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View Full Version : Giving hair advice to strangers....



BeautifulBella
December 1st, 2010, 01:25 PM
http://www.dermalax.net/

I always walk past this place and finally went in today. the lady at the reception had NO HAIR and the inch of hair that she had on her head was damaged. I asked her about what they do there, etc. she said THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO for slow-growing hair:lala:. She said nothing about maintaining growth or anything!!! I had a hat on, so I don't think she realized that I didn't really need that service.

It should be a crime to spread ignorance like this...

so many time I've wished I could tap on someones shoulder and just tell them how to take care of their hair. I live in an area where the majority are black (like me), and I've never seen anyone with long hair except if she's mixed.... But I feel that if I start talking about their hair would be intrusive & rude... maybe I could make up some business cards with websites on them & just silently hand them out.

do you struggle with seeing people abusing their hair?? for me its the same feeling like I see someone wearing a horrible outfit but I don't wanna tell them that's not their color.

akurah
December 1st, 2010, 01:30 PM
I shy away from giving strangers advice! You don't know how they'll react, and on top of that, it's sort of like going up to someone and saying, "Wow, you're really fat/ugly/badly dressed. You should eat/use/wear this to fix it!" Rarely has good results, as insulting people will automatically turn them off to any good things you do have to say.

aenflex
December 1st, 2010, 01:51 PM
I worked in a mixed race salon, (admin) where we had girls that specialised in African hair and girls that specialised in European and the salon was owned by a Korean woman who knew loads about Asian hair. It was a cool place. But anyhow it always saddened me that more of the African American women wouldn't at least try to go natural, or stretch the time inbetween perms at least. African American hair can grow long, I've seen it, and I love love love a natural head of hair, grown long, maybe pressed with a comb sometimes, or even just nicely oiled and worn in it's natural state. I mean it might take a little longer to get there...but it's still very possible. My good friend growing up never, ever cut her hair and she had cornrows that were all real and waist length by the time we were about 15 or so.

As for giving strangers advice, ahh, I don't bother partly because it's unsolicited and partly because they might like their hair just the way it is...

Yeah and you arent the 1st person to mention 'Too bad we just don't have a business card with the web address on it'...funny :)

spidermom
December 1st, 2010, 01:53 PM
Don't do it! Unasked-for advice is rude (so I was told).

BeautifulBella
December 1st, 2010, 01:58 PM
I shy away from giving strangers advice! You don't know how they'll react, and on top of that, it's sort of like going up to someone and saying, "Wow, you're really fat/ugly/badly dressed. You should eat/use/wear this to fix it!" Rarely has good results, as insulting people will automatically turn them off to any good things you do have to say.

that's why I've never said anything to anyone, but I struggle with thinking what if someone had stopped me in the street 3 years ago (when my hair was a mess) and told me that I'm doing it all wrong...

LisaMonster
December 1st, 2010, 02:00 PM
I'm having a hard enough time trying to get my boyfriend to take care of his curls... I can't imagine trying with someone I didn't even know. :\

Eireann
December 1st, 2010, 02:06 PM
I can understand the temptation, but I agree with others that it is rude. If someone asks for advice (even indirectly, such as "how do you grow your hair so long?") then by all means give it. Some people like short, heavily processed hair (and it can look super cute on some people). Telling them, unsolicited, how to grow long natural hair is just like all the people we complain about who tell us how much nicer we would look if we cut our hair.

Just my 2 cents. :)

mizsunshyne
December 1st, 2010, 02:20 PM
Well 3 years ago, you might have been looking for that advice. I think if you go into a place like that, those women are looking for advice, too, so it might be ok to say something. But you never know, especially if the woman feels she has to certain things to her hair in order to be beautiful. :/

BunnyBee
December 1st, 2010, 03:28 PM
I always want to give people advice. I feel like screaming at them at times... Like the other week when I was on the bus sat next to a woman who was constantly twisting and chewing her hair... shudder:

I never would say anything to a stranger. I wouldn't want somebody coming up to me telling me what I should be doing...

enfys
December 1st, 2010, 03:41 PM
I don't give out advice unless I'm asked. I've given advice to people who have asked after seeing my hair, but even then it's a rather watered down version. My usual answer to that is "use contidtioner every wash, tie it up when you can and be gentle when you find a knot". That's enough for most people's hair to improve.

When you think of how many people there are in the world with internet access I think if they seriously wanted advice they would have found this site by now, or a similar one.

Copasetic
December 1st, 2010, 03:50 PM
Unsolicited advice is so rude. I would never tell someone how they "should" do anything.

