Curly Hair in Different Cultures and Countries

Are there any cultures or nations that traditionally revere curly hair? Someone said in a "Hall of Shame" thread that curly hair is loved in Greece b/c curls have always been associated with the ancient Greek gods and goddesses. She said that every time she goes to Greece she gets loads of compliments on her hair, as opposed to the common reaction in the U.S. I'm just wondering if there are other cultures that desire curly hair over straight hair.
3a/3b, Fine, low porosity.

Comments

  • holly8holly8 Registered Users Posts: 632
    This is interesting.I can't think of a place.Maybe some places in the caribbean.
    Natural since Jan 2,07
    I did a BC
    Hair type:3C\3B
    Multi-racial hair
    Hair length:Started at neck and ears(in its curly state).In Dec 08 (2 years natural) My hair was somewhere near armpit length with bentonite clay in my hair.

    Mission: to obtain healthy hair every day!!

    Hair products:homemade products.....


    :angel1::love5:
  • poemaXXpoemaXX Registered Users Posts: 456 Curl Neophyte
    I can't vouch for any particular country, but I think a healthy head of curls is a real head-turner anywhere!

    When I was younger, I visited my aunt in Germany and it was bizarre how many people (mostly women) would approach us and ask if they could touch my hair, if it was real, if it was permed, etc.

    I've also had a few asian women approach me at college and ask about my hair. One particular woman asked me how I had time to put it in rollers every night. "It actually grows out of my head like this." Shock and awe.

    Curls rock, ladies. You know it. ;)
    || 3b; normal porosity; fine/normal texture || CG since Feb 2010 || SD/dandruff prone

    Current Routine BAQ henna 1/month Leave-in OH Hair Dew Cheapie Conditioner Tresemme Naturals Moisturizing
    Old Stand-bys extra-virgin coconut oil Protein AO GPB; Moisture AO HR Style AOMMJ – Kept for troubleshooting.
    Waiting to try extra-wide curlformers SD treatment H&S Clinical Strength

  • MirCurlsMirCurls Registered Users Posts: 2,660 Curl Neophyte
    I allowed my hair to curl in one way or another (not CG curls, but, well..) for most of my life since age 18; and I have always gotten MORE compliments on my curls than when I straightened. And the 80's was a primo decade for curls. I had curls for most of the 80's, although I did blow out my crown and bangs, the rest of my hair was allowed to scrunch wild with mousse.

    If you visit a comprehensive museum, you'll see that curls ruled through most of history. Even look at our cinema. Although the twenties loved their silky bobs, most decades showcased curls or waves of one sort or another as the most desirable. Whether it was the curls of WWI era cinema or the marcels of the thirties or the pincurls of the forties or the short curls of the fifties or the wild curls of the seventies or the moussed curls of the 80's or the current controlled clumped curls, curls have never fully been denied. :)

    And right now, the hot hairstyle is that one with the smooth to ears and then big clumps of curls.

    Curls go in and out of fashion.

    I think straight hair is so desirable cause it it's controlled and shiny. The "curtain of silk" has a desirability most can't deny. It's easier to have sttraight hair come morning and come rainy days. You can wake up looking like you went to bed. How many curlies--without some effort--don't have some hair wildness upon waking?

    And some ethnic hair has been undesirable due to racist considerations in the past. I think because all the models I saw growing up in my early youth were white and had straight hair, I had NO hair role models in magazines. This is why I hope more of the Latina and black models and actresses will rock more natural hair, so that they can be role models for younger girls. I still remember how hard it was to find makeup for my skin tone. That's not a problem NOW, but back then, lots of me and my Latina and biracial friends had short shrift in terms of suitable foundations. I used to drive to stores in the AFrican-American community when I was a teen to find shades that were darker and yellower and suited my skin. I had to often mix two shades. :-/

    Same with hair. Curls a la natural have a more limited style option than hair that is mechanically and heated in some way.


    Curly hair can look like it's out of control, frizzy, wild. I know that come summertime, I used to wish I had naturally straight hair and not have to deal with the bedhead insanities and frizz. However, lovely curls, healthy and shiny and frizzless, is and has always been thought of as lovely.
    3a3b
    Natural since 11/25/09
    Then: fine, superdry, non-elastic, porous
    Now: medium, dry, elastic, lower porosity, BSL

    Curl Junkie Conditions!
    Eden BW Cleansing Condish Rocks!

    ~CJ Protein Tx
    ; BEE-U-Ti-Ful Deep Condish
    ~SMasters Method; Pixie-curling
    Dumped clumps for VOLUME!

