Saturday, March 17, 2012

How to Improve Your Hair

Kate Middleton
I am not an expert on women's fashion, let alone something so specific as hair. However, even the simplest observations about style can be difficult to make in the first person. I have the advantage of being in the third person, as well as being male and therefore having a good grasp of what is attractive to men. Here's what I have noticed about women's hair:

1. Time. This is the most common mistake women make when it comes to their hair. The women with bad hair are invariably those who are unwilling to put in the time it takes to make it look good. I use the term "mistake" loosely, because it is obviously a matter of personal preference. More often than not, "I don't have time" actually means "it isn't a priority." But priorities often change once the relative importance of the viable options is made clear. In this sense, a more important post than this one might be the one I wrote about the importance of hair. I am not interested in giving unsubstantiated moral imperatives, so I won't say that a woman should spend a given amount of time on her hair. However, I will say this: if you aren't spending at least 20 minutes a day on your hair, you aren't looking your best. Considering how important hair is to your overall appearance, and how easy it is to control, it makes sense to spend at least that much time on it - assuming you are interested in maximizing your chances with men.

Shakira
2.  Length. Long, full hair exudes vitality. It is beautiful, elegant,  vibrant, sexy. It is the most prominent and recognizable indicator of femininity, and it transfixes the attention of men. I've often wondered if the story of Samson was originally written about a woman, because a woman without her hair is like a woman robbed her of life-force. Yes, there are a few men out there that claim to like short hair. (I am actually skeptical that they are being honest with themselves. I wonder if they once had a crush on a girl that wore it short, and therefore think they like it on all women). But their number is so low that it is statistically negligible and warrants no attention. Keep the length between your shoulders and the middle of your back, and always err on the long side if you are unsure. Short hair on a woman is like a mustache on a man - while in very rare instances some people can look good in spite of it, they never look good because of it. Only use extensions if they blend so well that other girls have to look twice to realize you are wearing them. Otherwise it will just looks cheap and trashy. Grow it out instead.

3. Color. Just like your clothes, your hair color needs to work with your complexion. Your natural hair color is always safe, but not usually as fun as the alternatives - and certainly not as dynamic (see #6). You also have a fair amount of flexibility in this regard, because your hair is one of the features that defines your complexion. Most hair colors can be made to work, but you need to make sure that you change the color of your clothes accordingly, and stay within the limits prescribed by the other elements of your complexion. I've seen some women who clearly don't understand this concept, and the result is unnatural-looking and unattractive. For example, bleaching you hair does not mean that you also need to lighten your eyebrows, since this is liable to wash you out. Likewise, red hair is not likely to work if you have olive skin.

4. Texture & Style. Most women can successfully pull off a couple different hair textures and at least a few different styles. While both will be somewhat limited by your face shape (see #5), you will still have options within those limitations. Most men prefer women when they wear their hair down, but there are some cases when showing off your neck and shoulders (one of the most feminine parts of a woman's body) can outweigh the benefits of wearing your hair down. In any case, I've found that my guy friends all have different taste when it comes to texture and style. Some like frizzy hair, some like straight hair, some like wavy hair. There aren't many guidelines here, except those imposed by your face shape. For example, a hairstlye that flatters your jaw line might be impossible to pull off with straight hair. I will say that, in general, more volume is always a good thing. Full hair is healthy hair, especially if you can maintain the shine after adding volume through curling or some other means.

Minka Kelly

5. Shape. There are all kinds of internet resources for figuring out what hairstyle works best with your face shape and hairline. Use them, but remember the following when you do:
  • While the various shapes are broken into categories, some women fall in between two of the categories (in the same way that your complexion might be halfway between a "clear winter" and a "clear autumn"). Realizing this might help you identify your own shape.
  • Ignore anything that tells you that a short hairstyle suits you best (see #3). While it may be true that short hair compliments the shape of your face, a hairstyle's suitability to your face is far less important than looking feminine when it comes to attracting men.
  • You should consider not only the shape of your face in portrait, but also in profile. Here is a blog post that describes this: http://www.southernbritt.com/facial-profiles-hairstyles/


There is an article here: http://www.thehairstyler.com/features/articles/hairstyles/the-right-hairstyle-for-your-face-shape that makes an effort to illustrate the rights and wrongs of choosing a hairstyle. The website in general is interesting: they are trying to create a program with which you can visualize how you will look with different hair styles. While I think they need a lot of improvement on the visualization tools, the website (and the article in particular) at least helps you understand the underlying concepts. You can figure the specific applications for yourself. The general idea is to use the shape of your hair to give the impression of an oval-shaped head. For example, a woman with a square-shaped head would use her hair to round out the "corners" of her face, while a woman with a triangular face should use her hair to give the impression of added width to the top of her head and de-emphasize the width at the bottom.

