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.

Originally posted 2012-05-18 19:00:15.

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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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Comments

    1. Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum
      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

    1. Socearre Moskalski
      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.

  1. Tammie Faulkner Taylor
    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. 🙂

    1. Shanice Goodridge-Flemming
      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.

      1. Aliyah Morrison

        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 .

  2. Shica Walker
    Shica Walker

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

  3. Sherrie Howard
    Sherrie Howard

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

      1. 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.

    1. Evelyn Wise
      Evelyn Wise

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

    2. Jalonna Gipson
      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!!!

  4. Joeneyce Cunningham
    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.

    1. Nasira Miller
      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.

    2. Jalonna Gipson
      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!!!

  5. Joeneyce Cunningham
    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.

    1. Kannisha Washington
      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.

    2. Loving Sullivan
      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.

    3. Crystal Hall
      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.

  6. Kim Edwards
    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!

  7. Olga P. Butler
    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! !!

  8. Mariah White
    Mariah White

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

  9. Trina Reid
    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…..

  10. Amanda Bradley
    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 :/

  11. Sherri Lovemewhenithurts Jackson-Sanner
    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!!!!!!

  12. Melissha Camp-Lindsey
    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.

    1. Tion Walker
      Tion Walker

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

  13. Nicole Nicky Nic
    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.

  14. Lynn Gitonga
    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.

  15. Erin Pearson Johnson
    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.

  16. Stylezby Jade Sharaill
    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

  17. Morgan Nimmz
    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

  18. Morgan Nimmz
    Morgan Nimmz

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

  19. Kai McIver
    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.

  20. Lilian Akiri
    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.

  21. Roxanne Holmes
    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?

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