Sunday, October 26, 2008

Black Hair

On Friday my friend Jackie invited me to see an advanced screening of a new documentary done by actor/comedian Chris Rock out in Hollywood. The topic covered was one of extreme importance, as most documentaries are. Not global warming, not healthcare, not the religious extremists, but rather the uber-significant subject of African-American hair. I will say this…the documentary was both hilarious and informative at the same time and so I recommend people go watch it no matter what type of hair you’re working with. I don’t know what it is, but black women seem to have such a deeper relationship with their hair than other ethnicities.

My own hair relationship is a bit of the love/hate variety. I have plenty of friends that like to tell me I am not allowed to complain about my hair. If I call it nappy I am liable to get slapped and if I grumble about a bad hair day some eyes start to roll. But in my reality these types of occurances actually happen. It’s hard to comb, grows like a Chia pet in humid weather, and breaks off all over the place. True, it did take me until a few years ago to figure out what a nappy kitchen was, and I just recently learned how weaves actually operate, but I still like to claim unmanageability when it comes to my tresses. I think my hair truly is a mixture of my heritage—it’s definitely mixed girl hair. That doesn’t make it better or worse than anyone else’s but it does cause some difficulty when I try to treat it as if it belongs only on one side of the fence. It wasn’t a good look when I used to take my brush and simply brush it out and then curl my bangs with a curling iron and spray with a half a can of aqua net. And it certainly wasn’t a good look the first time I tried to use grease the way I saw other black girls doing when they straightened their hair. It was like I shampooed with Crisco and instead of individual strands I had stiff mop on top of my head. Not cute.

These days my hair and I have become better friends. I know better not to try braids ever again, I’ve left relaxers alone after half of my sister’s hair fell out, and I’ve learned that bangs are not for me. My hair is naturally curly and that works well for a low-maintenance person such as myself, but I do straighten in on occasion because once it’s done it’s easy to wear for multiple days. I’m still trying to figure out which look is best for me and if it changes my overall appearance. What’s your opinion? (This will seriously determine the look I go for the next time someone asks me out on a date so please treat this inquiry with the utmost importance--my future may depend on it.)

Curly: (edited to add a picture that didn't look like I needed a deep conditioning treatment immediately)


Straight:

31 comments:

Daniel "old man" said...

Ms. Glenn,
Don’t fret so much. You are very fortunate; as a beautiful young woman, you could probably wear your hair any way and you’d look fantastic. Maybe even no hair, like the woman on that old Ohio Player’s album cover, uh minus the snake. (Geez, I remember the Ohio Player’s AND albums; I am old). My daughter goes for the straightened look about like your second photo. Costs me big bucks getting her hair all washed, whatever and flat-ironed out.
I will confess to a strong leaning to the short-hair look Damu Cherry was sportin’ through the summer though …

Anonymous said...

those ends are looking a bit ratty sister. you should take a few minutes and get yourself together.

Jon Lustig said...

I've personally always liked curly hair, but of course I can't see the pictures. Don't get me started on 'my future may depend on it.' Especially you, who has about a thousand qualities that should blow someone away before he even gets close to thinking about how you're wearing your hair. What a depressing thought.

Erin Michell said...

No I don't think either look changes your overall appearance, you look great either way. I understand the dilemma to go "curly" or "straight," though and honestly for me it usually comes down to how much time I have and do i want to bother blow drying my curls out. I don't think my answer helped, but being able to wear your hair either way is a blessing and its nice to have options. So on your next date either one will work....

Jasmine said...

Straight. Definitely.
I love you.

Anonymous said...

Straight! Guys love straight LONG Straight Hair!

Brianna said...

yea, i admit the picture with curly hair isn't the best...it was after an entire day at the track. and i'm guaranteed to pretty much always have split ends.

Anonymous said...

I think you should visit several informative hair websites that would help in the love/hate relationship b/c I understand what you're going thru being that I'm in the same position.
http://keepitsimplesista.ning.com/
http://www.longhaircareforum.com/forums/
http://www.naturallycurly.com/ **really good for curly folks**
I like your hair both ways but too much heat too often can screw up your curls in the long run.

Christy said...

Personally, I think you look beautiful both ways. They're two definite "looks", though, so it depends on what you're going for. Curly is more fun and exciting and straight is sexier and almost more "grown".

As for using our opinions as to which to wear on a date, that's a difficult one because I've done the whole straight vs. curly debate for years (although now neither works - I pretty much trashed my hair after dying it brown for a year and now my hair is HORRIBLE) and I get complete opposite reactions. A lot of people LOVE the curly and a lot ove people LOVE the straight - including my husband. He prefers straight hair on me.

BTW, I asked him and he likes it straight on you, too...then again, consider the source. LOL

Andre Rafik said...

ur back to dating? btw straight...

Anonymous said...

