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Curly Nikki

Curly-Haired Iranians March in Tehran

By January 27th, 202140 Comments

Jennifer writes:

Dear Nikki,

I love your blog and I don’t think I could have transitioned to natural without it. You have really created a beautiful community! As you know, events are changing rapidly in the Middle-East and I have been following them and came across this “demonstration” of curly-haired Iranians! A curly-hair community in Iran, who knew?

Parker adds:

Iran has government mandated haircuts!

And you thought the side-eye your coworker gave you was bad!


  • Aishah says:

    I don't think people are surprised that there are curlies in the Middle East. I think the surprise (and yes pride) comes from seeing curlies embracing their curls. The US is not the only country obsessed with straight hair. I know Asians, Latinas, etc that spend ridiculous amounts of time straightening their hair. So anytime I see someone rocking awesome curls (in ANY part of the world) I'm surprised and inspired 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    All women in Iran have to cover their hair in public, Muslim or not, whether they want to or not. Of course, in the world in general, there are plenty of Muslim women who cover their heads of their own free choice (more power to them), and there are plenty of Muslim women who choose not to (more power to them, too). The women in this video do not have that choice, and they would probably like to.

    Anon 9:27, yours may be an unpopular opinion, but I'm kinda feeling you on this one.

  • Annie L. says:

    @Natural-E, I am with you!

    Whew!!! Sharing information doesn't need to become a snobfest on who knows more of what and how supposedly insular Americans are. Besides, Jennifer sussed out this information and submitted it, not anyone else – so there!

    Thank you Jennifer again for this post! This looked like such a fun time in the midst of new government sanctions on individuality.

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautiful post! I support the Middle East awakening!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    i don't know if the person who posted was shocked or not but I'm glad they did, not because I didn't know but I get the distinct impression alot of ppl who pass through here and in the african american natural hair community in general have no clue. These are the ppl who argue for hours on youtube that black ppl dyeing their hair blond must be aspiring to be like europeans and who seem to feel all africans and their descendants can only have short 4something hair. so many ppl like to act like black ppl have dibs on curly hair, or they are the only ppl with curly hair who are discriminated against sometimes because of it, or even that there is only one kind of black and want to get offended about every little thing. everything is always 'white ppl react this way to black ppl hair'.

    I'm sure if the Biebs encountered these folks he would pat their hair too. lmao. ppl need to realize the world is not black and white, it is a long continuum of grey for the most part. Alot of ppl on here think Kim K is white so thanks to the person who shared this. i hope it goes viral and helps to eliminate some of the ignorance the education system is clearly failing to address. maybe ppl will be inspired to be less dichotomous in the way they view the world.

  • momo7 says:

    WOW @ government mandated haircuts!

  • Anonymous says:

    That is so cool, their hair looks a lot like mine and my siblings! We are mixed (Puerto Rican and White). But the guys hair looks just like my brother's!!!!! COOL!

  • Anonymous says:


    This is Jennifer, the original poster. Glad everyone commenting on the post found it interesting/enjoyable or thought-provoking at least. Thanks Natural-E, you captured what I was trying to do and what I wanted to say much more eloquently than I did!

  • Natural-E says:

    Why do people always bring negativity to these forums! The person who posted was not necessarily saying that she was shocked Iranians had curly hair, she was just noting that there are hair issues cross-culturally. This is an even more relevant post considering all of the tension and social chaos going on in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East right now. While some people may know these things, many do not. Many people in the States are not conscious of other cultures so this is good and valid information. I know there are some people who know EVERYTHING and want to make that known in every single forum that is posted on this site, but some of us appreciate enlightenment and exposure- even if it is something that we may already know.

  • Unknown says:

    To some who are clearly confussed as to why or why not the women have their hair covered. I am not arab I am An africian Americian Natural,curly haired Muslim Woman who glady wears Hijab ( scarve) daily and would have it no other way. Not all muslim women cover their hair natural or not… due to laws of their country their are some who do so because its our religion and more importantly we are COMMANDED by god to do so. Remember their are muslim women who cover their hair Arab and non because they choose too , I happen to be one of them…. natural and all. Please pass the word.



  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I'm kind of surprised that people have never met any Arabs or Persians or the other ethnicities in the Near East and think that it's odd for them to have curly hair. Um, a lot of people in that part of the world look like that, and many Yemeni and Palestinians look black (and I think probably some of the people I've seen have some African ancestry since trading between that region and North and East Africa goes back 1000's of years, and of course stretched in Spain at one point). There are a LOT of different ethnicities of people in that part of the world and they all have a variety of looks…light and dark skin, kinky, curly, or straight hair, light or dark eyes, etc.

    I've known women from that part of the world who did their hair the same way I did mine, and shopped in the black hair care aisle b/c they needed richer products that contained oil. I had a friend years ago who even had a Miss Dazee hooded dryer, and once a week, she'd rollerset and dry just like me.

    Reading these comments shows me how many of our people need to educate themselves more about the world, and also try to speak to people of other ethnicities in THIS country, b/c all of these people are here, and basic facts about a place like Iran should be common knowledge and are frequently mentioned in the news.

    I hope that some of you bother to read up on Iran and don't just limit your fascination with these young people to the fact that they have curly hair, b/c that is quite shallow.

    As was mentioned, the women there have to cover their hair in public as a result of the extreme changes that occurred with the ouster of the Shah(a dictator who had American support) in the late 70's.

    Do some reading from a reliable source (not Wikipedia) before making assumptions about these people

    To ascribe their head covering to some superficial need to have long hair is really ignorant. Some people in the world have much worse things to contend with than we do.

    And the idea of people having to cut their hair or dress a certain way or to have or not have facial hair is not unheard of when you are dealing with dictators/autocrats. It's all about beating people down psychologically so that they conform, and all of some of you can think is that they are being forced to cut "all of that pretty hair." Sad, sad, sad.

