Cultura y el Corte de Pelo

peluqueriaI often feel like I am one person, or, por lo menos, one side of my personality, in Spanish, and another one in English…and have for as long as I can remember.  In Spanish, I feel more intuitive, and more relaxed, and usually come off as more divertida y cariñosa.  In English, I feel more multi-tasking, high achieving, and usually come off as someone who is (lo bueno y lo malo de) a Type A personality.  And though I think I’m getting much better recently with integrating the two mes, the one as yet-un-integrated frontera is style.  (With the exception of my use of earrings) I have little idea how to combine the different aspects of my culturas into a look that will result in a fitting first impression.

My birthday is at the end of the month and, in addition to running in my first 5K, I’m also going to treat myself to a makeover.  An attempt at stepping up my fashion, now that my kids are getting bigger and the drudgier aspects of mamihood are diminishing.   A new hairstyle, some new makeup, a new outfit.  Cual es el problema?  Hair.

When looking at pictures of different haircuts, for example, I like completely opposing styles.  Trust me, I have googled copiously for celebrity examples both Anglo and Latin.  Here’s an illustration.

On the one hand, I love Shaki’s unruly curls and dark blonde highlights  (see below); the long, loose, natural hair (bueno, Shaki’s may not be naturally curly, but mine is) appeals totally to my Spanish side.


On the other, I love Mandy Moore’s more polished hairstyle and rich-looking color (see below); the more managable length and the highly styled cut is totally my  American side.

Mandy Moore

Que hacer?  Uno o el otro?  Or is there a compromise of the two I have not yet google imaged?

Over my adult years, I’ve had both of these hair colors before (my natural is smack between the two) and similar lengths, and yet I am still going back and forth constantly in the days preceeding my salon appointment.  And overthinking the legacies of belleza I think so many of us Latinas grew up with and surrounded by, I’m sure.

I have already asked my husband, and each of my kids, (and they have all answered though they have not agreed with each other (2 vs. 2)!) so feel free to opinar and help me decide!  Also, I’m curious, is it just me?  How has your culture, or your bicultural-ness, shaped your styling decisions?

*top photo by Joe Lencioni

Share, por favor!

By Violeta on July 14, 2009 · Posted in headline, the habla habla

9 Comments | Post Comment

Celia says:

Wow, can I identify with this! I long to cherish my Mexican roots and accentuate the wave in my hair and go dark so that my eyes look darker too. But the Spanish/Irish in me is fair-with more blonde and freckles and mossy eyes and thinner hair, so the Mandy (also one of my personal hair inspirations)works a little better for me. So I tend to follow Mandy which is perfect for the work place but when I go out, I always wish I was more on the Shaki side. It’s a hard choice but along the way I’ve learned about ‘beveled’ layers. The layers are angled not wispy so that when you want to scrunch your waves come to life and dont like like a tangled mess! As for the color, go darker…you’re allowed to be mas floja with the roots that way!

Posted on July 14th, 2009

Hair Identity Crisis « Multi-Culti Mami: The Blog says:

[...] Read more over at TikiTiki blog and comment (there or here) with which haircut/hairstyle you think I should get. [...]

Posted on July 14th, 2009

Monica says:

Violeta, the question probably is: How much time do you have to devote to the hairstyle?
If you have plenty, maybe Mandy’s is the way to go.
If you don’t, you might better consider Shaki-tizing!

Posted on July 14th, 2009

Violeta says:

Monica, it’s hard to say. If I wash and air dry, it is Shaki-curly (though not currently shaped right), but the curls don’t look good if I pull it back and let it back down or sleep on it. The Mandy, though more time consuming initially, might dry faster because it would be shorter, and let me pull it up and down without restyling? No se! I’m loving the comments though.

Posted on July 14th, 2009

Catherine says:

Both look great! At times, the curlier hair is easier to maintain, especially in Miami heat and humidity. But I have to say I usually opt to straighten my hair. By nature, my hair on the wavier side, so flat ironing is quick. Not sure if your hair is more curly and unruly or soft waves, but either one should look good. Medium length is safer since you can do more with it. Post pictures when you finally do cut it!

Posted on July 15th, 2009

Carrie says:

Shakira, Shaaakira! Mainly because I believe our maker doesn’t make mistakes and what we were born with is usually what we look best in. Plus, mi’ja…you have awesome hair and three small children. How you gonna Mandy yourself?

Posted on July 15th, 2009

Wendy V. says:

When my kids were little, it was the Shakira look, but my natural dark color all the way. Wash and wear. I even let it grow down to my waist. Now that I work in an office, and am a little..ahem..older, I cut it short and sassy, with Jamie Lee Curtis as my inspiration. I have even let a streak of white grow through right in the front, totally going against my Latina heritage. But I love it! That’s the great thing about hair.. you can cut it, curl it, color it, straighten it, do whatever to it, and it never has to be a permanant lifelong decision. I have changed it as the seasons of my life change. So whatever you decide, know that if you hate it, 6 months down the road, it can be totally different!

Posted on July 16th, 2009

Carla says:

I can totally relate, Violeta! I’m a long haired girl for life but I always struggle with going curly or straight. These days life with a newborn and a toddler dictate what happens (usually curly or pulled back & by default a poor excuse for straight hair). I can appreciate how exciting it must be for you to have reached the stage in motherhood where you have time to choose! I say whatever you do make sure you can go both curly and straight b/c you never know when you want to bring out another side of yourself =)

Posted on July 16th, 2009

Cheyenne says:

having more Shakira style hair myself
i’m thinking that you should go short and dark yet keep the natural and manageable feel of Shakira’s hair

Posted on May 12th, 2010