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True Life: My natural hair looks fabulous, and my boyfriend STILL doesn’t like it!

Avatar • Jul 20, 2010

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!

Me at 17
Randy and I met at our old job and we started dating a month before I turned 18. At the time I had relaxed hair, something I always wanted and finally got the day before I started high school. I was the typical light skinned girl with long hair, guys told me this all the time. I was “acceptable” to bring home to their mothers. I can’t believe people still think this way! I never entertained it and told them to take their issues elsewhere.

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!!!

Us
Has anyone had a similar experience? What are your thoughts?

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bakasha
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bakasha

African people in diaspora and on continent have been sold, marketed and pimped to the inferiority of their BEAUTY for commercial and political reasons. Quite a few BUY into the lie of european superiority at every level. This negrow is just one of the fallen and is NOT alone!!! DO NOT CHANGE for those with inferiority complexes, Your beauty is WONDROUS…NATCHALLY

Josefeen
Guest
Josefeen

Dear Author, I don’t know your situation entirely and hope I don’t seem to be casting judgments. I will also not be the one to say that you should or should not leave him. What I will say is your hair is as much you as your skin (tone), weight,facial and physical features, its apart of YOU. A good man is not defined merely by his level of education and worldly attributes but his character, which comes out in how he treats and respects women especially his woman! I have had natural hair all my life, I am 26 and… Read more »

Dora D
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Dora D

well said Josefeen!!! he has deep sitted issues with who he is and isn’t comfortable in his own skin as a black man, he sees you as a trophy girlfriend being that you are light, its quite obvious from the way he loathes anything that resembles the blackness in you.There are plenty of guys out there who would die to be with you, and would love you, respect you and celebrate the beautiful black woman you are, inside and out. don’t sell yourself short. he doesn’t deserve you! I’m stunned you are not insulted by what he said, the only… Read more »

Louise
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Louise

I’ve been married more than 30 years. I had a short natural when my husband and I started dating, and since then, I’ve been mainly natural — braided, fro, and — for more than 10 years, I’ve had locs. Briefly, I relaxed my hair briefly, about 2 years of our marriage and I had a jherri curl for about 2 years. For the record, I have extremely kinky hair. I can not imagine ever being with a man who disliked my natural hair. I remember having a summer fling with a guy who — after I cut my hair (which… Read more »

Adrienne Michelle
Guest
Adrienne Michelle

Hi! Thank you for sharing your story. That takes courage. I think that your hair is beautiful and I’m proud of you for making the courageous decision to go natural. I say courageous because for many in our community it is still a radical thing to choose. Even though I firmly believe that any other choice is a visual sign of self hatred. I find it interesting that your boyfriend himself has a non‐traditional and sometimes contraversial look, but does not appreciate your natural look. I have been natural since Fall of 2007, and my hair had finally reached “mega… Read more »

Orarrylooke
Guest
Rae
Guest
Rae

Your natural hair is freaking FABULOUS!!! O_O Not just saying that, but the pictures you have posted look great. No shade to your boyfriend, but he is not that attractive to be acting like he’s Will Smith…and Will Smith don’t even act like that. Think about it, Jada Pinkett can get pretty extreme with some of her fashion & hair choices & Will Smith loves it. If men as fine is Will are digging natural hair, your man should not EVEN go there. Dump him & quick…he’s basically saying all he liked about you was your hair & theres nothing… Read more »

Lloyda
Guest
Lloyda

Listen girl. There might be a host of reasons he prefers relaxed here that people can dissect over and over. However, do not listen to anyone that even suggests that he does not love you if he doesn’t love your hair. You are not your hair and your boy friend obviously knows this and obviously loves you beyond the physical. I have natural hair myself and I love it but I find naturals tend to be judgmental if people who wear weaves or have relaxed hair but come on people it is just hair. Wear it how you love it… Read more »

ly33y
Guest
ly33y

Dont listen to anybody. Guys are use to see black women wear their hair in a certain way. I find society finds it moree acceptable to be black and have locks because that is the look black people having been having for years. Just DO what makes you happy.

laz
Guest

I’m sorry but he’s a prick

Dana
Guest

Yeah, you need to dump him. It’s not us being judgemental when we say that we SEE the problem is him and he can’t love you if he has such hang‐ups. He’s not worthy, and should be kicked to the curb where he belongs. You don’t need that and will definitely regret it if you don’t cut this destructive force out of your life. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

NicoleCCMc
Guest
NicoleCCMc

I completely agree with Lloyda. His opinion has nothing to do with his being a good man or not. Seriously. Its a simple matter of aesthetics. What appeals to him, and what does not. Its not an issue of blackness. You are beautiful, so is your hair. So is your man! As long as he is not trying to manipulate you into being something you are not, his opinion on your hair is just that — an opinion, and he’s entitled. I think its awesome that he is with you despite the fact that he does not like this change… Read more »

Rashida
Guest
Rashida

This article made me feel sad for the author. You can analyze and justify the situation all you want, but it would really hurt my heart if my boyfriend didnt love the natural me. I would take it personal and I couldnt accept this attitude from my life partener. Thats just my opinion.