  • Pinkgirlfluff says:

    Aw snap! They look awesome! Curl power! lol. Why do people get so hot under the collar because there are people that are shocked about something they have never seen? Can we all just enjoy a person discovering something new to them and be ok with it without acting like we are all knowing?

    Come on and get your positive on! It's a good look. And so are those curlies repping change! LOVE IT!

    I know it means nothing over there, but I also think it's super cool that so much protest is happening there and in the USA during Black History Month. MLK is probably smiling from heaven.

  • Anonymous says:

    @anon1205 that's what I meant. They have to cover up their hair by law. I wouldn't want to cover up my curls.

  • Anonymous says:

    @anon4:18 persians are not arabs get ur facts straight.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm an Arab, and its kinda funny how all of you are all surprised that persians have curly hair! Arabs are actually known to have thick hair, the majority curly! It has actually become a trend for the guys especially around here to grow out their hair into 'fros now, its pretty cool!Also, since most arabs are mixed because of our incredibky diverse ancestry, you will definately find many blonde people, as well as bedoiuns in the middle of deserts with blue eyes, its not uncommon..

  • Anonymous says:

    @Moody_Indigo: Nah, the female students heads are covered because of their religious requirements (remembered the American moms who there visiting their kids last year) Just goes to show you we're one big [sic] family and who knew they had blond Middle Easterns–hahahahaha, ah genetics!

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautiful people. Beautiful hair. Though I couldn't imagine having to cover up my curls.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's okay for people to learn new things…why does everything have to be a debate? missing the point. Come on peepuuuuulll(in my best Oprah inpersonation)

    And "showlis"= sure is. Think that's what the poster was saying in a funny way 🙂

    Anywho there's a "meetup" in the Middle East LOL. LOVE IT.I saw some type 4's too. Represent!hahaha!NO i know this video has more signifance to it than that. So thanks to the guest blogger for sharing! The curlies are gorgeous, beautiful people. No I'm not surprised, just celebrating the human being and how we're all connected!

  • Anonymous says:

    Super interesting!! Thats why I love this site learn something new everyday…:)

  • Cicely says:

    Awesome! I am speechless!

  • Anonymous says:

    The ancient Persians (the old name for Iran), had seriously curly hair if you check out the bas reliefs of Persepolis from around 500 BC:

  • Anonymous says:

    wow! Their hair was awesome! I never expected that persians would have curly hair.

  • Beth says:

    English translation is available here:

  • T. says:

    Oops, edit to my previous comment because I realised I left out a word:

    I'm sure that some of the ladies in the video would love to be free to be out on the street *without* a scarf/head-covering, but to do so would mean running the risk of being arrested.

  • Naijaprincess says:

    Whoooo…. sweet baby Jesus, there are some hotties in that bunch, honey!!!! Fly fros and curly hair too, LOL. Tall guy with the auburn tinted afro = sizzle!!! Whew. Can we get some reggies Nikki? LOL.

  • Anonymous says:

    What is "showlis"? Is it a hairstyle?

  • Anonymous says:


    who knew?

    love it!

    and yes, we thought we had trouble being natural here in the good ol' USA.

    so, it is true, hair is hair because some of their hair "showlis" looking just like my wash-n-go.

    good post.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Courtnee yea I thought about that but she used the word curly-hair community not curly-hair group, so that could go either way. It kinda reminded me of my encounter with someone who was surprised to see, for example a Black community in Ireland :~D


  • Courtnee' says:

    @Zee I got the impression that she was surprised that they actually have their own group, not that they have curly hair.

  • T. says:

    @mood_indigo, in Iran, it's legally required that women cover their heads in public. I'm sure that some of the ladies in the video would love to be free to be out on the street a scarf/head-covering, but to do so would mean running the risk of being arrested.

    I'm not at all surprised that there are curly-haired Iranians, but I think its interesting and awesome that this group, for the day, chose to make their shared curliness into a community-building feature. Looks like they had a lot of fun!

  • Anonymous says:

    WOW! Simply Beautiful…………..

  • Anonymous says:

    This Is Nice But I Don't Like How She Thought This Was Shocking Or Surprising, Middle Easterners Have Curly Hair And Straight Hair. They Have African Ancestry Too, They're also Indians In India That Have Curly Hair And Locks.


  • Antoinette Stewart says:

    Aaah this is definitely heart warming.! On a side note those guys are too cute – I've always had a thing for Men of Middle Eastern decent 🙂

  • mood_indigo says:

    That was awesome. Did anyone else notice that all of the women are protecting their hair from the elements with scarves? 🙂 It may or may not be religion based but it was a cool observation for me.

  • Annie L. says:

    Who knew?


    When I lived in Asia I traveled to Tehran (when it was still relatively safe). The city is BEAUTIFUL and I met up with students happy to meet a Black American, and more than a few had curls, fuzzies, 'fro manes and braids and loved my twists. The same in Turkey, Morocco and Goa. The popular trend is towards straightening but there are those who don't care and love their wild and wonderful curls. Also, my DH is in Kabul working for an embassy and I asked him to send photos of curly and darker-skinned Afghanis for a project I'm working on and will gladly share when (and if) he does. Such a welcome post after just watching my mom 'touch up' her roots!

  • Unknown says:

    An international natural meet up would awesomeness!

    Viviane B.

  • parker says:

    For some context: Iran has government mandated haircuts.

    And you thought the side-eye your coworker gave you was bad!

  • Bri says:

    Love it! Would love to meet up for a curl fest!

  • Anonymous says:

    That was really awesome. Curls of the world unite lol!

  • Jilli says:

    This is beautiful! I love them, their hair and their culture. Curl, curls, curls!

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