Even with all the faults, the natural hair community is consistently one of the places where Black women are empowered and encouraged to embrace their natural hair, beauty, and wellness. Blogs, forums, and social networks are constant streams of support and guidance for veterans, newbies, big choppers, and transitioners alike. As women, we do a phenomenal job of maintaining positivity among ourselves (which is a feat in and of itself…c’mon ya’ll KNOW what I’m talking about). But what about our men? One of the biggest concerns most women express about going natural is how their significant other, or men in general will react to their newfound kinks, coils, and curls.
To tackle the issue of how Black men really feel about Black women going natural, I went straight to the source: my boyfriend of nearly 3 years. At this point in the game, he’s seen it all — from crazy looking straws in my hair, to marathon product junkie sessions in Target and Sally’s. Keep reading for his perspective on transitioning and natural hair. Heads up: it’s pretty positive 🙂
Christina: Thanks for agreeing to do this. I know you’re not a man of many words, but try to be as thorough as possible — I can’t publish an article with one word answers (laughing). Let’s get right to it. As a man, how do you define natural hair?
Samuel: Yeah, I know I had to…or I’d never hear the end of it from you. To me, natural hair is simply the stuff that comes out of your head, as-is.
Christina: What’s your opinion of the natural hair movement going on right now?
Samuel: Well, I don’t actually think it’s a movement. Natural hair has been around, it’s just growing in popularity now. But it is nice to see women embracing the way God made them. It’s a great thing, to take away the fake and unnatural…when women can showcase their beauty the way God meant for them to be. I love seeing women that take pride in themselves just the way they are… and not needing to excessively manipulate themselves to feel beautiful.
Christina: Is it a fad, or is it here to stay?
Samuel: Honestly, it depends on the woman. If you’re comfortable and confident in yourself and what God gave you, then it’s here to stay for you. If you’re lacking self-esteem and don’t feel good about yourself with natural hair, then you probably won’t keep it up. But I do see stores like Target expanding their natural hair care section. So I guess taking cues from that, the market for natural hair is here to stay.
Christina: How does it feel to date someone who is really involved and invested in natural hair?
Samuel: It’s a pain in the ass sometimes. You talk A LOT about natural hair…but at the same time, I’ve learned a lot from you too. Hell, I’ve even talked to my coworkers about their women taking care of their natural hair. But I do love the confidence that comes with you embracing your natural hair. I also love being able to touch your hair, and play around with you without having to worry about it getting messed up or falling out.
Christina: Hehe, I do talk a lot about natural hair. I’m kinda OCD with it. What are your thoughts when you see a woman that has “big chopped” all of her hair off?
Samuel: I personally prefer longer hair, but when I see a woman who has chopped, I see confidence. And that’s a huge factor in how much you appeal to a man. How confident you are.
Christina: What are your thoughts when you see a woman who has decided to transition (slowly) to natural hair?
Samuel: Was that a serious question? It doesn’t make any difference to me. I don’t care, I won’t notice anyway. As far as I’m concerned, as long as you’re taking care of it, it doesn’t matter.
Christina: How do you feel about the whole satin scarf and bonnet thing? Is it unappealing?
Samuel: I know why you have them, it’s not a big deal. Just so long as you’re wearing them at home or while working out or something — not out in public.
Christina: So I can’t wear my bonnet to the mall?
Samuel: You can wear it to the mall if you want, you won’t be walking with me.
Christina: Ok, ok. Have you adopted any of my hair practices or products?
Samuel: Of course I have. You pick out all my hair stuff.
Christina: What advice do you have for men that are dating natural or transitioning women?
Samuel: Accept that your woman is trying to take care of her hair. Accept it, approve it. Support her. Make sure she knows you think she’s beautiful. Make sure you TELL her she’s beautiful. Be prepared for her to spend a lot of money on hair products, and a lot of time in Target. Be prepared not to see the super straight stuff. Be prepared to only see the straightened natural hair every once in a while.
Christina: What’s the most frustrating thing about dating a woman with natural hair?
Samuel: Nothing. A woman with natural hair isn’t any different. Ya’ll still take forever to get ready.
Christina: What’s the most exciting thing about dating a woman with natural hair?
Samuel: You can get your hair wet, go swimming, work out, play golf, or do something random without spazzing out about your hair.
Christina: True, true. Do you have any final thoughts on natural hair?
Samuel: If I could say one thing about this whole natural hair thing, it would be that if you go natural, do it for yourself and not some man. Same thing with weaves, perms, whatever. Don’t do all this stuff to impress a man. We don’t sit around and dissect and over-analyze you and your hair decisions. We’re going to think you look good, no matter what.
Christina: I think you’re right. It’s been said before that women dress up, wear makeup, and do all this stuff to their hair for other women. I had a feeling ya’ll didn’t care that much.
Samuel: That’s another thing. I notice that a lot — not all — but a lot of women with natural hair tend to wear a lot of makeup. Chill on that. It’s not necessary to attract or be attractive to a man. If your hair is natural, why can’t your face be natural too? A little makeup is cool, although I prefer none. It’s hard to hug, kiss, or touch the face of a woman who constantly looks like she bathes in makeup. Natural beauty is the best kind of beauty, and all women have it.
Christina: Food for thought…
Samuel: You should get another opinion on all this, though.
Christina: From who?
Samuel: Someone that doesn’t like natural hair.
Samuel: Who do you know that doesn’t like natural hair?
Christina: Umm, I don’t know. Nobody?
Samuel: Exactly. No man dislikes it when a woman has a head of her own hair. You’d be hard pressed to find a man that prefers weaves to natural hair.
Well there you have it, ladies. Men dig natural hair.
Have you talked to your significant other about your decision to transition, chop or rock natural hair? Do tell!