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trillcat
June 18th, 2010, 05:43 PM
I want to hear about ethnic hair. How is it different from "white" hair, what products do you use?
Why do you relax it and what is the stigma if you go natural?
Good hair vs bad hair, and what is considered "bad" hair.
I hope this does not offend anyone, but I want to learn about this.
I have many African American friends, and I have never been able to ask these questions for fear of being called a racist.

zeldagirl7491
June 18th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Why is it ok to call white people 'white' but you can't call black people 'black'??
Please understand I'm not starting a fight, I just want to know.

Athena's Owl
June 18th, 2010, 06:17 PM
o.o

I...am not comfortable with these questions.

And honestly you can find many of the answers to your questions yourself, by either googling, or even using the search to fine members with 3b-4b hair and finding the threads, reading their blog posts, and getting some of the most basic pieces of information that you're looking for without this...

Look, I could take these questions a little better if you were too young to know better, but they'd still be ... well, privileged. If I want to know something about a particular culture that's not my own, I have a huge resource one browser tab over.

when you ask me to explain to you about what it's like to have my hair without doing a speck of research yourself, you're setting out the expectation that i, the exotic alien whose skincolor resembles beverages and sweet food, should be only too happy to educate you *simply because you asked.* Or perhaps flattered that you've decided to offer me some attention with your curiosity, and be only too happy to repeat the same things to you because you asked, and by extension, any other person privileged enough to ask to be educated without taking the time to research just because they asked.

It's out there, if you're really interested in knowing. Without making any other person of colour feel like they're an interactive Teaching resource.

trillcat
June 18th, 2010, 06:55 PM
o.o

I...am not comfortable with these questions.

And honestly you can find many of the answers to your questions yourself, by either googling, or even using the search to fine members with 3b-4b hair and finding the threads, reading their blog posts, and getting some of the most basic pieces of information that you're looking for without this...

Look, I could take these questions a little better if you were too young to know better, but they'd still be ... well, privileged. If I want to know something about a particular culture that's not my own, I have a huge resource one browser tab over.

when you ask me to explain to you about what it's like to have my hair without doing a speck of research yourself, you're setting out the expectation that i, the exotic alien whose skincolor resembles beverages and sweet food, should be only too happy to educate you *simply because you asked.* Or perhaps flattered that you've decided to offer me some attention with your curiosity, and be only too happy to repeat the same things to you because you asked, and by extension, any other person privileged enough to ask to be educated without taking the time to research just because they asked.

It's out there, if you're really interested in knowing. Without making any other person of colour feel like they're an interactive Teaching resource.
this is why I have not asked these questions.
Why is it deemed inappropriate to ask why people do what they do to their hair, on a board about hair?
I am sorry if I crossed some bizzare line of white vs black in the world of hair.

I will go back to staying silent for fear of offending.
For your information, I have researched this, and I just wanted to hear from people who deal with ethnic hair on a daily basis.
I will never speak of this again, as some people seem to be caught in the world of us vs them.

Ok I can't seem to just shut up already. Are we not all a teaching basis for others? This is a hair forum, where others come to learn.
Why is it offensive to ask about black hair?

hemolymph
June 18th, 2010, 07:02 PM
Trillcat, those were perfectly acceptable questions to ask and there is nothing wrong with wanting to get opinions directly from this message board versus doing a "google" search. That's what a message board is all about.

If a black person asked me questions about having European hair I would not be offended at all.

I stand behind you 100% girl.. don't be bothered by people on their high horse.

canary4624
June 18th, 2010, 07:04 PM
It's out there, if you're really interested in knowing. Without making any other person of colour feel like they're an interactive Teaching resource.

Athena's Owl--I would totally understand your viewpoint if trillcat were following you around all night at a party, insisting that you tell her all about your hair and let her touch it. But in this case, she's addressed it out to the board and not to anyone in general. Anyone who doesn't want to answer doesn't have to. And since it's a board where there are volumes of posts with people going on and on about what it's like to have curly hair, straight hair, fine hair, blond hair, ad infinitum, it doesn't seem too unlikely that there would be a person of African descent who would like to talk about their hair.

Also, while google can be a wonderful resource in some cases, I have a feeling that it might not offer the most objective or realistic information in this case. Just a guess :blossom:

teela1978
June 18th, 2010, 07:05 PM
A quick google, checking out trailers for the movie "good hair", etc comes up with quite a bit of info.

This is an interesting but brief history of black hair in america. "Black hair history" in google comes up with several other links.
http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/super-kinky/a-look-back-at-the-black-hair-story

HintOfMint
June 18th, 2010, 07:09 PM
Hi there Trillcat,

I am sure you are very well meaning and simply want to open a frank and honest discussion.
But I do take issue with the term "person of color" and referring to non-white people as "ethnic."
From your question, you seem to be referring to a broad hair type (which includes MANY variations) that is characteristic of mainly black people or multiracial people who have black ancestry. I'm sure there are a smattering of non-black people who share that hair type, but probably do not have the history with the "good hair vs. bad hair" that black/African Americans do. So, in short you mean black hair. This is a specific issue that cannot be expanded to all people of color or non-whites. Call it what it is.
Furthermore, the term "person of color" is very problematic. It is a PC term that attempts to lump nonwhite people into a collective reality that does not exist. There are many races and ethnic groups in the United States and they all have different experiences, issues, histories, and relations with races outside of our own. I am Indian, and while I have had these conversations about hair relaxers with my friends (when they wanted to talk about it, or it just came up naturally) but that does not make their experience mine. I listen respectfully and try my best to put myself in their shoes, but as a fellow human being. Not because I am not white and so I automatically know what it is like.
As far as the "ethnic," term. White people are ethnic too. It is really only in the US that the various sundry ethnic groups that happened to have a certain skin color became the "neutral" group, and melted all together to forge a single identity that is the default when we think of as American.
I am not usually so sensitive about race. But frankly, the overuse of PC terms while trying to express the same, frankly, ignorant sentiments (all nonwhite people have it the same in this country) really annoys me
My final point and then I will get off my soap box. You say you have African American friends. I will take you at your word and assume they are real friends, not a random classmate to whom you happen to say "hi." Do they talk about this with you? Does it ever come up? Much of my knowledge about black hair care came from conversations with my friends when they brought it up. It happened naturally. LIke when we're getting ready to go out and we're doing our hair.

