Speaking of hair-race connections, and the roots of the issue for women...
Check out these ads for hair products appearing in negro periodicals in the late nineteenth century (I love microfilm!):
In the first one, we see that curly hair, of course, must be made straight. You don't want the terribly "wild" curly look pictured on the left--your life will be much better after using this "wonderful discovery" to make it straight.
Straight = better.
In the next one, pay attention to the adjectives describing blacks' natural hair, which they should definitely straighten so it will be longer and flowing on their shoulders as pictured: "Positively straighten knotty, nappy, kinky, troublesome, refractory hair..." Hair that in its natural state needs to be fixed. The desired result? "Causes the hair to grow long and straight, soft and fine, and beautiful as an April morning."
It's obvious whom these are marketed to--we can assume advertisers want consumers to see themselves in the images. WOMEN.