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View Full Version : Is Asian hair any different from European hair in texture or styling requirements?


astro
10-24-2005, 03:10 PM
I was reading this Fark article (http://katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=4016414) and wondered if cutting Asian / (East) Indian hair is the more of less same as cutting European/Caucasian type hair?

In other words if a Chinese women walks into a typical (non-black) American hair salon is she going to be able to get a decent haircut?

DiosaBellissima
10-24-2005, 03:35 PM
A lil' story that has to do with Hispanic hair vs "white" hair:

My friend (she's Mexican) and I (little "white" Italian girl) went to the same hairdresser. We have the exact same hair color and amount, the only difference is that her's is a whole lot thicker (coarser). My friend would always want her hair dyed and cut EXACTLY like mine. One day my hair dresser said to me, "I tried to explain to her that Hispanic hair is, generally, much more coarse and thick than, well, white hair. I told her that it would take three times as long to make her hair color match yours and it still wouldn't look the same. Plus she has a lot thicker hair so the cut would never come out the same."

So maybe that was just my friend and I? ((Wide, sweeping generalization here)) I have noticed (from my friends... a very limited pool ;) ) that hispanic/latin girls tend to have lots of coarse/thick hair-most of the time, with a natural wave. My asian friends seem to have lots of thick, smooth, straight hair.

Of course, like anything, there is a huge variation. So who knows? My point is: I would imagine that a hairdresser would have to have some experience with that texture of hair (whether it is fine, thick, straight, curly, etc) and not necessarily the ethnicity of the wearer.

I'm sure someone will come in with a better answer.

Mahaloth
10-24-2005, 03:48 PM
In other words if a Chinese women walks into a typical (non-black) American hair salon is she going to be able to get a decent haircut?

Well, I can answer this part. She probably would get an okay haircut, but she would have to explain exactly what she wants, since the styles can be quite different. Many of the Chinese women I know have a very different idea of what looks good than many American women.

I would think that most American stylists understand the differences between Chinese and European hair. Their hair is finer and does feel different to the touch. I know my female black/white friends have gotten used to Chinese children coming up to them and "feeling" their hair out of curiousity. My red-haired friend has to constantly respond to, "Is your hair colour real?"

Of course, most Chinese men could come here, go to any hair cut place and get the same haircut they get in China. Men are as simple in China as here.

alice_in_wonderland
10-24-2005, 03:58 PM
My SIL is Japanese and has a hell of a time getting a decent hair cut. One hair dresser told her that her hair was too thick, and she had "ruined" her scissors. uh huh.

SIL generally has to find an Asian hairdresser to have any luck at all. She's been here for 10 years and speaks fluent English, so it's not a communication issue - it seems like the white hairdressers in these parts are just unable to do anything reasonable with her thick Japanese hair.

Dangerosa
10-24-2005, 04:33 PM
My son is Korean. His hair is very thick and course and straight. However, other Koreans I've met have much silkier hair.

My mother used to be a hairdresser and still cuts the families hair. She complain his hair "ruins" her scissors as well. I had a razor for him, but dulled it too quickly.

kunilou
10-24-2005, 04:54 PM
My wife's hairdressers (all white, by the way) love her hair. They look at it as a chance to experiment.

TheLoadedDog
10-24-2005, 05:26 PM
Apparently it's not a good idea to be black and in Japan if you need a haircut. I've heard it takes forever to find a barber who is willing to gamble that he won't completely butcher your hair. If you have tight curls, the barbers have simply never trained in cutting it. I read about a black guy with this problem in Japan, and he said the barbers who refused to cut his hair were not merely apologetic, but he could see that some of them actually wanted to try, just for the experience, but they knew they probably couldn't do it.

AskNott
10-24-2005, 05:46 PM
My high school zoology teacher brought a micrometer to class the day he talked about hair differences. There were big differences in hair diameter from blonde to red to WASP brunette to African brunette. I don't think we had any Asian brunettes or Native Americans in the classroom. Of course, there are other categories I wasn't aware of in 1966.

It's not just a matter of racism. The hair is different.