Also, I don't think you are being ignorant by asking questions or opening a dialogue. This is the place to do it, and we have had no problem talking about "really straight Asian hair," "Indian hair (my thread)," so why not black hair? Kudos to you for asking.
It is alright

May
June 18th, 2010, 07:11 PM
Trillcat, those were perfectly acceptable questions to ask and there is nothing wrong with wanting to get opinions directly from this message board versus doing a "google" search. That's what a message board is all about.

If a black person asked me questions about having European hair I would not be offended at all.

I stand behind you 100% girl.. don't be bothered by people on their high horse.

I second this. I am for anyone who wants to educate themselves on anything. Some people just need to :chillpill: and not get so offended at something that wasn't meant to offend in the first place.

I don't think Trillcat was trying to be offensive by saying "ethnic" hair because that's what lots of people call people who aren't white. It's not a big deal. Sometimes I hear Oprah calling black women"women of colour" and I really don't think she's a racist. I think people get way to caught up in politically correct terms and make a big deal out of nothing. Why make a weird situation out of nothing? The world of hair would be a way better place if we all knew more about everyone's hair!:p

Athena's Owl
June 18th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Also, while google can be a wonderful resource in some cases, I have a feeling that it might not offer the most objective or realistic information in this case. Just a guess :blossom:

while it may not tell you everything, it can at least get you to an *informed question.* The OP's questions were not in the least bit informed, nor did they reveal evidence of having done any research on the subject at all.

"What is considered "bad" hair" is an incredibly basic question. (http://www.google.ca/search?rlz=1C1CHHJ_enCA377CA382&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=What+is+considered+%22bad%22+hair)

What is the stigma of natural hair is a basic question. (http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1CHHJ_enCA377CA382&q=what+is+the+stigma+of+natural+hair&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=)

hemolymph
June 18th, 2010, 07:20 PM
Asking people what they consider bad hair is completely subjective and is going to change from person to person. How much "research" could she have possibly done on that subject?

McFearless
June 18th, 2010, 07:20 PM
Why is it ok to call white people 'white' but you can't call black people 'black'??
Please understand I'm not starting a fight, I just want to know.


Who says you cant? lol

trillcat
June 18th, 2010, 07:22 PM
Hi there Trillcat,

I am sure you are very well meaning and simply want to open a frank and honest discussion.
But I do take issue with the term "person of color" and referring to non-white people as "ethnic."
From your question, you seem to be referring to a broad hair type (which includes MANY variations) that is characteristic of mainly black people or multiracial people who have black ancestry. I'm sure there are a smattering of non-black people who share that hair type, but probably do not have the history with the "good hair vs. bad hair" that black/African Americans do. So, in short you mean black hair. This is a specific issue that cannot be expanded to all people of color or non-whites. Call it what it is.
Furthermore, the term "person of color" is very problematic. It is a PC term that attempts to lump nonwhite people into a collective reality that does not exist. There are many races and ethnic groups in the United States and they all have different experiences, issues, histories, and relations with races outside of our own. I am Indian, and while I have had these conversations about hair relaxers with my friends (when they wanted to talk about it, or it just came up naturally) but that does not make their experience mine. I listen respectfully and try my best to put myself in their shoes, but as a fellow human being. Not because I am not white and so I automatically know what it is like.
As far as the "ethnic," term. White people are ethnic too. It is really only in the US that the various sundry ethnic groups that happened to have a certain skin color became the "neutral" group, and melted all together to forge a single identity that is the default when we think of an American.
I am not usually so sensitive about race. But frankly, the overuse of PC terms while trying to express the same, frankly, ignorant sentiments (all nonwhite people have it the same in this country) really annoys me
My final point and then I will get off my soap box. You say you have African American friends. I will take you at your word and assume they are real friends, not a random classmate to whom you happen to say "hi." Do they talk about this with you? Does it ever come up? Much of my knowledge about black hair care came from conversations with my friends when they brought it up. It happened naturally. LIke when we're getting ready to go out and we're doing our hair.

Also, I don't think you are being ignorant by asking questions or opening a dialogue. This is the place to do it, and we have had no problem talking about "really straight Asian hair," "Indian hair (my thread)," so why not black hair? Kudos to you for asking.
It is alright
I am sorry if my terms offended, I really do not know how to call people of a diferent color. PC has been so ingrained in me, And you can't ask, I mean come on
Hey your skin is dark so what are you! that would be yikes all over the place.
Red heads get this a lot. there is a big huge stigma atached to red hair and pale skin.

McFearless
June 18th, 2010, 07:28 PM
Hmm Im not sure what I can offer here. I do not have African American hair.. or what the stereotype of that is. Although I have dark skin my hair is described as "middle eastern".

Arctic_Mama
June 18th, 2010, 07:37 PM
Geez, what a bizarrely polarizing response from some members, on a board where discussing perspectives on HAIR is the entire goal???

I have always been fascinated by hair from all over the globe - the texture differences, care standards, you name it. Black hair - from the African continent, some parts of the Middle East originally, is really fascinating to me simply BECAUSE it seems to have so much stigma attached to it, even in this decade. I find natural, kinky, corkscrew hair absolutely stunning, and since so few women seem to keep it that way (just like ashy toned haircolors like mine are rarely seen 'in the wild' anymore, everyone is always changing them!) I definitely would have a few questions to pick some brains on regarding why they chose to do what they did with their hair. I would also find it fair to have the same question shot back at me.