7. Cleanliness. Dreadlocks and dirty hair are repulsive. I can't count the number of times my friends and I have seen a girl with dreads and all agreed how much we hated the way it looked. While a negligibly small percentage of guys might mildly attracted to the "look" it creates (hipster, etc.), there is nothing attractive about the hair itself, and I can guarantee you those same guys won't hold it against you if you wash your hair regularly. Your hair is most attractive when it projects an image of health. It does this when it is shiny, and it is shiny when it is clean. Full and healthy hair is an indication that your body is being supplied with the resources it needs to produce such hair (protein, vitamins, etc.), and also that you care about yourself enough to take care of it. Unclean hair implies a poor diet, bad genes, or apathy - none of which is going to attract your future husband. (Note that this does not mean you should necessarily wash your hair every day. In fact, this might do more damage than good in some cases.)

6. Dynamics. One of my favorite things about women is their ability to change their look. By coloring your hair differently or changing its shape and texture, you have dramatic leverage over your appearance. Your boyfriend or husband might like a particular look the most, but seeing the same thing every day is not something that the male mind is programmed to appreciate. If you can figure out a few different ways of doing your hair that he likes, switching among them periodically can offer your man some of the variety that he has given up by being in a committed relationship with you. As with everything else in life, you really only know whether or not something works by trying it out. Without taking risks, you will not improve.


Related Posts
1. The Importance of Hair
2. Hair and Makeup Variety
3. How to Avoid Looking "Fake"

72 comments:

  1. I understand the importance of hair and looking after it, I spend time and money on improving my hair as much as possible. However you are forgetting the most important factor, genetics. Face shape is not the only limitation. No matter how much money or time I spend on my hair it will never be thick and have volume. While I appreciate your blog and find it helpful, this particular article is from a somewhat ignorant point of view (no offence meant). In addition, all of these women you point out - have pics of - have professional hair stylists and enough money to get proper hair extensions.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Of course genetics matter, but as you say, you can't control them. This is why I didn't mention them. There are ways to add volume even to thin hair - hair spray, curling, some shampoos, extensions, even those "Bump-it" things. You might never get it to look like Minka Kelly's but you can make it look better than it would if you spent no time on it.

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    2. Andrew, most of what you say is so worthwhile and so helpful, I find it hard to believe how you can be so insensitive on this issue! You are really upsetting those of us who, through no fault of our own, do not have great hair, and no amount of styling or product use will make any difference whatsoever. For you who are so good at analogies: It is a bit like telling balding men that it's their own fault, and they could fix it if they wanted!

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    3. I don't see it as insensitive. Look at it from another perspective. Imagine there are two guys in front of you. Guy A looks like Robin Williams in Cast away: wild hair and beard. Guy B has a clean shaven look with trimmed hair. Maybe even a bit of gel on his hair.

      Now, who would you go for?

      No hair is impossible to tackle and bad hair can be repaired. If unable to do so yourself go to a hair salon and ask for some tips.

      Delete
  2. Do you have recommendations for coloring for girls who are not white? While I feel that a lot of colors can work with girls who are white, hispanic, etc., because it can look natural, that doesn't apply to asians or indians. What would you recommend in that case? Natural? I know many asian girls dye their hair but it looks obviously fake...

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    1. I've seen non-white girls pull off some pretty light hair colors, or at least highlights. It can definitely work. Natural is always safe, of course - and a lot cheaper... You will never make an asian's blonde hair look natural, because everyone knows it doesn't occur naturally; but you can make it look natural in the sense that it blends well with her natural complexion. This is mostly a matter of finding a good hair stylist.

      I don't have any specific recommendations though. Don't be too worried about being "stuck" with your narual color - you can add variety through different hair styles rather than colors.

      Delete
  3. Lol As I read this I was thinking the same thing as the anonymous (Mar 18, 2012 10:10 AM) above. I'm black, harder to relate to this, nevertheless makes sense.

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  4. This post was good, but what about black females.
    Curly kinky hair, with mostly shoulder length. Most wear weave to have long hair... any advice...
    it seems as if the only ideal is "straight and long"
    While "Short or curly" is most times ugly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't apply to Black females at all, actually, except in terms of keeping your hair well-conditioned, healthy, and looking "its personal best". And I place huge emphasis on "its personal best" because I believe firmly that you should work *with* the texture of your hair... not against it. Andrew is clearly coming from a eurocentric perspective, and while I'm not criticizing him for that, it needs to be stated. There's no need to change your hair care regimen to fit a perspective that is not culturally relevant to you. And don't worry... if you're a Black woman who is open to interracial dating who wears her hair naturally (like I am) you will have no shortage of men chasing you down, whether they are White, Black, Asian, Arab, or otherwise. As Andrew says, men have different tastes. White guys hit on me all the time, despite the stereotypes that our hair is not considered "attractive". Love yourself first... leave the rest for the birds.

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    2. Encouraging!

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  5. tbh, I don't think a white male will be able to give valuable advice towards the maintenance of black hair. Look for info on blogs like curlynikki.com (my fav!) or blackgirllonghair.com. Personally, I believe that growing black hair will take patience & persistence. YMMV. Have fun with those sites. I know I became obsessed with reading them the first time I discovered them. :)

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    1. I agree with Kasey - doubt I can be much help to you.

      I will say that I always prefer black women who wear their hair like white women - long and straight or wavy. In fact I think when they do this they often look better than white women; but that is just my personal opinion. If you are going for white guys, you might take it into consideration, but otherwise I'd check out the resources Kasey offered.

