Why do Black Women Perm Their Hair?
Daniel Asher

Pinehurst, NC

#24 Jun 17, 2008
omni101 wrote:
@Light Skinned Black Woman
Addison, TX
why say "blessed" hhmmm I see, you believed you are "blessed" cause in this situation you have straight hair?
sorry dear, your hair has nothing to do with you being blessed, your comment implies that you have a superiority complex because of your straight hair. also your title, suggest you are one on the people who think they are some how "better off" as opposed to other people of darker skin...
light skinned sister with straight hair whom believes it's a blessing?
Grow up and educate yourself a little more, cause one day when the hair is gfray and the wrinkles appear, you'll just be old like us all
I was waiting for someone to respond to that. Well said. Though that's possibly a troll, and if it's not, I feel for them. A blessing is you waking up every morning to be able to even look at that "straight hair" in the mirror and having a roof over your head and food in your belly. There are people who would rather have that kind of blessing than your "straight hair". Please don't be delusional. If your hair is naturally straight, then good for you and your easy maintenance schedule, but don't try to put it on a pedestal. That is just too much.

Anyway, I personally just wanted to say that after reading so many of these forums that ask this question, that I am so tired of it lol Why does it matter what anyone, regardless of "race", chooses to do to their hair? I like to relax my hair maybe once or twice a year, depending on how manageable it is (or isn't). So what? I'm not trying to be anyone or anything other than myself.

I can usually deep condition my hair after a perm or two a year and it'll be fine, as long as I can manage it, I am happy. If you choose not to put anything in your hair that is on you. Personal choice is a beautiful thing. I'm glad we have many options we can pick from as far as styles and such that we can do with our hair. Relaxed or not.

And let's not forget, a relaxer is not just for black women. It's for coarse...hair...you want to straighten. I know plenty of other ethnicities that get their hair relaxed bc it is coarse and hard to manage sometimes. I know plenty of "white" ladies that have had their hair straightened with the new styling technique call Japanese Straightening.

I even tried it myself because I wanted to see if it was any different than regular relaxing (Had strand tests done because not many people with coarse hair had said it was successful, and it didn't damage my hair and looked great so if anyone did try that, I'd recommend a strand test first!! Just wanted to put that out there. However it is nice, but it makes my coarse hair look unnaturally straight and I prefer a regular relaxer any day! But, again, that's just MY personal opinion.)

I will wear my hair however I please. Braided, relaxed, wet and wavy, long, short, with a weave, without. Whatever looks good, is convenient, and doesn't kill myself or anyone else, I'm down for.
nappy neffie

Saint Petersburg, FL

#25 Jun 17, 2008
Rose wood wrote:
Well I don't think everyone perms it to "be White or look White." If you have terribly nappy hair, a perm may just make it easier to manage. Perms do make your hair grow, if you keep it up. I just get my hair pressed and and it looks just as good. I hated perms, because they took out a lot of my hair. That was back when I was 3 0r 4, but I still remember how much I hated it. Afros are so 70's ,but they are making a comeback. Where I go, all the boys have nappy, beady afros. I think something may crawl out of them one day. Every single Black girl has a perm, except me. I'm the only one w/ braids, but that doesn't bother me. I actually change my hair, unlike them. Hair being just straight gets boring fast.
you dont have to relax the hair for it to be managable.you can put a leave-in conditionerin your own natural hair and comb straight from the root with a big toothed comb and it will be just as managable.it looks pretty and feels nice and soft. i get so sick of people making excuses for trying to look like white girls.
Daniel Asher

Pinehurst, NC

#26 Jun 17, 2008
nappy neffie wrote:
<quoted text>you dont have to relax the hair for it to be managable.you can put a leave-in conditionerin your own natural hair and comb straight from the root with a big toothed comb and it will be just as managable.it looks pretty and feels nice and soft. i get so sick of people making excuses for trying to look like white girls.
Correction. It depends on the type and thickness of the hair..because it varies in coarseness/length/thickness or thinness, etc. So yes, some girls have to straighten their hair while others just choose to. I know for a fact that your method would not work on some of my friends' hair types. Relaxing is not some attempt to "look white" anymore than going natural is an attempt to "rebel against the man", I mean seriously

It's a choice. You choose to go "natural". That's you. I'm tired of people belittling others because THEY have personal hang ups about themselves, and project onto others.

It's not your head, it's theirs. Again, personal choice. Sure, there may be people out there that are ashamed of their ethnicity. Sure there may be people that want to change it because they envy others. And that is sad because you should love yourself regardless and no that isn't a contradiction. You can love yourself and change things about you as long as you know they don't define you.

But WOW, let's not group everyone who does whatever the heck they want with their hair into one category please, that's a little ignorant. People can easily say that because of your comments about hair relaxing, that you are a racist since you seem to have something against people achieving a look seen mostly worn by another race. However, you forget that there are some "black" women who have naturally straight hair. But I guess their genes are trying to be white!!

Please do better. It's very sad to see this is such a hot topic. It's personal choice and people can do whatever to their body because it's theirs. And if you don't like it.......... that's YOU!

