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message 1: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Jan 11, 2011 10:58AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Has anyone watched this documentary made by Chris Rock? I was watching a little last night and it made me sad.

These young girls (high school) are already brainwashed (my word) into believing that they have to have long, straight hair to fit in and look professional. They made the girl who had a natural afro feel bad, like she wouldn't be able to get a mainstream job. I have been in the professional industry for over eleven years. I have natural hair and I wore it very short. It never hampered my ability to get a job. I don't doubt it might in some conservative circles, but this is the 21st century and that kind of discrimination is frowned on.

My other issue was how the weave industry helps to exploit women in other countries (India). Those women believe they are giving their hair is a sacrifice, but it's fueling an industry that doesn't help support them financially. It also addressed how few black owned businesses benefit from this industry.

There is also a segment where Chris Rock takes a bag of natural hair around and tries to sell it, and everyone was grossed out, saying nobody wants to have Black hair, and they all want to have normal/natural hair. It struck me as ludicrous that they would be disgusted with kinky, curly-textured hair.

Please don't be offended, or feel I am judging anyone here. I just wanted to talk about this movie. I don't mean to judge anyone for their hair choices. You do what works for you, but after this movie, I won't be relaxing my hair again, and I had no plans to get a weave, but I won't be doing it now.


message 2: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Oh, and some of the women would pay $1000 for a weave, and they were living at poverty level. This one lady had a layaway program at her salon.


message 3: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
I was going to make a post about this movie weekend before last, when I have first seen this show.

A lot of people would spend top dollar on their hair, even if they have to lose out on other things. Yes, one salon has a layaway plan. That's sad.

I learn something new everyday. The film indicated that in India having hair is consider vanity. They cut women and men hair to make weave.


message 4: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2004 comments Mod
I saw part of this. I was shaking my head about the layaway plan. I never knew that was possible. I thought it was sad how those girls were talking about the girl with the fro. I felt so bad for her.

That was messed up about the cost of hair in India and I agree, how it doesn't help those poor women at all but they have to make the sacrifice. The statistics were in the billions, weren't they? And they were all gained by everyone other than black folks.

I remember that segment when he tried to sell the black hair and everyone gave a weird face. So sad. Things have definitely taken a flip since the early centuries idea of beauty.


message 5: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I want to watch the whole thing. My sister had told me about it, but it was still a slap in the face.


message 6: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Yes, it's so sad how things have gone backwards. I thought black folks were beyond these manifestations of self-hatred.


message 7: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2004 comments Mod
Yes, true indeed. :-(


message 8: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
Yes, black hair was frown upon. It was like no one wants to buy black hair or should I say that people people wouldn't buy the black hair. They want the hair from India, etc. - that's sad. I don't knock the black woman that wants to put weave in their hair. But as for me I love my hair just the way it is. Well, I do put perms in my hair every blue moon. The last time I have put a perm in my hair was in July 2010 and before that it was a long time. I don't really need to put a perm in my hair, but I do every blue moon to get it straight.

Another thing I find strange and not called for is Beyonce making a commerical for hair color, when she clearly wears weave. Can weave be dyed?


message 9: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2004 comments Mod
Ha. I always found that interesting whenever I see that L'Oreal commercial. I imagine they can be dyed but it's still amusing (or maybe my dislike for her just gets tickled? ;-)).


message 10: by Tina (new)

Tina | 22 comments Danielle, you mentioned the one part that pissed me off soooooo much! That one girl with the natural hair had the most demoralized look on her face while all the rest were busy talking about how she could never get a job with her hair like that. Uh, hello, I know lawyers, doctors and many black female professors who wear their hair natural in all styles.

I think Chris Rock was trying to be ironic and satirical by pointing out the absurdity of the industry. For instance, I think he was making a very pointed commentary by showing how Indian women shear their hair as a sign of religious sacrifice understanding that it is only hair and a sign of vanity, while some western women $1,000 every three months for that same hair just for vanity.

And really, how can you be upset by an Asian entrepreneur disdainfully rejecting the idea of buying black hair because 'no one wants that' when by buying Indian hair rather than taking care of your own you're proving him right?