      I've talked to a couple (white) guy friends about this and they agreed with me; but another friend disagreed, saying he preferred more stereotypical black girl hair. I think it is a matter of all men having different taste.

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    2. I think a lot of that comes from wanting to have your cake and eat it too as it takes a lot of money, time and patience for black women to maintain a European hairstyle. I'm all for personal preferences, however just realize where they are coming from. In addition, there are additional things to consider when dating a black woman with permed hair or a weave. 1. You as a man cannot touch it. She spent too much money to have the long and straight look. 2. Any type of water other than to wash and retouch is death to the long and straight look. 3. Prepare to spend a lot of time and/or money at the salon as that is where she'll be on the weekends maintaining that long and straight hair. 4. Hair is a touchy subject in general for black women because of all the historical implications (which is much too long to go into here).

      Also, I'll assume Andrew that in your comments towards women with dreadlocs you're referring to white women, but for those readers who don't realize this, Black women, or people with locs actually do wash their hair regularly, is by no means unclean. It's actually a way of honoring our own natural beautiful texture that makes us unique and therefore stand out from the crowd. Just keep your hair clean, stylish and flattering for your face, body and personality.

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    3. Omg don't speak for Black women Anon...I am a black women that perms my hair, and not because I originally wanted to look like a white woman BUT because I was a swimmer and perming my hair was better maintenance for me swimming in chlorine all the time. I am open to interracial dating and have no problem with my guy touching my hair. I hate when black women try to say "we don't like men touching our hair," like we are some high maintenance, materialistic person.

      NOT ALL OF US are! So don't speak in such a generalized way. Everything else, is correct but be careful when speaking for a community Anon.

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  6. This is really white-centered :/

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    1. Wow! Sorry Andrew that all these people are coming out of the woodwork to complain. I guess that means your blog is popular...idk.

      Look people...if you need black hair advice there are black hair blogs dedicated to it. Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, Foreign Blondes...there are blogs for that. This is a general male advice blog for women. While Andrew seems more in tune than most men, by god he is still a MAN. Please stop the madness.

      A need of understanding is different than a need for validation. You don't know this man. It's the internet get a grip.

      I hate to go around a disparage people on every post, but I just don't get it. Maybe it is teenagers on this blog idk.

      Love you Andrew, been following since the first post. Keep up the good work!

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    2. It's a blog, comments are allowed and encouraged for communication and discussion, a discourse dialog and TO LEARN. It matters! Thank you to the black females that are COMMENTING.

      Delete
  7. Hm, I don't think the women are 'coming out of the woodwork to complain' as you say. I enjoy Andrew's blog enormously and I'm thankful for his frank and honest opinions. Andrew has stated that short, non-shiny hair is unattractive. Most black women do not have short, non-shiny hair by choice. It is genetic. I'm assuming they were looking to be included in the discussion. Most (if not all) of the images posted are of white women. There are enough black celebrities that could be used as examples too. Then again; maybe this blog is for young, white women only. In which case the examples are entirely appropriate and non-white women should just accept it or move on.

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    1. In general, this blog applies to all American women, and any women of similar cultures. Black Americans are definitely included. However, in the case of hair, I admit that this post might not represent the opinions of black men. I honestly don't know.

      I am actually typing this from Angola right now, and when women do themselves up here (i.e. to impress local, black men), they wear wigs that make them look like they have the kind of hair I've described in this post. However, this only SUGGESTS that black men like this kind of hair. It doesn't mean that they all do. And Angolans are not Americans.

      I would be very interested to hear what a black American man thinks about this. I don't have any close black male friends myself, so if any of you have the opportunity to ask yours what they think on this topic, let us know.

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    2. I am the Anon at March 22 I am a black woman.

      I am not interested in black men as romantic partners and I don't wear my hair like how Andrew describes it appeals to him even for black women.No offense Andrew, but probably black or other ethnic women who read your blog aren't ONLY interested in black men and I challenge if at all.

      But either way I don't think this blog has to turn into a smorgasbord of PC posts for people or women to get it. Andrew is covering the basics of attraction that is how I see it anyhow. It's universal.

      There's another post on here where a commenter goes on about being a blonde and how Andrew didn't give enough suggestions for blondes. Seriously? This is the world today.

      America! (Westside Story reference)

      Delete
  8. I don't think that woman are 'coming out of the woodwork to complain'. I actually came to this page from http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ where Andrew posted this link on a blog. Ironic since it this article is Eurocentric. I agree with the time category, but you lost me at Length. I work at a cancer hospital and some of the most beautiful inside and out are the ones that are brave to shave their hair and not cover it up because they realize what is important in life and wigs make you hotter when having hot flashes.

    Texture. I find it funny that (some) men prefer straight hair on Black woman. The chemicals and lye go into your scalp and cause numerous issues that haven't been fully studied yet. Wigs only cover up what is growing underneath. I've seen bad dreadlocks as well, but also some really great looking ones that are cleaned and styled and dyed.

    What qualifies you to make these generalizations. Are you an anthropologist or are these just the opinions of you and your friends. I don't think that your opinions are healthy or productive, especially for the women that are following these tips and advice.