“NWO Abolitioners”

Level 2

Since: May 08

Alnitak, Alnilam And Mintaka

#27 Jun 17, 2008
To coform to what society has dictated to be beautiful expected. In order to be excepted into that society, she conforms.
nappy neffie

Saint Petersburg, FL

#28 Jun 18, 2008
Daniel Asher wrote:
<quoted text>
Correction. It depends on the type and thickness of the hair..because it varies in coarseness/length/thickness or thinness, etc. So yes, some girls have to straighten their hair while others just choose to. I know for a fact that your method would not work on some of my friends' hair types. Relaxing is not some attempt to "look white" anymore than going natural is an attempt to "rebel against the man", I mean seriously
It's a choice. You choose to go "natural". That's you. I'm tired of people belittling others because THEY have personal hang ups about themselves, and project onto others.
It's not your head, it's theirs. Again, personal choice. Sure, there may be people out there that are ashamed of their ethnicity. Sure there may be people that want to change it because they envy others. And that is sad because you should love yourself regardless and no that isn't a contradiction. You can love yourself and change things about you as long as you know they don't define you.
But WOW, let's not group everyone who does whatever the heck they want with their hair into one category please, that's a little ignorant. People can easily say that because of your comments about hair relaxing, that you are a racist since you seem to have something against people achieving a look seen mostly worn by another race. However, you forget that there are some "black" women who have naturally straight hair. But I guess their genes are trying to be white!!
Please do better. It's very sad to see this is such a hot topic. It's personal choice and people can do whatever to their body because it's theirs. And if you don't like it.......... that's YOU!
actually, youre wrong sweetie.it does not matter if your hair is really thick or thin or whatever if a person takes the time to moisterise their hair with a leave in conditioner or moisturizer or what ever, if you comb it from the root it will be a little painful at first but if you are using a big tooth comb you will comb those tangles away.the hair is left soft and very managable.your just another example of a black woman looking for an excuse to look white.you need to learn to love yourself,hon. if god wanted you to have straight hair like every other race,he wouldve given it to you...NATURALLY!so stop with the excuses on this thread because im tired of it.o.k. god knew what he was doin giving you nappy,tightly coiled hair. there is nothing wrong with it.face the fact that you're black and stop self hating,o.k.? buh-bye.
Open Minded

Charleston, SC

#29 Jul 23, 2008
Well, I'd like to start by saying I see an issue that can be looked at from several differnet vantage points. All are correct, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Ultimetly, its the individuals head of hair and his or her own's choice as of how to treat it; whether this involves the natural look, relaxing permin, coloring, etc.
Individuals process their hair for several reasons as well as wear it natural. Again to each his own. Does it really matter why someone does it wether its for manegability, style choice, or self hatred. Who cares? Fussing over anothers hair style options won't alter your own head.
But don't get me wrong. African- Americans are not the only race that alter their natural hair textures: whites, asians, hispanics, etc do as well.
My personal opinion is that choice of hairstyle is a personal expression. Your head is your own canvas. For what ever reason you decide to do what you doto it, make sure your doing it because you want to- not because you feel pressured or obligated to do so. You have to live with your decison!

Since: Mar 08

United States

#30 Jul 23, 2008
Why worry about what black women do to their hair?? If you are NOT paying for it and you are NOT doing a damn thing for black women, then stfu.
Momo-byon

Middle Island, NY

#31 Jul 31, 2008
If only it were that simple...unfortunately it isn't. Especially for black women. Whenever someone who is white does something, its just 'oh, he crazy!' But whenever a so-called 'minority'(i take high offense to that word seeing as how theres more non-whites in this world than white...) does something, they lump the entire ethnicity together. Thus, if it involves asians, they only do martial arts, if it involves blacks/hispanics, they're trying to get outta the ghetto. We're always lumped together. So when one black woman decides to put chemicals in her hair to 'straighten' it, all black women automatically don't want to have beautiful NATURAL hair. Its a complete double standard.

“Maryland Chic”

Since: Sep 08

Fort Washington Maryland

#32 Sep 23, 2008
I don't perm my hair. Well, I used to years ago but I stopped. Now I just use a pressing comb on it, and I do that because I want my hair straight and its naturally very curly. Its all about variety my goodness...lol. Other races get their hair permed because their hair is usually naturally straight and they want a curlier style.
Brother Anonymous

Manassas, VA

#33 Sep 25, 2008
nappy neffie wrote:
<quoted text>you dont have to relax the hair for it to be managable.you can put a leave-in conditionerin your own natural hair and comb straight from the root with a big toothed comb and it will be just as managable.it looks pretty and feels nice and soft. i get so sick of people making excuses for trying to look like white girls.
Thank you Sis. Thank you so much. I get tired of sisters saying the only reason they chemically straighten their hair is to make it more manageable. Before we developed these hair damaging products what were our women doing? They were managing and grooming their hair. And black men weren't calling them nappy headed, they were calling them beautiful. I am not condemning women for getting perms, my girlfriend has one. I am encouraging us to leave the European standard of beauty alone though.