Indo-Asian hair types are fabulous too, and the funky mixes you get when you head north and east into certain parts of Europe where there is a total regional blend of subtypes and it is hard to pick out what is dominant in the area. I love it all. And me, having boring Northern European hair that is considered 'mainstream' in this culture, likes to be educated on the things I am not as frequently exposed to.

It's not meant to be polarizing or offensive, it's just simple curiosity as to why some of these stigmas exist even today and how one perceives their own hair or cares for it, when I know those experiences are so different than mine.

As for the term 'people of color', 'black', 'ethnic', what have you... would we not all benefit by a little grace in how we respond to one another's inquiries? The OP was trying to pick a term that wouldn't offend anyone and accidentally did quite the opposite. There is a way to address this without being mean, quite frankly, especially when the INTENT was to NOT upset anyone!

Why not assume the best of the original poster and answer her questions or PM her about what may be offensive, instead of assuming the worst and putting what could be a great conversation on the immediate defensive? Why can we not assume that an innocent question is really meant innocently, and that is it entirely appropriate for a worldwide hair board like this one?

A little kindness and compassion for one another when we post goes a very long way. I don't think anyone here is intending to hurt anyone else's feelings, and should be treated in a friendly manner until they prove themselves otherwise :flower:

jeanniet
June 18th, 2010, 07:37 PM
I am sorry if my terms offended, I really do not know how to call people of a diferent color. PC has been so ingrained in me, And you can't ask, I mean come on
Hey your skin is dark so what are you! that would be yikes all over the place.
Red heads get this a lot. there is a big huge stigma atached to red hair and pale skin.

I get asked all the time. Since I'm a mix of white and Indian, I'm a little ambiguous looking. I've been asked everything from "Are you Mexican?" to "Are you Lebanese?" That doesn't bother me. What's annoying is when people see my name, then hear me talk, and say, "Oh! You speak English so well!" Gee, that's what happens when you're BORN IN THE U.S. :angry:

Nothing different about my hair, though.

ravenreed
June 18th, 2010, 07:44 PM
I am nosy and my friends of all colors know this. I ask questions and so far, no one has gotten upset at my silliness.


I want to hear about ethnic hair. How is it different from "white" hair, what products do you use?
Why do you relax it and what is the stigma if you go natural?
Good hair vs bad hair, and what is considered "bad" hair.
I hope this does not offend anyone, but I want to learn about this.
I have many African American friends, and I have never been able to ask these questions for fear of being called a racist.

virgo75
June 18th, 2010, 07:49 PM
I want to hear about ethnic hair. How is it different from "white" hair, what products do you use?
Why do you relax it and what is the stigma if you go natural?
Good hair vs bad hair, and what is considered "bad" hair.
I hope this does not offend anyone, but I want to learn about this.
I have many African American friends, and I have never been able to ask these questions for fear of being called a racist.

First, I have to say that I'm biracial(African American and Caucasian American). I'm not offended by the questions because honestly, my mom is 'white' and she will say or ask things that would be considered offensive in the African American community but I know her well enough to know she didn't mean anything bad by it. Also, I would rather have someone ask me questions outright than to whisper assumptions behind my back.

With that being said:

How is my hair different from 'white' hair? I think it's more fine and possibly more prone to dryness. I've seen pics of Caucasian women and men with curlier hair than mine that can hold a curl and clump together while mine just frizzes out. I also can't really use gel or mousse because it dries my hair out like crazy.

What products do I use? Um, way too many? lol Right now I've been mostly using drugstore products like Garnier Length & Strength, Tresemme, and Aussie. Sometimes I'll use the conditioner as a leave-in, or I'll use oil, or a combination of aloe vera gel and oil. But I always have to leave something in. I've tried products in the 'ethnic' aisle and the only one I really like is the Lekair Cholesterol and sometimes Creme of Nature Shampoo(the old version, not the new one).

I don't relax my hair but did for about 10-12 years off and on. I wasn't ashamed of my hair I just didn't know it could DO anything. My mom has straight hair and treated my hair how she treated her own - shampoo, brush. That's it. That routine makes curly hair go POOF! lol I also grew up in a predominately white area so my hair stood out in a bad way. It wasn't until I was around other African American girls that I was told I should get a relaxer. I was also told I had to use hair grease. So for about 10 years that's what I did because at least it wasn't poofy. Then I found the internet and curly/natural hair sites and found out that my hair was curly! You coulda knocked me over with a feather! I was soooo happy that my hair had a 'type' and could actually DO something!!! :cheese:

I also never grew up with 'good hair' 'bad hair' except that my mom hated my hair because all it did was poof. And I hated my hair because all it did was poof. And I got made fun of in school because all my hair did was poof. So yeah...

The 'stigma' of going natural and the mindset of 'bad hair' probably has some roots in outdated notions carried on from the slave trade. Yes, I know how old that is, but at this point it's more subconcious for some than obvious. I think it also has to do with the concept of 'beauty' that is on tv's and in movies. It's ALL long, STRAIGHT hair. Maybe a bit of a wave and some body and bounce for health and sexiness, but it's NOT curly or tightly curled, coiled, or kinky. For example: My daughter has very tightly curly/coiled/kinky hair. It's thick and lovely! But her father and grandmother on his side have asked me if I was going to 'do something' with her hair - meaning straighten it with a hot comb or relax it :rolleyes:. My daughter loves her hair and I love it too, so no, there will be no relaxing. But if she wants it straight sometimes, that I can do. Forgot to say: What I've seen in others who believe in 'good hair' or 'bad hair' is that 'good hair' is less curly, more wavy or straight. 'Bad hair' is more tightly curled, tight coils, and zig zags.

I love all of it, but that's just me.


Sorry this was so long.
Hope that helped. :flower:

Arctic_Mama
June 18th, 2010, 07:54 PM
So now, this may be a dumb question, but what is and isn't offensive to ask someone about kinky/corkscrew hair? I would assume the offense would be more in the attitude of the person asking it, than the questions, themselves?

