Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

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Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#1 Post by pyopyon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:24 pm

Greetings. I'm Owl.

I've noticed that there's a lack of ethnic diversity in otomes, and so while I'm not to get into semantics about possible reasons why, for those who do want to to add more black people but don't know where to start, this thread is for you!

This thread does concentrate on black ethnic diversity, so if you were hoping for other types of persons of color, then unfortunately, I cannot help you! The title stays though, because it sounds much better than 'owl's random thread about black people'. Haha.

Anyway!

My goal is to help people break out of the circle afros & long wavy/straight hair trend that does seem to accost most black OCs, to help with variation and to provide helpful knowledge about these things.

In this thread, I will talk and provide resources for things such as...

1. Hair grade* (texture) and the six types of curliness.
2. Natural (unprocessed) hair care
3. Hair styles (addressing both natural (unprocessed) hair, weaves and how they work, braids, extensions, etc.)
4. Hairlines

(Lots of hair related topics!)

I will also address...

5. Skin tones
6. Fashion and makeup trends**

*I do not know anything about perms. Sorry in advance. All knowledge in this area is limited because I have a mild allergy to them.

**These vary GREATLY. This is only coming from a US perspective, and a Northeast Inner City US perspective at that. But better than nowhere! I do not know anything about non-UScentric black cultures (including Europeans, Africans, and Islanders) If your character is from the US, I can help you find resources via black fashion blogs, however.

My hope is that this thread will allow black characters in visual novels to have more realism. I will answer any and all sincere questions and look for resources if I do not know the answer personally. PMs also open if you feel your question is insensitive and do not know how to word it properly.
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#2 Post by pyopyon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:59 pm

So, I'll hop right to it! Let's talk about hair texture.

First off, one thing every creator needs to be aware of is the hair texture scale! There are four numbers and three letters, with 1 being the least curly, and 4 being the curliest (though it falls in the arena of coily, rather than curly. We'll get to that.)

While there is some debate in real life hair about how accurate this scale is, if you're looking for references to google, this is an EXCELLENT place to start.

1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c are all hair types with finer strands ranging from straight to wavy, so I will not address them here.

Black hair types are most commonly in the 3c-4c arena. What does that look like?

Image
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The most common of looser curls is 3c.

3c is a curlier hair with curls that are tighter than the grades above it, sometimes in an 's' shape as waves, but more generally in a complete coil about the width of a marker, or pen. Note the range of skin types as well. There is no skin tone that is more likely to have 3c hair than any other. Hair and skin tone are not related.

Now, what you might noticed about all three woman is that their hairlines are not straight lines around. The first two women have done something to the front section of their hair. This is called "gelling down baby hairs."

So first, what are baby hairs?

Anyone can have baby hairs. They all the shorter strands of hair that frame one's hairline. Because of the nature of curly hair, they are often "laid" with gel. Here is an example of straightened baby hairs that have not been gelled down.

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Note the fly away strands.

Now the following is what gelled down baby hairs looks like:

Image

This process is often done with a toothbrush, the head of which is dipped into a contain of clear gel, and applies to the edges in a waving motion, generally in the natural patterns of the person's curl.

AAVE Note: When someone talks about their edges being laid, they are referring to their baby hairs having been gelled down.

...And thus concludes the inaugural post! Next time, I'll be talking about 4a-4c hair-- namely curly to coily textures. I hope this has been helpful.

If anyone has questions about the above, feel free to ask. I will also take questions via PM but on the thread is better so that it can be a resource for everyone.
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#3 Post by YonYonYon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:01 pm

This is very helpful, thank you.
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#4 Post by pyopyon » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:45 am

YonYonYon. I'm glad it could be of use to you. That was my hope. (^:
================
Let's hop right into it. Continuing on in the hair area into the more curlier, more common hair textures, that would be 4a, 4b and 4c.

These textures are curly, but they are often referred to as coily hair.

What is the difference between the two?

The shape! Curly hair has a distinct flowing 'S' shape to it, while coily hair is more of a 'Z' shape in its curl.

You could say 4a is the bridge between curly and coily. The shape is quite distinct as an S shape with "harder" edges to it. One of the distinct marks of 4a hair is that some of the sections of hairs tend to hang a little lower with ringlets dropping off of it. But enough talk, let's get to the pictures starting with 4a hair.

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Now, there are a lot of products used to define curls and we will go over some of the methods used another time. Without these products, the hair may come off as a different texture. Actually, it is probably easier to see the difference between the various grades when the curls are undefined. Take the below image, for example. This is 4a hair, undefined, with no additional product to make the curls pop.

Image

It can also be made mention that a lot of these hair textures mix and some people will have very different curl patterns on the same hair. The below, for example, is a 3c/4a mix, curls undefined.

