan' or 'prostitute' about the profession.

Of course the 'nice' women (I can't think of another women for the married housewives, if you will) did completely follow geisha style and fashion and so forth--which does not mean that they thought they were equals or wanted to be one.

Which sort of Japanese dance do you do? I have a close friend who has devoted her life to this. She lives in Toyohashi. what an exacting and wonderful art this is, I admire that you have been able to do it as a foreigner.

Of course you are right about the admiring the untapered thick braid in Russian/Ukrainian and even Polish culture--but not especially wanting to do that with one's hair, but to be modern with a hairstyle. Of all the Ukrainians I know, only one is attempting to have hair like this. there was one who came here with such hair already. It was amazing. She was a little girl at the time, but up until the time she was fourteen (and had reached her adult height) she had the most glorious naturally flaxen blonde hair to her knees, very thick all the way to the end. People's jaws used to drop when they saw it and she was very much admired even here in the US because of it. So of course her siblings, who weren't getting the same attention made the most awful fun of her, really teased and tormented her and she couldn't wait to cut it to a pixie and get some peace, which she did as soon as her mother (adopted) would let her. Now she has about shoulder length and is still naturally very very blonde in her early twenties but her hair doesn't look like much, she's flat ironing or something, I'm not sure what, maybe just too much washing? that makes it look thin and lank. she is however, a very pretty girl no matter what she does and even with hair that is no longer 'special'.

HappyHair87
December 2nd, 2015, 05:24 PM
Co-signing this. :P

My hair is only BSL and my family members beg me to straighten it so they can see the length. One day I had my hair in huge braids and a bun. The braids took my hair to just longer than SL. My grandmother grabbed one and commented that it was 'so long!!'. Still I'm not satisfied one bit. It's fun to see year to year growth, but I want moooooore.

My hair is the longest in my immediate family.

LOL!! Isn't it hilarious to come here and see this though? Something that one ethnicity is fighting to get rid of, another ethnicity is trying so hard to have it.Long hair is deeply treasured in the Black community. The only thing that's so annoying is that ppl assume that bc you are Black with very long hair, that your hair is a weave.

So i get a lot of questions as to if all of my hair is mine (even in my curly state), ppl will try to "weave check" you by trying to run their fingers through your scalp, stare you down, tug on your hair in hopes that a track falls out:(. Im not fully Black, but i know plenty of Black women that have very very long hair and they don't identify as Mixed, and it is their real hair. :) So you may think you're looking at a weave when thats actually her hair!

mira-chan
December 2nd, 2015, 05:57 PM
Amazing post, Mira Chan. Thank you for all the information. I studied Japanese history in depth also (as a sideline to studying Chinese) but back in those days even social history (as opposed to military and political) did not include a great deal a bout subjects like women's hair styles. We learned about things like tooth blackening, but not in detail the sort of thing you put in your post. I appreciate it.

one little disagreement--I misphrased perhaps when I constrasted geisha with 'nice' women and I know they were/are artists, but one of the things I do know is that there was a definite distrinction made and that women, except perhaps the very poorest who had a choice to be in a marriage did not want the fate of It geisha. It was not considered something one would do if one had better choices. the writer whose (beautiful) stories best express this is Higuchi Ichiyo, of whom I am sure you have heard, especially her masterpiece Takekurabi (I may have mispelled). Perhaps because she was a woman and lived near the Yoshiwara this comes across clearly in her writing. I don't usually say something like this, because I have issues with feminist criticism (too simplistic, for one thing) but I fear that male writers, such as Saikaku may perhaps have romanticized geisha life because they were men. I mean, of course, before the modern period. Nowadays a geisha is an artist and that's it, without a doubt, there is no longer any smell of 'courtesan' or 'prostitute' about the profession.

Of course the 'nice' women (I can't think of another women for the married housewives, if you will) did completely follow geisha style and fashion and so forth--which does not mean that they thought they were equals or wanted to be one.

Which sort of Japanese dance do you do? I have a close friend who has devoted her life to this. She lives in Toyohashi. what an exacting and wonderful art this is, I admire that you have been able to do it as a foreigner.

Of course you are right about the admiring the untapered thick braid in Russian/Ukrainian and even Polish culture--but not especially wanting to do that with one's hair, but to be modern with a hairstyle. Of all the Ukrainians I know, only one is attempting to have hair like this. there was one who came here with such hair already. It was amazing. She was a little girl at the time, but up until the time she was fourteen (and had reached her adult height) she had the most glorious naturally flaxen blonde hair to her knees, very thick all the way to the end. People's jaws used to drop when they saw it and she was very much admired even here in the US because of it. So of course her siblings, who weren't getting the same attention made the most awful fun of her, really teased and tormented her and she couldn't wait to cut it to a pixie and get some peace, which she did as soon as her mother (adopted) would let her. Now she has about shoulder length and is still naturally very very blonde in her early twenties but her hair doesn't look like much, she's flat ironing or something, I'm not sure what, maybe just too much washing? that makes it look thin and lank. she is however, a very pretty girl no matter what she does and even with hair that is no longer 'special'.
Your friends hair could have also changed a bit with age but the difference in water and styling can wreak havoc on hair. I had a pretty bad shed in early 20's that I'm still recovering from. I had an even braid to waist at one point, I'm almost there now, but it tapers after about waist.

