Culture Clash Hair Extensions And The Natural Hair Movement

Culture Clash Hair Extensions And The Natural Hair Movement

Every so often I get some insight into how products are targeted to black people around the world. It’s never made me uncomfortable that the people behind these products are not usually black themselves, recently I had cause to pause for thought.

I only ‘buy black’ when the product in question is both convenient to get and is at a reasonable price. I know people who will hunt high and low to find a black owned plumber or electrician and happily pay more to get the same service that a local company can provide. That’s ok, I’m just not one of those people.

If I happen to be at the supermarket and I want to buy some seasoning and I notice a jar of spices that I know is black owned, I will usually buy that over the name brand that isn’t. I just won’t go to 3 different supermarkets to find the same jar. I simply prefer convenience and I suspect that many of us are the same way too.

Anyway, when it comes to hair products, there is a definite tendency for many of them particularly extensions to come from the Asian markets. It stands to reason seeing as most of the hair we buy here in the west comes from India, China and Korea.

This culture clash has also led to an interesting trend in Asian men and women getting ‘afro perms’ as in the picture, an thought provoking curiosity without a doubt.

Recently I was contacted by one such company looking to advertise a new product to the weave wearing black women on BHI. I couldn’t give them exact figures on the percentage of my audience that wear weaves but he furnished me with this little nugget of wisdom:


I’ve been in this industry so long, I can say that 3 out of 4 Nubian ladies will wear hair weaves some point in time, especially the younger generation. Even though they is a natural hair movement like in the seventies, eventually women get bored and change their hairstyles the same way as clothes.

Yowzers! Say what? My first reaction was to be affronted by the remark but after I’d simmered down I heard truth in his words.

Only recently I was writing about Solange Knowles and her hair regimen. She originally went natural to get out of relaxers and weaves (what she said in her Oprah interview). While she has stayed away from relaxers, shortly thereafter she was back in braids and weaves again albeit kinky curly textured ones.

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About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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Dominique Cromartie

Wow..I never seen that before! I mean the Asians wearing natural Afro thick hair..Different!

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum

Yep that’s the new it thing Asians are doing. When will Blacks folks embrace themselves, others races on the DL envy us! #lovebeingblack

Evette Howard

That shows how we are not the only race with “hair struggles” looooooooove it

Socearre Moskalski

They did a chemical process to make their hair like this. The afro is not their natural hair. It is a style choice.

Tammie Faulkner Taylor

Not surprised. Other cultures/races admire/imitate our sense of style/music/food/body shapes/skin tone, etc (not that we have a patent of any of those), so it’s no surprise that they want to copy our hair textures. And we have variety of those as well. 🙂

V-law Page

Think they r blasians or blackanese 2 get a fro…looks mixed w black

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum

They’re not mixed, go to YouTube and they’ll show the process.

Mauricia Lawrence

No its a technique in Asia, youtube it. Asia Afro Perm its called.

Shanice Goodridge-Flemming

There are many ways to get naturally straight hair to conjure the afro hair type form. No black needed. Just like we dont need to be mixed race to get the above look nor do we need the chemicals and straight weave. This is just human nature. Anyone can have an afro anyone can have straight hair.

iammastar21
iammastar21

Um no you can only have an afro if you are mixed or black or if you get a perm . Anyone can rock straight hair only some can rock a perm . Most races have naturally straight hair . Only blacks and mixed people can grow natural afros .

Vanessa Jackson

Check out the documentary hidden colors 1&2 and you’ll see how Asians have African roots

Stylezby Jade Sharaill

You are right about that the voice president of China is black and a woman with Chinese features all the evidence is there.

Shante Willnevasettle

No they are purposely thickening their hair to make it look like that…some asiasns are even getting dreads.

Shica Walker

There are people known as black Asians, hidden historical fact. The first samurai was black.

Sherrie Howard

Black Asians, Black Hispanics, etc. want to deny their natural selves just like Black Americans.

Tamiko Beckwith

Black American women are brainwashed into thinking straight hair is beautiful!

Socearre Moskalski

ALL hair is beautiful. Stop with the Natural Hair Nazi movement!

touria55
touria55

thanks…I where my hair natural…when you really feel good about yourself you accept EVERYONE’S hair texture….good grief.
By the way, many Japanese people have NATURALLY kinky hair….just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Evelyn Wise

WOMEN now have the OPTION to rock whatever hairstyle they so please. As stated it’s PREFERENCE!

Crystal Hall

Straight hair is beautiful. Linty, dusty, dull hair isn’t that glamorous!!!