    Marchioness Mir, Magister of Moisturization & Mystic of the Lofty Crown in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
  • generositytgenerosityt Registered Users Posts: 245
    In my country curly hair is not appreciated it at all. I mean my friends and a few people in my family like it and always complement it but the rest, including my mom don't like it. Guys in the street would start yelling "Bob Marley, Bob Marley" anytime they see a curly girl walking on the streets. One time I was walking home and my hair was blowing cause it was windy, and this guy I passed by said: why are you doing that to yourself, just blow your hair! and he sounded really sympathetic, like he's feeling sorry for me, while I felt like a star in a photo shoot with all the wind blowing my hair!
    All the girls in Tunisia have curly hair but they all blow it straight. My mom went crazy trying to make me straighten my hair when my husband's family were coming to meet my family (the women from the guy's family must come meet the bride's family and give their input before you can get engaged :). She said that they will think I am not pretty with that hair on top of my head. I actually was convinced that they will think I'm not pretty if I straighten my hair. And you know what, my mother in law actually said to my husband when he asked her how she liked me after the visit that I was nice but I had a rough hair !:) (man, I love my mother in law, she's so funny, but it wasn't funny when she kept asking me in the summer to cut my little girls hair cause it was curly)
    I think the problem in Tunisia is, as in a lot of southern countries, women are too obsessed with the European norms of beauty. For example, skin whitening products are popular despite the fact that we have the Mediterranean skin that people pay lots of money in tanning salons to get it. But they want to look Scandinavian or Caucasian or whatever it is. I don't know it just bother me a lot the low appreciation of our local beauty by the local women they want to change everything about themselves.
    A Mediterranean 3b lady
    In love with my curls, love love love
    CG since Nov/07


    Co-Wash: VO5, Tresemme naturals, Fructis naturals
    Cond: Nature's Gate conditioners
    Stylers: Lotions made at home with coconut oil, honey, AVG, vegetable glycerin, OO, and EO.
    Gel: LA Looks sports gel for high humidity days.


    Hair goal: Waist length healthy curls
  • sew and sewsew and sew Registered Users Posts: 3,443
    In my country curly hair is not appreciated it at all. I mean my friends and a few people in my family like it and always complement it but the rest, including my mom don't like it. Guys in the street would start yelling "Bob Marley, Bob Marley" anytime they see a curly girl walking on the streets. One time I was walking home and my hair was blowing cause it was windy, and this guy I passed by said: why are you doing that to yourself, just blow your hair! and he sounded really sympathetic, like he's feeling sorry for me, while I felt like a star in a photo shoot with all the wind blowing my hair!
    All the girls in Tunisia have curly hair but they all blow it straight. My mom went crazy trying to make me straighten my hair when my husband's family were coming to meet my family (the women from the guy's family must come meet the bride's family and give their input before you can get engaged :). She said that they will think I am not pretty with that hair on top of my head. I actually was convinced that they will think I'm not pretty if I straighten my hair. And you know what, my mother in law actually said to my husband when he asked her how she liked me after the visit that I was nice but I had a rough hair !:) (man, I love my mother in law, she's so funny, but it wasn't funny when she kept asking me in the summer to cut my little girls hair cause it was curly)
    I think the problem in Tunisia is, as in a lot of southern countries, women are too obsessed with the European norms of beauty. For example, skin whitening products are popular despite the fact that we have the Mediterranean skin that people pay lots of money in tanning salons to get it. But they want to look Scandinavian or Caucasian or whatever it is. I don't know it just bother me a lot the low appreciation of our local beauty by the local women they want to change everything about themselves.

    Aww, that sucks. The natural Tunisian look sounds beautiful.

    When I was in high school about 7 years ago here in California straightened hair was standard too. If you didn't have it whether naturally or artificially, it was impossible to look 'with it.' I started enjoying my hair right around my last year of high school.

    At the time tanning was hitting big and I'm pretty fair skinned so on that note it was like the reverse situation. I never wanted to lay in a tanning bed but it did take me some courage to bare my fair legs.

    I love that despite all that pressure you embrace your hair.

    Out of curiosity, when the women from the groom's family come meet the bride and her family, does it typically make the bride's uneasy? Or does it all go down in a good-natured way usually?
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • generositytgenerosityt Registered Users Posts: 245
    It depends with the family and the bride. If the family is mean and coming thinking that this stranger is going to take our brother or our son it's gonna be a very uncomfortable situation, lots of stupid question with the purpose more to hurt than to get to know the other family. But if the groom's family is nice, then unless the bride is shy or have some kind of issues it usually goes very well.
    In my case, my in laws are really nice and I live in the US and my husband already lives in the US so they were actually really happy that we found each other and we're from the same country, so it went really nice.
    By the way just an interesting thing about me, my husband and I are from the same town and we only met and knew each other here in the US in a small town in Texas! And he lived everywhere in Europe but ended up coming to work in that small town in Texas... Destiny is crazy!
    Another interesting thing about my country's tradition. Before (until the 70s) when the mother in law comes for that first bride/family meeting she used to bring almonds in their shells and then gives one or two to the bride to be and ask her to break them open for her with her teeth, to see how good her teeth are. And she used to bring something really small like a needle or a small neutral color bead, drop it in the floor and ask the bride to be to find it to see how good her eyes are.
    My husband always teases me he says "if my mother did those tests you would've failed them miserably"... cause I have really bad teeth and I wear contacts!
    A Mediterranean 3b lady
    In love with my curls, love love love
    CG since Nov/07


    Co-Wash: VO5, Tresemme naturals, Fructis naturals
    Cond: Nature's Gate conditioners
    Stylers: Lotions made at home with coconut oil, honey, AVG, vegetable glycerin, OO, and EO.
    Gel: LA Looks sports gel for high humidity days.


