The hair train is back in the station! This time actress Gwyneth Paltrow is onboard as she weighs in on her own hair battles thanks to her Jewish heritage courtesy of her late father. Speaking to HuffPost Black Voices, she explains the similarities between Black hair and Jewish hair and uses her own personal encounter with the “kink” factor at the nape of her neck when the temperature rises to reiterate her point.

Needless to say, this isn’t the first time the Black/Jewish hair debate has been raised and while some of the points are somewhat valid, the fact is that Black hair is a complex and unpredictable feature and depending on your heritage, the journey can be vastly different. That is the main reason why it’s almost impossible to generalize the Black hair experience.

While nothing Paltrow said was necessarily offensive, its hard as a black woman to not get a little irritated when someone from another race speaks about a topic that they are not well versed in. Jewish hair may lack the straight sleekness that seems to be the industry standard, but its still a lot more manageable than some of the tougher and kinkier textures that are typical of some black hair types.

Perhaps women with mixed race backgrounds, are a better example when it comes to the Black/Jewish hair comparisons, but black women who don’t fall into that category can’t relate. Their hair issues are completely unique and challenging on a different level. And there is really no way someone like Gwyneth Paltrow could ever understand the distinction unless she has a personal connection to the subject.

Maybe its best to stick close to home when it comes to tackling subjects that could potentially be beyond your reach.

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  • Lena

    Haha! I used to live in a prominently Jewish community and my mom would mention that the salons offered relaxers the same white cream that black women use. I’ve seen very kinky and curly hair textures on Jewish women as well as Middle Eastern women who do not straighten their hair.
    @ African Mami Jewish people belong to a small number of haplogroups (which the rest of other Europeans do not belong to) that even traces back to Africa so yes there are kind of their own ethnicity.

  • Tweed12

    “….but its still a lot more manageable than some of the tougher and kinkier textures that are typical of some black hair types.” No it’s not! Learn how to take of your hair texture, and maintaining it will be a breeze. This myth is annoying as h**l!

  • 1sweetrevolution

    Jews descend from the semites as do africans…Afro textured hair only comes frm negroid genes