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Old 04-28-2007, 11:51 AM   #1
 
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Default My friend had never heard of relaxers!

I didn't believe her at first...it just seemed so weird to never have even heard of hair relaxers before. We were talking about race/ethnic/religious issues, and I'd mentioned how awful it is that there are so many women convinced that they have to relax their hair to have "good hair." She looked reeeeeally confused, then I explained, spending some time to break down the whole chemicals thing. She has (3b/c?) tight curls that she always wears curly so I'm glad nobody's tried to get her to relax them, but I find it a bit odd that she didn't even notice all of those poor girls with unnaturally straight, breaking-off hair.

What do you think?
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
 
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I know quite a few people who don't know what relaxers are. I guess it just depends on the person.
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:25 AM   #3
 
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Yeah, the whole relaxer thing is a foreign concept to a lot of people. I remember doing a presentation with a group of black women about natural hair to a multicultural group of people (white, Asian, Hispanic, other blacks)... and except for the black women, everyone had this confused look on their faces.

To me, this shows the importance of stepping outside your own box to get different perspectives... what may seem super important in one's own community (relaxing hair, etc.), might not even be a concept somewhere else.
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:58 AM   #4
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also, most boys have no idea what they are.
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:32 AM   #5
 
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Default Re: My friend had never heard of relaxers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_sasparilla
but I find it a bit odd that she didn't even notice all of those poor girls with unnaturally straight, breaking-off hair.
Maybe she noticed but didn't give it much thought. Perhaps noone in her family straightens/relaxes their curls, so it never occured to her that it could be unnatural?
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Old 04-29-2007, 02:50 PM   #6
 
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Hmmm, I think it is odd that she didn't know about it. When I came to the US when I was 11, I had never been around anyone non-white or with any kind of "ethnic" hair. Yet when I saw black women with relaxed hair, I immediately knew something wasn't right. For the longest time I wondered why they did that to their hair when it clearly (to me) did not look good. I didn't figure it out until I realized all the racial implications (white hair=good, black hair=bad) in our society. I jusy don't see how people can see some of the really bad relaxer jobs out there, and actually think the person's hair came that way.
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:12 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey422
Hmmm, I think it is odd that she didn't know about it. When I came to the US when I was 11, I had never been around anyone non-white or with any kind of "ethnic" hair. Yet when I saw black women with relaxed hair, I immediately knew something wasn't right. For the longest time I wondered why they did that to their hair when it clearly (to me) did not look good. I didn't figure it out until I realized all the racial implications (white hair=good, black hair=bad) in our society. I jusy don't see how people can see some of the really bad relaxer jobs out there, and actually think the person's hair came that way.
Exactly! Like, "Oh, she must have a naturally receding hairline and hair that looks brittle and stiff." It was really weird with this girl because she obviously pays plenty of attention to hair and (she says) racial issues.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:20 PM   #8
 
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I dunno, I probably didn't know what a relaxer was until I came to nc.com. There's not a large black population in my area (mostly white, asian, or latino) and so I was never really "exposed" to relaxers, you know? And before i came here I DEFINITELY didn't know about the whole good hair/bad hair thing and how charged the topic of hair can be for some people.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:33 AM   #9
 
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there's also still quite a few people who don't know what a weave is either. i had braids up until last friday and the lady who sits next to me at work was wondering how i got my hair so short. it took me a minute to realize she wasn't kidding.
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:46 PM   #10
 
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I can believe it. My high school was 50% AA and probably less than 50% white. Gym class was the most multicultural experience. I remember having long hair conversations with the other girls. I also remember see one of my best friends (who's AA) using one of those old straightening combs that is metal and you heat it on the stove. I was shocked that her mom still let her use one of those especially after hearing about a burn to the ear!

Then there were the girls in the multicultural theater group I was in. I was the only white girl and they took their curling iron and thought it was hysterical that it gave me shirley temple style ringlets.

Just last week I discovered that my straight-haired friend had no idea what a "blow out" was. How do you not know what a blow out is???
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:59 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingbadger
Just last week I discovered that my straight-haired friend had no idea what a "blow out" was. How do you not know what a blow out is???
I don't. I keep hearing it on the boards but not in real life.. Is it when you blow dry your hair straight?
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:51 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingbadger
Just last week I discovered that my straight-haired friend had no idea what a "blow out" was. How do you not know what a blow out is???
I don't. I keep hearing it on the boards but not in real life.. Is it when you blow dry your hair straight?
Yep thats exactly what it is
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:50 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rina414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingbadger
Just last week I discovered that my straight-haired friend had no idea what a "blow out" was. How do you not know what a blow out is???
I don't. I keep hearing it on the boards but not in real life.. Is it when you blow dry your hair straight?
Yep thats exactly what it is
OK, maybe I shouldn't assume people always know every term but there was a show on Bravo about a hair salon called Blow Out, so I guess I just figured that people do know what that is.
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:20 AM   #14
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Possibly the friend who didn't know about relaxers thought that everyone just used a blow dryer and/or flat iron to straighten their hair?
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:46 PM   #15
 
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I agree with everyone else. What might seem normal to you, may not even be a reality to someone else. It's not shocking that someone who does not know anyone who relaxes his or her hair, would not know what a relaxer is.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:16 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
I agree with everyone else. What might seem normal to you, may not even be a reality to someone else. It's not shocking that someone who does not know anyone who relaxes his or her hair, would not know what a relaxer is.
I completely agree, but since she lives in the same environment as me and we both know some serious relaxer junkies I figured she'd know same as me. That's why I thought it was weird.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:45 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_sasparilla
Quote:
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
I agree with everyone else. What might seem normal to you, may not even be a reality to someone else. It's not shocking that someone who does not know anyone who relaxes his or her hair, would not know what a relaxer is.
I completely agree, but since she lives in the same environment as me and we both know some serious relaxer junkies I figured she'd know same as me. That's why I thought it was weird.
I see where you're coming from...so far i don't think i've met anyone who didn't know what a relaxer was and i'd think i'd find it a bit weird if someone who was in the same evironment as me didn't.
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