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Thread: Black hair in Japan

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  2. #22
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Yeah I've never been scolded for my jewfro
    I could never picture you with a fro to be honest.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Most J-people I know are very curious about black people's natural hair and generally just wanna touch it, in my experience. Admittedly, I've not known any black female ALTs well, but the male black ALTs I've known were never "scolded" about their hair, and they all kept it natural.
    I've known three different black female ALTs who were told that their hair was 'distracting' or that they should 'do something with it' so it doesn't bother the students.
    I also know a white, female JET who has curly hair and was told the same thing.

  4. #24
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Firstly Penguee, that is horrible. I figure my city must have the sanest schools in all of Japan. I can't see my JTE's ever allowing that crap.

    We have a black female CIR. I don't know her well, but she has natural hair. I know that her situation is a little different though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    Firstly Penguee, that is horrible. I figure my city must have the sanest schools in all of Japan. I can't see my JTE's ever allowing that crap.

    We have a black female CIR. I don't know her well, but she has natural hair. I know that her situation is a little different though.
    Yeah, it really depends on the school and the 'savory' teachers who work there.

    A lot of black women get crap about their hair. It's a really common problem for them, actually. There was a woman who was fired from her office job in Canada because of her natural hair not fitting their 'image'.

  6. #26

  7. #27

    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    I actually transitioned my hair a few years back when I decided I wanted to try for the JET program because I knew it would be impossible to find a place to get my hair relaxed. It actually turned out to be the best decision for my hair, but I'm a bit challenged when it comes to styling it. During the summer when I swim I wear it in two strand twists which I can get to look very neat and professional. I have A LOT of long thick hair, so I don't often take it all down, except for special occasions. I simply wash it in the twist and redo a few at a time as needed.
    But, during the school year I wear it straight. My hair dresser is a master with a flat iron and most ppl don't know I'm not relaxed. She is working with me so I'll be able to do it myself and to send me the product I'll need. I only get it done about once a month so I won't need much (yes, just once a month, anymore is too much). There are systems that can assist with transitioning that your hairdresser can start now. Have a conversation with him or her and see what would be best for your hair and your skill/comfort level.
    I hope that helps. I can sympathize with not wanting to go natural. Even though I am, most of the styles don't look good on me because of my face shape. You have to find what works for you.
    I am worried about my flat iron and blow dryer, so any tips ppl have regarding those will be appreciated. I've never used them out of the country because I've always made sure I didn't have to. Plus the hotels had blow dryers.
    Last edited by SailorZorro; February 12th, 2015 at 04:25. Reason: added more

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    I went natural when I was in Japan. As SZ stated you probably want to start conditioning your hair now and find a good hairdresser who can show you how to take care of it. Most of the women I knew had their hair natural or braided. Depending on your placement, you may be able to find someone in the area (big cities only). I do recommend bringing your own products or checking Amazon.jp to see if you can buy once there. I had issues finding products that worked for my hair.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by SailorZorro View Post
    I actually transitioned my hair a few years back when I decided I wanted to try for the JET program because I knew it would be impossible to find a place to get my hair relaxed. It actually turned out to be the best decision for my hair, but I'm a bit challenged when it comes to styling it. During the summer when I swim I wear it in two strand twists which I can get to look very neat and professional. I have A LOT of long thick hair, so I don't often take it all down, except for special occasions. I simply wash it in the twist and redo a few at a time as needed.
    But, during the school year I wear it straight. My hair dresser is a master with a flat iron and most ppl don't know I'm not relaxed. She is working with me so I'll be able to do it myself and to send me the product I'll need. I only get it done about once a month so I won't need much (yes, just once a month, anymore is too much). There are systems that can assist with transitioning that your hairdresser can start now. Have a conversation with him or her and see what would be best for your hair and your skill/comfort level.
    I hope that helps. I can sympathize with not wanting to go natural. Even though I am, most of the styles don't look good on me because of my face shape. You have to find what works for you.
    I am worried about my flat iron and blow dryer, so any tips ppl have regarding those will be appreciated. I've never used them out of the country because I've always made sure I didn't have to. Plus the hotels had blow dryers.
    The humidity here is a killer for most women I know. 90-80% humidity and you'll straighten your hair and the second you step out the door it'll frizz. Braids are a really good option in the summer. All my friends who have hair long enough to braid, do. The other girl, who is going natural now, just covers her hair.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    That seems like a complete lie
    Wouldn't waste my time lying about that kind of stuff. Other black women I know would agree, it's better that they know ahead of time and prepare and hopefully have no problem, right?