    I am leaving your site now, as I will probably get blasted for my comments, but these are just my opinions.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just found your blog and I'm really liking it.

    About the hair thing, my response is meh. I'm African American (Nigerian to be exact) and I know that hair can be a touchy subject for us. The type of hair you find attractive, which is also what the media and society find most attractive, i.e "white", isn't natural for black women. It's achievable but it's not easy. I've worn my hair long and straight for most of my life but cut it freshman year and wear it curly/wavy because it's easier for me to maintain and most important of all, I like it. :)

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    1. You might be interested in the parenthetical statment at the end of the second paragraph (item 1) of the post I wrote about a woman's weight.

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  10. I have thin hair. Even with a lot of money being spent on hair extensions I dont think any dude would want to run there fingers through a girls hair that has extensions even if the extensions make the hair look fuller.

    I think the guy should just accept the person for who they are and if not then the woman should move on. Most women who are pregnant will end up having thinning hair and isnt that person supposed to grow old with you eventually? What happens when you get older and you start losing hair then what? Hair is a touchy subject for me. Not everyone has good genetics.

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    1. "I think the guy should just accept the person for who they are and if not then the woman should move on."

      If that is your attitude, you will never get men better than the one's that have wanted to marry you so far (notice I did not say date). True, your hair is less controllable than other things, but that doesn't mean you can't improve your body, personality, makeup, dress sense, etc.

      Some men will never be rich (i.e. ONE thing that is attractive to women), but does that mean they should stop learning to be confident, funny, intelligent, etc?

      I think you should think twice about what you are saying.

      Delete
    2. I have lost most of my hair and I feel totally awful about it. No amount of washing/styling will bring it back or make it look sexy.

      So now I wear wigs and I get a lot of dates but I can't move forward because I feel they will back off once they know my hair is not real. Apart from my hair I am a confident, positive, fun woman so people like me easily.

      How do I get further knowing men focus so much on hair? :(

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    3. I can relate but not all men focus on hair. If anything the right guy will be put off by the insecurity and paraonia relating to the hairloss, not the hairloss itself. If you do what you can to improve everything as much as you can and try your best you will have no problem. Just be comfortable with who you are and you know, the stress of this could be a factor contributing to the hairloss. You are more than just your hair.

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  11. Anon: I have never tried hair extensions, but I know many girls use it and I don't think it would have been so popular if it was disgusting to run your fingers through.
    What you can do include: healthy diet, scalp massages, good shampoos, not too much heating/straightening/bleaching and most of all: keratin treatments.

    All the Victoria's Secret girls use hair extensions, with very natural results.
    Here, Karolina Kurkova has hair extensions:
    http://celebritywonder.ugo.com/picture/Karolina_Kurkova/KarolinaKurk_JMcCarth_6454735.jpg
    Here is her natural hair:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rF4NX1v4Xr0/TlUORZxHE4I/AAAAAAAAAU4/ijbb8p847M4/s1600/Karolina-Kurkova.jpg

    Most celebrity women/models do have quite thin hair, because it's been styled so much.

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  12. If a black women wants long natural hair the best way to do this is with Sisterlocks. if you go to their website you can find a gallery. They are very, very small styleable,impeccably manicured dreadlocks. Some of the women have hair down their back- and it's very beautiful and the effect is similar to the long straight hair, but done working with our texture so you can be free of the very onerous chemical/upkeep damage.
    Bradelocz is another technique to start them.

    But it's a longterm process to grow it long, that's for sure.
    Right now I wear very small twist extentions and that also basically has the same general effect of flowing hair. I get positive respones.

    Black men actually tend to prefer long straightened hair eventhough they don't have straight hair themselves. many Black women have found white men more accepting of their natural hair texture.

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  13. Hey Andrew,
    I am an extremely good-looking and fit young woman who once had long, thick, silky red-blonde hair. Then I cut it off. I now rock a buzz cut, mostly because I can while still looking super feminine. I wear heels, makeup, and have actually noticed myself behaving in a more feminine manner than I did when I had hair.
    My question is, with my beauty and femininity, am I going to be passed over for girls who are less attractive but with more hair? Is my beauty and femininity now discounted because of my haircut? Is the shock of my short hair negated by the confidence I show in wearing it? I'm interested in your opinion.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "with my beauty and femininity, am I going to be passed over for girls who are less attractive but with more hair?"

      Probably

      "Is my beauty and femininity now discounted because of my haircut?"

      No, but a lot of men won't want to take the time necessary to discover it because of your short hair.

      "Is the shock of my short hair negated by the confidence I show in wearing it?"

      Somewhat but not entirely. Hair is a big part of a woman's beauty that you are (now) missing. A woman who cuts off her hair is sort of like a man who cries all the time. He might be perfectly confident, powerful, rich, etc. but when he sees puppies, he just starts crying. For most women this would be a big turnoff - something that they would have a lot of difficulty overcoming in order to date him and get to know him. It might be authentically "him," but it wouldn't help his chances in the dating world. Now, that guy might only be able to be happy with a woman who appreciated how in-touch he was with his emotions, and you might need a man who can appreciate your beauty with short hair. But unless you really can't feel "yourself" with long hair, I suggest you grow it back.