Memyselfand I Myownbff

I wear weaves but beneath it my hair is natural and healthy. I Care because my hair is apart of me

Jalonna Gipson

ITS JUST HAIR WE CAN WEAR WHAT WE WANT IF NATURAL HEAD WOMEN WOULD SHUT THE HELL UP WE WOULDN’T HAVE THIS PROBLEM…..A BLACK WOMAN IS STILL A BLACK WOMAN REGARDLESS OF WHATS ON HER HEAD…STAY OUT OF PEOPLES HEAD AND MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS……….CURLY, STRAIGHT. SHORT AND LONG ITS ALL PRETTY….ITS THE PRICES THAT ARE UGLY………SOCIETY DOESN’T WANT TO SEE AFROS AND KINKS SO WE TURNED THE TABLES AND ITS STILL A PROBLEM…..AFRO OR STRAIGHT, WEAVE OR NATURAL ITS JUST HAIR……..ROCK WHAT YOU PLEASE!!!

Joeneyce Cunningham

This diagram is silly! Afros shouldn’t only be admired or worn by a certain race. It’s something Asian people are doing to their hair to make it look like that. The Japanese, in particular, love the hip hop culture so much, they go all out with their wardrobe. Hot mess depiction but they do admire us.

Nasira Miller

I live in NYC and I have seen Asians with hair like this. I don’t think they are copying or mocking us or did something to get it that way.

Jalonna Gipson

DARK SKIN COMES IN ALL RACES I WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED IF I REALLY SEEN AN ASIAN WITH DARK SKIN OR AN AFRO……..HELL I MIGHT BE A LITTLE ASIAN!!!

Joeneyce Cunningham

Tamiko Beckwith, some Black women have naturally straight hair. So, what’s your argument towards them? Not ALL are “brainwashed”. It’s called preference.

Samira Perry

THANK YOU! Samira Perry at Inspired Salon & Spa

Kannisha Washington

I never seen a black woman with straight hair. I’m a stylist and I’ve never EVER seen that. But whatever.

Kannisha Washington

I just think it’s amazing how other races embrace our true form more than we do. Everybody is trying to get big butts, big lips, tans, and curves, and big hair like us and yet, most of us do things to cover up what we already have. I don’t think anyone should pride themselves on the things that we don’t naturally have. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of who they really are.

Loving Sullivan

and she didn’t say that having straight hair is a bad thing she just said that most women that are black (which is true) think having straight hair is better then their own natural kink or wave or what ever lol and i agree with kannisha i have never seen a black women with naturally bone straight hair.

Crystal Hall

Do what ever it is that makes you feel your best! Individuality is key, it’s essential to embrace what you chose not what others believe you should.

Lady-Appolonia Kemara Brilliant

Show me one black woman with straight hair. Make me a believer.

touria55
touria55

YOU ARE MENTALLY ILL. get help

Bianca Ingram
Tosha Alston-Barnett

^^^most of these women look like they are mixed with arab.

Kim Edwards

They’re not blasians! You’d know that if you read the article! It’s a perm they came out with thst makes their hair kinky! Don’t make assumptions, just read!

Latriece Ector

Everyone is a decendant from Africa but she is right its a perm

Olga P. Butler

This was a good article! I must admit, I have been natural for a little over a year, and I still go to the Barbershop for a short cut, because I really don’t want the hassle of my hair growing long, and having to deal with entangling it every time I wash it!!! It’s a little too much for me!!! But I still love my natural hair! !! I thank God for all of the natural curly sites that brought my edges back in!!! Natural for life! !!

Evette Howard

Olga P. Butler I agree! Great article

Mariah White

Everyone around me including myself is “natural” under thier weave.

Evette Howard

Loving yourself is all that matters at the end of the day

Mariah White

I really like the comment “change thier hair like they change clothes” it’s the truth!

Carrie Guity-Copeland

I love this. Enjoyed every post. I wish this would hit the news:)

Nicole Lane Marie

Its a fad in Japan…forget what its called. Like Hallyu, but, all about mimicking rap videos basically.

Keisha Melissa Pilkenton

It’s a perm isn’t it?

Trina Reid

It’s been on YouTube forever. They process their hair to get it that way. Some of them are really into the Black Culture. Especially the music, fashion and hair…..

Amanda Bradley

I see Asians who have naturally thick hair wearing it as is….what’s the problem??

Jamillah Davis

The Asian male looks mixed to me and his hair texture is different from the Asian female’s.

