Grooming & Hair
Each race or ethnic group develops approaches to daily grooming, finding ways that accent and leverage their unique skin tone, hair texture and other features – their own special kind of beauty. These aren’t seen as rules as much as sources of wisdom and pride.
Every ethnicity fosters profiles of extraordinary beauty and dignity. Masculinity and femininity are communicated by hairstyles and facial grooming. Men’s ethnic fashion might, for a while, support a certain beard shape. Women’s trends might favor specific hairstyles or colors. Even eyebrow control follows trends.
Often, people from other ethnic groups envy what they see – and do their best to re-create it. Way back in the 1960’s, Dave Clark’s American Bandstand featured African-American performers and Philadelphia teenagers dancing. This defined cool for a new generation and launched a trend. Kids in the white community got Afros – with mixed results – to try to replicate the look. And, today, one only needs to look at the sales numbers for hair straightening or curling products to appreciate how much effort (and money) we put into trying to make our hair do something against its nature. The cultural image we present matters to us – a lot.
We do this because we want to belong AND be special. Whether we like it or not, any grooming choice says something about who we are.