      Hope that helps.

      Delete
  14. Interesting, thank you for your opinion. Now can you answer the flip side of that? What benefits will I see from this haircut when it comes to men? Will it keep me from having to filter out timid or very controlling men? What sort of man sees past hair? Thank you!

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  15. Stop it already! I am appauld by the remarks being made by the African American women. Andrew gives great advice that assist women navigating through the dating scene. You're taking the information given and making it more political. Men like long hair! Why are we shocked; Black, White, Asian etc...we all know this. Get a grip and stop attacking him.

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    1. wow I just read through the conversation thread and I would not say anyone attacked andrew. Everyone was very respectful in stating their opinions. If anything your comment along with the previous one in the same vain were both much more disruptive, hostile, and a bit awkward lmbo. Its ok andrews safe hahah

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  16. Hi, I’m just curious.

    I want your opinion on braids, twists, or sisterlocks on black women. What if it is neatly styled, thin, and long like the pictures below? Does it need to be straight and loose in texture to be attractive for you?

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6bbycpak91ql67jgo1_1280.jpg
    http://i50.tinypic.com/2ijow0n.jpg
    http://i45.tinypic.com/2q2eir4.jpg
    http://i48.tinypic.com/35059gp.png
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KP_WebyaTWM/Tz41_JTp7wI/AAAAAAAABXo/UQipHfQi9FI/s1600/DSC02469.JPG
    http://i46.tinypic.com/wl7spu.jpg
    http://i50.tinypic.com/5l3xpx.jpg
    http://i49.tinypic.com/1hb1q9.jpg
    http://images50.fotki.com/v1524/photos/1/131462/7162849/Varpictures033-vi.jpg

    I don’t get it, because as a black woman, I have worn these styles with heels and makeup and I get positive results. I know a couple black women who are dating, engaged, or married (to black men and men of other races) with these hairstyles, and their husbands prefer their hair to be this way rather than be straight or don't care as long as it is neat/groomed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More examples:

      http://www.hairselect.com/images/beeswax_hair4.jpg
      http://going-natural.com/images/easyblog_images/22717/roller%20set%2011-11-11.jpg
      http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/upload/36451078204058099_oCswuuaJ_b.jpg

      Delete
    2. Sorry, meant to say

      "Does it need to be perfectly wavy/straight in texture (and unbraided/twisted/etc.) to be attractive in your opinion?"

      Delete
    3. http://i.ytimg.com/vi/CeuzKNWnr7M/0.jpg
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TEPHpCujBhI/Tv_V2MksNyI/AAAAAAAAAvA/UCwev3mZTd4/s1600/IMAG2524ol.png
      http://sisterlocks.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/sisterlocks_photo1.jpg

      Delete
    4. I am not a big fan. I think all of those girls would be more attractive without braids. However, in some cases, it might be true that by braiding her hair, a girl can achieve a better shape for her hair, which will override the lack of shine and smooth texture.

      Delete
    5. You said all men like 'authentic hair'...in the article 'how not to look fake'. The methods of straightening the coily texture is very damaging and breaks off easily.

      Likely black women are going to have to use weaves, caustic chemicals, fake hair, or extensions to achieve the straight shiny texture that all other women of ethnic groups have semi-naturally.

      What I don't understand is that isn't using these things considered being fake, the anti-thesis of what you support? So are these women never going to achieve the 9.5 rating you would give to all other women?

      Aren't you penalizing and calling these women because their hair doesn't grow like the hair of other ethnic groups, and forcing them to make it straight to imitate the hair of other women?

      Delete
    6. I meant to say..
      "Aren't you penalizing and insinuating that women who have naturally occurring afro-textured hair have inferior hair, because their hair doesn't grow straight like the hair of other ethnic groups?"

      I'm just curious about this hair thing...
      Also, should black women be have to straighten to imitate the hair/features of other women? I don't understand that..because it isn't as if you're telling Asian women to get surgery or put heavy makeup on their eyes to make them look like other women...shouldn't different ethnic groups have allowed to keep their one 'ethnic' differentiation and style it?

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    7. Marisa, have you seen the Chris Rock movie "Good Hair" it's a really good movie that addresses this issue-the lengths some Aftrican American women go through to achieve relaxed flowing hair. The jist of the movie is that people should worry more about what is inside their head and less about what is on top. I'm not recommending not caring about doing what is attractive to men but you have to know that you are beautiful and not give that power to anyone else to decide.

      Delete
    8. Marisa
      I have patiently read what you have written you are trying to penalize him for having an opinion (OP). You're in the wrong spot for that sort of thing I don't understand what your point is here. He's not forcing anybody to do anything. Again, this is one man so please stop placing his comments under a microscope. This is not a swirl page, you know.

      Delete
    9. The post is about how to avoid LOOKING fake, not BEING fake.

      Delete
    10. "Aren't you penalizing and insinuating that women who have naturally occurring afro-textured hair have inferior hair, because their hair doesn't grow straight like the hair of other ethnic groups?"

      Yes.

      But, you have MUCH better bodies than other ethnic groups.

