My Man vs. My Hair

My Man vs. My HairWhether we want to admit it or not, a lot of our decisions in regards to our appearance, whether it be our hair, clothes, shoes, or make-up is geared towards appeasing the opposite sex.   You know I’m telling nothing but truth ladies.

Hell, I’m not going to lie to you.  Every time I get my hair styled or decide to embrace a new hair cut, I usually discuss it with my man beforehand.   Now, although my man loves me regardless of the hair, he will be truthful in telling me that he prefers my hair long as opposed to short.   However, I will be equally as truthful with him and tell him that that will not deter me from cutting my hair and my asking him was more of a forewarning of something I was going to do whether he agreed to it or not.   What did my man do after the cut?   He got over it.   Quickly.

With the recent boom in natural hair among sistas there has been an explosion of women who have went from relaxed syles, weaved on to rocking afro puffs, braids, dreads, and other variations of natural hair.   From my own observation it seems as though the sistas love it just as much if not more than their relaxed hair and for good reason.  Natural hair is lower in maintenance and once you become accustomed to it,  there is no limit to the styles you can create.

The inverse to this new acceptance of our natural hair among the sistas is that there still are brothas who are not feeling a chick with natural hair.   Hell, even many of the Black male celebrities like Method Man and the Old Spice front man Isaiah Mustafa have both publicly remarked that they are not a fan of women with “nappy” hair.   On a side note, how can a man with such an afrocentric name like Mustafa trip about a sista having nappy hair? He has his nerve.   But I digress.

This is a cause for discussion because these men are not alone in their opinions ladies. There are plenty of non-celebrity Black men who share these thoughts.   Now, they might not express them publicly for fear of attacks, but they express them by the women that they choose to date and ultimately marry and have children with.

Well it is just hair! Hmmm… yes it is. But in Black culture hair has and always will be a big deal.   Is it coming to a point where women have to consider whether it should be necessary for their man to  accept their natural hair choice or any hair choice for that matter?   Should you sit him down at the kitchen table, hold his hands, and look him deep in his eyes as if to penetrate his soul, as you explain to him why you have decided to let your hair go natural?   The image of that sounds like a scene from a Lifetime movie of the week.   However, that is how deep it gets for some sistas and their significant others.

[pullquote_right]So how should a woman handle her man not supporting her wanting to go from relaxed to natural?[/pullquote_right]

My Man vs. My HairHere is the deal ladies.   Men expect for you to stay by their side through richer or poorer.   They expect for you to have their back when times are tough. Unfortunately, in today’s times there are more tough times for a lot of people than there were ten years ago.   They expect for you to be understanding if his six pack suddenly turns into a belly that resembles a woman who is in her third trimester.   They expect for you to still want to love them down through their going bald stage.   They expect for you to be just as attracted to them through them deciding to grow a beard that looks less like Idris Elba’s and more like Kimbo Slice’s.   Women are even expected to forgive a man for his infidelities.   Yeah, I went there.   We are expected to love them hard at all times and at all costs.   No questions asked.

Well, I am all for total devotion and making the ultimate commitment to a man.   As long as the feeling is reciprocated.   Ladies, we have to demand to receive the same treatment from our men that they have become accustomed to receiving from us for so many years.   If you are with a man who is giving you a hard time because you want to cut your hair short, or go natural, and he is threatening to leave you or to refuse to be intimate with you if you do, then you should rethink whether you want to build your life with this man.   You might also want t draft his dismissal papers, just in case.

I’m jokingly serious about this.   Life is not for the soft of heart.   Situations are happening to people that they never thought they would have to go through a day in their lives.   If this man’s love for you is that weak that he is willing to throw away your life together over hair then it is best that you know this immediately before the real hard stuff starts.   Situations like not being able to pay your mortgage on time, disciplinary problems with your children, and one of you losing your job.   Sometimes situations that seem petty and frivolous can show a person’s true intentions.   Also, sometimes, not all of the time, but sometimes, a Black man’s resentment or distaste towards natural hair shows that they have more of a problem with themselves than with your choice.   Can you say “self hate?”   Marinate on that for a moment.

[box_light]Listen, if he is willing to dispose of you over something as trivial as hair, and yes it is trivial in the big scheme of things, then how can you depend on him if you gain weight?   Whose to say he would stay with you if you ever became ill?   Whose to say he would want you by his side if your career or business suddenly fell to the way side?   If hair is enough to break your bond with your man then he never had any real intentions on building  a life with you.[/box_light]

Author: LaJuanda

LJ Knight is a featured writer for BlackHairMedia.com and a freelance journalist on her site YeahSheSaidIt.com. She currently resides in Los Angeles but is originally from Chicago. She is dubbed “the voice of the urban sophisticated woman.”

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18 Comments

  1. I may be too late posting this as everyone may have moved on but I’ve only just joined.

    I decided not to get married after discovering I could not have children due to an illness. I have two great male friends who I’ve known for 20 years. Both proposed upteen times and I have turned them both down. I tried living with one and it drove me round the bend. Men are great but the vast majority need mothers, not wives. A role that doesn’t sit well with me. I also like and enjoy my freedom too much and would never let a man dictate my style or taste EVER, unless I thought he had a better sense of style and taste! Am I beginning to sound like a rottweiller ;) Men should be supportive of their wives and never make them feel bad about the choices their partners make or try to change who they are. Voicing an opinion is fine but it should never dictate. My 2 cents worth for today.