Angeletti
December 1st, 2010, 04:00 PM
I would never give hair advice to someone unless I was talking with them about hair or something and they asked me for it or seemed interested in how I take care of my hair. I would probably be offended if someone just came up to me out of the blue and told me I should do something a certain way, so I wouldn't want to offend anyone by doing the same thing.

Carolyn
December 1st, 2010, 04:37 PM
Unsolicited advice is almost never welcomed. About anything. It's ok to mentally roll your eyes and inwardly cringe when you see something like that. But to actually say something? :nono: I think it's rude and unacceptable. Another person's hair or appearance is no one's business but their own unless it's job related.

Roseate
December 1st, 2010, 04:51 PM
Telling them, unsolicited, how to grow long natural hair is just like all the people we complain about who tell us how much nicer we would look if we cut our hair.

I agree. It's pretty much the same thing.

If I went up to my friend with the flatironed, bleached, layered rock-n-roll haircut and started telling her all about sleep caps, bone combs and camellia oil, I can only imagine the blank stare I'd get. She's got her look, I've got mine.

Karala
December 1st, 2010, 04:59 PM
I agree that giving unsolicited advice is a no-no, but I know how you feel, though...
The other day I was taking a shower at my dance school, and there was this girl with BSL hair shampooing her hair like mad, rubbing it and making loads and loads of foam. That was enough to make me cringe inside, but then it got even more gory when she proceeded to brush her soaking wet hair with a cheapie plastic brush, starting from the top and going at it with a vengeance, pulling like mad even though the brush would get caught in every strand.
I wanted to scream at her. "Use conditioner! USE CONDITIONER!"
That was painful.

Arya
December 1st, 2010, 05:49 PM
I stay away from giving strangers advice. My poor sister used to walk around with giant rats in her hair, but she honestly can't do much with it. It falls out when she gets stressed, and its so fine it mats if you look at it the wrong way. It's like all the hair on her head is trying to form into three dreadlocks. Nowadays she keeps her hair above shoulder length, and ties it up with scarves. She doesn't have the patience to sit there and unmat her hair for half an hour every four hours. I'm sure many of her friends have given her advice, but there's basically nothing she can do.

Igor
December 1st, 2010, 05:58 PM
I’m not comfortable giving people advice on hair. First of all, the whole idea of giving people advice on something implies you think there is something wrong with that they do.
I’m not willing to push my own opinions on “beauty” and “health” since my opinion is entirely in my own eye and brain.
I can find myself thinking “How can he/she do that to herself/himself??” when someone dresses horribly or has awful hair. But maybe they are doing exactly what they want to do with their own body and appearance and that’s none of my business.

To me, no matter how politely it would be voiced, it feels like going “I think your hair looks like crap. It springs in my eyes so much I can’t shut up about it. Let me give you some advice”

Even if someone directly approaches me for advice, I always just chuckle and reply “Got an hour and a note pad?”. It gives them a chance to indicate if they are really interested or just making polite conversation.
Maybe people don’t really want advice but just want to get out of awkward silence. Just like I can compliment people on something or strike up a conversation with them on something that springs to my eyes, like a cute dog or an awesome sweater. It doesn’t mean I’m actually interested in the dog breed or what fibre the sweater is made from. I’m just being polite and bring something up that I notice.

I have extended advice to friends or family, but those are people I know for a fact are interested. People can be really stuck in their habits, so even if they really would want to know about hair care, it doesn’t mean they will follow any advice I have. I usually tell people to try to Google for “hair care” if they really want to learn (Well, this works better if you are not in an English speaking country of course)

:shrug:

pepperminttea
December 1st, 2010, 08:10 PM
I don't like receiving unsolicited advice, so I don't give it either. If someone asks, then I'll mention a few basic things (avoiding 'freak out' topics like oiling) and change the subject. It's too much of a minefield.

joiekimochi
December 1st, 2010, 08:29 PM
I know how enraged I felt when a sales rep at a beauty supply store once told me to stop using organic shampoos and to buy some expensive "pharmaceutical" brand shampoo because I had "thinning hair" just because my updo had an unfortunate hair-cleavage. So I know how it would feel if I gave hair advice to people who didn't ask for it.

liagibba
December 1st, 2010, 08:33 PM
I almost posted a thread similar to this one :) I was riding home on the bus today and the girl sitting in front of me was backbrushing her gorgeous black hair to make her ponytail more poofy. I was *this* close to telling her that it's bad for her hair and she's doing lots of damage, but I held my tongue. It was very painful to watch, though!

I only give advice when asked, which is not very often.