I don't want to accidentally offend someone because I didn't know any better!

McFearless
June 18th, 2010, 07:55 PM
Why do you relax it and what is the stigma if you go natural?

- I find those with kinky hair relax it because they pefere the look of straighter hair.

trillcat
June 18th, 2010, 08:09 PM
if you
go to the sticky of hair type, there are only two pics of z curls

HintOfMint
June 18th, 2010, 08:14 PM
Trillcat,

I realize I probably sound extremely stern in my post:o I apologize for being so harsh. I realize that you don't mean to offend and that you chose those terms precisely because you want to be sensitive. I appreciate that. However, I do think that being "racially aware," for lack of a better term, involves more than just not wanting to offend. And the terms "person of color" and "ethnic," have bothered me for quite some time, so that was not a reaction geared solely towards you. I too, want an open discussion, but I do not feel that is facilitated by using terms that sacrifice accuracy for hyperpolitesse. As long as you clarify what you mean and stipulate that you do not want to make broad generalizations... etc, I think it is perfectly fine to be specific in referring to a particular ethnic group. I just want to encourage people to be more forthright and not get to hunkered down by PC terms. :soapbox:

And I am glad you started this thread. Curiosity doesn't offend me in the slightest.:blossom:

And for the record, I do not get offended when people ask what I am, or if they confuse me with another race. After all, there is nothing wrong with any race, so why should I be offended? Often I just feel bad that I can't help someone who is asking me for directions in Spanish because they think I am Latina.

Jeaniet, I get that all the time about my accent, or lack thereof. I have an EXTREMELY neutral newscaster accent, so it kind of jars people. I don't even have a regional accent, so you can't tell AT ALL where in the US I am from. Ah well.

HintOfMint
June 18th, 2010, 08:22 PM
As for the term 'people of color', 'black', 'ethnic', what have you... would we not all benefit by a little grace in how we respond to one another's inquiries? The OP was trying to pick a term that wouldn't offend anyone and accidentally did quite the opposite. There is a way to address this without being mean, quite frankly, especially when the INTENT was to NOT upset anyone!

Why not assume the best of the original poster and answer her questions or PM her about what may be offensive, instead of assuming the worst and putting what could be a great conversation on the immediate defensive? Why can we not assume that an innocent question is really meant innocently, and that is it entirely appropriate for a worldwide hair board like this one?

A little kindness and compassion for one another when we post goes a very long way. I don't think anyone here is intending to hurt anyone else's feelings, and should be treated in a friendly manner until they prove themselves otherwise :flower:

You are right about the issues of intent and kindness. I have apologized to Trillcat for my tone. I stand by the content because I sincerely believe that we would be better off not using terms like "person of color," however my delivery was rude and defensive.

trillcat
June 18th, 2010, 08:26 PM
Trillcat,

I realize I probably sound extremely stern in my post:o I apologize for being so harsh. I realize that you don't mean to offend and that you chose those terms precisely because you want to be sensitive. I appreciate that. However, I do think that being "racially aware," for lack of a better term, involves more than just not wanting to offend. And the terms "person of color" and "ethnic," have bothered me for quite some time, so that was not a reaction geared solely towards you. I too, want an open discussion, but I do not feel that is facilitated by using terms that sacrifice accuracy for hyperpolitesse. As long as you clarify what you mean and stipulate that you do not want to make broad generalizations... etc, I think it is perfectly fine to be specific in referring to a particular ethnic group. I just want to encourage people to be more forthright and not get to hunkered down by PC terms. :soapbox:

And I am glad you started this thread. Curiosity doesn't offend me in the slightest.:blossom:

And for the record, I do not get offended when people ask what I am, or if they confuse me with another race. After all, there is nothing wrong with any race, so why should I be offended? Often I just feel bad that I can't help someone who is asking me for directions in Spanish because they think I am Latina.

Jeaniet, I get that all the time about my accent, or lack thereof. I have an EXTREMELY neutral newscaster accent, so it kind of jars people. I don't even have a regional accent, so you can't tell AT ALL where in the US I am from. Ah well.

Thank you for that!
I do have an accent, it's Chicago mixed with Wiscosin, I sound like a bizzre hot dog vendor "Hey ya want some dogs,Chicagooooo style dere ya hey dere.

virgo75
June 18th, 2010, 08:39 PM
How does a person become 'more than racially aware' without asking questions? You have to start somewhere.

And if Trillcat did her best to word her question in a way that she thought was being sensitive, what else can she do? Does she need to take a poll to ask others how she should ask the question before even asking it? It almost seems like people are saying that she has to be sensitive to everyone on this board personally. And how can she do that when she doesn't know everyone here personally? :confused:

I, for one, am not offended by someone saying "ethnic" or "people of color" because to me it leaves the term open for my own interpretation. Everyone who has brown skin and/or tightly curly hair is not African American. So she has to say, "Ladies(and men) of African, Carribean, African American, African English, Samoan, Spanish, Middle Eastern, etc. descent....."? Even still there will be people who don't want to be called "_________." And many people of these various races and cultures also relax their hair. So it's possible she was open to answers from all, not just African Americans?
But Trillcat will have to correct me if I'm wrong.

I guess right now I'm just a little sad because there was just a thread started earlier today about how 'Utopian' LHC was. My appreciation of this community also has to do with how open and accepting people seem to be on here about different races, cultures, nationalities, religions, and lifestyles.

I appreciated Trillcat's question in and of itself because nothing brings people closer to understanding each other than open dialogue. But when the person asking the question is spoken down to because of the way they worded the question - especially when it's obvious it was worded to avoid any offense or misunderstanding - it sets us back.

I'm really hoping others will also answer the questions she asked because she really seems to just want to learn about other peoples' experiences with their hair.

italianamama
June 18th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Often I just feel bad that I can't help someone who is asking me for directions in Spanish because they think I am Latina. Very funny, I get the Spanish a lot too.

