Braiding my hair without being offensive?

RoquesandRoquesand Posts: 3Registered Users Curl Neophyte
edited June 12 in Hair Type 3
Hi! I have 3a/3b curls and my hair is misbehaving. I think it's time to start experimenting with braids again, but the styles I find that are interesting and protective are usually styles I'm not quite sure I'm capable of trying without fear I'm appropriating culture, specifically black culture. I want to experiment with beads and buns and twists and string, but I don't really know where the line is. Any advice? Any inspiration? Thanks! :)

Answers

  • socurlssocurls Posts: 124Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Dabbler
    edited June 12
    you have rather short hair on your photo, I would see something like this to start :

    :

    After you have to experiment with several styles that will suit you best with your hair color, your hair type and the shape of your face.  :)
    I just created an Instagram account on the evolution of my curly hair journey ! 
    It will be a pleasure to find you there  :)

    https://www.instagram.com/socurls/

    @socurls
  • socurlssocurls Posts: 124Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Dabbler
    And sincerely you do not have to worry about " appropriating culture "  just because of a hair style.. lol
    For exemple I often wear African dresses (I love colors!)
    Ok, they look at me strangely because I'm not "black" but that's not to say that I'm appropriating their culture .. it's just hair or dresses lol it's ephemeral there is nothing wrong with that  :) 

    Just do what you want and what you like :smiley:
    I just created an Instagram account on the evolution of my curly hair journey ! 
    It will be a pleasure to find you there  :)

    https://www.instagram.com/socurls/

    @socurls
  • RoquesandRoquesand Posts: 3Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    my hair has gotten a bit longer since that picture, but not by much. also, that style pictured is gorgeous! thank you!
  • Mehndi-RubiMehndi-Rubi Posts: 19Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    edited June 13
    I assume you are worried because of all the backlash over certain styles worn by white women at Coachella, or the American teenager who was butchered on social media for wearing a vintage Chinese dress, etc. I understand your worry, and I think it's caring and reasonable for you to touch upon this topic.

    I have always wanted to get my hair done in cornrows, because I LOVE the look. (And I would never have called them Bo Derek braids). But, frankly, I don't feel it would be a nice thing to do. Being "white" and wearing "black" hairstyles, or symbolic Arab jewelry, or Indian clothing, or Latina Quincinera dresses, etc. can cause a lot of insult and pain, and I don't think it's ever worth it to cause negativity; especially over external things that are easily avoided. 

    This is not directed to you, Roquesand.  I just want to explain for other readers who may not know why you asked your question. Although it was waaaay before our time, elements of style that have historically caused "uproars" in exclusive "white" American society are things such as bindis, Native American headdresses, and "cornrows" (which were "banned" in schools and workplaces for the longest time). Not only were these considered inappropriate fashion for the majority of society, they were looked down upon and devalued. Suddenly, when some white people decides they "like" these things, they are suddenly okay?  Suddenly valuable? For example, many Indian women are angered when European and American women wear Indian clothing as tourists...on a lark...like they're at a costume party.  How can anyone appreciate another culture if they think of it as something they can wear like a costume then discard when they're tired of it? 

    Many people claim that black women should be flattered when white women wear "black" hairstyles, because that means white women think black women are beautiful, and want to emulate their looks.(Which is certainly true...these days!) However, In the US, "white" people have always lived according to their own ethnically dominant cultural regulations, and "minorities" have suffered immeasurably from being judged negatively because of their own personalizations. Black women endured centuries of ridicule and ostracism before their beauty and style were finally appreciated. Is this horrible?  Oh yes.  But, sickeningly and unfortunately, it is true. Then,suddenly, white women want what black women have, and began wearing black "looks" as adornments, like costumes that can be removed.  This takes the meaning away from the "style" and it also makes a cultural achievement into a disposable fad. It trivializes a deep, bonding element of a culture. 

     It's like a Hindu girl claiming she is becoming a Bat Mitzvah.  Maybe she wants a party...maybe she wants a fancy new dress...but the rite of passage becomes meaningless if it is merely acted out, rather than spiritually experienced.  That's absolutely not to even suggest that a Hindu girl should not thoroughly enjoy her dear Jewish friend's Bat Mitzah party, or her Christian friend's wedding in a cathedral, and so on.  And things about those experience may inspire her choices and tastes throughout her life. Assimilation is inevitable, and very enjoyable, but it should never remove or undermine identity.  

    I don't think being inspired by hairstyles is necessarily cultural appropriation. I think "how" the braids are done should be kept in mind, so that they reflect personal creativity. Black hairstyles are amazing, and those of us with curly hair have been opened to an entire new world because something suddenly says it's "okay" for us to wear our hair in black styles.  For sure this is rude and insulting to black culture, and its also awfully unfair to us curlies who lived our whole lives trying to make our hair work in "white" hairstyles!  Unfortunately, it's going to take some time before this issue doesn't cause a lot of confusion.
    2C/3A in Hot Dry Desert, Low Porosity
    I'm trying to keep my lifelong curls while living in a climate that zaps curls
    I LOVE MY Q-REDEW
    Products in current rotation:
    DevaCurl Low Poo Original, DevaCurl One Condition Original, DevaCurl B'Leave-In, KCKT,
    Deva Arc Angel Gel, Curl Maker & Set It Free, Eco Curl & Styling Cocktail, Neuma Texturizer cream, Neuma Surf Lotion, Curly Hair Solutions Slip Detangler, Deva Mist-er Right

  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 12,078Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I think hair is just hair and everyone should feel free to style it whatever way they want.  There are so many really critical world issues to get wrought up about - but hair?  I respect Mehndi-Rubi's well thought out post; she makes excellent points but I just don't agree.  There is an old saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."  
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • socurlssocurls Posts: 124Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Dabbler
    edited June 13
    I agree but disagree.. 