DerfstersWife
Guest
DerfstersWife

I don’t understand some of what she put in her article. She’s not very light skinned to me for one. She’s just average. I’m actually light skinned and never once did I have a guy say to me, “I was “acceptable” to bring home to their mothers.” simply because I am light skinned. Never! What the heck kind of people does she surround herself with??? The most typical question that I have been asked is, “what are you?” That was growing up, and I always thought that was rude, but people just truly didn’t know. Now‐days there are so many… Read more »

Antrelise
Guest

I wonder what would happen if they have a daughter and she looks like him? Would he be disappointed? Hmmm.….

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

Gosh, we are killin a brotha. I can actually relate to her story, accept mine is the exact opposite. My fiancé hated my weave and relaxed hair. He said that I was altering my appearance to look “white.” I looked at him as if he had grown horns. This was before I even knew about the natural hair movement. Seriously, I didn’t want to look white, I just liked my weave! Nevertheless he still loved me, he just didn’t like my hair. If hair is just hair, then why is this such a big deal–and yet we have all voted… Read more »

Stacie
Guest
Stacie

I hated my TWA at a point too, it got to this like really weird mullet and it was breaking off in the front so I cut it and relaxed it again. I’ll try again when I can find someone who can teach me how to take care of my hair. (I’ve tried following tutorials online. I’m just not good at it)

Cat
Guest
Cat

My hubs doesn’t like my hair but that doesn’t bother me — it’s my hair and I’ll do with it as I please. As long as he’s not trying to control me or act like an idiot, we’re good. Take the same attitude. I bet there are some things about your boyfriend that you don’t like or wish would change, but you love him anyway, right? Hair isn’t everything.

karnisze cuadro
Guest

I do not leave many comments, however i did a few searching and wound up here My natural hair looks fabulous, and he STILL doesn?t like it! | Black Girl with Long Hair. And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be just me or does it seem like a few of the remarks appear as if they are coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at other online social sites, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Would you make a… Read more »

unia
Guest

This information is priceless. When can I find out
more?Do you love Speedway? Enjoy to us! ?u?el

Erika
Guest
Erika

Well, I dumped my boyfriend because he did not want me to go natural. I am wearing braids. I refuse to put any more relaxers in my hair. I found it sad that he didn’t care if the chemicals were dangerous. He just wanted my hair straight. Then he broke his ankle and realized hair does not make a good woman.

Chara
Guest

It’s one thing to not like your natural hair it’s another thing to name call. A great guy is not gonna call you “mop head” just because he doesn’t like your hair. You shouldn’t have to defend your to your boyfriend. I say you need reevaluate him and your relationship.

Angela
Guest
Angela

My husband is white. A playwright who wrote a whole part of his one man show about my hair. It was an ode but I was so defensive, did not want to hear it. I have had ALL kinds of hairstyles, (never a weave tho) and while he might agree that it’s time to get my locs re‐done he pretty much has not said anything except that i looked like the weather girl when I pressed and curled my hair myself. (not a compliment) Or Condoleeza Rice. He does not like helmet hair. However, my hair is a small part… Read more »

lis
Guest
lis

No offense.…you are pretty and he is Sooooooo not attractive at all

rolanda
Guest
rolanda

Don’t get me wrong you guys are a beautiful couple and I hope you guys have many more wonderful years with one another, but your man needs to find himself. There is NOTHING worst than to have someone who is suppose to be so close and intimate to you to not love and appreciate the true you! You are beautiful in all aspects and needs to see that, I don’t know what to say, for crying out loud he’s dark‐skinned and “natural” himself, idk #MyMindIsBlown #YourManNeedsToGetHisLife #NoBueno #SelfHate

Dee
Guest
Dee

Wow!!! I’m so confuse but I understand at the same time. I’m not going to take the time to have the old dark skin man want light skin woman discussion but.… He has been growing his dreads for 14years but have not accepted your natural journey. .…yeah I’m confuse.