I'm Italian and have a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern type hair. It's very dry and coarse and "sticks" in a braid without an elastic. My daughter is Italian and East Indian and has exactly my hair down to the color and texture.

I'm fascinated by ALL types of hair and ALL types of hair care methods! LHC is the perfect place to ask these kinds of questions:D If you're offended by a question, well you dont have to answer.

SHELIAANN1969
June 18th, 2010, 08:49 PM
I think there will always be someone somewhere who finds anything and everything offensive. :shrug:

What can we do but ask if we don't know something? There are never any stupid questions, there is a difference in being genuine and being a jerk, there is also a way in which one can answer and inform someone that something is offensive without getting completely sh!tty about it.

If someone gets completely crappy, all you can do is apologize and simply state you meant no offense, if they can't accept that, there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Life is too short and too beautiful to get stressed out about every little thing that upset someone and wasn't intentional.

We only know our own hearts, we can't force anyone to see how we feel. Everyone make mistakes and we all deserve a little forgiveness, especially if we weren't being purposefully hurtful. :flower:

Arctic_Mama
June 18th, 2010, 08:50 PM
You are right about the issues of intent and kindness. I have apologized to Trillcat for my tone. I stand by the content because I sincerely believe that we would be better off not using terms like "person of color," however my delivery was rude and defensive.

I was bristling more to a post before yours, no worries. A little forgiveness, like compassion, goes a very long way in discussions on the Internet :)

SurprisingWoman
June 18th, 2010, 08:54 PM
I think this is a great question and one I have directed to my girlfriend but she is not a long hair and has no idea of what I am "really" asking.

Have any of you seen Wanda Sykes HBO special? She is a hoot and she addresses why she married a "french" (vs "white") woman because of the biracial hair the babies would have. Hilarious.

Don't be offended. Be glad someone thought about it enough to ask.

And watch Wanda's HBO special.

She is HiLaRiOuS. Srsly.... toooo cute.

GlassEyes
June 18th, 2010, 09:02 PM
I find that in most cases, hair is hair. Someone of the same hairtype as me who is white would likely have the same issues that I have, and benefit form the same solutions.

Redcelticcurls, who is (at least visibly) of a mostly different race than I am, has similar hairto me, and similar things work for our hair. I use 'white' products--differently than most, but in the way that anyone with my hairtype might be able to.

Also, I dislike the word 'ethnic', for one reason. There is 'ethnic' and then there is 'white', as if being pale-skinned cuts you off from having any sort of ethnicity whatsoever, or any sort of culture, or that there is some fundamental difference between being 'ethnic', and being 'white', sometimes with an implied superiority to the latter (not always, but it happens). I despise the term 'people of color' for similar reasons.

Race is a heavily charged issue, so there are bound to be those who have no idea how to navigate the channels it creates, and to be honest, they are really difficult to figure out if you haven't been raised among people of other races, and often, they can be difficult to the point of stupidity. There's usually something that will offend someone that most other people wouldn't think twice about. For example, I used to be offended when someone would call my hair "kinky", because I thought it was an insult.

McKanna91
June 18th, 2010, 09:13 PM
When I saw the title of this thread, I was like, "Oh boy, here we go..." I'm so glad this hasn't turned into pages and pages of petty bickering. The way I see it, it's much better to talk out pseudo-issues like this, rather than to simply let anger and misunderstanding build up inside. 'Cause trillcat does have a point: it's become un-PC to even ask questions like this. Apparently everyone's just expected to know these things and to be aware of the various connotations attached to terms like "people of color." And some people are so hypersensitive these days! I'm a very tactful person who thinks each and every word I say, and even I've run into a misunderstanding or two.

Things change over time too, of course. My dad, who recently turned 62, does and says things all the time that are pretty un-PC and may be misinterpreted as racist or sexist. In reality, he's just clueless. He doesn't realize that some of the things he says just don't sound right in today's world. This is likely the product of living his entire life in a rural, fairly "monochromatic" setting, lacking exposure to a broader world.

Anyway, back to the original topic of this thread. I have seen that documentary, "Good Hair." It was not only very entertaining (it is Chris Rock, after all) but pretty informative as well. Not just about black hair culture, but the hair industry in general. The bits about chemicals in relaxer and imported hair from India were particularly good. I recommend it.

kowlrea
June 19th, 2010, 12:21 AM
la la la la la

Sorry Ops ... i had actually positively answered all of your questions, using each of the terms you used while asking the questions .. but I now remembered why I only liked going to the hair toy section of this forum ..

Heidi_234
June 19th, 2010, 12:53 AM
Trillcat I'm sorry to see you've got flamed for your questions! Jeez, if I thought of starting a thread about this, I would probably write pretty much the same post. I don't see anything offensive about it, and that's what makes the responses so blown out of proportions in my eyes. The intent is clearly pure there!

It would be hard to ask a question about AA hair (is that an okay term? I think I saw it used over the longhaircare forums), without giving a reference about race. If that was me, I would have meant a hair that is found on a particular race of people. I'm curly too, and almost as curly as some (I get 2b ringlets on my ends like GlassEyes' hair), but since we only tell apart best the well-known and familiar, AA hair does look very different to me, so I'd assume it is treated in special interesting ways.

One of you mentioned 'white' hair (why do you freely use this term btw?) is usually all the same - straight or wavy, but that's just as true as saying that AA hair is all the same. There are so many subtleties and differences, and every hairtype could be light years different from a close by hair type. I just feel it goes both ways here, and there's no need be be offended.

kowlrea
June 19th, 2010, 01:05 AM
Trillcat I'm sorry to see you've got flamed for your questions! Jeez, if I thought of starting a thread about this, I would probably write pretty much the same post. I don't see anything offensive about it, and that's what makes the responses so blown out of proportions in my eyes. The intent is clearly pure there!

