Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Afro, Braid and Dread Wearing Koreans - I Love It

Regular readers know I wear my hair natural. Now that's not a big deal if you don't know the history and politics behind nappy hair. In fact, it was insulting one time when I was out socializing with two white guys who said "oh, we wear our hair natural too". This was after I'd had a bonding moment in a bar in Seoul with a black guy I met who was wearing dreads.

Let me tell you a black woman wearing her hair natural meeting up with a black man who wears dreads is significant because most black men keep their hair closely cut to their heads and most black women, it seems, either straighten it with chemicals or heat or cover it with weaves or wigs.

Let's just say that while almost every race of people have no problems wearing their hair as is, in black culture it's looked upon as odd and subversive. That's not to say that other races don't seek to change, enhance or otherwise just play around with their hair. It's just a bit different when the texture of your hair has literally been vilified.

Now this comes from Africans being held as slaves, colonization, the Tignon Laws (postbellum US law which required black women to cover their hair as not to "offend"), and the eventually internalization of the "super coily Afro hair is bad" aesthetic within the black disapora. However, I've blogged about some of these issues before (hit the archives or the Blogbar to search - use "nappy" as a search term and that should pull them all up if you're curious - they're both in the sidebar on the right).

This is cool.

There seems to be shock that Asians are have now taken on Afro hairstyles. There is a thread on a forum I'm a regular on where people are just beyond shocked. It's rather funny considering I've been seeing it for awhile and just never thought it was that huge of a deal. However, I can't deny that it's a trend that is spreading, but I say fine with me as imitation is the highest form of flattery. I noticed it from the time I arrived here years ago. I saw Koreans with braids break dancing at the top of Busan Tower. When I wore braids as my signature style I also saw Koreans getting them and saw other shops opening which displayed pictures of Korean models with Afro hairstyles.

Well, there is a salon called Bombhead in Seoul. It has three locations: Bundang, Kangnam and Chungdam.

So for all you fashion and trend plebians, here you go. Have fun browsing.
I chose a few pictures but the site has tons. Just go to the "Nappy and Special Hair" section and click to your heart's content. I just wanted to share and smirk a bit while I'm at it.

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