    I agree because there is a long and heavy history in the past with the "white" and the "black" people, and I do not know if the "black" community is still very affected in the United States, but it's just hair .. Everyone is copying everyone nowadays, the Métis and the blacks have straight hair now and we will not offend them for that (well, it's not really comparable) but it's is just hair, that's all.  :#

    ps : I do not like to say "white" or "black" to describe people, but I do not really know how to say it differently in English .. I apologize ..
    I just created an Instagram account on the evolution of my curly hair journey ! 
    It will be a pleasure to find you there  :)

    https://www.instagram.com/socurls/

    @socurls
  • Mehndi-RubiMehndi-Rubi Posts: 19Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    edited June 13
    I know how you feel. I always feel uncomfortable using those terms and the fact that they have become so political is depressing. I must say, truthfully, I have not encountered anyone in “real” life who has ever been judgmental about hair styles. (Actually I’ve found the opposite to be true!) I live in a big city where there are so many people from so many different places it’s hard to take the time to worry about hairstyles...However - in the US there has been a lot of attention paid to this subject in social media. Even The New York Times has written about it! It’s been made into a big deal, so we worry. The last thing I would want to do is offend someone personally or hurt someone, and if I think if a hairstyle has the potential to do so, I would surely seek opinions and advice before I paid lots of money to have it done . 😊

    Please understand, I don’t feel it’s “wrong” or bad. I just know it’s been an incredibly charged issue that’s caused much hurt.
    2C/3A in Hot Dry Desert, Low Porosity
    I'm trying to keep my lifelong curls while living in a climate that zaps curls
    I LOVE MY Q-REDEW
    Products in current rotation:
    DevaCurl Low Poo Original, DevaCurl One Condition Original, DevaCurl B'Leave-In, KCKT,
    Deva Arc Angel Gel, Curl Maker & Set It Free, Eco Curl & Styling Cocktail, Neuma Texturizer cream, Neuma Surf Lotion, Curly Hair Solutions Slip Detangler, Deva Mist-er Right

  • socurlssocurls Posts: 124Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Dabbler
    Hmmm.. i see  :/
    I did not know it was still like that in your country .. In France we are more "cool" about it  o:)
    I just created an Instagram account on the evolution of my curly hair journey ! 
    It will be a pleasure to find you there  :)

    https://www.instagram.com/socurls/

    @socurls
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 12,078Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Good post Mehndi-Rubi.  Actually, we are in agreement.  I wouldn't want to offend someone personally or hurt anyone's feelings.  I haven't been as aware of the issue as you appear to have been.  I just thought "hair"?  We are worrying about hair styles when there are so many huge problems in the world today?  OK, I see your point.  
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • Mehndi-RubiMehndi-Rubi Posts: 19Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Aww, thank you Curlypearl! I think the issue has calmed down in the last year or two, but for awhile there it was sparking negativity. At some point Katy Perry wore braids and Kim Kardashian, and they were both skewered by social media.  Katy Perry decided what she did was "wrong" and blah blah blah blah.  I was trying to relate to where Roquesand was coming from with her original question.  I'm afraid I've overtaken this thread.
    2C/3A in Hot Dry Desert, Low Porosity
    I'm trying to keep my lifelong curls while living in a climate that zaps curls
    I LOVE MY Q-REDEW
    Products in current rotation:
    DevaCurl Low Poo Original, DevaCurl One Condition Original, DevaCurl B'Leave-In, KCKT,
    Deva Arc Angel Gel, Curl Maker & Set It Free, Eco Curl & Styling Cocktail, Neuma Texturizer cream, Neuma Surf Lotion, Curly Hair Solutions Slip Detangler, Deva Mist-er Right

  • socurlssocurls Posts: 124Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Dabbler
    No, not at all !  I agree with you too :)

    I did not see that from this point of view but yes you're right it can hurt..
    But in the end it's just the judgment of others ..
    In my opinion we can not be dictated by the judgment of the other, it will never evolve otherwise !
    It's a good debate ! Lol :D
    In France there is no problem for that on the contrary the mix of style and comunity is more than well seen ( except the magrebinne and Muslim people and style !  The French are very racist about it, i know it well lol)

    As it is difficult in your country, you will have to do it with respect.
    Maybe you can start with something soft like the photo in the first post .. Do not be excessive at the beginning and mix style, you will find yours ! 
    And then you'll see if it offends others in your environment..  :/

    I just created an Instagram account on the evolution of my curly hair journey ! 
    It will be a pleasure to find you there  :)

    https://www.instagram.com/socurls/

    @socurls
  • socurlssocurls Posts: 124Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Dabbler
    But since I do not really know the situation there, I may not be very helpful about it.. 
    I just created an Instagram account on the evolution of my curly hair journey ! 
    It will be a pleasure to find you there  :)

    https://www.instagram.com/socurls/

    @socurls
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 12,078Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Socurls your comments are great and always helpful to get viewpoints outside our own or our country. 
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • RoquesandRoquesand Posts: 3Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    thank you all! Mehndi-Rubi has my reasoning down. I know hair is just hair, but my mindset is that if it offends a marginalized culture, it's not my place to say whether or not it should be offensive, so i'm just trying to be sensitive while, at the same time, wanting to be creative.

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