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Hairdressing Apartheid

By madjimmy - 13 May 2013 73

I was in Civic today looking for a somewhere to get a haircut. I saw a sign for “Hair in the City” at Centrepoint. I walked up the stairs, however they were fully booked. I noticed another small hairdressing salon called “The African Look” also on the first floor of Centrepoint.

It was empty. Admittedly I wasn’t after an African look but how hard can it be to cut a “short, back and sides”. I wandered in and asked if I could get a haircut. The lady politely told me, “I don’t cut Caucasian people’s hair, you will have to go across to Hair in the City”.

Unfortunately I am a white man.

I ended up getting a haircut at Christies (near Gus’s Café). It seems Christies will cut your hair no matter what colour you are.

What’s Your opinion?


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73 Responses to
Hairdressing Apartheid
eyeLikeCarrots 12:39 pm 13 May 13

Lederhosen said :

… have been infringed upon.

We don’t take kindly to puns here. Step away from the keyboard.

MrPC 10:41 am 13 May 13

MrPC said :

Just take a look at Uhura from the 1960s (natural, chemical-free hair)

I probably should have googled this before I said it. Nichelle Nichols’ hair was also straightened, or at least the visible bits were.

neanderthalsis 10:39 am 13 May 13

MrPC said :

Cutting African hair is a specialist endeavour. Especially African womens hair. It involves a lot of time and harsh (probably illegal) chemicals. Just take a look at Uhura from the 1960s (natural, chemical-free hair) vs Uhura in the last 2 Star Trek movies (impossibly straight hair for an African woman).
.

Maybe she bought an Instyler…

Madam Cholet 10:37 am 13 May 13

Afro hair is quite different to your Caucasian hair and I would suggest she was doing you a favour, even if she did not explain it very well. I don’t think it’s racist to say you don’t cut a certain type of hair. Maybe ‘hairist’?

If, on the other hand you were after an African look with corn rows and beads, then you should have persisted in your enquiry. If I was someone with afro hair, I don’t think I would go to your standard high street hairdresser unless I knew the person had been trained specifically – Is that racist on behalf of the person with the hair that needs cutting?

It’s my understanding that ‘hairdresser school’ does not really even cover cutting curly hair in the main – not good for me, and I can tell you that there are many hairdressers who can’t deal with it.

Many people out there willing to call racism where it doesn’t exist. It might just be how it is and how it should be accepted.

BTW, the place you wanted to go that was booked out is not that great – I’ve tried it. And for the record, I believe the African hairdressers has been there for some years. Just quietly existing in a non-racist kind of way. Get yourself over to London and you’ll find many of these types of businesses.

piperdoon 10:35 am 13 May 13

had a similar problem in a certain quarter of Paris last September when looking for a quick cut, tried a joint but they could only cut African hair, moved and visited Sacre Cour, took a different route back to the station and found a middle eastern barber who had no problems – one of life’s little jewels! Move on, nothing to see

Martlark 10:18 am 13 May 13

I’m not a racist, but: when I was getting my hair cut in Harlem during a holiday, my stylist seemed to have little idea about how to handle wispy, thin straight red hair. I ended up just getting a number one level clipping. Perhaps is just is an issue of familiarity?

MrPC 10:15 am 13 May 13

Cutting African hair is a specialist endeavour. Especially African womens hair. It involves a lot of time and harsh (probably illegal) chemicals. Just take a look at Uhura from the 1960s (natural, chemical-free hair) vs Uhura in the last 2 Star Trek movies (impossibly straight hair for an African woman).

Watch the documentary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Hair_(film)

Their target market is probably not comfortable in the presence of outsiders who, if they keep coming back, might notice the sniff of chemicals not intended for human use, or discussions about them.

arescarti42 10:14 am 13 May 13

arescarti42 said :

Probably a pretty good example of justifiable racial discrimination.

Actually thinking about it it isn’t.

It’d be acceptable if she’d declined to cut your hair because she only cuts certain hair types, or certain hair styles, but not because you were white.

Just plain ugly racism in that case.

buzz819 10:14 am 13 May 13

Lederhosen said :

I’m not sure that apartheid is an appropriate analogy, given that there are hundreds of other hairdressers in Canberra that would be happy to take your money. And you found one within walking distance. But there’s a Human Rights Commissioner available if you do feel that your rights as a minority (white man in Canberra) have been infringed upon.

It doesn’t have to be that your rights as a “minority” have been infringed. But your rights have been infringed due to sex, race, religious beliefs etc. Which it definitely was.

I think your attitude towards it is sickening, all the bleeding hearts worried about racism towards members of communities who migrate to Australia.

I have no qualms about treating everyone equally, but there should be some level of return for that.

arescarti42 9:59 am 13 May 13

Probably a pretty good example of justifiable racial discrimination.

neanderthalsis 9:59 am 13 May 13

Erg0 said :

At the risk of being labelled racist*, you may have noticed that there are somewhat different techniques involved in cutting a typical African person’s hair. She might not have the skills to cut your hair, and turned you down rather than give you a bad haircut.

*I’m going to start all of my comments with this phrase from now on.

You may have noticed that the OP wanted a short back and sides. Any hairdresser incapable of running a pair of clippers over a head and tidying up the top bit with scissors should not be cutting hair be it African, Caucasian or french poodle.

There is no defence for blatant racism.

Lederhosen 9:50 am 13 May 13

I’m not sure that apartheid is an appropriate analogy, given that there are hundreds of other hairdressers in Canberra that would be happy to take your money. And you found one within walking distance. But there’s a Human Rights Commissioner available if you do feel that your rights as a minority (white man in Canberra) have been infringed upon.

Erg0 9:39 am 13 May 13

At the risk of being labelled racist*, you may have noticed that there are somewhat different techniques involved in cutting a typical African person’s hair. She might not have the skills to cut your hair, and turned you down rather than give you a bad haircut.

*I’m going to start all of my comments with this phrase from now on.

buzz819 9:32 am 13 May 13

Wooo… Can you imagine the outcry if Hair in the City decided they didn’t cut African peoples hair?

neanderthalsis 9:23 am 13 May 13

Given their location and very select client group, they will probably be out of business soon.

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