      Delete
    11. Wow ok. It's one thing to have your preference but that's border line insulting. My hair texture does is not inferior smh. I have a feeling you may not have been around too many black women who wear they're hair naturally to realize it's softness and ability to be in a much bigger variety of styles compared to white women. To each his own I guess. It's too bad because I enjoyed the article otherwise.

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  17. Marisa, different ethnic groups are allowed to do whatever they want. I think that what I have noticed is that there is a biological standard of beauty, and many ethnicities will try to change their looks to achieve it. Big eyes, full lips, and long, voluminous hair are standards of beauty because they denote youth, high levels of estrogen, and higher fertility in the woman. I'm Asian, and many Asians do get surgery to make their eyes appear bigger, and in this case, I guess there are many African American women who may alter their natural looks to make their hair appear straight and long. But I have natural full lips, which I think a lot of ethnic women do as well, and there is an insane wave of white women trying to achieve this look through collagen injections, with an awful looking result. So in the end, I don't think it's necessarily about one race trying to look like another, as it is trying to adapt what is an ideal standard of beauty.

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  18. While you may not personally like the African American texture of hair, calling it "repulsive" and "imperfect hair" is insulting. I discovered this blog a few days ago and I sat in front of my screen for hours, reading every post, intrigued by your insights. That is, until you mentioned how dreadlocks are repulsive and black women's curves make up for "imperfect hair." Are you purposely trying to alienate readers? Our hair is naturally coiled, kinky and not straight. We get married all of the time---to men of all races, so to denigrate us is a bit insulting.

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    1. God, settle down. Stop being so oversensitive.
      First of all, most men find dreadlocks repulsive, and there are hygiene reasons for it as well as esthetic ones. You may feel differently, but you can't force your opinion on them.
      Secondly, nobody said women with "imperfect" hair doesn't get married. It's like saying women can't get married if they're not a size 2 or a D cup. The point is that there are certain features and attributes most men find more attractive than others, and if you want to appeal to most men, it makes sense to achieve these things. He's just providing the information.
      Just because your hair looks a certain way naturally, doesn't mean it looks the most attractive that way. Men find a small waist more attractive than a wide one, long legs more attractive than short, symmetric features more attractive than asymmetric ones. If one does not have these things naturally and cannot change it, work around it, rather than moan, try to convince or ask someone to change their preferences.

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  19. As a fellow blog follower, I read the paragraph to mean that dreadlocks and dirty hair are repulsive. Correct me if I am wrong, but dreadlocks hair does not get shampooed as frequently or easily combed, no? Even straight hair can get greasy/oily/dirty without shampooing.

    I thought Andrew's point was that cleanliness is important. I didn't see the part where he singled out black women's curves though, is that in another post?

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    Replies
    1. Black people in general wash their hair 1-2 weeks because the oil doesn't reach the ends as quickly as it does on a white persons straight hair. If we did it would dry out, break, and cause more harm than good. With dreadlocs in particular, it really depends on the persons hair texture and how long it takes it to loc once they wash their hair again. For me, I have tightly coiled hair so once my hair locked (within about 2-3 weeks) I washed my hair like any other black person, 1-2 weeks for the same reasons. Straight, easily combed hair doesn't equal cleaner hair, it just requires different care.

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  20. I have to agree with Honey on this one. That was what I first thought. When my daughter was little, she was fascinated when she saw a man with dreadlocks. He said the way to get dreadlocks is to throw away your comb. Big difference between ethnic hair and just not washing or combing one's hair.

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  21. you don't find kinky hair, braids, curly hair etc attractive and that's okay to have your opinion of course, but saying our hair is "inferior", you really really crossed the line there!

    re: "Aren't you penalizing and insinuating that women who have naturally occurring afro-textured hair have inferior hair, because their hair doesn't grow straight like the hair of other ethnic groups?"

    Yes.

    But, you have MUCH better bodies than other ethnic groups.

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  22. I appreciate your straightforward, no-nonsense approach on this blog. However, presenting statistics and being straightforward does not excuse using racist language ("inferior hair") or buying into racist dominant hegemonic standards (long, flowing hair of the type that many black women cannot grow is attractive, kinky/coiled hair is not). It is racist to say that black women's natural hair type is inferior to that of every other race's. That is the very definition of racism. How is that anything other than racist? If you think it's not, you're in denial.

    There was a time when white people thought that black *people* as a whole were inferior to them and used this "fact" to justify centuries of cultural, economic, systemic and physical domination. Now that we seem to have "moved up" in the esteem of white people and are only being told some of our *features* are inferior, we're supposed to applaud this? Our butts are too big (yet white women are wearing butt pads and getting ass implants and suddenly a "big ass" is okay if white Kim K. has one). Our lips are too thick (and yet we aren't the ones who need to get lip injections). I am also not up in the tanning salon because I find my natural skin too pale. I, and many other black women and girls have had a hell of a time learning to feel good about ourselves in the US because racist people can't work out their own racist beliefs.

    Those of you co-signing this post, especially black women, should be ashamed of yourselves and need to examine just how much you've bought into the dominant hegemony. If you are anything other than what white mainstream media presents as "beautiful", you shouldn't really be applauding this type of thinking.