I've learned more about general life of different cultures histories more out of class than in class. Most classed focus on political events not the life of regular people, or even nobles. The everyday is glossed over but it's so interesting, and helps give reasons for why people react to event the way they do.

Yes geisha was not usually a choice profession, there were so many restrictions on life and the work is really hard. Plus very few could marry, and have children. In part it was a bit sad but they could also own a lot more property than the average woman, within the district restriction though. Trade offs, ones that were usually worth it as most of these women were born poor or into dept. Marriage was the ideal, and something not everyone could achieve. I completely agree on the difference. I just encounter way too many people who confuse geisha with yuujo, sorry for the reaction.

Thank you for mentioning the stories, I'll definitely check them out. :) I really appreciate this conversation with you. It's great to be able to share this information with each other. Side note on tooth blackening, did you know it actually had antibacterial properties and helped protect teeth from cavities? Recent research into the components of it showed this. Quite a shock to us visually but it stuck around for more than identification someone married for a reason.

As for dance, I've been part of the local dance group for about 14 years now, though as a hobby not professionally. I do Japanese folk dance (minyo). These while the steps for some can be difficult, are a lot more energetic and free than classical dances which, for example, geisha, dance. We dance things like Hanagasa Odori, Ushibuka haiya bushi (a drinking dance!), and various bon odori. We do some older dances as well (16th century) such as Ayako Mai and Atsumorisan. Right now we are learning our second te-odori from northern Japan, Jonkara bushi. We already learned Tsugaru Yosare bushi.

chen bao jun
December 2nd, 2015, 06:25 PM
Happy hair and Colochita, I would agree with a lot of what you said, maybe 80-85% about black culture and hair. But this is not universal. It does depend on other factors.

IN the tradtional US black middle class, for instance a very small but a very powerful and influential community, the sort of people who make their kids join Jack and Jill and used to go to Harvard and Yale on a regular basis before affirmative action, they don't admire very long hair on anybody past little girl age. these women tend to be professionals as a matter of course and always have very neat, groomed short haircuts--yes haircuts, they do on purpose, a disproportionate amount of them are extremely light skinned and have no trouble growing lots and lots of hair. They tend to look like Valerie Jarrett President Obama's main advisor, who is very typical in dress, hair cut and not that untypical in resume, though obviously hers is better than most.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Jarrett
I am not one of them but have had opportunities to be around them and in the most polite way, they make it clear that they consider it a class marker--that you are not 'one of them' if your hair is too long (and its worse if you have fake hair of any kind, weaves to them are very 'ghetto'--though that is a word that would not come out of their genteel mouths).
My dad's family and their social circle were also very different from what you are describing. Waist length hair was normal for them, my grandmother had classic, every female in the family was at least bra strap as a child. A lot of them cut their hair stylishly once they grew up and kept it short, though others did keep it very long into adulthood and even old age. It was considered a personal choice. A haircut was not a tragedy.

Of course they were very confident that when and if they wanted, they would grow their hair back. I have to say, I have been stunned since being on LHC that what are being promoted here are all their methods. Protective hairstyles, washing in pure aloe vera (actually a related plant that grew in their back yards), coconut oil (which they made themselves) used by the gallon. Natural hair masks, etc.

I have met lots of black people of the type you are describing and would say that they are the vast majority, but it really is not everybody.

I was never considered special in my dad's family for having BSL hair, which is what mine normally has been, unless I get a haircut (which I have done a couple of times and no big deal) and in fact was shocked when I first came into contact with the United STates AA majority community (in the inner city) and my hair was suddenly a big deal. (Unfortunately, in a bad way. Other little girls were very mean about it and I didn't understand why for some time).

Being here on LHC, I would be interested to see if my hair could get as long as a lot of my cousins when I was young--midback to waist. I remember my dad protesting to my mother (whose family mostly has very short hair, usually damaged) about straightening my hair and about the other abusive things many black people tend to do to hair, and saying to her "Don't do that." Which of course she did anyway, when I was 7. I am curious to see if, with the good hair care that his family was using, I could have the same hair length. Because of course with a grandmother with classic length hair, I would like to see to if I could manage to do that.

