It can be tricky for any woman to fully comprehend an experience outside of their own, especially when it comes to beauty and personal care. For some reason, it’s especially difficult for certain women to understand that many hair types require a crazy amount of maintenance and special attention, even if their own hair doesn’t. So here are some handy tips to help you explain to your white friend that curly hair behaves differently than straight hair!
Make a powerpoint describing all the hair types.
If your white friend is a facts and figures type, try making her a slideshow that explains the all the different kinds of curl patterns. Make sure your descriptions include the particular struggles that come with any hair classification greater than a 2C. Once your friend can visualize the contrast between her stick straight hair and the curls and understand the differences in care they require, maybe she’ll stop asking dumb questions like you why you never want to swim at the beach with her: It’s because I don’t have my leave in conditioner with me at the beach, Veronica! How many times do I have to explain what water does to curly hair?! Hopefully she’ll respond better now that it’s illustrated in slide 6.
Demonstrate on a doll.
This tip is perfect for a white friend that’s a hands-on learner. Try illustrating your point by demonstrating on dolls: one with straight hair and one with curls! Your friend will notice how seamlessly a brush glides through the straight doll hair, causing no untoward effects. She’ll also notice how tricky it is to get the brush through the curly doll hair and how immediately the curls are reduced to a shapeless pile of frizz. Hopefully, that’ll be enough to convince her to stop annoyingly pressing you about why you “always wear your hair up” and “never try any fun hairstyles”. You and I can’t take follicular chances in the same ways, Becky! You could’ve googled this!
Bring her to your hair salon.
Give your white friend a new experience! Try bringing her to the hair salon with you. She’ll be able to see the whole process of getting curly hair cut and styled, in all its painstaking glory. With any luck, watching your hairdresser wrestle your 3C/4A combination kinks and seeing you sweat under the searing heat of a diffuser for an hour will get the point across to your friend and she’ll stop irritating you by telling you how lucky you are that you only have to wash your hair every few days! Lucky is not the word for it, Meredith! Also, why did I have to explain this to you?
Physically take her into the shower with you.
If worst comes to worst and you have to get serious, try taking your white friend into the shower with you to show her exactly how much work it really requires to get your hair to an acceptable state. Once she witnesses the truly time-consuming effort and brute upper-body strength you exert to make your hair look presentable, she’ll check herself before she ever again says something stupid like “I just don’t see the point of getting a blowout, isn’t it just paying someone to wash your hair?” Uh, yeah, it is Pam! Some of us take three and a half hours to do so! Have you never, ever critically thought about experiences that differ from yours?
Bridging a knowledge gap can be frustrating, especially when the knowledge is something so obvious to you and also pretty much anyone. With these tips, you’ll make explaining the very clear differences in how one deals with straight versus curly hair easy to digest for your white friend who I guess just never bothered to learn the difference!