I think he was trying to make some sly observations but had already lost his audience because I think the documentary was too unbalanced. He had so many glamorous people talking up the weave/perm industry but he only had the one actress/stuntwoman with natural hair advocating for natural hair. I mean, she was a walking advert for how pretty natural hair could be. He needed to have more people talking about the reality and viability of natural hair.

Seriously, the natural hair community has blown up exponentially over the past 10 years sharing tons of knowledge much of which begins with dismantling behaviors and assumptions about our own hair. I have been natural for 4 years now and thanks to websites, wonderful youtube videos and just learning the basics of the science and chemistry of hair, I have learned so much about what I was doing wrong and how to take care of my hair. It is longer, healthier and stronger that is ever was with a perm (which coincidentally, I had religiously done since the age 17).

I don't judge people on how they treat their bodies. But I think it would have been nice to show that natural hair is Good Hair too.


message 11: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
I know Beyonce from TV. I don't listen to her music. I listen to Gospel. I don't care for her movies.

I understand why the white guy in Something New didn't get why the black woman was wearing weave in her hair.

I think that weave can damage real hair. It can make a person go bald. Brandy is bald on her sides. Well, at least she use to be. She doesn't wear those braids anymore. I don't know why she and her brother have a reality show. Is all this famous people lacking money?


message 12: by Bekah, Mod (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 113 comments Mod
I totally agree Tina. I have been natural for only about 10 months now, but I have seen a DRASTIC change in the health of my hair. And yes, it has grown faster, and it looks healthier and its been easier for me to manage now that I have been able to educate myself and really learn how and what my hair is doing and reacting and its just been wonderful. I think when I do straighten out my hair it looks a million times better than it ever did when I permed it. I too had been doing it since I was 17!

And yes, the youtube vids were a lightbulb for me!


message 13: by Quiana (new)

Quiana (quianacv) | 1 comments I saw "Good Hair" with a few of my co-workers/friends and they encouraged me to finally go natural. I'm doing it slowly (a bit afraid of the "big chop") but hope to be fully natural in a few months. I recently got a weave (with Indian hair someone probably got for dirt cheap or free) and it cost me $200 for the hair and to get it sewn in. I hope it lasts a couple months to make it worth it (relaxers usually $60 every 6 weeks), but I will be oh so happy to be natural and not wasting my money on things that just don't make me happy. ::steps off soap box::


message 14: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 11, 2011 11:17PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments My great-grandmother had a saying about "good hair". She said "if you've got hair on your head, it's good."

I've been natural for ten years, between braids and just cutting it very short and I like it. Firstly, I like books far too much and would rather blow $200 bucks at Borders than spend it on fake hair and spending half the day in a beauty salon listening to Taquisha's baby daddy drama. Second, all that weave stuff is just too much maintenance and frankly when it comes to hair, I'm lazy, LOL. Thirdly, if you can't swim in it, then I don't want it. I'm a water baby! I don't live too far from the ocean, and Ilike to take advantage of that fact as often as possible.

I think part of the problem for black women is that our hair is still politicized. I know it sounds crazy in 2011, but some people still view braids, locks, twists, cornrows and afros as some sort of 'radical' act, like anyone who wears their hair this way is a secret member of the Black Panther Party, LOL. Look at all the bruhaha that cover of the New Yorker with Barack Obama in a turban and Michelle with an afro caused. I got what the cover was trying to mock (a lot of people didn't), but just the idea of the First Lady actually having an afro was enough to cause folks to have kittens. People see afro, they instantly think Angela Davis!

If I can make one criticism about the film, I think a lot of the black men interviewed weren't telling the truth. Most of the women they find attractive don't have natural hair, and all one has to do is take a look at the music videos on BET to see the overwhelming preponderance of weave-divas in contrast to those with natural styles. We're just as much a part of the problem as mainstream society is.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who isn't on the Beyonce bandwagon! Give me Jill Scott and Corinne Bailey Rae any day of the week!


message 15: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
I like it was shown how you can tell if a woman has weave in her hair. Which, I can pretty much tell my looking at her head.

The bounce test. Weave doesn't bounce. Yes, it moves, but not bounce.

And it's sad, when a woman put or have a perm put in her daughter's hair, when that girl is three. The beautican that was putting a perm in that little's girl hair told Chris the youngest child, she put a perm in her hair was a three years old. That's too young.