It would be hard to ask a question about AA hair (is that an okay term? I think I saw it used over the longhaircare forums), without giving a reference about race. If that was me, I would have meant a hair that is found on a particular race of people. I'm curly too, and almost as curly as some (I get 2b ringlets on my ends like GlassEyes' hair), but since we only tell apart best the well-known and familiar, AA hair does look very different to me, so I'd assume it is treated in special interesting ways.

One of you mentioned 'white' hair (why do you freely use this term btw?) is usually all the same - straight or wavy, but that's just as true as saying that AA hair is all the same. There are so many subtleties and differences, and every hairtype could be light years different from a close by hair type. I just feel it goes both ways here, and there's no need be be offended.


Heidi .. if you are referring to me .. all you had to do was quote me or type my username ... " one of you " ??? Now I see why the last time I posted in here was in 2008. I will go and gladly remove everything I stated above .. thanks a bunch

Oh and to answer your question - if the op used the word white hair ... then i'm only going by what she said too. She asked a question about "white hair" I responded using her term "white hair".

May God Bless you

UltraBella
June 19th, 2010, 01:51 AM
Ladies, can we get back to the actual reason for this thread ? These are some great questions for a hair forum and there was no possible way to word it to make every single person happy. I think Trillcat handled it very appropriately. If you can answer Trillcat's questions, please please do ! It is a very interesting topic, one that I think can be very informative and enlightening.
For myself, as a salon owner in a rural state that is predominately white, I worry about my stylists assuming that they can treat all hair the same way. You really don't get much opportunity here to work with African American hair and I would never want a stylist to damage someone's hair unknowingly. I wish I were better educated on the subject.

Toadstool
June 19th, 2010, 02:37 AM
Instead of people jumping all over poor old Trillcat, I would like to hear some answers too.

SHELIAANN1969
June 19th, 2010, 05:50 AM
It appears that people can't control themselves or their anger and I see this thread being closed very soon.

:trainwreck:

virgo75
June 19th, 2010, 06:00 AM
I can't believe this thread is still going and there are still no more answers than before....

I don't know if the mods can do this, but is it possible to make a separate "Addressing People on LHC" thread and move all the non-hair answers there?

That way, people can freely state how they do and don't want to be addressed and this thread can go back to being about hair. Although, I didn't see a whole lot of responses that stated clearly how certain people wanted to be addressed. Just complaints about how Trillcat worded her title and OP....

Just a thought. :flower:

Deb!
June 19th, 2010, 07:10 AM
Have any of you seen Wanda Sykes HBO special? She is a hoot and she addresses why she married a "french" (vs "white") woman because of the biracial hair the babies would have. Hilarious.


I Love Wanda! :thumbsup:

trillcat
June 19th, 2010, 07:32 AM
I Love Wanda! :thumbsup:
Me too! Be warned it you go to youtube to see some of her routines, her material and be quite blue. Very much adult only, though hilarious.

I am not offended by my getting flamed, it seems to be a subject that causes high emotion.
I would ask that the mods close this, but I think it is good to get these feelings out in the open.
It has remained more or less civil, though a bit emotionaly charged for reasons I still cannot fully understand.
Its all OK to me, Heck I used to moderate a board, (not here) this is nothing compared to what I used to deal with on a daily basis.

:blossom:

trillcat
June 19th, 2010, 08:24 AM
Instead of people jumping all over poor old Trillcat, I would like to hear some answers too.
Old trillcat???
Ageism, ageisim!!
I am so very sorry :o
But this thread needed a good laugh!

Cailie
June 19th, 2010, 08:38 AM
First, I have to say that I'm biracial(African American and Caucasian American). I'm not offended by the questions because honestly, my mom is 'white' and she will say or ask things that would be considered offensive in the African American community but I know her well enough to know she didn't mean anything bad by it. Also, I would rather have someone ask me questions outright than to whisper assumptions behind my back.

With that being said:

How is my hair different from 'white' hair? I think it's more fine and possibly more prone to dryness. I've seen pics of Caucasian women and men with curlier hair than mine that can hold a curl and clump together while mine just frizzes out. I also can't really use gel or mousse because it dries my hair out like crazy.

What products do I use? Um, way too many? lol Right now I've been mostly using drugstore products like Garnier Length & Strength, Tresemme, and Aussie. Sometimes I'll use the conditioner as a leave-in, or I'll use oil, or a combination of aloe vera gel and oil. But I always have to leave something in. I've tried products in the 'ethnic' aisle and the only one I really like is the Lekair Cholesterol and sometimes Creme of Nature Shampoo(the old version, not the new one).

I don't relax my hair but did for about 10-12 years off and on. I wasn't ashamed of my hair I just didn't know it could DO anything. My mom has straight hair and treated my hair how she treated her own - shampoo, brush. That's it. That routine makes curly hair go POOF! lol I also grew up in a predominately white area so my hair stood out in a bad way. It wasn't until I was around other African American girls that I was told I should get a relaxer. I was also told I had to use hair grease. So for about 10 years that's what I did because at least it wasn't poofy. Then I found the internet and curly/natural hair sites and found out that my hair was curly! You coulda knocked me over with a feather! I was soooo happy that my hair had a 'type' and could actually DO something!!! :cheese:

I also never grew up with 'good hair' 'bad hair' except that my mom hated my hair because all it did was poof. And I hated my hair because all it did was poof. And I got made fun of in school because all my hair did was poof. So yeah...