Starting late and old now, unfortunately...

mwallingford
December 3rd, 2015, 08:01 PM
I live in rural Pennsylvania, so we have a ton of Amish (and a pile of Mennonites) living nearby. I've heard quite a few rumors that the Amish never cut their hair, but rumors are often not true, and I don't know enough about them to say anything is 100% true; plus it would be rude to ask them and be all touristy even though I already live here! (If anybody has any more information, I'd really appreciate knowing more.) Anywhoodles, the adult women wear their hair in a bun held by amish hair pins and usually covered with a scarf or a net of some sort. Because of this, I have no idea how long their hair is, but by the size of their bun I would maybe guess at least waist length? The younger girls will sometimes have their hair in two twin braids that are really quite cute. However, I've seen some really long, and extremely thick braids from the Mennonite women! Some of them have had past classic length braids and they are absolutely beautiful!

katiekittycat
December 3rd, 2015, 09:26 PM
As a white person, I've always seen very long hair as a sign of being an evangelical Christian or a Mormon. I remember hearing a stand up comedian a few years back saying that there is a fine line for long hair between being "Sexy Victoria's Secret Model" and "Sister Wife." While obviously a lot of the people on here have beautiful hair that's super long, I think that goes to show how long hair is represented in many people's minds.

Hairkay
December 4th, 2015, 10:58 AM
I'm multiracial, but in Black culture (which i identify with the most); it is taboo to cut your hair if it is long.

EVEN if you are Big Chopping to go natural! My family thought i'd completely lost my mind when i chopped my hair off. However, now with shrinkage, most ppl don't get to see that my hair is actually Waist Length when its straightened...but my curls sit at shoulder length/apl.

People literally beg you to never cut your hair! :lol: Since my hair has grown back to waist length, i have had so many ppl beg me to never cut my hair again. I don't plan on big chopping ever again because i just love having my hair long, but its really something to see!

And then to come here and see how all of the people who are known for having very long hair being told to cut there hair or being ridiculed for it is beyond me! like it's new to me, culturally. Black women are always trying to grow their hair and thanks to the Natural Hair movement and the education that came along with it, there are more of us growing our hair beyond shoulder length....sometimes even Classic length (long hair actually runs in my family, APL in Black culture is considered long, BSL to MBL is super long....so i'm at WL...so my hair is considered STUPID long in most Black communities lol, but me and a lot of my cousins have always been able to grow our hair to at least BSL, aside from my dread-locked uncle and his wife, I am the one with the longest "loose" hair in my entire family :) )

Its just interesting to see the different spectrums people go by as to what is considered as long hair :D

I recall people telling me never to cut my hair too. I didn't have the longest hair in family. Us girls (siblings and maternal girl cousins) all had the same BSL hair but due to hair type it hung differently on each of us. Lil sis's used to look the longest in fact it looked MBL for a while when she was 3-7. Then mine seemed to look longest. It was when big sis had her hair straightened at 12 that I noticed we all had about the same length. For some of those people who told me never to cut my hair it seemed long. To others it was just average or even short.

chen bao jun
December 4th, 2015, 12:24 PM
Interesting, the 3 other ladies with African descent all saying that they have had experiences of people telling them never to cut their hair. I guess that really goes to show we're a diverse community. Nobody ever told me that in my life. I think I would be irritated if they did.

A LOT of people told me not to get an afro (and once I had got it, to get rid of it) and when I went natural again, in 2000 before it was in style, a LOT of people told me to please straighten my hair. All black people--I never heard a word of that kind from white people. that's the kind of unwanted advice I usually get from black people, or people of color in general. I remember walking through Puerto Rican neighborhoods back in the day with strangers randomly shouting at me in Spanish (people take me for Puerto Rican a lot) to straighten my hair, please. I also remember being in Paris, whenever I was around Tunisians, of which there are a lot (people took me for Tunisian a lot while I was there and actually when I meet Tunisians, they still do, just in the US that's rare) and having ladies walk up to me and tell me to straighten my hair (also often recommending to me hairdressers who would do it). that's the kind of pressure that's happened a lot to me personally (and it gets on my nerves), but no one has ever told me not to cut it.

Interesting.

chen bao jun
December 4th, 2015, 12:26 PM
rare set of photos that might interest you Mwallingford
http://www.amishworkshops.com/among-the-amish/pinning-up-amish-hair.html

Amish ladies do not cut their hair as that's how they interpret 1 Corinthians 11. Also, married women always wear it under a 'kapp' in public. the mennonites will wear a smaller thing which is sometimes see through, but you don't see Amish women's hair.

turtlelover
December 4th, 2015, 12:49 PM
Interesting, the 3 other ladies with African descent all saying that they have had experiences of people telling them never to cut their hair. I guess that really goes to show we're a diverse community. Nobody ever told me that in my life. I think I would be irritated if they did.

