The Mane Event: Curly vs. Straight

Good Morning America did a two part series on Curly hair vs. Straight hair and which one ruled. They tested a group of men, children, and employers. Predictably, the straight hair came across more favorable amongst the men and children. However, surprisingly the curly hair won over the job interviewers.

The men suggested the pictures of the curly hair women appear "desperate for a man". While the straight hair got reviews as "refined". The children called it "messy" or bed hair. However, the during the job interview process, the curly hair won victoriously. Although, the interviewers unanimously thought the curly hair was big or a distraction,, the candidate was seen as more articulate, confident, and comfortable. While the straight hair person was viewed as "self-centered".

View the video here.

What are your thoughts on this debate? Although this experiment was done on a Caucasian women with Caucasian participants, do you think these opinions are representative of the black community when it relates to naturally curly hair? Does this experiment make you change your mind about your own decision to wear curly hair? Lets talk.

To throw my two cents into this debate, I feel it is an accurate portrayal of how people feel about curly hair. I find that men, children and come employers prefer curly hair. However, I have found just like the woman in the experiment that I am much more confident in job interviews when my hair is natural. Ironically, I got more offers with my natural hair.

On the flip side, I don't think black men look at black women with natural or curly hair as desperate. I think they view us as "too strong" or "unapproachable". These are comments that I've heard in the past. So ladies, if your looking for a man, you may want to press out those curlz...(just kidding). Share your thoughts.
6 Responses:

That's interesting... I've noticed that I get different attention from different people when my hair is curly. I can't pinpoint it exactly but there is definitely a difference. At my job, most of my coworkers are Chinese and they LOVE my curly hair, I get the most compliments when its curly. This is a touchy topic though; good post!


Personally, I don't feel as though a Black woman would have received the same exact results due to a different connotations with "ethnic" hair. For instance, although her hair was seen as a distraction, she could still wear her hair like that to work. In a lot of various corporate work places, a Black woman's curly/kinky/nappy hair wouldn't be acceptable at all.

As far as the men goes, from my experience, I get approached more when my hair is curly rather than being straight...this is from men of ALL races.

Children are going to be children.


For me when I wear my hair curly I am called adorable, sistah girl, or I get the black power fist from onlookers. When I staighten my hair I get compliments and people telling me that I look beautiful. I am never called beautiful unless my hair is straightened (except from my boyfriend, who happens to be white and prefers my hair curly).

On facebook I did a test where I had two pictures of myself (one with curly and one with straight) and asked my friends what they liked best. All of the men said straight and all of the women said curly.

I think the test is an accurate portrayal as far as men, women, and children and how they receive hair types, but I think the study would be different if black people were involved.

Alot of people who I encounter do not agree that my hair is "curly". They call it nappy and think the term "curly" only applies to non ethnic hair.


I got my H2O nano today. I'm sooo excited :o) But I digress.

I think we spend too much time thinking about what other people think of us. (And I have to remind myself of this daily.)

Some days (and outfits) straight hair is the perfect accessory.

Other days (and outfits) curly hair is just the hottest.

Meanwhile, for every person that likes my hair, there is another that doesn't. At the end of the day (and outfit), it's all about me and what I like. Sometimes I feel like curls and sometimes I don't. That's the beauty of being natural.


Ive been natural for a while and when I first went natural I was looking for a job and did everything not to turn off employers. From weave to wigs. It didnt matter I still had a hard time finding a job. I don teven care now. Its the way its grows out of my head and I love it. I am trying to change job again 5yrs later and I rock my 'fro without thinking about. I guess that gives me more confidence becuase I just dont worry about it anymore.


Ive been natural for a while and when I first went natural I was looking for a job and did everything not to turn off employers. From weave to wigs. It didnt matter I still had a hard time finding a job. I don teven care now. Its the way its grows out of my head and I love it. I am trying to change job again 5yrs later and I rock my 'fro without thinking about. I guess that gives me more confidence becuase I just dont worry about it anymore.


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