People need to educate themselves about hair and how to take care of their daughter's hair at a young age. Back in the day and I still do it sometimes today. Water helps with combing a child's hair. Water was used to comb my hair back in the day.


message 16: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I like Beyonce'. I don't have any problems with her, although I wish that more celebrities would embrace the natural hair look, her included. I was surprised at how many black actresses they talked to had weaves.

I have had natural hair for almost 20 years. Once I learned how to take care of it, moisturizing being very important, and the right kind of combs to use, I was fine. As many of you have mentioned, my hair is more healthy than it ever was relaxed. It's actually long enough to cover my breasts if I pull it straight. I think curly hair is gorgeous and I am definitely happy to promote natural hair. I love what your grandmother said, Vixenne.

Tina, I realize that Rock was being satirical, and I caught that, but deep down, there is a serious message in this movie that saddens me.

As far as the politicizing of natural hair, I can see that, but when black people embrace natural hair and wear it proudly as a group (those who want to because it's right for them), the world has to accept that.


message 17: by Charisma (last edited Jan 12, 2011 07:13AM) (new)

Charisma Knight | 12 comments Hi Lady Danielle. I've heard about this, but never watched it. I do know, one lady at work asked me if my hair was my own. She saw the Chris Rock movie and it made her curious. I think she assumed that since I'm black and my hair came past my shoulders that it wasn't mine. I told her I do chemically relax my hair. Since then, I've cut my hair twice, it's growing out, but I'm also considering braids or dreads, because I'm really sick of the chemicals!

Oh, here is a wonderful online magazine for curly textured hair. http://thecoilreview.com
This magazine highlights the beauty of natural hair.


message 18: by Charisma (last edited Jan 12, 2011 07:13AM) (new)

Charisma Knight | 12 comments That's what gets me. So many celebrities use the weaves & wigs to get that long straight hair, and it would be nice to see them embrace shorter hair. Beyonce would look good with her own hair. As a matter of fact, I'd love to see what she'd look like without the weave. Honestly, I really think if the celebs didn't go out of their way to have long flowing locks, our younger generations would follow. Hollywood glam & glitter influence young folks of today.

Also, I can't say that society didn't influence myself and other children growing up back in the 70's. Back then, myself, sister, and cousins put towels on our heads and pretended we had long hair. Why were we so easily influenced by society?


message 19: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Charisma, can you take my quotes out of your post? Thanks.

As for your comments, I agree that it's about setting an example. Who says that there is one standard of beauty? I think some women look gorgeous with short hair.

Not to sound conceited, but I think I looked great with short hair. I was the most proud of my hair I ever was when I wore it really short. And it only took like three minutes to do my hair. Washing/conditioning was also a breeze!


message 20: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) I've never seen this movie, but I'm sure I will eventually bc the topic interests me.

I started going natural nine years ago. It was hard bc I didn't know how to take care of my own hair! I was so unhappy with the results that two years ago I went to the barber and had him cut off all my hair to a teeny weeny fro. I'm so glad I did!

I was a product junkie and used to try everything under the sun. Today I'm more educated about what works on my hair, as opposed to other women with natural hair.

YouTube and natural hair sites have been a tremendous help. I'm also a member of a natural hair group in Atlanta (over 700 members strong!). We spend time together as friends, but we also share ideas about styling and care.

The number of women going natural is on the rise. I read an Essence article (couldn't find it or I'd share) that pointed out that black salons that only do perms and weaves are suffering bc more women are going natural. I've had five friends go natural within the past year.

My overall experience has been positive. The men I meet don't seem to care, and other women don't treat me as if they think there's something wrong. In fact, they seem to admire me and I get asked a lot of questions, which I gladly answer.

I have no problem with weaves. Some natural women wear wigs, but I prefer weaves. I haven't worn one in several years, but for me, they've been been a way to give my hair a break and change my look. I tend to prefer short bobs, and I'm sure I'll wear one again some time in the future when I feel the need to change my look for a few months without doing something drastic to my hair. Colorful head scarves are occasional parts of my arsenal when styling or for complete coverage.

Being natural is part of my lifestyle and includes cooking whole foods (instead of packaged), eating organic and natural, using organic and natural products.