A LOT of people told me not to get an afro (and once I had got it, to get rid of it) and when I went natural again, in 2000 before it was in style, a LOT of people told me to please straighten my hair. All black people--I never heard a word of that kind from white people. that's the kind of unwanted advice I usually get from black people, or people of color in general. I remember walking through Puerto Rican neighborhoods back in the day with strangers randomly shouting at me in Spanish (people take me for Puerto Rican a lot) to straighten my hair, please. I also remember being in Paris, whenever I was around Tunisians, of which there are a lot (people took me for Tunisian a lot while I was there and actually when I meet Tunisians, they still do, just in the US that's rare) and having ladies walk up to me and tell me to straighten my hair (also often recommending to me hairdressers who would do it). that's the kind of pressure that's happened a lot to me personally (and it gets on my nerves), but no one has ever told me not to cut it.

Interesting.

Yeah, as a white person, I think Afros are super cool and I always admire them when I see them!

Colochita
December 4th, 2015, 01:41 PM
That's interesting, Chen.

I went natural in a lot more accepting time, I guess. The only people who expressed distaste with my cut were my grandfather and an annoying girl who always wore weaves who went to my college. My mother was stressed when I cut it all off an had an inch of hair, but she's warmed up to it and will often ask to play with it/do it for me. I've taught her how to be gentle so she's allowed to help sometimes.

When I visited China I was openly told that my hair was beautiful and lots of people said they wanted hair like that. Apparently at the time it was fashionable to have a really tight perm which looked like an afro on them.

When I visited Guatemala, too, I was told that my twisted updoes were incredibly pretty. People would ask me about my hair and they would note when I changed the updoes weekly and say which ones they liked best, etc.

Entangled
December 4th, 2015, 03:43 PM
S
As a white person, I've always seen very long hair as a sign of being an evangelical Christian or a Mormon. I remember hearing a stand up comedian a few years back saying that there is a fine line for long hair between being "Sexy Victoria's Secret Model" and "Sister Wife." While obviously a lot of the people on here have beautiful hair that's super long, I think that goes to show how long hair is represented in many people's minds.

Just putting this out there, but Mormons aren't polygamists currently. The LDS church is very different than the FLDS church, and while we share a history, the two religions are VERY different. Most Mormons have no visual differences other than wearing modest clothing (as in knee length, sleeves, no midriff showing) and have normal haircuts. I'm the person with the second longest hair in my congregation (yeah, I've done comparisons...I need more of a life) and the girl with hair longer than mine is twelve, and not into the "cut your hair" phase most girls with long hair seem to go through. If you're talking about the FLDS, who are a lot more conservative in dress than us, long hair might apply. But you're more likely to see a mom bob with highlights or APL/BSL curled hair than long hair in LDS adults. It's a small term to bring up, but it's an important distinction.

HappyHair87
December 4th, 2015, 04:46 PM
Happy hair and Colochita, I would agree with a lot of what you said, maybe 80-85% about black culture and hair. But this is not universal. It does depend on other factors.

IN the tradtional US black middle class, for instance a very small but a very powerful and influential community, the sort of people who make their kids join Jack and Jill and used to go to Harvard and Yale on a regular basis before affirmative action, they don't admire very long hair on anybody past little girl age. these women tend to be professionals as a matter of course and always have very neat, groomed short haircuts--yes haircuts, they do on purpose, a disproportionate amount of them are extremely light skinned and have no trouble growing lots and lots of hair. They tend to look like Valerie Jarrett President Obama's main advisor, who is very typical in dress, hair cut and not that untypical in resume, though obviously hers is better than most.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Jarrett
I am not one of them but have had opportunities to be around them and in the most polite way, they make it clear that they consider it a class marker--that you are not 'one of them' if your hair is too long (and its worse if you have fake hair of any kind, weaves to them are very 'ghetto'--though that is a word that would not come out of their genteel mouths).
My dad's family and their social circle were also very different from what you are describing. Waist length hair was normal for them, my grandmother had classic, every female in the family was at least bra strap as a child. A lot of them cut their hair stylishly once they grew up and kept it short, though others did keep it very long into adulthood and even old age. It was considered a personal choice. A haircut was not a tragedy.

Of course they were very confident that when and if they wanted, they would grow their hair back. I have to say, I have been stunned since being on LHC that what are being promoted here are all their methods. Protective hairstyles, washing in pure aloe vera (actually a related plant that grew in their back yards), coconut oil (which they made themselves) used by the gallon. Natural hair masks, etc.

I have met lots of black people of the type you are describing and would say that they are the vast majority, but it really is not everybody.

I was never considered special in my dad's family for having BSL hair, which is what mine normally has been, unless I get a haircut (which I have done a couple of times and no big deal) and in fact was shocked when I first came into contact with the United STates AA majority community (in the inner city) and my hair was suddenly a big deal. (Unfortunately, in a bad way. Other little girls were very mean about it and I didn't understand why for some time).