    If a man doesn't want me the way I look naturally, the way I was born, he's not for me. If it means that I have a more difficult time finding someone with his head out of his ass, I'm okay with that. I'd rather feel comfortable with myself (*however* I choose to wear my hair) than feel like I'm changing things to please a man with racist beliefs. I can and likely am going to move to another country where people have more progressive beliefs and my attractiveness to men isn't contingent on me greatly distorting my natural features.

    I also have a dark skin tone. Is there somewhere you suggest I lighten my skin color to be more appealing to racist men?

    Any credibility you gained with your other blog posts is greatly diminished by your racist beliefs. In 50 years when we've progressed more and more of us are intermixed, you blog post will look like a relic.

    To the woman who said basically said that this is a blog for white people, think about that. Your basic assumption, is that, since it's not explicitly mentioned, this website is for white women. That kind of thinking is also racist and falls under the category of white privilege. How nice for you to be able to go around assuming everything is written for people like you unless otherwise explicitly stated. The rest of us are "different" and should find our marginalized websites to read if we disagree. Please stop talking and go read some blogs about white privilege, your racism is showing loud and proud.

    I don't expect to see this comment last for long on the site. But, mr. rules, you really need to do some self-reflection and check your racism at the door. Because ultimately, a woman of value, does not find racism attractive either.

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    1. I totally agree with what you said. I thought his calling beautiful curls (that women of many races possess) frizzy was rude. Girls with curly hair are self concious about it growing up and simply calling a gorgeous hair texture frizzy is rude and adds to insecurities.

      Please, Andrew, think about what you're saying.

      Nevertheless, you are intelligent and your blog is very good and insightful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Delete
    2. I agree that the wording was a bit harsh but i think the overall intention was clearly not racist. Was his comment that white women's bodies are generally worse than black women's racist towards whites?

      I don't think we have to be so pc as to claim that all people of all races are equal in every single way - differences obviously exist and you should be allowed to judge whether or not you like certain features as long as you recognize that all people of all races are equally valuable as humans. Nothing on this blog suggests that the author doesn't do the latter.

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    3. Anon @6:11 = BRILLIANT! Thank you, that's what I wanted to say and think.

      Delete
  23. I agree with the woman above. I found this link through a black haircare site. I wear my hair natural in shoulder-length twists. IME, European white men are much more open to dating and/or showing their attraction to black women. Maybe it's because they don't have some of the same stupid stereotypes that American men might have? I'm married to a blonde, tall, "strapping" Swede. He loves my hair and everything else about me.

    Don't change what's natural about you trying to fit someone else's ideal. There are plenty of men interested in black women as we are naturally. Love your hair ladies! The guy who hates your natural hair but likes your body? Kick that jerk to the curb.

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  24. oh Andrew, precious Andrew. Life is so much more fulfilling when you live it. Stop encouraging these ladies to be self obsessed, insecure, love hungry missers of life and the true beauty found in joy.

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  25. LONG HAIR & BLACK WOMEN

    Let's consider this dilemma in mathematical terms.
    EQUATION:
    1) black women hair is often curly & not straight. Therefore it appears shorter.
    2) black women hair can be straighten but it should not be altered everytime unless one wants to lose hair
    3) white men typically prefer straight hair
    4) what is a black woman interested in a typical white man to do ?

    SOLUTION :

    A) straighten hair in the beginning of the relationship- when the male is falling in love. Bring your "A" game in the beginning (makeup+ clothes+ hair). See "We can look just as beautiful as anyone else" at The New Elegant Black Woman


    B) When the relationship is exclusive, surprise Mr White with curls. Since curls are considered a "B" game, then up your game in the body type department. See "feminine beauty is highly controllable" at The Rules Revisited .

    C)Learn how to style your hair differently. No African hair can be straight, weaved or in its natural state forever. And the self consciousness associated with unusual hairstyles is tiring for the poor unsuspecting men who share our lives. Please, know your hair throughout, so that transition styles do not dictate how beautiful you feel. Resources: curly nikki+ black girl long hair

    D) Make full use of your uniqueness. See "Black women must advertise their unique feminine features" at The New Elegant Black Woman


    ADDITIONAL TIPS:

    -At night, put nice scarves (hippie/Gatsby style) & make sure they smell clean. Change these scarves as often as needed.
    -when chhosing beauty products, check that Mr white is ok with exotic fragrances (coconut/cocoa/ shea butter, etc). Some white men in interracial relationships, crave the exotic smells. While other are uncomfortable with them. If in doubt, do an experiment: have him smell both ethnic & mainstream beauty products. And see which products he instinctively prefers. Scent ur products accordingly (essential oils).



    INSPIRATION
    -http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/fragile-and-delicate-black-women.html
    (only exception : 4a. The curl pattern is undefined & the look screams "bedhead")

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  26. you sound like such a fucking asshole

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  27. From my experience, I have to agree with Emilie. Plus, for some reason I can always tell whether a woman dies her hair or not. it doesn't matter if it's when it dries, two days later, a week later or two weeks later. I can always tell right off the bat. No matter what. And you know what, it's distracting. It's not like it's attractive, it isn't. It's just distracting and it stands way out there. People who actually take care of their hair instead of hiding it tend to look so much more attractive and that's not just my opinion either. I've seen it on the streets, though it may depend on where you reside I guess. But please tell me that you aren't creating articles about stuff that are entirely based on inexperience. There's so much more that you should have added to the article. Such as what to look out for in shampoos or air conditioners for starters.