Here are some helpful links for anyone who's interested.

Video about the surge in natural hair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HugPZD...

Curly Nikki: http://www.curlynikki.com/

K is for Kinky: http://www.kisforkinky.com/

Savvy Brown (a green, healthy life on a budget): http://savvybrown.com/


message 21: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Thanks for the websites, Delaney.

Just curious, what kind of leave-in moisturizers do those of you who are natural use?

As weird as it sounds, the best product I've found for my hair so far is Garnier Fructise Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair.


message 22: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
I like using Garnier Fructise products in my hair. I haven't used the Leave-In Conditioner yet.

I have used the Doo Gro leave in conditioner. I ran out.


message 23: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Where do you get the Doo Gro from?

PS, Delaney, I love the Curly Nikki site. It's given me some ideas for my hair. Usually most of the natural styles on sites I've seen revolve around braids, twists, and dreads. I usually just wear my hair upswept or in french braids.


message 24: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
Danielle, I have bought mine at Walmart. The products have gone up a little, but it's good stuff. I had long hair down my back, when I was younger, now it's passed my shoulder and soon will reach my mid back.

My sister have gotten me into using Doo Gro. She had hair that wouldn't grow long, but now her hair is long and beautiful.

I want to grow my hair longer to help a cancer patient.


message 25: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
My friend donates her hair for that purpose.


message 26: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) Danielle, the Curly Nikki site is great bc it has so much information. I love how the different styles showcase the versatility of natural hair.

Re: moisturizers, right now I use Jane Carter' Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner. To protect my hair from getting too dry in the winter, most days I wear large plaits, and each morning I spray it with the conditioner. Every couple of days I rub a small amount of organic coconut oil at the ends of each plait and on my exposed scalp.

The rest of the year I use L'Occitane's Organic Shea Butter and their Ultra Rich Hair Cream. The L'Occitane products are pricey, but a little does go a long way, and they work on my hair, so it's worth it to me. Unfortunately, they have discontinued the Ultra Rich Cream, so I'll be looking for a new moisturizer next year.


message 27: by Tina (last edited Jan 13, 2013 05:46PM) (new)

Tina | 22 comments Danielle-
right now I am using the Giovanni Eco-Chic line.

Found here

Their Direct leave In moisturizer is what i use as my leave in. But the shampoos and the Smooth As Silk deep conditioner are also great and are part of my regimen as well.

One thing I learned about my own hair is that moisture and Ph balance is the key to health and growth. Natural hair sebum is pH balanced between 4.5 - 5.5. So I make sure what I put in my hair is @ 4.5/5.0 which seems to be where my hair responds the best.

These products are also Sulfate and Cone free (sodium lauryl Sulfate and anything that ends in 'cone') which is also key because sulfates are harsh cleansers that strip your hair of their natural oils.

Another really nice leave in conditioner that smells divine and is also natural is Kinky Curly Knot Today.


message 28: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Thanks for the product names. I'm doing well with what I'm using, but it's good to know what's out there. I don't want anything too greasy, so I had to go through a few before I found what worked. The Garnier is excellent for detangling. My hair is kind of fine and wavy-curly, so it tangles pretty easily.


message 29: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) I haven't watched the whole movie. However I have seen that segment. I am actually pissed off about. When I treat my hair condition and comb it. It isn't the ratty crumbled crap Chris Rock was trying to sell.

Yes hair is another multi-billion dollar industry that african americans support whole-hearted.
However hair or "Good Hair" is not a black women's burden. White women wear weave too. Garnier, Patene and all the hair products on T.V. are not selling to people of color. Our ads are in Essence.

I have done everything I want to my hair. I had it cut low and natural, dyed, jheri curled, braided, weaved, permed and pressed. What we have to realize is that not every style is for every person. natural is not for everyone and neither is permed, can we just be happy with whatever style we feel comfortable in? This judgemental crap is making me sick.


message 30: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2004 comments Mod
Here you go Charisma. Some media sites had a few snapshots of her with her real hair.

http://www.sandrarose.com/images1/bey...

http://discoveringhair.com/blog/beyon...

http://thirstyroots.com/wp-content/up...