Being here on LHC, I would be interested to see if my hair could get as long as a lot of my cousins when I was young--midback to waist. I remember my dad protesting to my mother (whose family mostly has very short hair, usually damaged) about straightening my hair and about the other abusive things many black people tend to do to hair, and saying to her "Don't do that." Which of course she did anyway, when I was 7. I am curious to see if, with the good hair care that his family was using, I could have the same hair length. Because of course with a grandmother with classic length hair, I would like to see to if I could manage to do that.

Starting late and old now, unfortunately...

Yeah, the Black professional...more upper class people, (usually the ones who are extremely wealthy) are usually the ones seen with the short hair...but it's usually relaxed and in a bob cut...like Michelle Obama. If it's natural it's usually a twa. I have ppl like that on my mom's side.

My dad's side is really where long hair comes in...long hair is the norm for many of me and my cousins on his side. I have one cousin on my mom's side that is known to be able to grow her hair long without effort.

I have yet (and I've worked corporate America, maybe it's because I'm in the South and am from here) to meet a Black person that would not have an issue with a woman cutting her hair if it's beyond shoulder length. It could be a regional thing...but my whole life, whether it was me, my cousins or someone I knew that had long hair....if that woman cut her long hair...it's a problem. Like "OMG WHY DID YOU CUT OFF ALL YOUR HAIR!?" or "She must be going through some things" is the response that is given when a woman with long hair cuts it.

If i had a dollar for everytime somebody asked ne how in grew my hair sooo long (and my hair is not LHC standards of long), I'd be quite rich.

I guess bc of my demographic and culture (bc there are different cultures within the Black community), I'm very southern and my family has a southern "country" background, but I've lived in different communities but mostly inner city, to me it seems most...MOST...Black women are trying to grow their hair. It may not be universal for every Black woman...but a large portion are trying to at least reach BSL. And there are so many products out there that are catering to what they want and need.

So like I was saying, it's strange to me, someone who identifies so closely with Black culture, to come here and find that ppl that can easily grow their hair to length like Classic, Tailbone and the like, are being ridiculed or being forced to cut all their hair off.

Alun
December 4th, 2015, 06:20 PM
Good point. The Traditional Pentecostal religion uses 1 Corinthians 11:15 as their reasoning for why women should have long hair (the previous verse is the reasoning by men should not have long hair).

diggem

All my life I've only seen one Pentecostal, at least to my knowledge. He was a man, and I never met his wife. His own hair was maybe shoulder length. Did I mention that he was a minister? He was also my landlord, and came to collect the rent.

Mind you, this was in England, and the Pentecostal minister in question was Irish.

chen bao jun
December 4th, 2015, 09:57 PM
Yeah, the Black professional...more upper class people, (usually the ones who are extremely wealthy) are usually the ones seen with the short hair...but it's usually relaxed and in a bob cut...like Michelle Obama. If it's natural it's usually a twa. I have ppl like that on my mom's side.

My dad's side is really where long hair comes in...long hair is the norm for many of me and my cousins on his side. I have one cousin on my mom's side that is known to be able to grow her hair long without effort.

I have yet (and I've worked corporate America, maybe it's because I'm in the South and am from here) to meet a Black person that would not have an issue with a woman cutting her hair if it's beyond shoulder length. It could be a regional thing...but my whole life, whether it was me, my cousins or someone I knew that had long hair....if that woman cut her long hair...it's a problem. Like "OMG WHY DID YOU CUT OFF ALL YOUR HAIR!?" or "She must be going through some things" is the response that is given when a woman with long hair cuts it.

If i had a dollar for everytime somebody asked ne how in grew my hair sooo long (and my hair is not LHC standards of long), I'd be quite rich.

I guess bc of my demographic and culture (bc there are different cultures within the Black community), I'm very southern and my family has a southern "country" background, but I've lived in different communities but mostly inner city, to me it seems most...MOST...Black women are trying to grow their hair. It may not be universal for every Black woman...but a large portion are trying to at least reach BSL. And there are so many products out there that are catering to what they want and need.

So like I was saying, it's strange to me, someone who identifies so closely with Black culture, to come here and find that ppl that can easily grow their hair to length like Classic, Tailbone and the like, are being ridiculed or being forced to cut all their hair off.


That's interesting, Chen.

I went natural in a lot more accepting time, I guess. The only people who expressed distaste with my cut were my grandfather and an annoying girl who always wore weaves who went to my college. My mother was stressed when I cut it all off an had an inch of hair, but she's warmed up to it and will often ask to play with it/do it for me. I've taught her how to be gentle so she's allowed to help sometimes.

When I visited China I was openly told that my hair was beautiful and lots of people said they wanted hair like that. Apparently at the time it was fashionable to have a really tight perm which looked like an afro on them.