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    Replies
    1. Totally agree with taking good care of your hair!

      Hey if people want info on what to look out for shampoos or conditioners they can go to a hair specialist. I am not sure he is a hair specialist - nor I expect him to be one.

      Delete
    2. Also part of taking care of your hair means eating healthy.

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  28. I have locs, thank you very much, and the men - white ones - are loving them. We don't all look like Bob Marley. Our locs are CLEAN and beautiful--- And in this case you don't know what you are talking about



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  29. I'm a white guy who dated (now engaged) black women, in addition to white women and Hispanic women. I don't care too much about hair, frankly, but I love natural hair on a black woman. Braids, locs, all kinds of fros, whatever - it's all good to me. Don't like weaves.

    My fiance is dark, she's tall and has natural hair. She's quite attractive, to the point where men just stare at her when she comes into a room.

    Gotta say, I sure don't want my fiance taking your advice...

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  30. In my opinion I think as long as you have healthy hair it doesn't matter if its long, short, straight or curly, it can look good. I am into fashion and am a woman. A black woman with natural hair.

    But if I understand it correctly this is a site for a man's opinion on a woman's physical appearance. Men are shallow creatures. Surprise.

    Andrew is correct hair is subconsciously linked to our fertility. Long hair represents health and that's what attracts us on a primal level.

    I wear my hair natural cause its healthiest. I try for the most part to retain length (it's just past my shoulders). If i don't it looks short. I've found that I get more compliments on my hair from non black men.

    Ladies it all comes down to who are you trying to impress? Are you dressing (and styling) your hair for men, women or yourself?

    I find that when I'm impressed is when I'm most confident.

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  31. I just wish that people would educate themselves about "dreadlocks" before regurgitating the same old nonsense that they are "dirty", unclean. I take issue with the fact that the writer of this article immediately associates "dreadlocks" with "dirty". This is not the case at all. Just because a bunch of white hipsters with ratty looking straight/stringy hair who attempt to pull of dreadlocks (not saying there aren't some whites with decent looking "dreadlocks"), refuse to wash them, does not mean that people with "dreadlocks" have "dirty hair".

    Once and for all, can we please put this nonsense to rest? I don't have "dreadlocks", so it isn't necessarily something that I take personally...but dreadlocks are capable of being washed JUST LIKE ANY OTHER HAIRSTYLE. If you don't wash your "dreadlocks", you are dirty. "Dreadlocks" by default are not "dirty".

    Now that that's out of the way...your preference for long hair on a woman is just that, your preference. Some women actually do look better with shorter hair. Same for men, some people's faces are just better complimented by a short hair cut.

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  32. Hi Andrew, I appreciate your blog. It's the kind of advice women need to hear even though the truth from a guy's standpoint can seem a little bitter. But I keep coming back here primarily because this blog is your brutally honest opinion.

    Anyway, I am a woman, who has lost a substantial amount of my hair. I am working diligently to regrow it in the hopes that I don't have to wear a wig. My hair at first glance looks semi thick. I keep it clean.

    But I can't part it down the middle and if I grow it out to my shoulders, I start to sacrifice the illusion of fullness.

    I have a pretty face and if I had full hair I am guessing that I would be at least a 7-8 (and I read your post on how women score themselves. I think my assessment is correct).

    I'm wondering - if I do have to wear a wig, an expensive one that is made well and looks good on me - wondering how creeped out I can expect a man to be when he learns that it isn't my real hair. (of course I would tell him about it before he found out on his own)

    I can already imagine many situations in which a woman wearing a wig would cause a man to not consider her relationship material. And I know it's indicative of shitty genes too which I can see why a man wouldn't want to be with that. But I just want some confirmation on that and maybe some advice.

    P.S. I value your time. Do you have a donation link?

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  33. I think attracting a man vs. keeping a man are two different things. If a man can't see past your hair or your mascara for that matter, he isn't worth attracting. Tons of women with short hair are in successful, loving relationships. I prefer to have short hair because it now compliments my personal style. I use to wear extensions for years until I embraced my natural length, and myself for that matter. I feel more confident and more attractive than ever--especially without the fear of my man discovering my fake hair. I have NEVER had any issues with attracting men of all races, in spite of my short hair. In fact, I date mostly white men (and i'm black) so if they had an issue with my hair not being feminine enough or long enough, they've certainly never shown it. A pretty face speaks VOLUMES over just having long hair. Not to be shallow, but Andrew and all men, know this is a fact! I have even suggested to my white boyfriends that I should grow my hair out or put in extensions and they all told me not to bother. I may be an exception to this "rule" and do not doubt that eurocentric beauty standards sadly do rule the world, but femininity and being attractive is not solely in ones hair. Let me elaborate: Halle Berry, Rihanna, Victoria Beckham, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, etc.....you get my point.

    Any woman that is afraid to change her hair in fear of not get approached by men is supremely insecure, and when was that ever attractive?

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