And this vid from MadTv (starring the ever awesome Deborah Wilson) explains why I'm not too keen on her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aASCZg...

It's so spot on for what she did to both the old and new DC.

Anywho, I use Dove and Pantene in my hair. For some reason I can only use those conditioners or else my hair gets fussy (the thing has a mind of its own, ugh). Eggs, olive oil and some mayo works to help condition it, especially when I want it to dry into natural curls. I'm still trying to perfect the perfect curly do. If I can do it like Megalyn E, I would be a very happy person. Otherwise I just blowdry it straight when I don't want to deal with it for a while, but it needs some heavy conditioning every time I do since its under all that heat stress.


message 31: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
When I was younger, I use to wash my hair with egg shampoo. I haven't seen that kind of shampoo in the stores for a while. Not even as Sally's. Unless, I have been overlooking it.


message 32: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 12, 2011 09:33PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments @Jo: I totally agree with you that we should be happy with our hair regardless of what we choose to do with it. The reality is that for many black women, they are still dealing with what nappy/kinky/natural hair means in the socio-political context. And let's be real honest here, practically EVERYTHING that black women do--from our hair to our clothes to our politics and our relationships--is fodder for a whole lot of self-serving people. Also we're dealing with centuries of self-hate. We've had it pretty much indoctrinated into us that the darker more "African" we look, the less desirable we are(something we all know is a flat-out lie, considering). I like to use the image of scales. On one part of the scale is the over 200 years of this internalized/externalized self-hate and on the other is 40 or so years of slowly learning to love ourselves in all our marvelous diversity. It simply doesn't balance out. At least not yet.

And there is a noticeable rise in the numbers ofblack women who are kicking fake hair to the curb, especially because of the internet and the instant access and networking capabilities thereof. When I first chopped off my hair, it was hard to find a salon that catered to my natural styles, and as far as beauty products were concerned, it was a case of trial and error, as well as making my own using aromatherapy oils and natural ingredients. Nowdays, there are more resources and places for me to go, though I still like my barber Fantastic Floyd's. I get a kick listening to black men talk sports and politics (and sometimes both in the same sentence, LOL). By the way, if you want one of the best moisturizers for natural hair, you cannot go wrong with pure olive oil.


message 33: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
I will speak for myself. I am not out to please anyone. What I do to myself, it's because I want to do it. Not, because I am following anyone. I follow two people: God and his son Jesus. Other than that, I'm a leader, not a follower.


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments @Melissa: that's kind of a tough call because it depends really on whom you talk to. Personally, I like the bottom picture. It's prettier, sassier and has a certain something that stands out. I'd like to think the style matches the personality of its owner, a free-spirit.


message 35: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments Jo, I agree with you.

I really can't comment on black hair since I'm not black. I think like every other hair black hair is beautiful when it is well taken care of. My best friend is a black woman who is very adventurous and free spirited by nature. As a result she never keeps a hair style for more than a couple of months. She does all kind of things to her hair depending on what she's in the mood for: weave, afro, extensions, perm, press, bald and the list goes on. She also likes to have different colours so sometimes she's a blonde, a brunette, a red head, whatever. She doesn't care what anyone thinks. She does her own thing.

Women of other ethnicities do stuff with their hair all the time, and no one accuses them of wide spread self hatred (not that I'm saying anyone here has done that. I'm just speaking in the context of the film). Asian women are constantly dying their hair in all different shades. Self-hatred or just a need to try something different?

I'm a natural blonde, but I don't like being blonde. I prefer earthier tones when it comes to my hair, and ever since I was old enough to make my own decisions I've been a brunette. I also wear weave/extensions to give my hair body and a healthier look. On occasion I'll take it out so that it doesn't thin my hair, but I wear it most of the time.

I think you expressed it well. A large number of women of colour wear their hair in different styles because that's what they like. It's good to live in a world with options, however one chooses to wear their hair.

I think Tina's analysis of the film is a good one, and by that estimation I suppose it does show some level of self - hatred amongst the black female community when it comes to hair. However, I hesitate to believe this film is representative of many (dare I even say most) black women. Furthermore, what race is without its burden?

My bff is the strongest and most conscious black woman I know and there is absolutely nothing self-hating about her. Her choice of hair is a matter of self expression. As I imagine it is for many others.