anecine
Guest
anecine

So basically its okay for him to be black but its not okay for you…? I know hes a “great guy” but you really don’t need him…

Mary in Md
Guest
Mary in Md

I was going to shut my mouth on this one. But, I have to speak up. I am so so sorry that your man doesn’t love and accept you for who you are. Perhaps he picked up because you were a status symbol for him. I don’t know. I hope he’ll get over it. It’s not like you altered yourself in some weird and bizarre way. You simply stopped chemically altering your hair. Your hair is beautiful. All healthy hair is beautiful. You seem to be managing it in a healthy manner. After seven years, I’m sure you know there… Read more »

Crystal
Guest
Crystal

ok very confused he has dreads which is a “Natural Hair due” but doesn’t like your natural hair. this is a case of brain washed black thinking euro hair holds a upper hand rather than or own hair.

Peace
Guest
Peace

I’m telling this in hopes that it will be beneficial to all who read. I have a good friend. She has been with her man now husband since high school, 16 years old pretty much just like you. We’re 34 now. During their time together my friend surpressed her desires of wanting to cuddle and to be told the things we women like to hear, “you’re beautiful”, “oh I like your hair” etc.. She thought that it isn’t important because, like your man hers is all that. So, such a silly thing like affection weren’t important. And as mentioned those… Read more »

Erica
Guest
Erica

Ladies, ladies, ladies PLEASE read the previous post this wise person wrote. It will save you a lifetime of regret! LETS STOP SETTLING!

Portia
Guest
Portia

You may not see this, but I want to thank you for this. I settled and I’m miserable. My husband don’t do anything with me. It’s like we’re two strangers living in the house together. Soon as I can I’m leaving.

Erika
Guest
Erika

I know my opinion doesn’t matter like your man’s, but I think your hair is much more attractive now 🙂 The other picture looks fake to me, which is amazing for me to say, cuz I was the light skin girl with long hair too. Now I’m natural and it’s the best thing I ever did for myself. I feel much more beautiful than I ever did before and prefer it curly over flat ironed now even tho straight shows the length. Anyway, good for you. I cut my hair short once and my long time boyfriend said it was… Read more »

La Toya
Guest
La Toya

You have to think about what is really going on here. I don’t care how good of a man he is(paying bills, college etc etc anyone can do that). That is not an excuse for someone to not love who you are sorry. I remember when I was dating a guy when I was 27 and I shaved the sides of my head and left the rest long. this was back in 94′. He told me that I could shave my entire head bald and still look sexy and beautiful. That made me feel so good. You can’t be with… Read more »

lottie b!
Guest

Listen, this young lady is asking for HELP. She loves someone who unfortunately doesn’t love ALL of her the way she needs. Yeah, it’s JUST hair, or is it? I too am confused by a black man (very black)dissing a black woman because she doesn’t want to artificially treat her hair. Huh?! But I’ve noticed brothas now days diss sistas for downright anything. Baby, you gotta ask yourself some serious questions surrounding this issue. It ain’t just about hair. You’ve been with this dude 7 YEARS and he hasn’t asked you to be his wife. Why, is it your hair?… Read more »

SKEEWEE
Guest
SKEEWEE

That’s what I’m wondering!!! I’m looking around trying to find they’re wedding pics after 7 years together. Dude must have serious issues with his own color: he was just another dark skinned “brother” out to snag a light skinned sister with long hair. Now, he can’t even marry the woman because she chooses to leave her hair natural. What a joke…

Elaina
Guest
Elaina

7 YEARS and he hasn’t asked you to be his wife,” I was thinking that exact same thing exactly Lottie.

Diane Smith
Guest
Diane Smith

SAY THAT.

Crysterical
Guest
Crysterical

Nah, girl. I ain’t for it. He can kick rocks with socks inside a box. Black men act like we owe them something for being educated. And he had locks???? And he’s BLACK?!! And you’re BEAUTIFUL? I can’t accept that!!! I CANNOT!

Kat
Guest
Kat

You need to DUMP THAT JERKASS and find someone that WILL APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU. Hair and all! You shouldn’t have wasted 7 yrs of your life to that clown. Ugh. That wasn’t worth the misery.

Frugivore Clarissa
Guest
Frugivore Clarissa

I’m so over people excuse men like this saying,“Oh we all have preferences”, then date and marry someone that fits your preferences. He could’ve just as easily found himself a nice white woman or any other woman on the planet who doesn’t have black hair. The self‐hate in black men is strong, which is the main reason why so many women in the natural hair community have male partners who aren’t black. The sad truth is, men outside of our race respect us far more than the men a part of our race. More and more black women are waking… Read more »

coolflexa .
Guest
coolflexa .