    Hair goal: Waist length healthy curls
  • applelineappleline Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 2 Curl Neophyte
    poemaXX said:

    I've also had a few asian women approach me at college and ask about my hair. One particular woman asked me how I had time to put it in rollers every night. "It actually grows out of my head like this." Shock and awe.
    I can understand them. Me having natural curls as well, seeing another "curly-head" would usually assume they're natural, and would just be a little shocked myself to find those are permed (since mine is curly, I assume people wouldn't perm, also because straight hair is so much easier to manage - why would anyone do the perm lol).
    Here in EU people would usually assume my hair's permed. Even when I was a child, some people would say to my mom she shouldn't perm such a young child. (Everyone's a critic lol.)
  • WavyKfromNJWavyKfromNJ Registered Users Posts: 853 Curl Virtuoso
    I know a lot of the traditional Irish step dancers wear curly wigs, so I would think Ireland likes curls.
    2b, 2c,
    High Porosity - Very Fine Hair

    Low Poo: Living Proof Restore Shampoo
    Rinse Out: Living Proof Restore Conditioner
    Leave In: Living Proof Curl Leave-In or Garnier 1 Minute Mask - Papaya
    Treatments: Restore Repair Leave-In, 
    Styling: Living Proof In-Shower Styler with Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Gel Stronger Hold
  • StillunsureonmycurltypeStillunsureonmycurltype Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 92 Curl Connoisseur
    When I go to the Caribbean for vacation and to visit my family, curly hair is a mixed bag. You can have curly hair, but you’ll always get compared to your cousin, sister or mother who has loose waves or “straight” hair. Then you get told to relax it or straighten it that hair shouldn’t be curly, but you have nice curly hair. But then your hair isn’t “good” hair. Then it can be curly, but only if it grows downward not upward, or if it has less volume(???). It can’t grow, but you hair is bad that it shrinks, a lot. Or that it contains lice which is a myth, not impossible just less common than straight hair lice. There are also the comments that it’s too much work, when they never tried to look into it. There’s more, but it’s a mixed bag of mostly bad, not common for there to be any good comments regarding your hair. 

    I will say, once they start getting used to your hair they ease up in the idea of curly hair, well, I’d use ease lightly. They really are mean when it comes to most Type 4s and it’s sad. Some even remark at comments “How is it that I am born with fair club yet this ugly tight hair??” Which really aggravates me and depresses me.

    I can’t really force them to like it, if I like it I like it. All that matters, I will not try to convince people to like something that I like, it’s a personal preference and I have to respect it, they do respect my request to not speak about my hair or hair of others negatively at least around me. Some people turn around and do ease up and get curious, others “ease up” only to suggest you to straighten more often. 

    *sigh* It’s a struggle still.
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 20,731 Curl Virtuoso
    Another old thread being revived! Interesting topic! I don't travel outside the US anymore so I can't add any insight. But I will say that here in my non-diverse area I get more compliments and positive discussions about my curly hair that I ever have, so maybe people around here are becoming more accepting of natural hair. 
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -  
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/going-gray/179328-jeepys-grey-hair-progress.html   
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey - 
    https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/color/how-i-went-completely-gray-and-loved-it
  • CurlsAbroadCurlsAbroad Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 16 Curl Novice
    When I was living in Senegal, my curls go to a lot of compliments, but affluent/trendy young people with type 4 hair generally tend to get it relaxed or wear wigs. It's also a Muslim majority country, so most adult women are wearing a head covering of sorts. Young people also get amazing beautiful braids. I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing that most people don't wear their hair natural or if it's just not practical because of all the sand/dirt that blows into your hair. 2 months after I left, the water coming out of my hair was still slightly brown because that dirt just cakes in there. I think my curls, unfortunately, were celebrated for looking more Western.
    Type: 3a (ish)
    Density: medium
    Porosity: low/normal
    Thickess: medium

    Current Routine:
    - J.R. Liggett Coconut and Argan Oil shampoo bar (sulfate free, silicone free, detergent free)
    - S2C with Beauty and the Bees conditioner bar
    -scrunch out the water, then apply Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk
    -plop as long as I can
    -scrunch with water often

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