Evette Howard

Yes, Socearre Moskalski they want the struggle…. cool fine with me LOL

Chantel Monique

Asians and Afros!!!!??? That’s dope

Evette Howard

White people do curly perms too

Amanda Bradley

Ok so they admire us we’ve been admired for years you were potentially a gang member in the 90’s for saying “yo” or “what’s up” now it’s universal the pope might even say it…we’re creative ppl I think that should be applauded and if I had thin hair I’d want to thicken it too..the only thing I’m concerned about is their health from the chemicals they’re using :/

Amber Mcentire

lol

Sherri Lovemewhenithurts Jackson-Sanner

Before I got locs I would get comments like your hair is to soft, it won’t loc. I would always reference back to our Caucasian and Asian brothers and sisters who rock their locs proudly!!!
Love it!!!!!!

Melissha Camp-Lindsey

Interesting article, but i see nothing wrong with wanting to change things up a bit. I doesn’t necessarily mean that Naturals aren’t appreciative of their natural hair, but change is good.

Chantelle Dee

The afro’s suit them

Ama Barton

What we hate they love

DaKing's PrincessBella YaShicaben

Most black “people” are part Asian. Look at their face and look at most “black”people. We are all mixed. They just look like like skinned black folks.

Tion Walker

I think your referring to Native American. They’re not black and they’re hair isn’t natural.

Keisha GivenitalltoGod Parson

What sites did u go on…i need my edges to gro in.

Valerie Johnson

I can’t believe the one with black hair is full Asian…no one can perm their hair this way…

Tion Walker

Yes they can. Im sure it probably really damaging.

Tai Akiva Wo

They know about the Buddha gods with that hair.. everyone knows but us!

Nicole Nicky Nic

I love my kinks and curls and so do others obviously but I also love a good weave. It protects my natural hair, it’s convenient and it allows me to switch up my style with serious manipulation to my own hair whenever I want. This month I have a bob and highlights, next I’ll be back to my kinks. Then u might see me rocking a halle berry cut. It’s about versatility and all of us regardless of race have access to that. No need to envy.

Vivian Shonuffthedeal Dianne

MY HAIR, MY WAY FOR ME, AND NOBODY ELSE.

Lynn Gitonga

Afro hair can be really time consuming and demands a lot of patience, no? some women just run out of time and patience. It’s not always about hating the natural kinky hair.

Monique Dobson

Love my natural hair

Erin Pearson Johnson

all black women don’t have natural straight hair not unless they got some white are something else black women hair is curly or nappy honey am old enough to know that for a fact.

Stylezby Jade Sharaill

Chinese people have black roots and a lot of black people live in China there vice president is a black woman the only black that denies their heritage are those in America

Morgan Nimmz

See, the reason why I don’t like the idea of Asians “kinkifying” their hair is because it’s looking like it’s just a fad or a “style.” Natural hair is unique and you shouldn’t be able to just instantly have coily textured hair by a chemical treatment. Going natural is something much more than that. It’s we women of African decent accepting our natural beautiful and not trying to conform to European standards of beauty. Just be yourself and stop trying to be like other ethnicities, which is what they are trying to do by making their hair kinky and what we are trying to do when we perm our hair

Morgan Nimmz

I don’t have a problem with weaves or extensions however because it gives your hair a break and its not permanent

Kai McIver

I feel like people can wear their hair however they like. Im not really concerned or do I find some sort of joy seeing other races trying to copy african hair textures. I mean who really cares? Do you and maintain healthy hair. No matter how you wear it.

Michelle Dee Dunlap

It’s your head of hair, do what you want, who cares what people may think !

Lilian Akiri

Black female vice president in china. That’s kind of cool – what’s her name?

In regards to the hair debate – each to their own. Hair is a form of expression, so I think you should be able to do what you like.
Ok a chinese girl with a fro gets a second look from me, but its her hair.
There are many arguments of why someone should or should not do something to their hair….. But if we put limitations on hair – all those sisters with relaxed, weaved, blonde hair would look a whole hella different.

Roxanne Holmes

I think some people take some of these post a little too seriously. I think they just wanted people to think about the fact that blacks are the only group who as a majority sport another ethnicities hair. yes im aware that not everybody’s hair is kinky and i also know that other races wear extensions sometimes also. But look around you, step out into the street right now and tell me how many sista’s are actually wearing their own hair straightened or otherwise?

Laura Dosmeus

I’ve seen Asians with our hair texture before and it was NOT extensions!