For Better or For Natural


by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics.blogspot.com


Dear CC:


My natural hair (not pictured) is extremely thin but healthy, however, I have worn a wig for many years. I have recently been exposed to your blog, among many others, all celebrating natural hair. I had no idea this world existed, but I am glad I know now. I am ready to take the wig off and wear my own hair with the help of a few styling ideas from friends. There’s only one problem, and his name is Mister. I met my Nigerian husband seven years ago at a gathering at a mutual friend’s home. I have worn my wig throughout my entire marriage and my husband has never really seen me without it except for at bedtime. I know what you’re thinking, a man from the Mother land prefers fake hair? Well yes, exactly. Clearly he has adopted the Western idea of beauty and I never really thought about it until now. He loves my wig, which is just a basic black wig with large sized curls, the kind achieved through a roller set. He is not at all pleased with my decision to ditch the wig. He even made a few negative remarks about the appearance of my hair without the wig. I want my husband to be satisfied with the way I look and be attracted to me, however, I am ready for a change.

My Response:

First of all, welcome to the world of Natural Hair Media! It is amazing how many resources are out there dedicated to the topic. Every day it seems there is another blog unturned. Second, your dilemma is not at all uncommon. I have witnessed many women concerned about changing their hair, natural or otherwise, and whether or not their spouse/significant other will “approve”. I’ve been there myself. You love your man and you want him to find you physically attractive. I am not going to give you the “it’s your hair, not his” speech that can be heard in any circle of women. Instead, I am going to offer a few suggestions on how to ease your guy into your new look.

1. Show him natural hair is sexy too!
Men are attracted to confident women and if you wear your mane with confidence, he can’t help but be attracted to you. The positive energy you put out there will reach him and hopefully be reciprocated. This could also be a time to introduce some role play into your lives. Explain to him that it will be like dating a different woman.

2. The Touch Factor

Touch is sensual and intimate. Encourage him to touch and feel your soft coils and he may start to view the whole idea differently.

3. Share with him what you’ve learned

Sometimes people reject things they don’t understand. Don’t bog him down with the details because he could probably care less about the a b c’s of trichology. Tell him your reasons for wanting to proudly display your natural tresses. Once he sees you in your fresh, cute styles, he will soon forget about that wig. Eventually his response will be “if you like it, I love it”.

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.


Can you relate? Have any advice?
Share below!

39 Weigh in!:
Casimiransmom said...

I feel ya! I am Nigerian so I understand. My mom, aunt and cousins are not fans of my hair. Lucky for me that my husband, who is american is. I always tell the story of when we were dating in college and he came to my room when I was taking out my braids, and saw all the truth of what lies beneath. He tells me to this day that he knew then that he could be with me forever because I was comfortable in who I was at that moment. So my only advice is to be comfortable in who you are and to talk to him about why you want to stop wearing the wigs and just continue to communicate. Hair doesn't define you and communication is the key. Be blessed sister!

Anonymous said...

Great advice Casmiarnsmom and Tammy!

Anonymous said...

it seems to me the ladies who have men who have problems with their hair have problems with their hair themselves. maybe its a case of attracting what u put out. if u act like ur hair that u are born with isnt good enough to be seen by the world, not even ur husband, then can u blame him if he feels the same way. this is not my dilemma and i really dont know what to tell females in this predicament. maybe this is what ppl mean when they say someone cant truly love u till u love urself, all of urself. u already married doh so all i can say is i wish u the best and lets hope he loves u enough to grow with u. my advice would be to work on ur own insecurities about ur hair. if u love ur hair, really love it and embrace it and grow confident in it, it shines through and that is attractive. when u believe u hot, he will too lol

Pecancurls said...

I agree with Casmiarnsmom, start off by telling him why you'd like to wear your natural hair. For me, my hubs understood that I needed to lose weight and trying to maintain my permed hair while vigorously exercising was not working. Keep the lines of communication open. Find out why he does not like natural hair. Maybe he has some misconceptions that you can address. Make it a gradual thing. Ditch the wig for a little bit on the weekends or for 1/2 day, etc. He has been seeing you for all these years with the wig so you'll probably have to ease him into the "new you." Show him pictures of cute styles and get his opinion of what he thinks might look good on you ----that way he feels like he has some input. All the best to you on your journey.

Anonymous said...

Make sure that your natural hair is well groomed, well taken care of and always looks presentable and even inviting (to your hubby, of course).
I'm not saying you are like this, but I have seen some naturals (just like relaxed ladies) whose hair looks a HOT MESS. If anyone says anything negative, they think it is because they are natural rather than because their hair looks dry with broken ends, not styled properly, heavily oiled down, etc. In addition, be careful with how products can change your skin. I have also seen many natural with horrible skin from all the oils being used on the hair. Not an attractive look to anyone's eye- esp. a hubby who is naturally gonna be all up in the grill. Lol!