ENugent
10-24-2005, 07:51 PM
I'm not a hairdresser, but I've done updos for many women in the course of coaching the MIT Ballroom Dance Team. In general, the Asian women have much thicker hair, and it's aggressively straight (obviously, there is plenty of individual variation, and some Asian women do have either natural curl or permed hair). I've noticed that they're also much more likely to wear it in some kind of blunt cut than in layers, at least among the women of MIT. It takes a lot of really super-duper gel (and often a French twist comb or two) to get their hair up and immobile, especially if it's longer than brushing the shoulders.

astro
10-24-2005, 08:08 PM
I'm not a hairdresser, but I've done updos for many women in the course of coaching the MIT Ballroom Dance Team. In general, the Asian women have much thicker hair, and it's aggressively straight (obviously, there is plenty of individual variation, and some Asian women do have either natural curl or permed hair). I've noticed that they're also much more likely to wear it in some kind of blunt cut than in layers, at least among the women of MIT. It takes a lot of really super-duper gel (and often a French twist comb or two) to get their hair up and immobile, especially if it's longer than brushing the shoulders.

The MIT...Ballroom Dance Team? You teach the top male and female scientists of the future doing competitive ballroom dancing? One day you're going to have to post about that.

even sven
10-24-2005, 09:12 PM
They do teach special classes on Asian hair at the Vidal Sasoon school.

I once went to a barber in India in a place where that had probably never cut a non-Indian's hair. They were quite up in arms about my somewhat thin short blonde hair. The haircut I got was...well, it was unique.

Dorjän
10-25-2005, 09:42 AM
There are actually 1 or 2 black barbershops in Tokyo, run by black expats. So as long as I go to Tokyo, my hair is covered in Japan :)

My wife (ethnic Chinese) has very straight/thick hair. "White" salons always seem to try to treat it like "white" hair, and the styles don't come out quite "right".

Interestingly enough, Salons catering to black hair have no problems styling my wife's hair. The reason? They are used to dealing with human-hair weaves and wigs, and many of those are made with asian hair :D

kimera
10-25-2005, 06:31 PM
I live in an area where the majority of the population is Asian and I could not find a hairstylist who knew what to do with my hair for the longest time. (Finally found a white dude who wasn't ass expensive) I noticed that the strands of my Korean/Japanese exgirlfriend's hairs were thicker than mine. It took 4 or 5 stands of my hair to break one of hers. We have our hair styled similarly but it took me 3 hours (and a professional) to get my hair cut like that while it took her 15 minutes. Even though the haircut is basically the same, it looks and hangs very differently on the two of us because of our different hairtypes.

rocking chair
10-25-2005, 07:04 PM
i attended a hair seminar once. the speaker explained that hair types compare to fabric types. fabrics drape differently as do hair. that is why styles will not work across the hair types. there were many "ooooooooh"s as he draped different fabrics over his arm. everyone "got it" immediatly.

the job of the stylist is to know what type of hair you have and what styles will work best with it. hair at either end of the spectrum, very straight and very curly, you will need a good stylist. any mistake cutting them will just shout. you will have to try a lot of stylists before you can find the one who understands how to get it right. some stylist can only work with one type of hair, others the really good ones, can do magic with all types.

TheLoadedDog
10-25-2005, 07:42 PM
My high school zoology teacher brought a micrometer to class the day he talked about hair differences. There were big differences in hair diameter from blonde to red to WASP brunette to African brunette. I don't think we had any Asian brunettes or Native Americans in the classroom. Of course, there are other categories I wasn't aware of in 1966.
In high school, in metalwork shop of all places, we found out about hair thickness differences. The teacher wanted to demonstrate the use of a micrometer, so he did it with students' hair. The thickest was four times the diameter of the thinnest (though the thinnest was well away from the median, out there on his own. His hair looked really wispy, even at a casual glance). The class was entirely white Australian.

Sleel
10-26-2005, 12:59 AM
Reportedly, the formulations for shampoos and conditioners that were originally made for US or Europe have to be adjusted for the asian market too. They tend to produce less oil, and so have drier scalps and hair. I heard that the pH of their hair and skin is sightly different too.

I have fairly coarse hair, so the texture isn't a problem, but the natural curliness is. I had to try out 5 or 6 different barbers before I found one who did a good job. Guess what, he'd spent some time overseas for part of his salon training.

