Sunday, June 15, 2008

Straight vs. curly

I ran across this article today, wherein the author attempts to theorize about why men prefer straight-haired girls to curly-haired ones.

Um... first of all, who said they do?

She references an article that implies that they might. I know the article she means, even though she did not provide a link to it. It's this one. Please do read it because the upshot is that men are initially drawn to straight hair but in the end, hair doesn't much matter to them.

This noncommittal attitude was recently confirmed by my boyfriend. I read the article about the woman who conducted her own little test, and then I asked my boyfriend what he believed men's feelings to be about curly hair. He looked at me a little sheepishly and said, "Honestly, most of us don't care. We're looking at other attributes."

Spoken like a guy, no?

And I believe this to be true. Even the woman who conducted her own test ultimately came to the same conclusion: initial attraction may be to straight hair, but in the end, how a woman carries herself determines whether men will sniff after her.

But honestly, this whole debate irritates me because it not only generalizes about an entire gender, it assumes all curly hair is created equal. Preposterous on all counts.

All women supposedly think Brad Pitt is to die for. I'd like to state for the record that I can take him or leave him. So, we've now blown a nice hole in any argument that begins with "All women like...." And I think we can do the same with the "All men like...." generalization as well.

In the Box of Chocolates article, the writer posts photos of Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson with straight as well as artificially curled hair. Hello? These women could be bald and they'd still be beautiful. What kind of lame argument is that?

Let's look at all the variation there is in curly hair. There are loose curls, tight curls, crazy curls, and tame curls. But most of all, there are conditioned curls and dry, frizzy curls. BIG difference. A woman who takes care of her hair is going to feel more confident, look better, and attract more interest than a woman who doesn't.

So, here's a photo of straight hair. Make you wanna touch it? Yeah, I didn't think so.

When are we going to just embrace what we have and make it the best it can be? These foolish debates are just designed to create a "winner" and thereby simultaneously create a "loser." Do we have debates about whether white women are prettier than black women? Of course not -- it would be the height of stupidity and ignorance. We are born as we are and it's completely unproductive to debate the relative merits of what we got because in the end, it's what you do with what you've got that matters.


M.Christian said...

I LOVE curly girls ... well, one curly girl. One very special and wonderful curly girl ....



Marisa Z. said...

You use Lorraine Massey's method from her Curly Girl book, don't you? I found you on a forum.

I need some help! I've been washing with conditioner for the past two weeks, but my hair still feels a bit oily. I can't seem to get the balance right and I think I'm having difficulty because I have kind of coarse Botticelli curls. Sometimes I wash out the conditioner just a little, other times a little more, and other times almost completely, but it still feels oily.

I've read and re-read Lorraine's book, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

What do you think? Any advice

Sage Vivant said...

Marisa, what conditioner are you using? And are you co-washing every day or just a couple of times a week? (The latter is best)

When I first started CG, I bought a conditioner that I thought conformed to everything Massey outlines in her book -- but it was WAY too heavy for my hair (it had a lot of oils). You might be experiencing the same thing.

Marisa Z. said...

I have been using DevaCurl's One Condition (I purchased DevaCurl's travel pack, so it's a very small bottle), but I think you're's just too heavy. I think for people with hair that's a little oilier than average, it's hard to use conditioners with so many oils and humectants and emollients. I'm positive that you're right.

Before beginning her program, I washed my hair every other day. Now that I'm using Lorraine's method, I've been cleaning my scalp with conditioner once or twice a week. I would rinse it out entirely then I would condition the way she said in the book.

What conditioner do you use? I've been on a couple of pro-curl websites and one girl suggested Tresemme, so I think I'm going to try that because her hair looks great and she uses Lorraine's method.

I'm a little disappointed because my hair just doesn't feel as soft as it did when I used to use shampoo (believe it or not). I have coarse hair, but it was a lot softer on shampoo. And my hair is still just as frizzy as ever, but it doesn't really bother me that it's frizzy. It bothers me that it looks unhealthy and unclean.

If you have any other bits of advice, I would love your help! My hair, like Jo March from Little Women, is my one beauty, and I'd like to keep it beautiful!

Sage Vivant said...

Marisa, the one thing that the Curly Girl book *doesn't* tell people is that every curly head is different. I would strongly encourage you to read this post:

so you can get a sense of what I'm talking about. Also, do roam around the discussion boards at A woman there reviews hair conditioners and her insights have helped many of us choose what to use:

As for my routine, you can find it here:

Marisa Z. said...

Thanks so much for your help and advice! I will definitely check those out!