The 'stigma' of going natural and the mindset of 'bad hair' probably has some roots in outdated notions carried on from the slave trade. Yes, I know how old that is, but at this point it's more subconcious for some than obvious. I think it also has to do with the concept of 'beauty' that is on tv's and in movies. It's ALL long, STRAIGHT hair. Maybe a bit of a wave and some body and bounce for health and sexiness, but it's NOT curly or tightly curled, coiled, or kinky. For example: My daughter has very tightly curly/coiled/kinky hair. It's thick and lovely! But her father and grandmother on his side have asked me if I was going to 'do something' with her hair - meaning straighten it with a hot comb or relax it :rolleyes:. My daughter loves her hair and I love it too, so no, there will be no relaxing. But if she wants it straight sometimes, that I can do. Forgot to say: What I've seen in others who believe in 'good hair' or 'bad hair' is that 'good hair' is less curly, more wavy or straight. 'Bad hair' is more tightly curled, tight coils, and zig zags.

I love all of it, but that's just me.


Sorry this was so long.
Hope that helped. :flower:



I think this is a great narrative of your hair story :) Thank you for sharing !

I have 3a-b hair and I had similar issues with my hair that no one understood and just "poofed" all the time. It was like a taming-war I could never win before I understood just what it really was, when I let it curl naturally and take better care of it.


If anyone else who has 4a-b-c hair would like to share their hair care routine, do's and don't, and the relation to their hair in general, I think it is an interesting subject (as much as it is interesting to hear about anyone's hair type, hair history and personal life narrative concerning their hair and all the differences of porosity, shape, thickness, etc.)

trillcat
June 19th, 2010, 08:41 AM
And since I again just can't seem to just stut up already, my background is 3/4 German, 1/4 Irish.
I have heard many German jokes directed at me, none of them funny to me. Joking about hitler, (I refuse to capatalize his name) yes, that is quite amusing. Irish jokes, also amusing, really, funny stuff.
I have been called a dumb blonde more times than I can count. Also very funny, just love the blonde jokes.
I am also short, so yup, them shorts jokes just beak me up every time.
It seems to be OK fine to call people like me all sorts of names, make jokes, but ask an honest question and you are char broiled.
I guess this did get to me more than I let on.

Sunsailing
June 19th, 2010, 08:50 AM
....(African American and Caucasian American)...

Where is Caucasia? :D (just kidding!)
I prefer "Euro American". And since I have a very small fraction of "people who were already here when the Europeans discovered North America"... I guess that covers both.
Actually, I most prefer "American".

The poiint of my post: I'm glad to see some people using humor to try to calm things in this thread. Humor is something we all share. [And so is cheese :cheese: ]

trillcat
June 19th, 2010, 09:03 AM
Where is Caucasia? :D (just kidding!)
I prefer "Euro American". And since I have a very small fraction of "people who were already here when the Europeans discovered North America"... I guess that covers both.
Actually, I most prefer "American".

The poiint of my post: I'm glad to see some people using humor to try to calm things in this thread. Humor is something we all share. [And so is cheese :cheese: ]
Funny about cheese. I was eating chips with queso last night and unknown to me at the time, part of my hair got dipped into the jar. Woke up to a WTH happened here!?
A tasty treat, not so much good as a conditioner.

Fractalsofhair
June 19th, 2010, 09:23 AM
I'm sorry people have flamed you. I know with my friends with type 4 hair who are not white, I've asked questions, and they've asked questions about my hair, including one of my closest friends who wanted to style my hair since she didn't really have that chance, and it was pretty cool styling each other's hair a few times, since it was different.

I don't think there would be as much of an outcry if a person with "black" hair asked white people about how whites with straight hair take care of their hair, so it's sad there's an outcry over this. I actually think it's better to ask people who either have the hair type or know close friends with the hair type than to just google, because if you google stuff for straight hair, you get stuff on how to make hair straight, and if you google stuff for black hair, similar issues exist, and a heavy emphasis on relaxers or totally natural hair, but not as much as how to take care of it.

Based on my friend, who claims her hair is a "Afro" when natural(thus presumably type 4 hair), as opposed to just regular curls that can be flat ironed etc(which is something most white girls in my area do.), she doesn't wash her hair daily, CO washes about once a week, uses shampoo once a month at the salon. The only "ethnic" product she uses is Pantene's relaxed and naturals conditioner, for CO washing. I think she uses redken when she gets her hair washed at a salon, but not 100% sure. She flat irons her hair once every 2 weeks, and I think she rinses her hair every couple of days. She would like to go natural to have (her words, not mine) an "Afro mohawk of epic awesomeness", and would like to be able to dye her hair strange colors, but it's not acceptable at her school to have natural hair, since it apparently "makes her look poor" when she's tried to grow it out. Her mother and father both have very short hair, and her little sister has loose curls since she's a bit younger than my friend.

As far as she knows, she's not mixed race at all,but many people with darker skin in the US are mixed race(and thus with mixed race hair.), due to slavery and the 1 drop rule.(I have a dear friend who is about 90% white, naturally dark blond, wavy hair, and she's considered black by many people since one of her great great grandparents was such... Doesn't make any sense to either of us.) I don't know what the ideal standard is for the average black woman, but I do know my friend C. has a different fashion sense than most people. I personally prefer to use some products designed for curlier hair than mine because they weigh down my hair enough so it doesn't go poof, and I like the natural ones. I know many women who are black/African American/people of color use weaves to make their hair longer, just as many white women use extensions. I wouldn't say, based on a camp I went to with a large number of African American females(And well, at all female camps, you do discuss hair a bit!), that people of color spend any more time on their hair than white people, though it did vary person to person. Out of maybe 100 females there that were black, there were about 10 that didn't relax their hair, and about 3 that wore it natural all the time, as opposed to flat ironing it about 1/2 the time.

People's opinion of "good hair" does vary person to person, very heavily, same deal as it does among white people, from what I've heard in terms of complements from my black friends.I think the overall idea is that straight long hair is the ideal, but that's the same as it is for white teenagers in the US currently in my area. I know my male African American friends have said they think weaves are creepy, so guys might have a different standard than women... Hopefully I've not offended anyone with my experiences with my friends of darker complexions, and hopefully I've helped answer the OPs questions as best I can.

Cailie
June 19th, 2010, 09:37 AM
One of my friend with type 4 hair has her hair braided (the small tiny braids all over) by her sister once in a while (I don't really know how often, neither the details of how it's done).

