19 Dec

Your hair says a lot about you. And what other people say about your hair says a lot about them.

Today, while waiting for my turn at the salon before getting my hair washed and blow dried (or blow fried which is the more appropriate term) I decided to run a small poll on bbm about how to get my hair done. I messaged everyone on my list and asked, “straight or curly?”

Now I’ve done statistics 101 and know a little bit about opinion polls and samples. So let me admit at the onset that the sample polled was not statistically significant or representative in any way but they were really interesting and merit a blog post.

 The sample polled were adult men and women all under the age of 35. They all own blackberries and are predictably upwardly mobile young professional types. Since my methodology was not as robust as I would have liked it to be (read: it sucked!) I will not present you with numbers but analyze the trends that emerged and what I – in my infinite wisdom – concluded from them.

Pakistani boys said straight hair

Gora (read foreign) boys said wavy.

Pakistani girls were split in their decision, however those from Karachi unanimously and, I might add, immediately voted for wavy.

Gori (read foreign) girls and Samar said curly.

So what does this tell us about Pakistani society at large?

Pakistani men are largely still wedded to the idea of some naek parveen type with straight hair and fair skin – they like it safe.

Goras boys and Karachi girls embrace the idea of the more unpredictable fun and flirtatious wavy hair. Note that they also picked an option (without being prompted) that was not given. They pick the road less travelled.  They also like to be non-committal and keep it interesting – choosing between the best of both worlds (straight or curly) and not really committing to either.

Feminism has made much more of a mark on women in the west then it has on women here. My sisters abroad were all about getting rid of the straight and going with the curl – defying convention and standard notions of beauty – they were all gung-ho about curls. They like it curly, less contrived. They are done with boring and straight and fake.

Pakistani women were predictably divided. And it’s not surprising. We’re not sure whether we want it straight or curly. Some of us are definitely more in line with our foreign sisters and are emancipated and riding the third wave of feminism. The rest of us are still trying to fit in with what society expects of us so after we get done with our high-powered job, we go to the salon and get our hair blow dried straight and then expect to meet man of our dreams at the wedding party that will be populated by nothing but predatory aunties and their not so stellar sons. 

But till we figure out our identity crisis – we will continue to poll our friends and get hair styling advice and keep hoping for prince charming to show up and tell us that he doesn’t really care if its straight or curly!


13 Responses to “Hair”

  1. hmm i dont December 19, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    , sehar, I mean I like my hair straight with volume. Just cause I think it’s sexy that way. Maybe I’m seeing it through the lens of the brown society that riased me, but maybe I just know what looks good on me.

    Maybe it’s not a construct!!

  2. Ugly Shoelace December 19, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    Wavy hair – FTW

  3. A.M December 21, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Its your hair, do whatever you like with it. Use your education and talent to do something useful and constructive.

  4. maryawrites December 21, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Hi Saher. Nice blog!

    Ah the maddening hairstyle dilemma. I am naturally wavy so I like to go for a polished look whenever I can. Ultimately its a case of grass always greener… 🙂

  5. MNK December 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I definitely don’t care if it is straight or curly, just that it is long!

    Then again, I just hit the big 4-0. Dang.

  6. mudassir December 25, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    defying convention, standard, and identity crisis; jeez mam, its just a f_ing hair now.

  7. Usman Gul January 1, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    Interesting article! I’d like to know why you say straight hair is fake? I have similar thoughts, but I think behind my thoughts lies a nasty generalization. I’d like to see you rationalize that.

  8. Asma January 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Hair Hair Hair

    Loved you article 🙂

  9. Talha January 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Very well written post.

  10. Kalay baalon wala February 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    I would have said leave them as they were. You survive the first 20 something years with them, why change now?

    • Hair today gone tomorrow February 8, 2011 at 12:30 am #

      The name says it all 😀

  11. sadaf March 4, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    i realy liked it cz somehow i related it to my current situation of confusion..wheather 2 have my natural curlz as party style or the polished straight hairs.(as perceived hea …wowwwwww) n em always torn 😦

  12. sadaf March 4, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    blow fried made me fell in luv wd tht term..

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