    There are some slimy teachers out there. One girl was working for Interac, so that explains it, but still.

    My host mother has naturally curly hair and when she was in high school she used to have to carry around a piece of paper that gave her 'curly hair permission' because it was natural. The teachers would pull out all the students they thought were violating the dress code (curly hair, skirts too short, wrong sock color) and she would have to show that piece of paper to them every week. Once she forgot it, and she had to sit in the room with the other students as they got yelled at about the dress code. She was so pissed because the teachers all knew she had curly hair since she showed that permission each week, but it didn't matter because she wasn't holding it at that time, so she got in trouble, too.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by SailorZorro View Post
    There are systems that can assist with transitioning that your [doctor] can start now. Have a conversation with him or her and see what would be best for your [partner] and your skill/comfort level.
    written like a true sex commercial. Good on ya.
    ⊂( ゚ヮ゚)⊃ Okinawa

  12. #32

    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Thanks bird, I knew I should've gone into marketing. Oh well. Maybe I can still sell that.
    Yeah my hair is a bit different in that it can take a lot of humidity (we're talking standing in a steamy bathroom here), but I don't know. I have a couple of options. I suggest anyone planning to go have several as well cuz you know the best made plans and all that...
    OP, only you and your hairdresser know your hair, but listen to what ppl are saying about the environment over there. Despite what others think, our hair is VERY different from each other, So what works for one jet might not work for you. Have a plan b, c, and d in place too just in case.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    All of Japan I'm assuming is humid. But especially Okinawa or any islands around it. Just shave your head. best bet. I flatten out my hair with hats etc, but it poofs back up in a matter of minutes outside. So yeah....
    ⊂( ゚ヮ゚)⊃ Okinawa

  14. #34

    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Penguee View Post
    Wouldn't waste my time lying about that kind of stuff. Other black women I know would agree, it's better that they know ahead of time and prepare and hopefully have no problem, right?
    I was talking about the woman being fired in Canada bit.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    I was talking about the woman being fired in Canada bit.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/1...n_4413543.html

    http://newsone.com/2867261/rhonda-le...-natural-hair/

    Just two examples I found. It happens, dude. It's a real problem for black women. Not exactly sure about the Canadian woman, I read an article a long time ago and forgot about it, only remembering the vague details. But these women are just the two fastest examples I found.

    Regardless, black women in Japan should hopefully have no problem, but there are idiots around. Just stand your ground if someone complains about your hair, tell them you are just showing the students other cultures. There might be a real jerk who comments on it, but hopefully most people will be fine about it. If anyone wants/needs advice when they get here, PM me and I can send details for the gals that I know.

    Like SailorZorro said, you really aren't going to know how your hair reacts until you get here, so make sure to have lots of ideas!

  16. #36
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    I dunno. I'm sure it still happens from time to time, and it shouldn't, but neither of these stories back you up very well. I couldn't find any information regarding the actual outcome of lawsuit mentioned in the first link, but Huffington is presenting a very obviously one-sided view of the situation. People get fired all the time, for good and bad reasons, and there's no actual way to know if the individual in question was fired because some cracker didn't like her 'fro or because she was a complete b*tch. There might be, if we could find any information about whether or not her lawsuit was successful (I couldn't, though).

    The second one is even worse--she wasn't fired for her hair at all (even she acknowledges that fact). She probably shouldn't have been fired, but feeding trolls is pretty unprofessional, and it doesn't surprise me at all that her station wasn't enthusiastic about her doing so.

    Companies aren't (usually) stupid. They know damned good and well that firing someone for having natural hair is virtually guaranteed to get them sued.

    Quote Originally Posted by Penguee View Post
    Regardless, black women in Japan should hopefully have no problem, but there are idiots around. Just stand your ground if someone complains about your hair, tell them you are just showing the students other cultures.
    Oddly, this argument doesn't work after you've shown the students your pubic hair. Apparently that crosses a line of some kind.
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  17. #37
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    I'm certainly no expert on Canadian law, but the story about someone being outright fired for having natural black doesn't ring true to me.

    I'm not sure to what extent this is true, but I believe that if a company did want to get rid of someone, they can do say with little or no justification if they pay enough severance.

