Your Man Might Hit the Road Too if You Decide to Grow Natural Hair

via The Stir


Oh good Lord. I love being a black woman, but I must confess I’ve grown tired of this ongoing conversation about our hair. Grow an Afro, lock it up, slap a perm in it, lop it off — just groom the stuff and let’s talk about something else. Sheesh. I get there are deeper issues that go along with what comes out of our scalps, mental conditioning that’s pressured us to hate our hair as is. But I just can’t discuss it anymore. At least, that’s what I thought.

Curly Nikki sucked me in after one guest blogger posted about a one-time meltdown in her relationship. Her husband threatened to leave her when he no longer found her attractive because she’d grown out the perm she’d been sporting when she initially met him. Despite the fact that she was five months preggers at the time, he told her that they needed to split up. Yes y’all. Split up. Over her hair. Those are her words, not mine. Now, let me say first that I scrolled through the comments and felt her pain, one blogger to another. She probably whipped up the post thinking she was sharing a personal experience to help empower or enlighten or encourage some other budding naturalista and ended up getting firebombed with negative commentary from the peanut gallery. It’s happened to me oodles of times — comes with the territory of using your personal life as inspiration for a public blog.

In an effort to do damage control, she wrote another post defending her marriage and the husband who inspired all this nappy-is-crappy brouhaha in the first place. But it couldn’t possibly compare to the original piece, which, as far as I’m concerned, was more off-the-cuff and, therefore, a more honest recollection of the truth. It didn’t exactly present her hubby in the most flattering of lights, though.

It must be awful to have the man you love be so outdone and bewildered with your look — a look that you’ve been working hard to achieve because, let’s be real, growing out a perm is no small feat — that he turns a lunchtime meet-up into a lunchtime breakup. Over hair. As she described the scene, it sounded like that thing had been laying on his mind for quite some time. Had to have been to text her to let her know they needed to talk so they could get together and discuss his aversion to — here we are again — her hair.

But then, according to her, it was all just a big, overemotional misunderstanding. In the happy ending that they managed to piece together after a long overdue heart-to-heart about — again — her hair, she realized that she wasn’t being sensitive enough concerning his feelings about her new unpermed tresses, and he realized … well, I’m not quite sure what his revelation was except maybe that he should’ve made it clearer sooner that his hatred for her new hairdo was really that strong.

Men can be shallow. Men can be superficial. But I don’t think a man who is that vehemently passionate about his wife’s natural hair is really suffering from any of those things as his core issue. He’s fighting something that’s going on in his own mind that smacks of a bout with self-hatred. Even as a chick with a perm, I feel unsettled about his dislike of her “nappy” hairstyles because he’s still, at the end of the day, opposed to her hair in its natural state.

In order for it to be OK with him, she agreed to straighten it more often or wear it in less appallingly kinky ways. That ain’t liking it the way it is ’cause the way it is actually is how it looks when it balls up after she runs it under some water. Once they get to a point that he can like it then, they’ll be making progress.

My girl dismisses that almost-breakup with her boo as an oopsie on their path to happily ever after. She’s better than me for letting it slide that easily, that’s for sure, especially since they have a daughter together who has tresses like her mama’s. Even if he never says anything disparaging to the child about her own hair, his running criticism of her mother’s is bound to send the message, loud and clear.

Would it matter to you if you changed your hair and your man didn’t like it? 



8 thoughts on “Your Man Might Hit the Road Too if You Decide to Grow Natural Hair

  1. Sweet Secrecy

    Nope not at all. I had my hair big and curly all year up until about a week ago and I guy Ive been seeing was like whew finally! That frizzy shit was unattractive O_o. I ran to the bathroom and wet my hair and kicked him out. He must have lost his mind.

  2. Lacoya S. (thesupercoya)

    *SIGH* (How did I get suckered back into this post!!!) LOL

    It would totally matter to me if my significant other voiced a problem with my appearance. Why? Because I know how it feels to be him. I have had my husband not cut his hair for over 4-5 months. I didnt like it. Would I have threatened (I put it in quotation because I dont think her SO threatened to leave her….I just think he said it to stop her in her tracks because he felt he was being ignored – he might not have done it in the best way – actually he did it in a terrible way, but NOBODYS perfect) to leave? No. But I did mention to him that I didnt care for the look and to let him know that it bothered me.