I have to say men like variety, so they will love your hair no matter how you wear it...maybe you should start off w/ a bun then if their lucky enough for a second date, they can see the other varieties. Either way you are a beautiful girl, and you have a way with word that leave me rotf. Curly or straight shouldnt matter.
Leena, Tx

brit_brat said...

I'm going to say curly!
of course I say this so that you have no further need to use the straightener you left at my house, thus leaving it for me to use....
but my hidden agenda aside, anyone can wear their hair straight with the proper tools but NOT everyone can wear it curly and have it look fabulous!

p.s. did you really need to mention my hair fiasco's to better paint an image? I'm surprised you didn't put a picture up of me after it fell out.
you should have warned people from having their caucasian mothers relax their hair using store bought applicators that failed to include the neutralizing shampoo...

Lyra said...

Straight!

Shayne Sterling said...

Keep it natural n curly

Los Angelista said...

I totally hear you on this one. Have gone through it myself for years. I'm intrigued about this documentary. I can't wait to see it.

The great thing is that you have the best of both world... but I think I like the curly hair a bit better. It makes you seem different from all the other straight-haired ladies roaming the streets these days!

Brianna said...

thanks for all the input everybody!

@ daniel...i was never lucky enough to get my hair done growing up. all we got was the best our non-black mother could muster...and that wasn't much!

@john...my future doesn't actually depend on it. unless i am unable to see thru someone's superficiality.

@ anonymous...thanks for the websites! yea, the heat isn't the best which is why i try to limit it.

@ christy...you're right. i kind of have the same thoughts on how it changes my "look" as well. so do you still wear your hair curly even if your husband doesn't prefer it?

@ andre...this is just "in case".

@ anonymous...i love it--a bun! i do rock the ponytail more than i probably should because the truth is i'm lazy!

@ brit...haha, yea i know you'd rather me not come back for my straightener but you only have it til Tuesday! oh...and remember when mom started a perm on the bottom of your hair instead of the top. LOL

@ los angelista...oh you will really i enjoy it i think. and yea, i agree that straight hair will make you look like just about everyone else these days.

Bianca said...

I like both.

But I like your hair the way I like my men: straight.

Anonymous said...

based off these two pictures I would say straight. But I have seen pictures of you with curly hair that looked really good.

So for you, anything rocks. I would say curly tho.

Jay, CA

Christy said...

Right now I can't wear my hair curly and it doesn't really do the "straight look" nicely right now, either (unless I pay someone to do it). Like I said, I completely screwed up my hair, so now I'm trying to let it grow out and be healthy. But, yeah, I would still wear it curly sometimes if it were possible. He's married to me now, so he's stuck with me no matter what hair I choose. LOL (on a side note, he also actually prefers me as a brunette, but he's not getting that anymore either)

t.v. said...

Assignment...

Go on a date with the same guy twice. First date; curly hair and second date; straight hair. Ask him which one he liked best, then come back and blog about it. *grinning*

Curly all the way. It has a certain intrigue to it that shows your natural hair growth.

LaLa said...

This may have already been said but you look beautiful in both photos.

The curly hair evokes your fun,sweet side. Whereas the straight version looks elegant. If you put your curly hair in an upsweep with a few tendrils strategically out of place that would be sexy too.

So my suggestion, how ever you where your hair on a regular basis go with that look. If you start off straight on a date, the guy might be expecting straight all the time. And let's face it, that is work!! Work which is quickly undone by evil humidity or sweating. :)

Dana said...

*Sigh...* I wish my hair would curl up and not bead up...=) Girl, just be glad you have options...not all of us (black women) do...well, I guess I could go buy a little something something, but I'm good with my naptural hair!! ;-) Either one works if you ask me...but I say go with the male perspective on this one...they're who you're trying to attract...not us ladies!! ;-)

brit_brat said...

Uh....me and your straightener already have plans. sorry, we won't be here.

Nigel "6five" Bigbee said...

Straight

James Carter said...

Either one is great. just dont cut it off. Men do like long hair ;)

Anonymous said...

curly...for sure!!! Men dig it.

DeRonnie said...

Straight looks better, but curly is more functional. You look good with both but the extra effort required for straight isn't worth it until at least the third date.

Marcus said...

LOL to Dana's comment

Anonymous said...

Have you tried a hat?

Medo

Anonymous said...

truthfully you look spectaculer however you wear you hair yet i'd like to see u once in short hair. do you remember shari belafonte harper's do, or halle's when it was short. Banging, and for maintance sake it's the easiest thing in the world to take care of. Ohh, one more person, remember when jada's was short, simple marvelous but most sister can't go there, the hair is there identity!

kerry myers said...

bri
i like what one woman said, try it differnet way's with the same date. As an o.g. i'm here to tell ya no brother is gonna complain how you wear your hair,psst that like what kind of music your dude is playin in the bentley, its still a bentley. Me personally, i would like to see it short, u've got dimples and gorgeous lips and cheek bones to augment a short cut, with the speghtti straps!!!!!!