When I visited Guatemala, too, I was told that my twisted updoes were incredibly pretty. People would ask me about my hair and they would note when I changed the updoes weekly and say which ones they liked best, etc.

Happyhair, I've always had BSL hair and I've never been told not to cut it off, as I said. Not even once. Nor has anyone, black or white, expressed that I shouldn't have when I have done it.

I guess i would disagree that there is such a thing as 'black culture'--I think there are a lot of different kinds of black cultures and while I do agree that many of them do extra value long hair, its not universal. Which I guess you agree with in your first sentence, where you stated that you have relatives yourself who are black upper class and not all that impressed with long hair.

Yeah, Colochita, travelling broadens the mind, I've been to china too (in fact I lived in Taiwan for a long time) and yes, they did admire my hair and were getting the curly perms when I was there, also. I was born quite near Guatemala, its not far from where my family has always been from on my dad's side (until we moved to the US) and I actually have close relatives in the countries around there, more in , in Honduras and in Mexico than in Guatemala itself. I have visited there, but never lived there, as you have. Maybe it depends on the part of the country (I don't know where you were) but I'm a bit surprised that they were impressed by curly hair. There's a fair amount of people there with curls, though the native Americans who are the largest part of the population don't have them. When I was there and when I have been around Guatemalans, they don't think I look very different, natural curls and all. My best friend in high school was from there and people always thought we were sisters, partly same complexion, but also partly the hair was so similar. she did used to dubi a lot, which made hers look a bit straighter, but not much. . I am a bit surprised that they would be impressed with curly hair per se there. Maybe it was your hairstyles that surprised and impressed them? Maybe they loved the twists, I haven't seen twists a lot on people from this part of the world, not on my relatives from this side, some of the ones on my mother's side, who are from the islands, not the continent and more "West Indian" do them nowadays.

I am a lot older than you but I am not talking about old times when I say that I hear, not all the time, but a reasonable amount, that I ought to straighten my hair, or 'need' to straighten my hair. If I had a dollar for all the times I have heard, 'If I had your hair I'd straighten it," or "Your hair looks as if it would get straight so easily , why don't you straighten it" or variations on that theme, I'd be a wealthy woman. As if the only reason NOT to have straight hair is that for some reason you can't do it.

Black people tell me a lot that my hair looks 'half-straight'. What the heck does that even mean? (and I won't go into, here, what I've mentioned several times on the type 4 thread, its definitely not true that my hair straightens easily, it is VERY difficult to straighten. Not that that's in any way a 'problem').

HappyHair87
December 5th, 2015, 04:20 AM
You keep making it like I'm saying it's universal...I never stated that it was. I keep saying "MOST".

But I guess it's due to where you are from. I was born and raised here in Florida. And no matter where in Florida I have lived...I have been told by many black ppl that I should never cut my hair.

So I get that it's not universal...like I said, long hair runs on my dad's side. And I know black women that prefer their hair short.

But it has been my experience my whole entire life here in the U.S. in Florida that I have been told to never cut my hair and if I did it has always been a big deal. So basically I'm speaking from my experience. And yes, there is a such thing as Black culture. But I won't get into that here, I just feel you're being dismissive about what I'm saying.

It's not universal....but it's not unreal just bc it hasn't happened to you. But like I stated, it may be bc of where you're from and your personal cultural background.

Maybe I'm lost in the translation of text but I kinda took offense to you being seemingly dismissive of what other posters of Black ethnicity have stated as our experiences. In fact you are the first one I've ever known that has said that nobody ever made a big deal of you cutting your hair as a Black woman with long hair...so I'm not dismissing that at all...it's just new to me to hear that from another Black woman.

chen bao jun
December 5th, 2015, 07:10 AM
Happyhair, I do not mean to be dismissive. I apologize sincerely, that was not my intention at all.

I do not see this as a subject one can actually argue about. One can only express one's own experiences.

I understand that that's your experience, and I think its a great thing that you are posting your personal experience in this thread, just as it is that I am (the more experiences, the better). I never ever said it was unreal--for you. I was just trying to express that its not real FOR ME. And I'm also black. And I also spend a lot of time in Florida, actually, my mother and my sister live there. so we are having two different equally REAL experiences in the same place.

I was not trying to offend you in any way, just put that out there clearly for others. People do often think that black people are all having the same experiences, due to being black. To the point where, when something happens, people find one black person, ask their opinion and then write 'Black people think...' Or they ask one black person about how they experience the world and then write globally about 'the black experience.' From ONE person. I would assume that you don't think that's a good thing, either.