Let's not try to associate our ideals with everyone else, whatever hair styles we choose.


message 36: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments I don't think I've ever seen Beyonce in her natural hair. She looks absolutely gorgeous. I particularly like the second photo.


message 37: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Jan 13, 2011 05:41AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I would never tell anyone not to follow their own muse and self-expression. However, as a black woman who lives in the black community and who has seen the hair drama in real life, there are black women who are ashamed to have nappy hair. I don't like that term, but I am using it now for a reason. I remember when a girl said I had nappy hair (because my roots had grown in curly). It floored me. It was a derogatory and ugly term for the hair that God gave me. For people to feel that natural hair is something that is intolerable is not right. I have friends who would not be caught dead letting their relaxer wear out. They won't go swimming because they are afraid to get their hair messed up. They won't go in the rain because of the same reason. Personally, I don't like any style that restricts my ability to be comfortable and to be flexible in my lifestyle, so I certainly am not the girl who will be stuck to the relaxed hair and hair salon monthly regimen. Plus, as Vixenne said, I'd rather spend my money on books or movies, than on getting my hair done every month. That's my choice. As I said in my first post, I am not trying to judge anyone here. I firmly believe you should express yourself the way you like. But do it out of self-love and not out of self-hate. Chris Rock may not have gotten everything right, but I believe he made that movie out of love, for his daughters. He wanted them to have choices and to know that they can claim their natural hair. If they decide to relax their hair, they do it knowing that it's not about being afraid of their roots, pun intended.

As far as Asians, there are some roots of self-denial in that culture too. Some Asian have their epicanthic folds removed surgically and wear contacts to look less Asian. Am I saying that all Asians dye their hair to look White? No, but some do.

I can't speak for anyone else here, but I am not trying to judge or condemn anyone who wears a weave or relaxes their hair. I am just concerned that black women feel that this is necessary to fit in/look beautiful/be fashionable. Because that is so not true.


message 38: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) Vixenne, you’re so right about olive oil! A local supermarket has BOGO sales on my favorite brand, and that’s when I purchase one bottle for my kitchen and one for my bathroom. I combine it with conditioner and sometimes a little honey and use the mixture as a deep conditioner. It leaves my hair soft and tangle-free.

Davina, thanks for your perspective. Often in the black community, it seems if we want to change something about ourselves, we're accused of self-hate or wanting to be white. There are people like that, of course, but sometimes it has more to do with what's considered fashionable or en vogue. No different than choosing a certain outfit, painting your nails, or wearing makeup.

Danielle, I have no problem with the word nappy. You can use it anytime you want, as far as I’m concerned. Nappy, nappy, nappy. There. I wish people would use it more, so we would become desensitized to it, instead of that other n-word.

I went natural because I was tired of straightening my hair, it's expensive, and I think the chemicals are unhealthy (which doesn't fit into my desire to live a more holistic lifestyle). It had nothing to do with me wanting to prove how black I was.

I wish I had done it sooner. Going natural is now en vogue/fashionable, so more women are embracing it, and I think it's wonderful. With so much information available now, the transition has also become less painful.

My natural hair is beautiful and versatile, and I don't feel the need to put down other people's choices to confirm my choice to be natural is a good one. Some women who are natural can be downright militant about it, and it’s unfortunate, because those tend to be the voices that are the loudest.

At the same time, as several of you have pointed out, women who aren’t natural can be quite cruel and derogatory toward natural hair. One of my friends who went natural last year told me some comments her own mother made. I couldn’t believe it. As a friend, I just encouraged her to stick with it and not let anyone else make her feel bad about the hair she was born with. I gave her some styling tips and pointed out some places online where she could go to get more information.

I’m even more curious to see the Chris Rock documentary now. I know he said he did it after one of his daughters said she wanted to have good hair (or something like that). He could have just had a nice conversation with her without doing a documentary, so I’d like to know what his other motivations were. At least he got people talking.


message 39: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Jan 13, 2011 07:49AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Delaney, I don't like the term because I've only heard it used in a derogatory fashion. Words become tained or colored by the manner in which they are used. I think you are right that we should claim the word to take the sting away. But, considering how it was used for my hair, I guess I do still have some pangs associated with its use.

