Last Friday I walked into a shop at Amcorp Mall that sells hair products and accessories. As I entered, I heard a customer whining to the sales staff at the counter about her hair. Said customer was a middle-aged Indian woman with long freezy hair down her back.
When she noticed me, she gave me a look and told the staff at the counter: " You see lar, we Indians all have this kind of hair only." I was quite amused that she was putting me in the same category as her, considering that I don't have a huge lump of friz bobbing down my back.
If only someone had given this woman some sage advice about managing her thick mane, maybe she wouldn't be whining and hankering after silky-smooth stresses - which she naturally cannot have unless she resorts to rebonding and rebonding till death, by which time she might no longer have any hair left.
If only someone had told her that maybe she should not have her hair that long! And that perhaps she should trim it a little, every few months, a little layering perhaps.....? A hair mask twice a month, a leave-in conditioning treatment for nights, oh there are various ways to manage hair like that.
It will never be utterly silky soft to the touch. But hei the notion that hair should be like that, was sold to us by shampoo manufacturers. Tried those shampoos.....? It does not work ok, unless your hair is naturally like that.
Just like how everyone has different skin tones, body-shape, personality, so does hair type vary too, so don't crucify your hair as bad because it does not cascade like silk, coarser hair can be fun too, for one it can hold a style longer than straight and fine hair.
Indian and Curly
There are two types of people who will denigrate an Indian with curly hair - another Indian and Chinese hairdressers ( Does this sound a little racist? But it's true, so there.....)
Once a nice friendly Indian man, who naturally thought he was all that when it came to fashion, told me what a fine looking person I was, but pity about the hair. "You should do something about it, it looks bad." To which I blinked and said:"Oh? But I deliberately styled it like that." And he went like uh...oh? Naturally I was too polite to tell him that he should brush up on his manners and social skills.
Rarely will you find a Chinese hairdresser who will compliment you on your curls. If they do, they are not that hard-up for business, and have been exposed to many hair types, as should most hairdressers.
The majority will keep telling you, how thick!!! and unmanageable your hair is, and keep pushing the idea of rebonding down your throat, until you actually start entertaining thoughts of it, not because you want straight hair, but because you just want them to stop!
At this point an image of you with long straight hair, clad in a white dress, running across a meadow with sunflowers, and smug hairdresser in the background - RM300 richer, floats before your vision, then you snap out of it, pay her RM35 for the wash n cut, and vow never to go back there.
There seems to be this common perception that all Indians have frizzy, curly, thick manes. Not true. I don't know if all Black Americans, Africans are born with frizzy hair and small tight curls, but that is definitely not the case with Indians.
Our hair type varies. It has got nothing to do with skin colour either as some more ignorant people might assume. There are many dusky toned Indians with very straight hair, or soft waves, and there are fair skinned Indians who have thick, coarse or curly hair.
Seriously when will these Chinese hairdressers break out of their circle of ignorance.....hmm?