But what I do know is that it is huge work and takes her sister more than 6 hours of braiding time ! I find the braids very pretty, my braiding skills are no where close :)

I wonder if there is any products / oil applied on the hair before braiding to make it so sleek ?

MonikaHa
June 19th, 2010, 09:50 AM
So now, having all concluded that terminology is a bit problematic, we all know that the OP did not mean to offend anyone, and just wanted to have an informative discussion about different types of hair. So, can we talk about the HAIR?

My son is 11 months old, biracial, (I am Eastern European, DH is Island/Carribean - this is what he likes to call himself) and has some awsome hair. At first it was jet black and straight, now, it is ash blonde/brown (like mine) and curly.
I had to learn how to treat it, lots by trial and error, lots just by common sense.
His hair is very dry, so I stopped using any kind of shampoo on him, use lots of oils, such as argan, olive, jojoba and coconut oil. Comb, brush only when wet, because combing while dry is just a torture to the baby, and makes the curls go away and pouf. When wet it forms beautiful coils (about 5mm), it's very shiny and soft.
I love his hair.
Whether it is considered good or bad I don't know, I really don't care.

Cailie
June 19th, 2010, 10:03 AM
My son is 11 months old, biracial, (I am Eastern European, DH is Island/Carribean - this is what he likes to call himself) and has some awsome hair. At first it was jet black and straight, now, it is ash blonde/brown (like mine) and curly.
I had to learn how to treat it, lots by trial and error, lots just by common sense.
His hair is very dry, so I stopped using any kind of shampoo on him, use lots of oils, such as argan, olive, jojoba and coconut oil. Comb, brush only when wet, because combing while dry is just a torture to the baby, and makes the curls go away and pouf. When wet it forms beautiful coils (about 5mm), it's very shiny and soft.
I love his hair.

It seems to be absolutely lovely !
and it's great you found what works best for his hair

LoveMyMutt
June 19th, 2010, 10:03 AM
(looking around nervously and hoping she won't get drawn into any sort of flame war if she responds to this thread :rolleyes:)

I'm white, but I had a good friend who was black and we had many a discussion about hair. We were both fascinated by the "other" kind of hair, I guess.

I actually learned a lot of good haircare tips -- I'm mostly European in ancestry (with a teensy bit of Cherokee and Choctaw mixed in), but my hair is very thick in density and very fine in texture, and also dry and porous so a lot of the things that worked for my friends Type 4 hair also worked on my Type 2b/c hair. Although I like a hard-hold gel otherwise my hair gets all undefined and poufy; whereas she got better results from hair butters. And, as she wistfully pointed out, I could go swimming and my hair didn't look TOO bad afterward whereas she didn't dare get hers wet in the pool unless she could go to the salon right after! (Though I suspect this had more to do with her having a lower tolerance for bad hair days than I do).

Anyway, her definition of "bad hair" was hair that looked neglected, uncared for -- frizzy, poufy, dry, brittle, unkempt, not styled. If she saw a little girl with "bad hair," she got visibly upset and worried that the child was being neglected or unloved; whereas when I see kids with tangled or messy hair I just assume that they wouldn't sit still long enough to have it combed (as mine often did). So I surmised that taking the time and effort to put a little girl's hair into intricate braids or twists is seen as an act of love rather than an act of vanity. I would imagine this might stem from black hair in general being much more delicate and fragile than European hair; so taking the time to put it in protective styles is a higher priority than to most of us straighter haired types.

She did teach me a thing or two about caring for my hair -- I use Eco-Styler and love it, it is great for my waves, and I sleep on a satin pillowcase which was also something she taught me.

I remember how surprised she was when I explained that white girls can have bad hair days too -- she had always figured our hair never tangled or broke or frizzed. She got a kick out of the fact that my hair was big and frizzy and always told me I had an Irish 'fro.

Honestly, I think people need to get past the accusations of racism and just accept the fact that we are all the same AND we are all different. We were both curious about each other's culture and felt free to ask each other all sorts of things, and we often had a good laugh when we discovered our preconceived notions about other races were wildly inaccurate.

Cailie
June 19th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Interesting !

I'm curious about the Eco-Styler, it's a gel right ? How is it different from other gels, from your experience ?

GlassEyes
June 19th, 2010, 10:26 AM
Interesting !

I'm curious about the Eco-Styler, it's a gel right ? How is it different from other gels, from your experience ?
I'm curious about this too. It's a gel, I think, and I've heard of it/ seen it at Sally's, but haven't bought it. :)

Lexy
June 19th, 2010, 10:28 AM
I want to applaud most of you in this thread for staying very levelheaded and kind in the face of some difficult discussion.

Thank you! :flowers:

trillcat
June 19th, 2010, 10:34 AM
I want to applaud most of you in this thread for staying very levelheaded and kind in the face of some difficult discussion.

Thank you! :flowers:
Well you get a gob of queso cheese stuck in your hair it pretty much negates the the whole bitching at one another.
:cheese:

virgo75
June 19th, 2010, 10:46 AM
Where is Caucasia? :D (just kidding!)
I prefer "Euro American". And since I have a very small fraction of "people who were already here when the Europeans discovered North America"... I guess that covers both.
Actually, I most prefer "American".

The poiint of my post: I'm glad to see some people using humor to try to calm things in this thread. Humor is something we all share. [And so is cheese :cheese: ]

:lol: @ Caucasia.

Thanks for clarifying(and lightening things up a bit ;)).
I ran out of general terms for I guess "white" especially when I know that not all fair skinned people are European and not all Europeans are fair skinned. :o

But cheese is always good. :cheese:
Having some on pizza right now. :p

trillcat
June 19th, 2010, 10:55 AM
I am getting flamed now im my Pm's
Mods, close this.

Lexy
June 19th, 2010, 10:58 AM
Closed by OP request.