Ok, you say he should find a woman who meets his preference but when they hooked up, she satisfied his preference…

And I don’t think the whole ‘men outside of our community respect us more’ is true. Honestly, I think only a minority of men inside the black community and outside of the black community respect us. The others see us as something to ‘do’ until their real ‘queen’ comes along…

Kels
Guest
Kels

I would never share this story of such a great man that I love and have others comment about him and tear him a part. She’s spent seven years of her life with him, apparently she’s happy with him. It’s obvious people in the comments section are commenting about how she needs to break up with him etc. I hope she didn’t expect a different response. As her dude, I’d feelirritated that she did this. To me, if he’s so great despite the fact he feels some type of way about her hair, and she’s tolerating it (OBVIOUSLY) she needs… Read more »

Rhonda Brown
Guest
Rhonda Brown

Agreed.

Marisol
Guest
Marisol

Sometimes people take articles about other people’s business far to serious

SonyaPJ
Guest
SonyaPJ

It sounds like he wants a white woman. You were the closest thing to it with your chemically altered hair. His college education and paying bills means NOTHING when it comes down to the true issues at hand which is WHY are you still with a man who hasn’t asked you to marry him yet? Why can’t he love and accept ALL of you? And most importantly — why have YOU settled for such ill treatment? Don’t you know you deserve better and that there is someone out there who will love ALL OF YOU and then some? Please open… Read more »

JustMeandseven
Guest
JustMeandseven

I was thinking it, but you said it.

Elaina
Guest
Elaina

I don’t agree that just because he likes her hair to be straight, that he wants a white woman. That’s probably just his preference or he maybe he has some hangup about Black women fitting some sort of standard of beauty.

Diane Smith
Guest
Diane Smith

Exactly, and the “Hang Up” is what the problem is. Why would anyone, man or woman, of any race, have any other standard of beauty but their own race “First”? You can straighten your hair or whatever, but, you should always love “First” what texture you were born with. So, he is loving his “Locks”, which is from his African ancestry, but she can’t rock the look that is a part of her ancestry. Sounds one sided to me.

Stacie
Guest
Stacie

I personally like your hair the way it is naturally it’s gorgeous. I’m always so envious of natural hair. I tried to grow mine out for a year but I just ended up breaking it off because I didn’t know how to take care of it and couldn’t find a salon that specializes in natural hair. So I’m going to relax it until I get it long and then stop relaxing it. I can’t imagine dating someone who didn’t support my hair decisions or thought my hair looked bad. My husband supports every decision I make, he loved and complimented… Read more »

Elaina
Guest
Elaina

She is a beautiful girl regardless to whether she wears her hair straight or natural, so I don’t see what ole boy’s problem is.

Marisol
Guest
Marisol

Your boyfriend should just go ahead and get that white woman that he’s been dreaming of.

Angel Paredes
Guest
Angel Paredes

honestly it’s like the guy can’t accept you for who you are…and it’s just hair like what’s his problem -_‐

Kiianah
Guest

Wait, so the ONLY thing he could think of that he liked about her, was her straight hair??? That right there says a lot in itself.

ny busi
Guest
ny busi

ODD, BECAUSE REALLY NO OFFENSE YET, HE IS NOT PARTICULARLY ATTRACTIVE TO BE SO CONCERNED AT ALL WITH REGARDS TO YOUR HAIR WHICH LOOKS LOVELY.

TyQueen McCalla
Guest
TyQueen McCalla

Your hair is beautifullll , hes bugging sorry it’s nothing wrong with your i always wished i had the big kinky hair like yours. Thats weird he has dreads but doesnt really prefer your natural hair ?. Anyway my boyfriend doesn’t like my natural hair he only compliments my hair if its weave or straightened.. I love my hair :/

Ree Walker
Guest
Ree Walker

My question is why are you with this fool for 7 years and he hasn’t even put a ring on your finger yet he has he nerve to have an issue with your hair and you are taking it seriously. If he is such a “family man” as you claim then why aren’t you married yet? He’s full of it and you are a fool for staying with and laying up with any of these black males who run this nonsense and start acting all controlling like this and they aren’t even legally obligated to you. If you had any… Read more »

May
Guest
May

Girl yes! I was thinking the same thing. Seven years with no ring can’t be that great. This fool sounds like a loser. And he had snakes running through his head. Boy bye!

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