Hi, Neighbor!
10-26-2005, 01:12 AM
I'm Korean and I feel my options for hairstyles are greatly skewed. I would love to have curly hair (or anything other than straight for that matter). Once, my barber told me that I was so lucky to have such thick hair. I told him, "Um, it's not thick, it's actually real thin and pathetic." He then told me how lucky I was to have so much of that real thin, pathetic hair. I tend to wear hats a lot.

TokyoBayer
10-26-2005, 01:39 AM
I have natually wavey hair, so it took a while to find a good person, and he's done a great job for the last 12 years. I tried having my hair dyed from a light brown to blond, but with their lack of experience with Caucasian it turned almost pink. :eek: I had them redo it, and decided to live with my boring color.

Obsidian
10-26-2005, 02:02 AM
it's aggressively straight

I like that phrase.

I'm pretty darned white, but my hair came out very straight, and very, very, very silky. It is fairly immune to styling products, curling irons, clips, pins, barrettes, whatever. It has one way it wants to be and that's it-- straight down. (But oh, it's shiny) I don't think I got a truly good haircut until I moved out here. I didn't occur to me until I read this thread that the owner of the salon I go to (though not my individual hairdresser) is asian, as are many of the clients I see in there. I wonder if that's why they can deal with my hair.

(Had a boss once-- who wore a helmet-head style-- who really wanted my hair to look more "styled". It seemed sloppy to her that anything I did try to do with it fell down, out, or flat before 9:30. People have a hard time picturing a hair texture different from their own)

alben2
01-01-2013, 11:24 PM
I am basically asian and i can say that there is some difference of asian and european hairstyles.The basic difference is that the asian have the pure black hairstyles while the european have some kind of white hairs.

rhubarbarin
01-02-2013, 12:35 AM
Hair texture, coarseness/fineness of the strands, and the amount that grows on your head, is not necessarily a racial/ethnic thing, although certain 'hair types' are much more common in certain ethnic groups. For instance anyone who would be called 'black' almost certainly has a dry scalp and hair with a 'fine' to 'medium' strand thickness (not coarse) and a good deal of curl/bend/kink to each strand. This hair needs lots of moisture and very gentle treatment or it breaks off. Similarly anyone 'East Asian' almost certainly has brown or black hair which is not what most of us would call curly - but I have known Asian women with silky fine or very coarse (think horse's mane) strands, with a ton of hair on their heads or very little, dead straight or with quite a lot of body wave.

Also - hairdressers are trained to deal with your 'average' (American - mostly whites) head of hair - which is of fine to medium strand thickness, worn straight to wavy (regardless of the amount of curl it's capable of), and of an average amount (which seems to be, roughly, 2" to 3.5" ponytail circumference). If your hair is curly, has a lot of body, you have a ton of hairs on your head or not a lot, or your strands are coarse, it's damn hard to get a decent haircut no matter your ethnic background.

ETA: If anyone cares I'm a white girl with dry, average to thinnish curly/wavy hair with both fine and medium strands - and an INSANE amount of body. My hair is gigantic, always has been, and I don't know why. I stay away from all salons because they do nothing but make me look like a mushroom (improper haircut) or haystack (heat styling).

~Olive~
01-02-2013, 12:37 AM
i have a chinese friend that only gets her hair done in Taiwan,

Mississippienne
01-02-2013, 12:46 AM
My hair is similar to Obsidian -- delicate, thin, and very straight. I went to an Asian hairstylist here in Flushing (which is, if you don't know, a gigantic Chinatown) and he gave me the exact same hairstyle as every Chinese girl in Flushing wears: the same blunt corners, the same bangs, not a bit of layering. Oh my! It wasn't hideous or anything, at least.

Now, because I'm poor, I just take a pair of scissors to my bangs whenever they get too long, and try to trim off any split ends I can find.

Ellen Cherry
01-02-2013, 08:00 AM
I am basically asian and i can say that there is some difference of asian and european hairstyles.The basic difference is that the asian have the pure black hairstyles while the european have some kind of white hairs.

I have to ask: what is "basically asian?"

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