    When I met him, he was ALWAYS clean, short cut, and very daper. So I dont understand why women dont understand that physical appearance is HUGE in relationship. If you werent physically attracted to your SO when you both met, you wouldnt be together right now, because thats just not how romantic relationships work. There has to be some sort of initial, physical attraction. And what if that initial, physical attraction, all of a sudden changes one day? Without your consent! Nobody asked you how you felt about it. They just pinched your cheeks and say, Youll be ok. Just give it time. Youll love it, eventually and walk off. Is that being a good mate? NO.

    When the time comes that how your mate feels about you, your looks, your career, your weight, etc, etc., ETC, doesnt matter to you….you need to rethink. When you say, for better or for worse, youre not saying that Ill put up with ANYTHING, regardless of WHAT you decide to do….its saying that whenever things come up that I dont necessarily like or am not ready to handle, that we will find a way to work THROUGH it…no matter what.

    The man was NOT going to leave her…she stated these words in her initial post. He never would have left her. He just said those extreme words to get her to stop and think. Im assuming (ASSUMING) she was just going about her days not really thinking of his feelings (which is understandable since she was pregnant, but its still not fair!)

    In summary,
    Was he wrong for how he handled that situation? HECK YEA! If he felt like something was upsetting him, he shouldve found a better way to do it. If she wouldve gotten sick (and even lost the baby as a result), he would have never forgiven himself.

    BUT, I dont think he was wrong in attempting (failed attempt) to explain his honest feelings. Thats what you do in relationships. If you dont like something, speak up. And as a partner on the receiving end, you should LISTEN, and come up with a happy medium in which the both of you can be happy.

    He wasnt asking her to relax her hair, for goodness sake (although he probably would have loved that). He just asked her to switch her hair up every now and then with straighter styles.

    If youre not ready (or think its silly) to oblige your SO w/ changes (temporary/different/etc) in your style (how many women hate heels but wear them on occasion to please their SO, or wear a style thats not their fav only because their SO likes it), then you are NOT ready to be in a healthy relationship.

    Dont think you can roll up in a relationship and completely change who you are and what you look like and your lifestyle (who your SO fell in love with), and not expect him/her to have some stuff to say! Cmon now, lets be real. Its all about compromise!!! Im not saying you should totally and permanently change yourself to the point where you are unhappy (which is what the lady said she would NOT do), but in order to have a HEALTHY relationship, both parties HAVE to be pleased. If you are only concerned with pleasing yourself, regardless of how your partner (the one who shares a bed, house, responsibilities, monies, etc.)feels about it, then maybe you should just be by ya damn self.

    *drops mic*

    Sorry for the long post, but this post just worked a nerve on my spirit on how many women were just telling this woman how trifling her man was and what underlying motives he must have. Folk, yeah, he was tripping, but just with the way that he delivered it…not necessarily with the content of his delivery.

    Ok…Im done.

  3. Nia

    I just want to comment on the statement:

    Once they get to a point where he can like her natural hair, then she is making progress.

    I think its really important to show men natural hairstyles that they can like. Everyman might not like a TWA or Bantu knots, but maybe they will like a bantu knot out or an afro puff. I think if you can both agree on natural hairstyles that you both like then that is really progress.

    Anyway, I linked to this article and a few others about this topic on my blog, just click on my name.

  4. Tamblyn Jones

    Will he always threaten to leave if she does something he does not like? It is her hair and I do not understand why people feel they have the right to tell me how to do my hair. If I was her then I would take a long hard look at my marriage because there are many problems. Seriously why would you threaten to leave your pregnant wife because you did not like your hairstyle? It is not his hair.

  5. BlueCornMoon

    This whole discussion makes me mad. Any man who’s that superficial is not worth a second of my time !! Before I retired this year I had to deal with this issue over the years with ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BLACK BOYS ridiculing black girls’ hair when they wore afros, extensions, weaves, braids, etc. WHEN THEY HAD THE SAME KIND OF HAIR ON THEIR OWN HEADS !!! Sometimes the girls would cry or be miserable with hurt feelings.I read them the riot act over this & told the girls IN FRONT OF THE BOYS, that these boys hated their own hair & therefore hated part of themselves & that anyone who hates themselves cannot be depended on to really like anyone else. I told the girls that their hair is beautiful the way God made it ( Yes, I said it!!),nothing is wrong with it & that they had a right to wear it any way they wanted & that any boy or man that disrespected them over their natural hair was not worth bothering with! All this hateration against the girls goes right along with the b***h & hoe rap music they listen to. We need to get our self respect & old culture back & drop this nonsense.

  6. Miss E

    ‘Some people think that the physical things define what’s within… I’ve been there before and that life’s a bore, so full of the superficial’… If my man thinks my nappy hair isn’t beautiful, deuces… Single until married…


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