I won't go OT here, but there is no such thing as 'black culture' anymore than there is such a thing as 'white culture.' There is not even one black culture here in the US--except on the television and the other media. People who happen to have African ancestry, or some African ancestry and consider themselves to be black have cultures that vary depending on region, class and country of origin. A WHOLE lot of my life (it is improving somewhat with more immigration), I have had American black people say things that they expect me to understand that I don't; refer to foods I have never eaten, customs I have never even HEARD of or ways of behaving that nobody in my family or extended circle ever did--and then tell me I am 'supposed' to understand, because it's 'black culture.' This is not something that only happens to me. I have been around African immigrants, very recently from AFrica, who complain about the exact same thing. About black Americans objecting to the fact that they don't do things the same way and have not experienced the world in the same way. One person that I knew, a professor from Nigeria, for instance, went to some black American event recently. He's a Yoruba from Nigeria. He said all evening he was asked why he wasn't wearing his kente cloth, and asked didn't he want to identify with 'African culture'. His head was spinning. He's a Yoruba. Ashante/Fante people in Ghana, miles away, which is only one tiny little part of Africa, wear kente. And black Americans, nowadays. He said it was like being asked as a Russian person why he wasn't wearing his plaid kilt--because Russia and Scotland are both in Europe, right? So a kilt, by this reasoning, ought to be 'white culture'.

That's a particularly obnoxious example but the thinking behind this kind of thing is very, very prevalent. i can't tell you how often I hear that someone is not 'really' black, because they have a different voice, don't move in the right way when they dance or something equally trivial. Sometimes it feels like there is some sort of 'blackness police' out there that feels they have a right to decide to what is 'black' and what isn't. And what's bad is that white people often listen to them and repeat what t hey say. It's like, how dare you have a difference experience, it's not valid because its not 'typical'. You know, my mother once was asked to write her biography for a college assignment and she did. This wasn't all that long ago--she went to college late. The white professor scrawled all over her paper, her LIFE, 'this is not typical'. Talk about being dismissed, huh.

I guess I did go OT, so I jsut want to repeat, I am not saying that people telling you not to cut your hair doesn't happen to you, I believe you and I am not dismissing it; I am not saying that you said that it's universal--I didn't get the impression that you think its universal so much as that I get the impression that you somehow think its a more 'valid' kind of black experience for that to happen to a person than it NOT happening. That's the part I'm disputing and forgive me if I am wrong. It is not a big deal in either case and definitely not worth offending you about.

Hairkay
December 5th, 2015, 08:11 AM
Happyhair, I do not mean to be dismissive. I apologize sincerely, that was not my intention at all.

I do not see this as a subject one can actually argue about. One can only express one's own experiences.

I understand that that's your experience, and I think its a great thing that you are posting your personal experience in this thread, just as it is that I am (the more experiences, the better). I never ever said it was unreal--for you. I was just trying to express that its not real FOR ME. And I'm also black. And I also spend a lot of time in Florida, actually, my mother and my sister live there. so we are having two different equally REAL experiences in the same place.

I was not trying to offend you in any way, just put that out there clearly for others. People do often think that black people are all having the same experiences, due to being black. To the point where, when something happens, people find one black person, ask their opinion and then write 'Black people think...' Or they ask one black person about how they experience the world and then write globally about 'the black experience.' From ONE person. I would assume that you don't think that's a good thing, either.

I won't go OT here, but there is no such thing as 'black culture' anymore than there is such a thing as 'white culture.' There is not even one black culture here in the US--except on the television and the other media. People who happen to have African ancestry, or some African ancestry and consider themselves to be black have cultures that vary depending on region, class and country of origin. A WHOLE lot of my life (it is improving somewhat with more immigration), I have had American black people say things that they expect me to understand that I don't; refer to foods I have never eaten, customs I have never even HEARD of or ways of behaving that nobody in my family or extended circle ever did--and then tell me I am 'supposed' to understand, because it's 'black culture.' This is not something that only happens to me. I have been around African immigrants, very recently from AFrica, who complain about the exact same thing. About black Americans objecting to the fact that they don't do things the same way and have not experienced the world in the same way. One person that I knew, a professor from Nigeria, for instance, went to some black American event recently. He's a Yoruba from Nigeria. He said all evening he was asked why he wasn't wearing his kente cloth, and asked didn't he want to identify with 'African culture'. His head was spinning. He's a Yoruba. Ashante/Fante people in Ghana, miles away, which is only one tiny little part of Africa, wear kente. And black Americans, nowadays. He said it was like being asked as a Russian person why he wasn't wearing his plaid kilt--because Russia and Scotland are both in Europe, right? So a kilt, by this reasoning, ought to be 'white culture'.

That's a particularly obnoxious example but the thinking behind this kind of thing is very, very prevalent. i can't tell you how often I hear that someone is not 'really' black, because they have a different voice, don't move in the right way when they dance or something equally trivial. Sometimes it feels like there is some sort of 'blackness police' out there that feels they have a right to decide to what is 'black' and what isn't. And what's bad is that white people often listen to them and repeat what t hey say. It's like, how dare you have a difference experience, it's not valid because its not 'typical'. You know, my mother once was asked to write her biography for a college assignment and she did. This wasn't all that long ago--she went to college late. The white professor scrawled all over her paper, her LIFE, 'this is not typical'. Talk about being dismissed, huh.