Regarding olive oil. I didn't have much luck with it when I used it. I found it too heavy and greasy for my hair.

Also, I agree with you about relaxer. It's very damaging to the hair. Due to my biochemistry background, I found out about some things related to it. Black texture hair has a unique chemical structure that is permanently destroyed by the relaxation chemicals, which is why it is from then on prone to dryness, and breakage.


message 40: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments I think anyone who puts down something that is a natural part of their body is an idiot. And I apologise in advance if I offend anyone with my usual outspoken self.

I live in Brooklyn, a heavily populated black borough in the state of New York. I am familiar with black people from every continent and from all walks of life. While I don't deny people who self hate exist in my world I don't see them as representatives of black women as a whole, exactly because my life is touched by sooo many different women of colour on a daily basis.

Like I said before no race is perfect and no race is without its burden. You will have dysfunctional, self-hating people from every, single one.

Sometimes I think some things are a lot less about race than people realise.

Take IR dating for example. Many people, within various communities across board, will argue that those who date interracially do so because of self hate. It's crazy, ridiculous, but you'd be surprise (or not) how many people talk like that. In 2011. Madness. Lunacy.


message 41: by Tina (new)

Tina | 22 comments Hey Davina-
Long time no see! Thanks for your thoughts. Pardon me while I speak in gross generalities here. LOL. Mind you I am only talking hair. I am not talking body image or anything else, that is a whole other discussion.

I agree with a lot of what Danielle and Vixenne are saying.

When women of other nationalities change their hair by styling or coloring or cutting, I see it as a choice. There is a sense of freedom and agency to that choice. It is all cosmetic, she is trying on a different look for a few months for kicks and giggles. As Vixenne points out, the thing with black women's hair is that it goes beyond a simple cosmetic choice -- there are socio-political and historical aspects all tied up in there. The scene in the movie where the young girls are talking about they have to wear relaxers in order to get a job and to fit in, gets really to heart of the matter, imo. It is the body cosmetic vs. the body politic.

When a woman relaxes her hair, she isn't just changing the look of it. She is changing the actual chemical and physical structure of the hair. And the fact that these girls and many other women feel that have to fundamentally change their hair structure to mimic those of women of other nationalities is really quite deep, when you think about it. Those girls acknowledged that the girl with the natural fro's hair was cute. But they feel they don't have the freedom to just be cute. For them, and many like them, hair isn't a choice, to being a necessity.

I remember my husband and I were married for about two years at the time and he asked me why wouldn't I just let my hair go natural? He was honestly perplexed. He simply couldn't understand why every six weeks I would feel the need to to go to the salon, spend three hours to have a chemical put on my hair at 80 bucks a pop. I went down the list of all the reasons why I had to do this and why it was necessary. You have heard them all already. He remained perplexed and marshalled some really good arguments why he pretty much thought my reasoning was flawed. I remember thinking he simply didn't get it. He was white guy, he just didn't understand. Well 10 years later I realized I was the one who didn't get it. I mentally went through all my own arguments and neatly knocked them down one by one.

One eye opening piece of it was the sheer economic factor. To maintain a relaxed hairstyle that included salon, tips, product, flat irons, curlers, and accessories, I probably spent close to $6,000 a year just on my hair. Now having gone natural I think I spend about 300 a year on products and accessories. When I did the math I was floored about how much was flying out of my pockets and I hand't even cared at the time.

The biggest thing is I feel like it my choice. Now when I get braids (which I do on occasion) or use a flat iron or if I ever decide to get another perm (which I probably won't do). I fell like it is a choice. i don't have that thing in my head telling me that this is what I am supposed to be doing.


message 42: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6623 comments Mod
In every race, you will find people, let me use women in this thread, because we are talking about women - that have fine hair and course hair. Fine hair would be classified as good hair. I don't know why.

A lot of black women have hair that doesn't require a perm. I'm one of them. But, I do put perms in my hair, every blue moon to get it straight. I have naturally curly, wavy hair.

I have hair that if it's straight and if I go swimming, when I come up from the water, my hair is curly. Even when I wash it, it's curly. I don't mind sporting the curly look sometimes, but I like the straight look too. But, a huge percentage of the time, I wear a ponytail, because I love doing so. I don't like wearing my hair down.