    Now, if I wanted to get rid of a black employee without cause, you had better believe that I would offer him or her three months of salary with benefits and avoid the lawsuits and negative PR.
    Last edited by johnny; February 12th, 2015 at 14:22.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  18. #38
    Member ichigo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by SailorZorro View Post
    I actually transitioned my hair a few years back when I decided I wanted to try for the JET program because I knew it would be impossible to find a place to get my hair relaxed. It actually turned out to be the best decision for my hair, but I'm a bit challenged when it comes to styling it. During the summer when I swim I wear it in two strand twists which I can get to look very neat and professional. I have A LOT of long thick hair, so I don't often take it all down, except for special occasions. I simply wash it in the twist and redo a few at a time as needed.
    But, during the school year I wear it straight. My hair dresser is a master with a flat iron and most ppl don't know I'm not relaxed. She is working with me so I'll be able to do it myself and to send me the product I'll need. I only get it done about once a month so I won't need much (yes, just once a month, anymore is too much). There are systems that can assist with transitioning that your hairdresser can start now. Have a conversation with him or her and see what would be best for your hair and your skill/comfort level.
    I hope that helps. I can sympathize with not wanting to go natural. Even though I am, most of the styles don't look good on me because of my face shape. You have to find what works for you.
    I am worried about my flat iron and blow dryer, so any tips ppl have regarding those will be appreciated. I've never used them out of the country because I've always made sure I didn't have to. Plus the hotels had blow dryers.
    Thanks for sharing your experience Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to plan my hair for Japan years in advance :/

    I'm definitely not considering transitioning unless I know for sure that I would actually be a short-lister/alternate, so by the time I'd reached Japan I'd probably be four months out trying to learn about my natural hair which makes me uneasy. The stylist I've been going to has been relaxing my hair for the past 10 years or so, so hopefully she'd be more knowledgeable in helping me maintain my current style. I'm actually pretty good about taking care of it on a weekly basis, but that took me a while to master, so mastering a whole new type of hair would be a disaster. I don't want to be that ALT that looks like a hot mess.

    I know of one of my black female ALT friends that has been relaxing her own hair in Japan so far, so I figure it's doable even if there are no salons around. Like you said though, everyone's hair is different.

    As far as I know about flat irons, when I studied abroad I found one, but it was lower heat (maybe around 270 degrees, my US one goes up to 450) and it didn't work so well. I figure bringing over what you're used to and finding a power converter may be something to consider.
    Last edited by ichigo; February 13th, 2015 at 02:45.

  19. #39
    Member ichigo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by ebochan View Post
    I went natural when I was in Japan. As SZ stated you probably want to start conditioning your hair now and find a good hairdresser who can show you how to take care of it. Most of the women I knew had their hair natural or braided. Depending on your placement, you may be able to find someone in the area (big cities only). I do recommend bringing your own products or checking Amazon.jp to see if you can buy once there. I had issues finding products that worked for my hair.
    Thanks for the warning.

    I'm thinking about asking my hair dresser about the products she uses on my hair relaxer-wise, and with every day care I'm definitely planning on bringing enough stuff to last me for a couple seasons at first. When I was over there I was so afraid to wash my hair because I couldn't find anything that worked (that has happened here in the US though too, haha). In that regard, I was SO glad that I was only studying abroad for the summer.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Black hair in Japan

    Hi!
    I don`t have any expereince with relaxed hair, but maybe these things might help.

    This is my second year here and I`m in the inaka so there aren`t any decent hair salons for me nearby. I went home once last year, which is when I had my hair trimmed. Usually, the stylists here will wet your hair before cutting, which reverts the hair back to curly

    I keep my hair natural during the summer months until it cools down(June~October/November). Bobby pins are a must. Tons of bobby pins!
    In the cooler months or for the school ceremonies, I use a CHI flat iron to starighten my hair. I haven`t had any issues with using the flat iron here even though it was purchased stateside. If you use a blow dryer, I would just buy it once you get here.
    My coworkers may comment on how curly my hair is but, I`ve never been reprimanded for it.

    When I first came, I brought over a years supply of shampoo and conditioner in my check-in luggage. It was DEFINITEY worth it! Hair products are pretty non existent for ethnic hair types. If you do find them, they will cost you an arm and a leg. Good detangling combs might also be something you want to bring. If you use a silk wrap at night, bring those as well.

    I use the DooGro line of hair care products. You should check them out if you haven`t already!
    There is also a product that just came out, I`ve forgotten the name at the moment. You apply it and it gradually straightens your hair. I don`t think it`s an actual relaxer. I`ll look for it and post back if you`d like.

    I recommend you to learn at least two hairstlyes you can do on your own before leaving though-- braiding, twisting, putting a weave in, blow outs, applying a relaxer, or straightening efficiently, etc. Definitley ask your current beautician if they could teach you some tips and tricks.

    Hope this could help a little.

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