Asian Hair Trend: Afro Perms

Asian afro perm (photo courtesy of
When we talk about the topic of natural hair, we often talk about African-Americans or Black people perming their hair to look more like Caucasian or straight hair. But, what about people of other races attempting to make their hair kinky or textured like that of African-Americans? Afro perms, along with other Black hairstyles have been a long time trend in Asia.

Because Asian hair grows naturally straight, the afro perm gives the hair a textured look. The afro perm is not an actual relaxer or perm kit, it's the use of perm rods to make the hair curly. The says, "An afro perm is made by not straightening the hair. It is made by creating hair bonds that make the hair curl. The hair stylist makes the hair into a new shape, using perming rods or rollers, and allows the new shape to develop."

Preparation for afo: perm rods in Asian hair (photo courtesy of
 In addition, the Asian hair trends have also been greatly influenced by African braids, extensions, dreads, and cornrows. My visit to was filled with pictures of Black influenced hairstyles. It was great to see our hair celebrated by other cultures. It was also ironic. The Black hair industry is a billion dollar industry. In April of this year, Black Enterprise reported that Koreans owned the majority of the 9,800 black beauty supply businesses, while Blacks owned approximately 300 of them. Because the Black community has embraced Korean hair weaves and other products, it's ironic to see that Koreans often embrace our hair culture. I believe it shows how people often believe that the grass is greener on the other side. We ( as African-Americans) have straightened our hair for years, while Asians have attempted to curl their hair.

Asian with braided hair extentions (photo courtesy of
 Furthermore, I think it is great to celebrate another person's culture as long as you celebrate your own. When I look through the photos of Asians with perm afros and styles, I can't help but think the styles are cool. made a valid point when she said, " I really don’t know how to feel about this. I can’t help but think about how African-American men and women have been told that our natural kinky curly hair is ugly, nappy, unkempt and often times unprofessional. Amazingly, there is a group of people, who are known for their smooth silky straight hair, that women of color have paid hundreds even thousands of dollars to have, are now going in the opposite direction." This is why I am pleased that many African-Americans have learned to celebrate their natural hair. When we celebrate our own hair, we can also see why others would want to do the same.

What do you think?