Useless Thoughts Running Through My Head

various musings of a generation x kad

That Asian hair thing

Posted by thoughtful1 on July 8, 2007

Does having an Asian hairdresser cut your Asian hair really make a difference?

Several years ago I found out that some Korean adoptees went to Korean hairdressers because we have hair that’s different from white people.  I thought, “Bullshit.”  Seriously, I thought it was some lameass way for KADs to make themselves feel special.  However, I began noticing that some did have coarser, wiry hair.  So I thought, “OK, maybe there is such a thing as Asian hair, but my hair’s not like that.”

Then, last week I had lunch with the Asian co-workers.  For some reason, hair cuts came up.  Both of the co-workers went to a salon in Chinatown because of the “Asian hair thing.”  Yet, neither of them has what I would think was wiry, coarse, hard to manage hair.  But, since I was with two “real” Asians as opposed to the adopted “fake” Asians, I asked if it really did make a difference getting your hair cut by an Asian hairdresser.

Both of them said it did matter.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to get more details on this.  But, the end result was that I spent the rest of the day paranoid that I had an inadequate haircut, and had been getting inadequate haircuts for 36 years.  I was back in junior high mode, fretting about my hair and whether I was a mega-dork.

I also started to wonder if I should try a haircut at this salon.  The problem, though, is that it’s more expensive than Supercuts 🙂  And, I’d feel guilty.  I’ve been going to the same woman for nearly 10 years.  I’d feel like I was betraying her by trying someone new.  Silly, I know, especially since I get my hair cut twice a year.  But us women develop a loyalty to our hairdressers, and I just wouldn’t feel right.


7 Responses to “That Asian hair thing”

  1. […] Posts That Asian hair thingMy hands are beginning to look “old” « We have […]

  2. emma said

    i am asian. i have thick thick thick hair and it is very heavy. it will not curl whatsoever and it is stick straight. most hair cutters in america cannot cut my hair from how it has to be “perfect” because of how straight it is. asian hair is harder to deal with. so you’re lucky to have caucasian hair lol

  3. Joannah said

    I’m an Asian adoptee too but going to an Asian hairdresser just isn’t an option here in Denmark, at least not in the rural western part where I live, lol! But I always make sure that the hairdressers I use have experience with cutting Asian hair and understands the properties of Oriental hair and what makes it different from Caucasian hair and other Asian hair types (Indian, etc.) so I’m assuming that they cut my hair as well as Asian hairdressers. I used to go to Supercut when I lived in the U.S. I wasn’t loyal to any one employee but they all did an awful job. I was a penniless student though, so I was in no position to bargain or complain:-(

  4. tetsuya said

    Wow this subject sounds a bit asinine. Let me just clarify if you haven’t already grasped the meaning yet. It’s not that Asian hair needs to be cut different, it’s the style they do is different. Lots and lots of thinning to get the anime like hair that people generally attribute to the “fob”s.

  5. Soolee said

    “For the Asian people, the bundles of keratin in the hair are straight, producing hair shafts that are thick and nearly completely round. Keratin bundles in Caucasians, on the other hand, are a mixture of both curly and wavy, producing hair shafts that are typically oval in shape. The African type of hair contains a large number of twists if compared to the other two types of hair. The African type of hair is characterized by hair shafts that are oval in shape with well defined edges. The cuticle in this type of hair is kinked and prone to damage.”

    There is a difference between hair types. Do some research before you call something bullshit.

  6. kateiskate said

    I found your site by googling “Asian hair”. I’m a KAD too and at a total loss on what to do with my hair. Unlike other “real asians” I have thick, wavy, frizzy, out of control hair that will hold a curl and not stay straight. I never thought my hair was any different from my white mom’s hair until the other day when a friend was talking about it. This topic reminds me a lot of when I started wearing makeup and was confused because no one knows how to do “Asian makeup”.

  7. Eva said

    Asian hair is also much more porous than Caucasian hair, meaning that Asian hair will absorb more chemicals, this implies that perms take half the time with products made for Caucasian hair, which is totally counter-intuitive to hairdressers without prior experiences. Hey, the thicker the hair, the longer it takes to perm, right? Very wrong!! Because of the porosity, Asian hair also dries much faster, if the hairdresser works slowly but doesn’t keep misting, one side will end up shorter than the other. In addition, Asians have fewer strands per square inch than Caucasians, though seemingly overall thicker, the hairdressers actually have fewer strands to work with, like limiting the number of layers possible! I am Asian, I have a mixed bag for hair, some strands are straight and smooth and some strands are coarse and wavy. It does whatever it feels like and styling products do not much for it. Actually, sleeping on it makes it behave the best. I have my hair cut by a Caucasian who knows how to do it, though costing an arm and a leg, I have it layered in a way that takes advantage of the wave and its tendency to defy styling. I wash my hair at night in the shower, dry it, sleep on it and it looks semi-decent in the morning with no work!

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