Laurenness
December 1st, 2010, 08:33 PM
I would definitely not give unsolicited, but solicited-yes. If a friend or acquittance and I talk about hair, then I'll give them a little advice. They want red hair because they absolutely love it? Henna, but I explain that it is protective but permanent in the biggest sense. Unmanageable hair? I'll give them some advice about combs/brushes. But I always say it in a light, 'did you know?' manner. I make it sound interesting, not harsh/criticizing. But if they don't ask for it, I usually just ignore it. (Not to mention, a lot of adults/older teens don't take advice from someone younger....humph.)

Dragon
December 2nd, 2010, 12:42 AM
I also don't give advice unless asked.

Bene
December 2nd, 2010, 01:34 AM
I've got a few thoughts on this.



1) What do you hope to achieve by giving a stranger unsolicited advice? Their gratitude? What do you get out of it? The warm fuzzy feeling derived from helping?



2) I don't care enough about some random stranger to do so and risk an argument or worse. It's rude as f**k and I'd hate it if someone came up to me and did that. Pick your battles. Walking up to a stranger and telling them how they've gone wrong is certainly picking an unnecessary battle.



3) If someone's hair is so damaged to the point that they're practically bald, there's not much you can do for them.

- It's an underlying health issue that's making them bald, and unless you're a qualified physician, there is nothing you can do about it.

- It's a lifetime of bad hair habits and abuse. It's a way of looking at the chemistry of hair. It's ingrained. It's like trying to tell a hardcore meat eater to get more vegetables in their diet. They won't listen. It's not until they have a scare or an epiphany before they look to make changes.


4) A stranger can't do anything about somebody's hair habits. They have to take the first step and seek help. Personally, I wouldn't be willing to go into that with a stranger, because it's a lot more than just a quick conversation. I'd practically have to adopt their hair until the owner learns how to care for it, wash it, comb it, dry it, go shopping for the hair. I don't care enough about some bald stranger to do all that for them. ESPECIALLY if they don't have the sense to seek help long before they went and potentially messed everything up permanently. Giving them information, without them asking for it, it doesn't sink in. They won't do what's necessary. They'll half-ass it until they lose interest (mind you, growing hair is a long term project) and go back to their nonsense if they don't see instant progress.


So, my unsolicited advice about unsolicited advice is don't.

UltraBella
December 2nd, 2010, 01:52 AM
In general, I think it is incredibly presumptuous to think you know more about someone's needs than they do. Telling someone they need to treat their hair differently or wear a different type of clothing is arrogant and unkind in my opinion. While you are cringing at that individual's hair or clothing, you may miss the other five people cringing at something about you.

Juneii
December 2nd, 2010, 02:43 AM
Don't feel like we are bashing you for your own feelings BeautifulBella, but it is a bit rude to push your opinions and thoughts onto others. I most certainly don't like it when someone tells me something I already know or think that their beliefs are the absolute. So if you do see someone doing something horrible to their hair or whatever, just hold it in, it's their hair and their own body to do as they please.

ooo
December 2nd, 2010, 05:24 AM
Don't do it! Unasked-for advice is rude (so I was told).

I totally agree, but I think of it as unsensitive.

MsEvans
December 2nd, 2010, 06:11 AM
I was just recently told by a guy "Wow, you have really long hair. I mean you acutually have a ponytail. I don't ever see black girls with hair!" It made me angry but yet, it is true because many of us don't try with our natural hair. Many African American girls are hair ignorant and sometimes even ashamed of their hair in a natural state. I think offering incouraging advise is always welcome, just don't be abrasive and bias. I tell people all the time how to achieve longer hair, but I did used to be a stylist so it comes naturally.

Dreams_in_Pink
December 2nd, 2010, 06:49 AM
It will sound selfish, but it's bad haircuts that make the healthy-haired ones shine :) I would never go into the hassle of trying to fix something on anyone who doesn't cry for help. If she asks me though, i'd gladly help. Until then, i'll just look at the many proud owners of chopped/thinned/burnt/split hairs and be glad for the hair and knowledge that i have :D HA!

chopandchange
December 2nd, 2010, 06:57 AM
I don't think we should offer advice unless people ask for it. It's only hair. It would be different if they were doing something harmful to a living part of their body. Say, if you saw someone sitting on a bus and harming themself with a knife, you'd probably express concern and advise them to stop. But when it comes to hair, damaging their hair is not going to affect their life expectancy so it's none of our business really.

x0h_bother
December 2nd, 2010, 07:02 AM
Proceed with caution! I think doing some "counseling" first, trying to understand what their concern is, would be good. If they want to grow long hair but haven't and are unhappy with short hair, you may have an in. But try to see their perspective first, some people are perfectly comfortable with the way things are.

lapushka
December 2nd, 2010, 07:23 AM
I've abused my hair in the past. There are people among us who color, blow dry, straighten their hair or curl their hair with heat. It doesn't all magically stop just because you have long hair or are growing long(er) hair. Everyone has the right to do with their hair as they please, even LHC'ers - and we are accepting of that. Who am I to question or judge what anyone else does?

