I was having a conversation about hair...

@cripfemme (7714)
United States
September 27, 2009 5:16pm CST
My assistant and I were talking about hair. We're both African American although she's darker than me and we were talking about whether or not it was politically correct to relax our hair. Knowing, as we both do, that relaxers were invented to make our hair more like the stereotypical Caucasian hair. We decided that neither one of us had any desire to be white and that we only chose the product because it made our hair easier to deal with. Other people may have had other intentions but we didn't. So we came to the conclusion that it was alright for us to use the product because we knew who we were and using this product didn't change that. I still have some issues with people (and there are a few I actually know) who decide to become more attractive to white men by over-straightening their hair. I wish they didn't feel that way about themselves, but I'm not responsible for them or what they think. I'm going to relax my hair because it makes my hair combable not because it's going to make some guy like me. There's a difference. Where do you fall on the whole hair political correctness thing? I think this discussion is going to be very heated, and I'm eagerly awaiting your responses.
2 people like this
11 responses
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I think that anyone should do their hair however they want for whatever reason they want... I think it's pretty sad that something as simple as "doing your hair" has to turn into us having to explore our motives and the "political correctness" of it. I understand why you and your friend were asking yourselves the question, but I just think it's a sad refelction on our society that we have to even worry about that stuff. I do think it's a bit judgemental of you to question the motives of those women who want to straighten their hair to make themselves more attractive to white men. Only because, I'm wondering, do you know that for a fact, or are you just jumping to conclusions about it? And even if they did TELL YOU that was their reason. Are you judging them for wanting to date ouside their race?
@cripfemme (7714)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I'm not judging them and yes people did actually say that both to me and in historical documentaries. However, I think if you need to do something to fix yourself so the person will like you more you should consider dating another person. This applies to all things, not just race.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I agree...to some degree. If you are changing who you are to please another person, then you are selling youself short. But I also think that women in general do that in many ways. I'm not sure at what point we are just trying to "look our best" by wearing make-up, fixing our hair, etc and at what point we are going to far too try to "please our man". Or to "get the guy"...
• United States
28 Sep 09
I think that doing your hair should be up to you based on how you feel about your self, not anything else. Im white and I do my hair according to what I think would be easier for me and what makes me feel good. Good for you cripfemme for doing what you want based on yourself not any ideas of race. I face this problem alot. I have had several friends refuse to hang out with me because my three best friends are African American. I hate that people are so irrational and immature as to base anything on race, who you are is who you are, period. I have black friends becuse of who they are and beacuse they are fun to be around and have always been there for me. My attitude is " screw you " to anyone who thinks that they can tell me how to do my hair or anything else because of what my race is.
@irishidid (8724)
• United States
28 Sep 09
Do what makes you happy. I'd kill for a little curl and some thicker hair. I never could wear anything in my hair like barrettes. They just kinda slide down my hair and fall off. Gel is about the only thing I can use to get it to stay the way I want. On the other hand I do have an advantage with fine hair. Razor cuts work amazingly great, better than scissors. In fact, I just got my hair done today. I had held off because my favorite stylist left the shop but my hair was getting to be too much. Luckily, I found me a new one who isn't afraid of using the razor. Whether you go natural, relaxed, braids, or dreads-do what makes you happy. Let 'em think whatever they want to think.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
28 Sep 09
My opinion is this, I just wish people would like themselves AND each other for who they are and not for what they are. It doesn't matter if your black or white, long or short hair, curly or straight, you are who you are and that's that. So what if you make your hair straight, it's your preference, just as it is with mine to go curly with my think wavy hair. It doesn't change you from you no more than it changes me for me. Thumbs up my friend!
• United States
28 Sep 09
I am hispanic and i have super thick curly hair. I relax my hair because my hair gets notted, nappy, and frizzy too. I do not want to look white i am who i am and proud of it. But if i could turn back time i would have never relaxed my hair because relaxers can damage your hair. Mine became very damaged at one point and it took me a very long time to get it back healthy again.
@zhangscu (59)
• China
28 Sep 09
I agree that you made a good decision by yourself. It is obvious you liked yourself and your identity. Anyway, why must one compel him/herself to do sth that he/she does not like at all to win others' preference, since he/she does not interfer others? I like the sentence: "I'm going to relax my hair because ... not because ...."
@jules67 (2790)
• Philippines
28 Sep 09
Whatever is going to make you happy and you will feel good about it, then go for it. You should not rely on what people think. But you should be careful since it is a chemical. I once was able to mismanage the use of some hair dye and I had a drastic hair loss. Be careful, better to accept yourself for who you are.
• United States
28 Sep 09
Hello, I think this issue is far more deeper then race etc, I feel you have to do what is best for you in any situation you know, rather it is hair makeup marriage, you are the one that can see clearly when something is just not working out for you, so the way to handle that is try something else, you are not going to be concerned about what someone else is thinking about you etc, me personally my hair is really curly and I comb my hair with my fingers and it works for me, I dont like combs or brushes in my hair for that matter. Happy My Lotting!
@lilybug (21147)
• United States
27 Sep 09
I am white, but my daughter is mixed. Her father is African American. Her hair is very soft and fine like mine, and she got the curl from her dad. The combination of the 2 types of hair makes for some really pretty hair that knots up very easily. I have thought about relaxing her hair to make it easier to deal with, but I won't simply because her hair is part of what makes her who she is. I cannot even begin to imagine her with straight hair. If she wants to get her hair relaxed when she is older then fine, but I am not going to make that decision for her. I think that it is fine as long as the person is doing it for the right reasons. Meaning, to make their hair more manageable. Not to try to be something that they are not.
@LiveLove (445)
• United States
27 Sep 09
I actually disagree on one point: relaxed hair is not easier to manage than natural (if not naturally straight) hair. I think that some Black women don't realize that our hair is meant for wide-tooth combs because of the texture. Anyone's hair should never be forced through a comb but if hair is to be combed then the right one should be used. It is the same thing with brushes too. Boar hair brushes are better for Black hair since it helps distribute oil from the scalp to the hair ends and shaft over the cheaper nylon one which will cause split ends. I prefer to just have my have in curls but I do flat iron my hair on occasion either during winter to keep warm or to go with certain hats. I wouldn't suggest relaxer because of its link with tumors and brain problems. Just invest in a decent ceramic flat-iron if straight hair is wanted. I just regret having the stereotyped "good hair" because it is no good to me if I can't get it in a afro. All hair is good hair in my opinion.Also, I never heard of getting relaxed hair being "politically correct" or not. That is definitely news to me.
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
27 Sep 09
You know, I think your question applies to just about anything people do with their hair, makeup, and clothing, whether it's something related to race/ethnicity or not. We should probably take some time to ask ourselves, "Am I putting this on/doing this to my hair in order to be more socially acceptable, or because I actually want to?" To a certain extent we have to keep up appearances (i.e. looking presentable in the workplace), but I think that we spend way more time and money than we need to trying to look like someone else. I realized several years ago that I was only wearing makeup because all the other girls my age did, and that I didn't really want the hassle or the expense or the bad skin issues that came with it anymore. I'm glad that you're a person who's conscious of why you've made the decision to relax your hair, and that you're not doing it to try to blend in with the white majority. Good for you!