What A Kinky Twist!

afro perm 3
Photo Credit: Bing

 

So I was intrigued when I first heard about this “new trend” in Japan and Korea. But as I researched more, this has been going on for years. As a natural hair stylist, I encourage “African Americans” to embrace their natural hair and to not look at their curly, kinky hair as something that is ugly or shameful. For years, African Americans have been spending millions of dollars on weaves, perms, and relaxers to remove the kinks from their hair. Now I must admit, it has been a trend among the African American community to go back to their natural tresses. However, before now, I did not know how much of an influence they have on other cultures. I mean I see the Afro curly weave in the stores or the dreadlock weaves. However, I did not know about the Asian Afro Perm until now, and it is referred to as the Reggae Perm also. The Asian Afro Perm has the reverse effect of the more traditional perm or curly perm. It is used on naturally straightened hair to achieve fuller or course texture. Due to the nature of the perm, it can be used on the straight hair before creating locs, twist, and cornrows.

afro perm

Before this, I assumed that people with naturally straight hair or loosely curly hair just let their hair mat together to obtain locs. I even thought that some may use a lot of beeswax, although the heavy use of beeswax is not good. The wearing of locs is nothing new, even for people with straight hair… in fact it is an ancient hair style. However, I would have never known that they used a perm in order to change their hair texture. In my research, I found that some people with straight hair DO let it mat or use lots of beeswax, to achieve locs. Yet this new perm is fascinating to me. It’s the influence of Reggae and Hip Hop that is causing this to happen. Talk about being intrigued with the Reggae, Hip Hop, and “Black” Culture!

afro perm 2

Now I am one to let people wear their hair the way they please. However, I do have a problem with people who frown down on natural hair folks or people who embrace their natural tresses. I feel “African Americans” should not be ashamed of their hair or believe something is wrong with it. From the looks of it, other cultures do not see anything wrong with it, either.

Eshet~

This article was originally written under the Baltimore Bricks in September 2012.

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