Image

The next grade up from 4a is, of course, 4b. 4b is the official step into coily. The first thing you should note is that when wet/when the curls are defined, the width of coily 4b hair is a lot smaller, almost like small tendrils.

Image

When dry and without defining products, 4b hair often "fluffs up" into an almost cotton-ey texture with almost no discernible "curl" pattern.

Image

Image

The above image is Erykah Badu, who is a singer who wears her hair natural.
She has plenty of excellent reference pictures and has done a variety of natural styles through the ages, including locs.
You will probably see her again.


Last time we talked about baby hairs. Today's side lesson?

Shrinkage.

What is shrinkage? Exactly what is sounds like-- because of the nature of curly hair, it is often impossible to tell the true length of curly hair, and it gets worse in humid air. Because most black people have hair that is extremely curly-- with tight curls to boot-- the results can be, frankly speaking, seemingly paradoxical.

Here are some examples of shrinkage.

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Next time, I'll go over the tightest curl, 4c. As a quick aside, as the tightest curl, it should not surprised you that 4c hair is the greatest victim of shrinkage, with the level of shrinkage expanding from there as the grade gets lower.

If anyone has questions about the above, feel free to ask. I will also take questions via PM but on the thread is better so that it can be a resource for everyone.
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#5 Post by Jain » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:09 pm

Nice post!

I've always thought that making each character have a different hairstyle/look is a good way of separating them visually, and by texture is another thing to consider.

When it comes to worldbuilding, hair type is something to consider. If people come from different, far flung regions of the world, from different climates, one way to give them a different look is to give them a different hair type.

In Mass Effect: Andromeda, squadmate Liam has something like a 4a. Now Bioware has never been good at any hair ever, so this was a terrible idea but I guess they get brownie points for not shaving his head like Jacob from Mass Effect 2 or going with the standard short cut most every other male character in the series is slapped with.

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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#6 Post by morinoir » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:55 pm

I have question! Is it possible for other race to have that level of curliness? And how about the range of color of curly hair?
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#7 Post by pyopyon » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:26 pm

Artalija. Thanks a lot! I will actually talk about hairstyles later but I thought texture was a good place to start so I can see more than perfect circle + round hairline combinations. XD

I hope this information is used for all kinds of characters, not just ones from far flung places. (^: Personally, I have never played Mass Effect, but I know for certain that I cannot stand the way the hair was animated in Rise of the Guardians. Like, they built an engine for SNOWFLAKES, detailed frost on the sleeves of Jack, but but they couldn't get an afro right?

Image

I will never forgive DreamWorks for that frfr, lol. Thanks for your comment!

morinoir. For a person who is not even slightly mixed with black? Genetically speaking, yes. It's by no means common but for this most part, this scale is not about race, it's just a way to "scale" hair texture and there seems to be a genetic commonality-- black people are more likely to be on the 3/4 side (mostly 4) and non-black people seem to be on the 1-3 side. In my limited life experience, I have seen red heads with 3c texture, but I have never seen a non-black person curlier than that.

It can be any color.

The most common natural color I've seen is called 1b, or "off-black" / "natural black", which is like a brown-black color.

Image

(I'm leaving the black and the browns there as a frame of reference.)

But anyway, like I said, it can be any color. Melanesians, for example, are notorious for their naturally blonde hair.

Image

Common? No. Existing? Yes. (^:
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#8 Post by YonYonYon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:58 am

How would 4th category hair behave when wet? Will the water affect somehow shrinking?
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#9 Post by Elmvine » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:55 am

As someone with 4C hair, I generally find that water (getting out for the shower) makes the curls look more define, but also adds weight. It sort of hangs like ringlets, but my hair is sort of the most tightly curled, and normally looks like a big poofy afro if not wet. Wish I had pictures, but my hair is in braids. u.u If my hair was styled/blow dryed before getting wet it will definitely shrink while wet, but would shrink even more after drying.
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#10 Post by pyopyon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:34 pm

YonYonYon - Remember how I highlighted curl definition v. no curl definition? Defined curls are basically 'hair when wet curls.'

Water will weigh down the curls, but unless product is applied to make them stay, they will "poof" up. It should be made mention that the 4 line of curls is the also the driest hair type because 4 type curly hair does not retain moisture as well and generally can be prone to breakage.

It is the most delicate of hair types.

I will talk more about that when I get to the hair care section!

Elm's comments give excellent insight as well! When I post about 4c hair, I will address this in a little more depth.
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Re: Owl's Ethnic Diversity Resource Thread

#11 Post by Evy » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:37 am

The topic of dreadlocks surfaced on Discord not too long ago and I found the tumblr post I was looking for. This is what happens when people with straight hair try wear them.

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