Several months back we had a discussion on BGLH about whether a man could love you, but hate your natural hair. Reader Rosa is in that situation, and submitted her reflections.
Recently, while talking to my boyfriend on the phone I asked him a deadly question. I thought I was looking for attention but apparently I was looking for a fight. I asked him what he likes about me. After an uncomfortably long pause he decided to tell me what he used to like about me had changed — my hair!
One fall morning on the train to work I was reading Suede Magazine (an African American fashion magazine that is no longer in print) and it had a spread on women with natural hair. It also featured Miko and Titi Branch, the creators of Miss Jessie’s products. That day I canceled my appointment to get a touch up and decided to go natural. I wore braids and lots of hats while I transitioned. The following May I did the big chop at Curve Salon owned by the Miss Jessie’s creators. It cost over $200 but it was the best cut of my life and lasted at least a year.
2005 was a bad year! My self-esteem plummeted. To be honest, Randy never flat out said “I don’t like your natural hair” but he never said he liked it either. When I dyed my hair light brown (or “Beyonce Brown” as he called it) for my 18th birthday, he loved it. When I cut my hair into a bob because the mix of perm and color made it fall out, he complimented my “First Lady” do. But when I went natural — nothing.
Many of my male friends bluntly said that they liked my hair better when it was straight. I even got a “you look black now” meaning to be an insult. Female friends told me it was okay that I went natural because I have that “good hair.” Little do they know that my thick and long hair comes from my Haitian side, not just because I’m part-Latina. On the rare occasion that I get a Dominican blowout my boyfriend compliments me, but that’s it. Once, while trying to do something with my large, unruly fro he called me a mop head. I nipped that in the bud real quick!
Now before everyone starts bashing him I must say that he is a GREAT guy! He is funny, intelligent, a provider, is determined, and is tall, dark and handsome. He’s a college educated, family man with a great job, etc, etc, etc. We just made 7 years together last weekend and I am very happy. I just have to learn to accept the fact that he prefers my straight hair.
Oh and are you ready for the punch line… He’s been growing his waist length dreads for 14 years!!!