Best of luck with bringing hubby into the light --- not trying to change him, but to help expand his idea of what is and can be beautiful. Hopefully, he can grow his vision and accept a broader definition of it. Hang tight!

naturallady9 said...

i can!im 23 years old and getting ready to graduate from college. my granndfather said he wasnt coming because im natural and my hair isnt down my back like 'it should be.' it does hurt but I say continue to be confidant and youll be ok.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why these men are upset. These women showed them what they wanted to see from the beginning and now they want to change it. These women didn't attract real unconditional (love me for me) love. They didn't present their real selves and now they want to but it's a no go to the men. That's why I NEVER understood getting all dolled up for a first date, fake eye lashes, push up bra (for those who needed it), tons of make up, and yes, tons of LONG WEAVE. It'a false advertisement if you look at it from the man's perspective. If as a man he like a,b,c & d in a women and he meets one is has all of that then he's pleased but then he realizes so much of the stuff he was attracted to was fake. Of course they are upset. Women are selling them a bill of goods. What I will say is that women have to start being real with themselves. That doesn't mean you can't wear the above mentioned body enhancing items. It means it should be the majority of the time. It means it should be an every now and then treat. Also, progression and growth is necessary in life. Some people do this a lot faster than others. Especially, for men it may take them a little while to truly understand why women go through physically and the unrealistic beauty standards forced on non white women in a white dominated society. In that case educate him. Watch documentaries, read books, articles, and yes bring him to blogs so he can find out what's really going on.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 11:55 am makes a good point. Wearing the wig most of the time probably gave the impression that she was not comfortable with her own hair. It's no surprise that her husband also ended up feeling the same way. He has also been exposed to the "straight hair is better myth" as well so that probably played a role.

But there's no point beating yourself up about it. Let him know this is a period of exploration for you. Invite him to join you on the journey. He does not have to get immersed in the nitty gritty details but you can show him videos and pictures of styles you want to try and ask for his opinion. Don't despair, he will come around eventually.

Lela7 said...

I am african, (well part), so I'm going to lay it down for how it is for africans.

In places like Nigeria, Ghana, the women never wear there hair natural for long. As soon as they become women, its all weaves and relaxers. Contrary to what most americans think - a lot of africans are not great with natural hair and treat their natural hair very badly. As a result of poor technique, crap products to much relaxers, they have come to see natural hair as ugly, because the end result of how they do their hair is ugly.

If you mistreat african hair, it looks horrendous and doesn't grow. They don't know good techniques at all, so for them natural hair is tough, hard to manage and hideous. They haven't seen it any other way, so when you say you want to go natural, that is what your husband has in mind.


He's not thinking pretty, natural, lovely hair because HE HAS NEVER SEEN PRETTY NATURAL LOVELY HAIR! Trust me I used to be like this!


In order to change his mind expose his to natural hair vids like natural chica or the wet twist out vid for miss jessies (that helped me become a natural). Expose him to natural hair done right and he hopefully should change his mind. All this "he doesn't love you enough" is stupid.

Anonymous said...

Whle I understand why men can be upset about a woman changing her look up from when they met, I think there's a difference between changing your look up in a casual relationship and changing it up after being married. When you marry someone part of the vows you take acknowledge that things about that person (even more important things like health!) may change. So if a wife chooses to change up her hair, I personally don't think her husband should have much to say. I dunno, I feel like sometimes we woman accept this kind of shallowness from men when if the tables were turned (eg. man gained weight) we women would expect the wife to stand by her man. I guess my point is that people aren't static, and if a spouse can't accept that and roll with it, it's unfair (IMO).

I think the OP should ignore her husbands comments and focus on becoming more confident in herself. I'm not saying she should talk back or argue, just don't engage in his negativity. If he comes at her with tactful and honest concerns, then I think she can try to open him up to the beauty of natural hair. Until he's ready to be respectful I don't think she should "reward" his behavior by responding to it. Just my two cents.

~H

Anonymous said...

This must be the theme of the week! Thank God it's Friday!

Nashira said...

I think Lela7 is right on point. I spent 2 months in Botswana this summer for an internship and people would CONSTANTLY ask if my hair was real, as well as feel up my scalp for tracks to see for themselves. It was an interesting situation because during hair conversations here I often get asked if I'm mixed, while many Batswana thought that I too was Motswana. So when they saw the braid outs and bantu knot outs they didn't think, "Oh, she must be part non-black and that's why her hair looks like that". No, they fully, and correctly, counted me as black but just couldn't believe that the hair they saw actually grew from my own head. Most of the women there had either unkempt natural hair (that was probably on its way to get weaved or braided), weave, braids, dreads or a jacked up relaxer. Most of the dreads were nice though... But during my entire time I only counted 2, yes TWO, good relaxed heads. Thank goodness I'm transitioning (11 months strong yay!) because I'm trying to return after I graduate undergrad in May to do research for a year, and if I needed to get a touch-up there... Lord I don't know what I would do

Lela7 said...