A young lady on the cusp of beginning her first job confided in me that she was battling whether she would be accepted if she no longer straightened her hair. She said her parents told her she would be past over for promotions if she did not straighten her hair. She went to her soon to be manager and asked her if it was o.k. if she didn't straighten her hair. She is a qualified college gradaute and this occurred in 2007. The tremmors from the earthquake of slavery and white supremacy shake our lives shape our self-esteem as black people daily.
an African American girl

Boone, NC

#34 Oct 28, 2008
OKAY! What's with all the "European standards of beauty" and the "trying to be white" Crap?? Have you thought that *Maybe* black women get perms just to do something *different*(oh shocker there!) Or *Maybe* the get perms because its what they're USED to doing?? I have relaxed hair and I'm planning on going natural soon, and its not because I'm tired of 'looking white' or I want to be beautiful in someone else's eyes, or because i feel i need to 'accept being black'. My God, its just because I want something DIFFERENT. Before, I thought you could do more with relaxed hair, so I got my hair relaxed. Now im bored with it so I want to go natural. And for as long as i'm natual, there may be a time where I want it relaxed again. BIG WHOOP. Its frikkin HAIR okay? People decide to wear make up instead of going 'all natural', they get their nails done they buy new clothes. Why does perming/relaxing your hair have to be such an offense?
Gz.
jay

Mattituck, NY

#35 Nov 10, 2008
You know if you think about it black hair would not be an issue if it wasn't so unmanageable. I was natural for years and for my hair to look good i had to braid it twist it take time to comb it out which took more than an hour. I'm a flight attendant and i wouldn't mind having the wash and go hair. When i'm in my hotel room I would love to be able to wash my hair myself like my white coworkers,they get on the plan ready to work and I smell this fresh shampoo scent in their hair. but I would loose sleep trying to wash and comb it out if I did. I can't even go into the pool without wetting my hair because I know if I do I would have a whole lot of work ahead of me. Natural hair does not suit me I just never looked done and I would have to put gel or grease to make it look tamed. I have a perm now and still have to worry about the water. Water is a very natural source of the earth, but mix it with black hair its a disaster .Permed or natural black hair is not easy. So whomever has that manageable hair I consider them blessed because it saves them time and money. I love my long hair that is down my back, but texture, not so much.

Since: Sep 07

Location hidden

#36 Nov 10, 2008
jay wrote:
You know if you think about it black hair would not be an issue if it wasn't so unmanageable. I was natural for years and for my hair to look good i had to braid it twist it take time to comb it out which took more than an hour. I'm a flight attendant and i wouldn't mind having the wash and go hair. When i'm in my hotel room I would love to be able to wash my hair myself like my white coworkers,they get on the plan ready to work and I smell this fresh shampoo scent in their hair. but I would loose sleep trying to wash and comb it out if I did. I can't even go into the pool without wetting my hair because I know if I do I would have a whole lot of work ahead of me. Natural hair does not suit me I just never looked done and I would have to put gel or grease to make it look tamed. I have a perm now and still have to worry about the water. Water is a very natural source of the earth, but mix it with black hair its a disaster .Permed or natural black hair is not easy. So whomever has that manageable hair I consider them blessed because it saves them time and money. I love my long hair that is down my back, but texture, not so much.
Maybe it was unmanageable because you didn't know what you were doing.
Jay

Herndon, VA

#37 Nov 10, 2008
self-hate

“reppin' dat 2up 2 down”

Since: Sep 07

Va

#38 Nov 10, 2008
Its a cycle that most black women go through, and it mostly starts at a young age. Most of us are forced by our moms to get one and when we get old enough to make the descision not to use them then the cycle is done hopefully. All we have to do is teach our daughters how to manage and style ther natural texture then you may see more women rocking natural hair.

“This was so much FUN!”

Since: Sep 08

Thomasville, GA

#39 Nov 10, 2008
for the same reason white women perm theirs.

“reppin' dat 2up 2 down”

Since: Sep 07

Va

#40 Nov 10, 2008
Im tired of the relaxed looked, its getting boring to me, plus I realized I appreciate the kinks God gave me and I wanna wear them proud.

“This was so much FUN!”

Since: Sep 08

Thomasville, GA

#41 Nov 10, 2008
The REAL question is....why is everyone worried about what a black woman does to her hair?

“Je ne sais quoi. ”

Level 1

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#42 Nov 10, 2008
Assimilation...trying to conform to societies standards of beauty. For some it's simply a personal choice...some do it out of self-loathing.

My mom didn't force me to perm my hair...she doesn't even perm her's lol...I was natural most of my life...and I am going back...I miss my thick curls...even if it took forever to detangle... it was worth it. If I have daughters they will remain natural until they are old enough to make the decision themselves.
SARIS

Philadelphia, PA

#45 Nov 10, 2008
Well I permed my hair, and much later cut all the perm out of it to go natural. However if one has their hair in natural roots, that is fine. But what is more important, is that the roots grow on the inside, rather than on the outside. To me that is more important.

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