I guess I did go OT, so I jsut want to repeat, I am not saying that people telling you not to cut your hair doesn't happen to you, I believe you and I am not dismissing it; I am not saying that you said that it's universal--I didn't get the impression that you think its universal so much as that I get the impression that you somehow think its a more 'valid' kind of black experience for that to happen to a person than it NOT happening. That's the part I'm disputing and forgive me if I am wrong. It is not a big deal in either case and definitely not worth offending you about.

I agree that culture is not homogeneous to a skin colour. Some of that stereotypical "black" characteristics from USA media and internet have been exported here so now some will try to get you to fit in a particular box. We all have different experiences from growing up in a variety of countries and ethnicities and socio-economical settings. A comedian here pointed out that in the 60s and before that black people born here typically spoke the same as their white peers. It was only the ones who'd just migrated that had different accents. However with more movies, and music coming in that changed in some areas and socio-economical settings. I was amazed to meet a girl with an accent I'd never heard and when I asked her where it came from she said she was born and grew up in the UK but looked to Caribbean and USA for her accent. Her parents are Caribbean but her accent is not theirs.

My mother also had a similar experience with academia. When her youngest turned 18 she decided it was time to do her Masters. She chose Education and wrote her thesis on Caribbean education. They had the nerve to tell her that her knowledge of the Caribbean was flawed though they gave her a passing grade. These people did not know that she was a product of the Caribbean, born, grown and educated there. Although her uni was in the UK when it came to the time to write her thesis she was in the Caribbean doing so using the local island's university library and resources to do so. She hadn't written about a rural experience of having to get up and go out to get water or feed chickens, cows or goats or tend to farming before school because that was not her experience. She's city born and bred. Education was provided until adulthood from the state (tax funded) without the requirement of school fees. She also grew up in a home with the usual plumbing and electricity, tv was in most homes in her neighbourhood. She didn't have to walk miles to school. She had easy access to a library. Yes she was sometimes short of the required text books for schools because it was each parent's responsibility to provide them for their children and text books were expensive for her mother to keep up with for each and every subject. She or her friends never experienced starvation of malnutrition. She came from a working class background with access to the middle class aspirations. She realised that many of them judging her only knew about some things in theory looking on from afar. She however had included her experiences and updated herself on the latest available education in the area.

HappyHair87
December 5th, 2015, 10:03 AM
Well Chen, like I stated upthread...I'm pretty sure I got lost in translation via text, I'm pretty sure if it was verbal I wouldn't have misunderstood you.

When I state Black culture, I'm not stating about African culture or the Carribbean, I'm talking about Black culture in the U.S. which I know Black ppl that aren't familiar with our culture and ways of doing some things bc they are not from here.

I'm not trying to make any type of validation of any kind on your experience...I'm simply saying that I have never run across another woman of color that never had the experience of her long her being a big deal. That's all. And the Black culture I was raised in and live in (yes there are subcultures within our community), makes a big issue over hair.

I do not deny that your experience is different from mine.

But I understand now what you are saying, I apologize if I offended you. ((Hugs!))


That being said, the older I've gotten I have come to see that everyone has a different experience and not all Black ppl are the same. That is true.

YET there is undeniably a since of community that blankets over Black ppl in a sense. It just is.

But I know there's differences between Blacks from Africa, the carribbean, the UK...thanks to social media and living in a very diverse city I'm seeing all of this. I'm part Jamaican and for me, a lot of things that Jamaican ppl do (I haven't been to Jamaica yet but I know the jamaican side of my family), is different but a lot of my experiences are very similar to theirs. So we're different but not too different, if that makes sense? Like I'm Black American AND Jamaican (and Native and Irish), same race but different yet similar styles. But it's so crazy to me on that note, that U.S. Blacks and Jamaican Blacks believe they are completely different but they're a lot alike on different things. :) And there's nothing wrong with that, that's just been my observation.

But back to hair....yes, the experience can be different for everyone.

chen bao jun
December 5th, 2015, 01:35 PM
Hugs to you, HappyHair87, big hugs!!
I'm sure I expressed myself poorly, the internet is so hard, its true. thanks for taking the time to work through it and being patient with me.
You sound like you are from a lot of rich cultures, I hope you get a chance to go to Jamaica sometime.

Hairkay, if they had a 'like' button, I would press it for your post, you summed up exactly what I was trying to say, so much better. So sad about your mom, those profs could have learned something (like my mom's prof could have from her..) But its easier to put people in a box. I think its often not meant with ill will or anything, just easier.