If information, advice or an opinion is asked, I'll give it. But if not, then I'll not say a word. Besides, what makes you think anyone is going to listen to or accept what you have to say if you just bring things up out of the blue like that? You can't force your opinion or advice about someone's habits or appearance onto someone and naively think they'll be grateful. I'd certainly go, "Who the hell do you think you are?" and laugh.


While you are cringing at that individual's hair or clothing, you may miss the other five people cringing at something about you.

There's that. Nobody's perfect.

MsEvans
December 2nd, 2010, 07:49 AM
I think having useful advice and withholding it is wrong. She may love her hair the way it is now, but want to try something new later. I have done everything to my hair in the past, to now I don't trim, heat, nor do anything in between. I don't think looking down your nose at anyone is a good idea, but words of wisdom chosen wisely are always good. If she listens and does what you say wonderful. If not, nothing is lost. People come to me all the time for hair advice or to ask what I am doing to my hair. I don't mind raising the topic with a stranger. It just must be done tastefully.

Juneii
December 2nd, 2010, 12:58 PM
I think having useful advice and withholding it is wrong. She may love her hair the way it is now, but want to try something new later. I have done everything to my hair in the past, to now I don't trim, heat, nor do anything in between. I don't think looking down your nose at anyone is a good idea, but words of wisdom chosen wisely are always good. If she listens and does what you say wonderful. If not, nothing is lost. People come to me all the time for hair advice or to ask what I am doing to my hair. I don't mind raising the topic with a stranger. It just must be done tastefully.

it could be taken as an offence. I'd be pretty annoyed if anyone told me what I should do with my hair regardless of how carefully worded it is. Once the person is bored and wants to do something different to their hair they can go and ask people for advice.
It's better to tastefully state your opinion when asked than to try and worm your way into someone else's business.

prosperina
December 2nd, 2010, 01:35 PM
People have to reach a point where they realize that what they are doing isn't working. When they realize this for themselves, they will seek an alternate route. There are resources out there, internet, library, other people. No one is going to change something so personal just because another person tried to enlighten them. I might listen to a very good friend or a family member, but I'd most likely tell a stranger with unsolicited advice to f-off. :shrug: When I was bleaching my hair at home (sometimes going over the same piece of hair twice), I knew my hair wasn't what I wanted. I *knew* it wasn't growing. Finally I realized this wasn't the way to long healthy hair, and that I need to change my ways.

Another example: a collegue of mine desperately wants pierced ears. She's gone three to four times to the mall to get her ears pierced with a gun. I told her nicely once (because she was complaining about her inability to keep the earrings in her ear, and that they burned and she often fainted when she tried to put them back in) that going to a professional piercer where they use a more sterile procedure and implant grade materials might be a better idea. Has she ever done so? No. Has she tried TWO more times to get her ears pierced at Claire's? Yes. Has it worked? NO. :rolleyes: Telling her she should do otherwise is a waste of my time, and really none of my business. Is it hard to listen to her complain about how she can't wear earrings? Yeah, but some people are just stubborn. :lala:


If the OP feels strongly she should write a book about hair care, start a website or become a hairdresser. I think people are open to polite suggestions by hairdressers.

Arya
December 2nd, 2010, 04:14 PM
Here's a question, how about unsolicited PERFUME advice? B*** just sat down five feet away from me in Uni and she REEKS of hairspray/cheap perfume. She's going to give me a migraine. KILL! debating whether to ream her out for being so effing insensitive.

BeautifulBella
December 3rd, 2010, 01:30 PM
thanks everyone for your input. it's a definite no-no, so I won't be giving out advice. I think that i will print up some cards w black hair care websites on them, and give them only to the people who stare too long at my hair.
I know that people with short, damaged hair are unhappy with it, because everyone that can afford to wears weaves & wigs. and when they aren't wearing the weaves or wigs, their hair is absolutely atrocious. I used to just think that long, healthy hair was only for white, asian or indian etc, so I'm spreading the word that black long hair is obtainable!

Belgravia
December 3rd, 2010, 06:05 PM
people have to be ready to accept the advice much like a alcoholic there is only so much spreading the word can/will do if they dont want to hear it

and yes black hair can grow LONG lhcf baby;):cheese: