Sunday, August 12, 2007

What Did You Do to Your Hair???

Or, How Our Men Feel About Our Decision to Lock...

Some of us make the decision to lock or go natural or do the big chop after much deliberation, and some of us do it rather spontaneously, and dare I say, impulsively. Some of us do a lot of research and some of us go in blind. Some of us make the decision while single and have no mate whose opinions matter. Some of us consult our man and ask his opinion. Others of us just do it and damn the consequences.

In reading blogs I have found that husbands and SOs have various reactions to our choices to go natural. Some are supportive. Some are curious. Some are angry. Some are simply bewildered, blindsided, and confused.

I really appreciated the post, "Good Men Like Fros", by Kaya of Naturally You! Magazine.

She provides excellent points and examples that help us to appreciate how our men must feel when we come home with a drastically different 'do! I know if any man of mine came home looking like Frankie Lymon, Al Sharpton or Snoop Dogg with artificially straight hair, I would be undone! I might not be able to keep him! I might refuse to be seen with him.

She acknowledges that natural hair v. altered hair is not the same and men's hairstyle choices and expectations are generally not the same as women's, but what she focuses on is perception and the fact that you get used to the person you love having a certain look. You were attracted to them, in part, because of that look, so if that look changes suddenly and drastically, it can be difficult to accept it and make the adjustment.

I think that is an important acknowledgement, and her analogies helped me to see their point of view.

Well said, Kaya!


Goodnapps said...

I too believe Kaya nailed it and I wholeheartedly agree. As I'm sure you already know or soon will,
it's not just the men. It's our entire close circle of family and friends who need that period of adjustment.

Even though it's the hair on our own head, we need a period of adjustment ourselves. How many
plucked chicken or covered them with a scarf comments have you read? If you can't love your hair from day one, why should you expect
anybody else to love it.

But looking at it from their point of view as Kaya outlined, it does help to not hold a grudge from the lack of initial support or approval that we all seek from our close family and friends.

I'm still waiting for some to come around. Some are so darn proud, who knows if they ever will admit they like my least
to me anyway.

Anonymous said...

I do agree it is perception. I went natural while being single. I asked my male friends about natural hair and some thought it was cool, while others weren't so thrilled about it.

I met my current SO with twists in my hair. He has truly opened up his eyes since being with me and what natural hair means to me and others.

My family and friends have all been pretty receptive to natural hair. My father and brother, grandfather, male cousins, don't care either way, and that is cool. They don't have negative things to say though.

I believe firmly that a man will be attracted to you with nappy, relaxed or weaved hair. Attraction is perceptive and individual, IMO.

Even if I were still out their dating, I wouldn't care about wearing natural hair and attracting a man. If they can't accept their own and embrace me as is, than oh well. I would find someone who does.

blackrussian said...


I know it's not the same, but hth.

DSTD, I'm single now and I was single when I started my locks. And I would be lying if I said I didn't wonder what men would think before I started them, and it didn't give me pause.

I was concerned about some of the sterotypes associated with locks and if this would limit the number of "good" men who would approach me. (I am happy to report that it has not.)

But I DID think about it. AND I DID WORRY about it for a hot minute.

But it's all good now. (Even though I'm still single, it HAS NOTHING to do with my hair!)

I actually have much more to say in response to both your comments, so a follow-up post is coming.

I would say soon, but I'm about to work a 60-hour week that actually started TODAY! So, I'm not even going to tell that lie.

Future visitors: don't let that discourage you from commenting. I will still log on to see what you think and respond at my first opportunity.

Peace to all,


Cluizel said...

I actually didn't realize how ignorant my male friends were until I locked my hair. I was single when I locked and I didn't ask anyone's opinion when I started...but yeah...I suppose my old hair was part of the package that had attracted them...because almost all of them had a damn fit. They are coming around now that I am getting length but its still shitty that they reacted the way they did.

I used to blog about it but it happens too often now that I don't even bother.

Cashana said...

One of the questions my consultant asked at our first face-to-face consultation was whether my SO was okay with my decision to lock my hair. At first, I wondered why she asked, but when I answered I was single she explained that some men are not as accepting and it may take time for them to get use to the new you. She said it could cause problems and lucky for me a SO wasn't an issue. Even if I did have a SO, it would not have changed my mind, but my consultant said if you have a support system it helps with the journey.

blackrussian said...

Cluizel, I'm glad your friends are coming around. Again, I have been fortunate in this regard. All of my close male friends have given me really positive feedback - even those who liked my straight hair and thought I had a relaxer.

A few of my married friends have been absolutely fascinated with my hair and just HAD to touch it. This was NOT popular with the wives!!!

Not less than three husbands have liked it SO much they've looked at their wives and said, "You should do that to YOUR hair!"

If looks could kill...

WHO knows though, maybe in a few years they'll be my locked sisters.

On men's ignorance...what amazes me is how many men can't spot a weave!

I've been with men who said: why don't you wear your hair like 'x'? Sometimes in ref to a celeb, sometimes someone we know.

"Um, 'cuz it's a weave....
My hair would never do that in a million years, and guess what? Neither does HERS!!!"

Burns me up when they can't tell the real from the fake.

I appreciate a GOOD weave. I really do. I think they can be an attractive alternative for some people. It's a choice.

I think you posted about this a little while back. If you're going to get a weave, get a good one and a realistic one.

I just don't like the fact that they encourage men and women to buy into a false standard of beauty.

Someone else blogged about that as well: how you get used to seeing yourself or others with a certain look that is even MORE artificial than relaxed hair alone, and when you try to wear your real hair it seems inadequate.

Whoever it was cited Beyonce as an example.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I must admit, I did definitely think about how men would react to my hair, but it didn't change my mind about doing this to my hair.

I did show my current SO pics of ladies with mature sisterlocks before I locked and he thought it was it did definitely make the transisition easier. Plus, he was used to seeing my hair in twists all the time anyway, he didn't see what I was doing "differently" to my hair so I had to explain to him the process. Now he wears an afro and is looking to get twists and coils(men!)

It is funny too when they can't spot a weave. We have some deep conversations about it. I have such a strong opinion about weave and why we choose to wear them, that my SO doesn't even think about suggesting me wearing weave, saying that is "not me"

blackrussian said...

Diva, I actually addressed some of the things you said here in my upcoming post.

And I never had anyone ask or suggest I wear a weave. I would have been too through with such a man! To clarify, I had men show me a picture or comment about someone we saw (in person or on tv) and say: You would look good with that hairstyle, not realizing that she was only able to acheive that hairstyle with weave.

Goodnapps said...

Oh you're such a sweetheart. THANKS!!

muslimahlocs said...

my husband told me that he would not have married me if my hair was chemically altered. you may be thinking...well, how would he know since you wear that scarf and all? he asked.

before we got married in the nicest way he said something like this "i have a question for you. i am not asking you to tell me what your hair looks like but i want to know if your hair is natural or not." i assured him that my hair was indeed natural and replied "good, because i would not have married you if you had a perm". ok. whew! glad i had the right answer.

i don't think that he is representative of a lot of our men though. he is more of a natural nazi than i am. he REALLY dislikes chemically altered hair. i would use a much stronger word that begins with an "h" but he does not like that word even though that really captures how he feels about it.

Anonymous said...

I've been natural for quite some time but I've worn the braid extensions, crochets, corn rows, etc and it seemed like I changed up my look on a monthly basis. I mainly think it was b/c I just didn't know what to do with my hair.

When I would wear my natural hair in twist-outs, two puffs, or one puff I would get comments like, "When are you going to perm your head?" or "What are you doing with your hair?" or "Does your mamma know you look like a hot mess?" or "You would look so much better with a perm..." BLAH!!!! It got on my nerves so much I felt like I would be giving in if I even fathomed chemically altering my hair. So I guess I have all those negative reacting people to thank for adoring my hair right now!!!!

I guess I didn't really think about how other people have to adjust to changes with your hair. You get negative comments whether you decide to ditch the weave, or ditch the perm, or ditch the loose and lock...We just can't win can we???LOL!!!

Fortunately my boyfriend envisioned me with locks before I did... and he's just as in Love with them as I am!!!!!! I just can't wait for more length....

SistaLocd said...

Well I guess I was one of the lucky ones. My husband is not a big fan of hair weaves and I was at the time that we got back together. I eventually just stopped perming my hair because I got tired of it and he was the one that suggested that I get locks. I have to admit I was shocked and yet happy to finally make a change with my hair and do something better for it. Although I did have some family that asked those crazy questions and even asked me what my husband thought about my hair. I'm thinking to myself does it matter what he thinks? Anyways I shocked them when I told them that he was one with the big idea! To me it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks however it does feel good to have support from my DH.

dreamangel75 said...

Wow, these comments are very interesting. My perspective is slightly different from the majority. However, my husband appreciated my natural hair from the beginning. When I met him, my hair was relaxed. When I decided to go natural, he was very supportive and actually appreciated the natural state of my hair more than the chemically altered hair. I have done weaves, braids, twists, twists with extensions, fro's, and now SL.

However, my immediate family were not into my natural hair from the beginning. They gradually accepted it. However, once I was SLed, they really liked this natural style.