Anybody have any tips for managing oriental hair?
December 1, 2004 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Anybody have any tips for managing oriental hair? [MI]

Basically, it's straighter than straight, and stronger than steel wire. Even by my compatriot's standards, it's abnormally strong, which means that I can empty a whole bottle of gel into my mop, and an hour later it'll have sprung back to its mushroom/bowl configuration.

In addition to that, all my previous hairdressers have seemingly been unable to comprehend what goes on with my hair. Cut it too short and it all springs up like I've been playing with a tesla dome-thingy; leave it too long and it looks superflat.

Is there anything that can be done? Should I try more expensive haircare products like Kiehl's? Are there treatments available to make my hair less strong? Should I shell out more for a decent haircut? Or am I just doomed to have crappy hair?
posted by Jongo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
My wife, who is Asian, uses coconut oil. It softens, smells good and seems to work well.
posted by jeffmshaw at 3:39 PM on December 1, 2004

Take it from someone who went 37 years without a really good expensive haircut - do it! It really is worth the money. Get recommendations from people you know or even strangers on the street whose hair looks great to you.

Also, just FYI, I and many many others would kill for super straight hair. I know everyone wants whatever they don't have, but remembering that may make you like it more.

Also, I think they make some really cement-like gels these days. Someone is bound to come along and recommend one soon.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:43 PM on December 1, 2004

How old are you? I know that my hair was probably some of the stubbornest Asian hair ever when I was younger, but ever since I hit my mid- to late 20s, I've found it a lot easier to manage, and it actually does what I tell it to do. I don't use gel or hairspray or nuttin'.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 4:12 PM on December 1, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, I've just entered my 20s. Perhaps when my hair starts sprouting out elsewhere, it'll become more manageable.

CunningLinguist, thanks for the haircut thumbs-up. If anyone could recommend a hairdresser in London, I'd be much obliged. I'm aware that many people like straight hair, but it's not so much the straightness of it that irritates me as much as the singular way in which it is straight (that is, it only ever wants to point down).
posted by Jongo at 4:46 PM on December 1, 2004

When you see people on the street with hair that looks like yours and looks well-cut, ask them who cuts their hair. This is the only way to find good hairdressers.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:30 PM on December 1, 2004

Try the Advanced Academy hair cutting school at Vidal Sassoon - they are master classes, so the students are already established hairdressers, and are in London to learn the latest styles, techniques, and products (and sometimes colours). When I was a student in London a few years ago, I'd get my hair cut, dyed and they'd usually supply me with a take-home tube of colour (if it had an unusual hue) for touch-ups. This was all mine for a fiver. I wasn't unhappy once with the cut - you have to have a bit more patience as it will take a little longer, but I always found it was well worth it.
posted by fionab at 6:34 PM on December 1, 2004

I live near a predominantly Asian neighborhood and there are quite a few salons that are owned by and cater to the Asian population. Maybe there are similar places in London?
posted by jennyb at 6:54 PM on December 1, 2004

dax or murray's wax.


(one of my friends who had a similar asian fro problem had straightening recommended to her, although I don't know that she ever did it. but the last few times i saw her she had great hair, so it can be done.)
posted by fishfucker at 9:34 PM on December 1, 2004

my hair is that straight. the only thing to do is get a very good cut and come to terms with the fact that your hair will only ever hang straight down (i did once get it to stay ratted for less than 10 minutes with egg whites).

shell out for the good stylist (sidhedevil is right about how to find one) and remember, hair that straight should only ever be cut dry.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:16 AM on December 2, 2004

I've got the same sort of difficult asian hair, and I find the best way to coax it into an interesting shape is blow-drying in the general style you're aiming for, and then shaping it with a nice stiff hair wax. I use sebastian "crude clay" - and resist the temptation to use a lot of wax; after blowdrying, you should only need a small pea-sized amount (Depending on the wax).
posted by philscience at 12:26 PM on December 2, 2004

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