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  2. This entire issue is only a fragment of a bigger picture, that being self hatred. A lot of African Americans as well as other minority/ethnic groups lose the desire to embrace their culture or certain aspects of their culture that don’t favor the dominant culture in this country, that being white/european culture. The media and other institutions are forms of social control that favor the dominant culture and embrace its beliefs, social norms, values etc, and illustrate bias messages pertaining to their culture. Anything that doesn’t support their culture is considered to be weird, wrong, defiant, or unattractive. Unfortunately people by into these ideas and the subliminal messages being thrown at them on a daily basis. Its sad that a lot of African American men are basing their standards of beauty on the standards of an entirely different culture.

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  3. Why can’t men like what they like… I feel like this is going into the idea of “embracing it because you are black”. Why do he has to like it because you decided that you wanted to go natural? I feel like this article is make a big “to do” over nothing…Just because your man doesn’t like your hair doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be with him. It means that he just doesn’t like your hair. If he leaves because of it, then life goes on. But if he doesn’t then its something more in the relationship then your hair.

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    • The point of this article is not that he HAS to like your hair, but that if he doesn’t and you choose to wear it anyways, he should accept it, get over it, and move on. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to loose your sense of individuality or tame your personality and creativity to fit the other’s ideals. If he’s petty enough to make an issue out of the hair God gave you, he needs to be dropped.

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  4. natural hair is not the easier option in terms of maintenance. it requires more attention than processed hair…in my opinion. however, ladies please rock your hair how you wish but just learn to love your hair in it’s natural state. that’s my concern…that black women would learn to love their natural hair whether they wear it out or not. we have been taught that our hair is ugly and not sophisticated. we have been taught that it is not professional, that it is not glamorous. i could care less how someone wants to wear their hair but i do care that someone wants me and too many of us to feel like natural hair is hideous. we have been brain washed. i have worn my hair “natural” most of my life and every time that i would think of taking off the wigs, hair extensions, relaxers, braids, and jerry curls i am left thinking,”what am i going to do with my hair?”…what’s wrong with rockin’ a natural hair do? so this is where i am in this life. how do we expect for the black man to accept our hair when we don’t even accept it? how do we expect for the generations to come to accept our natural hair when we are still perpetuating the stereotypes of good hair bad hair? we have a long way to go. so i salute the “so-called” natural hair movement. i did not even no there was one until someone told me to go to youtube and check out all the natural hair vids…i learned a lot. ….even though as i said…i have been natural most of my life…but i discovered that i hadn’t actually embraced my natural hair…that’s a problem folks…for all of us.

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  5. Sometimes, we (men) just like what we like! is that ok?

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  6. I really enjoyed reading your article. It is comforting to know that there are others who have or are going through the same obstacles and are not willing to change themselves for someone else. I have embraced who I am. And, although I still like to get approval it is not necessary. I am who I was created to be and I feel that we all have to love who we are naturally in order to appreciate ourselves completely instead of hiding behind an image just to please others.

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  7. Thank you for this article! It’s good to see that someone else besides myself “gets it”. When I hear these stories about women not going natural because their men don’t like ‘nappy’ hair I want to vomit. A man who loves you will get over you having short hair. This is my second time going natural, and my husband never complained about it. After the first time going natural I grew my hair to WL several times. Trust me ladies, they will get over it. If not, it’s better that they get lost.

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  8. I am loving this article! I think a lot of women got some of the words twisted. She did not say there is something wrong with your man voicing his opinion. But if he feels like he cant love you because you have a fro then there’s no point in trying to make it work. Im currently transitioning with braids and my boyfriend has yet to see my natural hair. As soon as i start wearing my natural fro he better get with it or get lost. I love him to death but I refuse to be with someone who doesnt approve of my natural texture.

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  9. Idiot….Mustafa is not afrocentric, its muslim with arabic roots…..research before blurting and typing away….smh

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  10. The article is spot on and because I have always been well coiffed and did it out of my OWN expectations, and not anyone else’s the man for me would just have to accept that. Low and behold, the Lord blessed me with such in a wonderful husband! We just celebrated our 5th year anniversary and I must say, whether my hair is long or short, he doesn’t mind as long as it looks nice, his words, not mine!!! LOL!! I am thankful for this because it is a pressure to want to wear our hair in a fashion we believe will please others, namely, our men. I am currently stretching my relaxer, not relaxing nearly as often as I used to back in the day and when my real hair texture appears, I know I will be in for it once I do fully transition. I don’t have a wave pattern, simply all kinks. Regardless, that day will come, when I know it won’t be as manageable, but I know it will be grand for me to embrace my roots.

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  11. PREACH# I am a newly natural sista and OMG! I love my hair. Out of all the heat, tugg, and pulling and RELAXING I’ve done. I’m really digging this natural wavy/kinky hair I have. Honestly I felt as if I was free as a bird and I flew my lil self to work with a lil pepp in my step and all thanks to my natural. It’s been almost 3 months post relaxer and my hair is coming in fast. I may have atleast 3 more trims and I will be an offical Naturalista!

    Oh! and men and their demands and some of their superficial expectations are such heavy burdens, but all we ask is for some time they would have a heart attack. But that’s another story. Thanks

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  12. I really enjoyed this article. It gives me reassurance in my decision to become natural. I embrace as well as promote the idea of women of color loving who we are and what we represent. Check out Zahira Kelly, she is an artist who represents women of all colors.

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  13. It matters if he doesn’t approve just like it’ll matter if I don’t approve of his hairstyle or facial hairstyles etc.

    If some ish looks unattractive, nothing wrong with saying so.

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  14. Thank you Naomi. I appreciate that sista.

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  15. hi i can relate to this post, it is so true black men can so wierd towards all women.

    this was an inspiring read so much so i wrote my own take on this.

    thanks much

    naomi

    xoxo

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  16. Maybe we should dig deeper inside LJ Knight

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