Black women aren't the only ones that wear weave in their hair. Jessica Simpson even have her own weave line. Paris Hilton even wear weaves. She gets paid to do so.

Black women aren't the only ones that put perms in their hair. White women put perms in their hair to make it curly and black women put perms in their hair to make it straight.

I'll never forget when I was in the 10th grade and a white classmate said that she was getting a perm in her hair. I looked at her strange, because back then, I thought it was strange to hear of a white person putting a perm in their hair. She told me that white people put perms in their hair to make it curly.

To my knowledge, every woman put some type of chemical in her hair. We all may have different type of hair, but every hair bow down to a form of styling.

No hair is better than the next hair.


message 43: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 13, 2011 12:28PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments I just love these types of discussion. We need to get together with Oprah and have our own show on her new network, LOL!

Granted, women in general have issues of self-worth that they struggle with. Someone here pointed out that some Asians have their eyes straighted to look "more Western". But it's great to see the diversity of hair styles black women are now experimenting with (I love Willow Smith's song 'Whip My Hair' because she celebrates her hair in all its funkiness and style).

I know there were some black women who were pissed off at Rock for 'airing our dirty laundry', but honestly, how many white people do you know who even went to see this film in the first place (Sundance notwithstanding). And even by some strange quirk of fate they had, so what? They might have gotten a crash course in the politics of black hair, LOL.

Second me for liking the word "nappy". I know it comes with a lot of baggage, but for me it's like staring the beast in the eye and watching it slink away in cowardice.

In a perfect world, black hair--especially black women's hair--would just be that, HAIR. As time goes on, I see that happening more and more. The CEO of Xerox Corp is a black woman with a short afro, and who could be more striking than a bald Judith Jamison? One of my new favorite metal bands--Straight Line Stitch--features the killer pipes of a blue-braids sporting Alexis Brown. Oh, and there's mini-mohawked Felony Melony from the punk band, The Objex.


message 44: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) Danielle, I wanted to make sure you understood I don't use the olive oil mixture as a leave-in conditioner. I rinse it out and don't have that problem. If you rinse it out and get greasy hair, I understand why you don't do it. I can't stand greasy hair, either.

Tina, that's great about your husband. I think people of other races probably wonder what the big deal is and are more accepting of our hair than we are. I remember a scene in "Something New" where Simon noticed the different textures in Sanaa's hair and asked her why she wore a weave. Soon after, she removed it.

Beauty is subjective. Wasn't there a time when Japanese young people were doing things to their hair to make it look like an afro? How about that.


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments @Delaney: There's a Japanese anime director/writer named Nabushin who has a big, curly fro. He well-known for popping up as a character in some of the titles he's worked on, like The Wallflower.


message 46: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Delaney, that makes sense. The product I bought was a leave-on, and that explains why you had better luck than I did.


message 47: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) Vixenne, thanks. I found info and images online. Cool.


message 48: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) The Afro on Japanese characters is something I found odd in anime. The afro is not only in The Wallflower but the Nodame Cantible.


message 49: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 15, 2011 05:04PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments Probably it's the same director, Nabushin. It's kind of like his trademark. I saw him at last year's Anime Expo and yes, he looks like thatin RL. He's a very cool guy.

Anime gets props from me because they gave us Claudia Grant (with her short fro) and Roy Fokker from Robotech--an IR couple who actually get to kiss and hold hands (and if you have access to the non-dubbed version, they get to do a lot more...)


message 50: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) I remember that on Robertech aka Marcrosse. They were my favorite couple for a long time.
In anime when they have a male character that appear black they do have Asian female partners.
ie. the rapper umibozu in anime and manga lovely complex; Bear Walken of Gungrave- looked black but lived very Japanese. His daughter got involved with the bad guy Harry.


The thing I like about dyes, wigs and weaves, it allows a person to change their looks. I think Gabrielle Union's hair on the jet cover work very well with the clothes she is wearing. Change can happen with every hair style, natural and addition. If a person doesn't like a look or style, don't copy it. The reason blond dye and shiny weaves became popular is that it looked good on somebody. It is the reason Halle Berry hair cut became a style a while back.


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