@ Nashira: I get the 'r u mixed?' from africans or i have some special caribbean gene from my mum which gives a good type of 'bad' hair if you know what I mean. A lot because they can't believe kinky type 4 can grow and look nice. I get a lot of "my hair can't do that," when my hair is exactly the same as them.

People keep saying this woman's husbands doesn't love her but in his mind, she has basically said I want to wear my hair ugly now . This is what he hears when he hears natural hair. There are of course some men who will think natural hair always looks horrible regardless of how nice he does it - e.g. think autumn's hair, which is beautiful. She has to hope he isn't one of them.

star said...

It may sound weird, but this is exactly why I don't bother with men who are attracted to me when I'm wearing a wig! I sometimes wear wigs and if a guy approaches me while I am , I don't give him the time of day. That's because 95% of the time I'm wearing my natural hair out. I like for a guy to know what you see is what you get. He meets me in my wig then we meet up for a date & sees my natural hair, I don't want him to be surprised. What kills me about men is that they're always yelling I want a "REAL" woman or a "NATURAL BEAUTIFUL" woman, but yet they want her hair long,flowing & straight. Bottom line is do you & be you , your husband shouldn't love you for your hair, but for you as a person. No woman married or not should have to change or defy herself for NO MAN no matter what because love is supposed to be unconditional!

Anonymous said...

I spent two months in Africa several yrs ago and did notice the overabundance of damaged hair from relaxers and bad weaves. I saw VERY few adults with natural hair.I was totally disappointed in the exaggerated attempts to adhere to an unrealistic European beauty standard (even moreso than anything I have seen in the U.S.- and that is saying a mouthful).
This is A F R IC A afterall. If the folk in Africa are this brainwashed, I thought, what hope is there for the rest of us. Lol!
I mean,afterall, the unmistakeable majority of people there are black with hair that grows out of their heads in a kinky, curly manner. I am amazed that even they have these issues- and seemingly to a greater degree. I just do not get it. SMH

yumpopstar said...

I have to also agree with what the ladies here from Africa or have visited Africa have said. I am half Ghanaian and have been to Ghana over the years. Since first going to Ghana 17 years ago, I've seen more and more people in the city with weaves. In contrast,you do see a few women who might be using methods to stretch their natural or partially natural hair. However, people do have different attitudes toward beauty and there is less knowledge about taking care of beautiful natural African hair in its unprocessed state. I think its cool that as women with hair like Nashira's continue to travel, people on the continent will start to see firsthand alternatives to the relaxed hair beauty standards.

Anonymous said...

Show him youtube videos of what your natural hair can look like with proper care and maintenance.
Show him how beautiful natural hair can be.

Contender2dthrone said...

Oh wow, another one! Things like this make me annoyed because I just can't understand why a spouse would be so mad about his wife changing her hair. I am Nigerian, well according to Nigerians I am half Nigerian since my mom is African American (side eye). However, I have had people tell me my whole life that my hair is good hair since I am mixed and that real Nigerian's hair can never be like mine. So yes I agree with Lela7. All the time I lived in Nigeria, this is what I saw. Nigerians are not exposed to people who can do natural hair or take care of it to the point where it looks good or grows and length is retained. At one point, my hair was to my shoulders and they were telling me I had long hair 0_0 Anyway, I think the advice Lela7 gave was on point because that is what I did for my husband and it worked. Mind you, my hubby met me with my natural hair out, we got married then proceeded to tell me that he liked my hair in braids. Well, since I can't do braids all the time, I had to find a way to make natural hair sexy and neat for him to like. We may all say that this is our natural hair and wonder what his input has to do with OUR hair but he has a right to express his opinion and just like the other article with Autumn, even though the way he chose to express himself was not at all good, we need to be the best we can be for ourselves first and our spouses. There is no way my hubby would sport a mohawk and I wouldn't say anything or express to him my distaste for that haircut. So, yes we are our own beings but if you are married, don't let something so trivial as hair ruin your joy. There are many other things you and your hubby can disagree or fight over, hair shouldn't be one of them. So girl, get to teaching (I think mostly what women do in marriage anyway), show him and expose him to the beauty of natural hair. Start by taking good care of your hair and remember, the way you deliver yourself or opinions to a man, especially a Nigerian man helps determine how he will accept it. Nigerian men were raised to be men with huge egos who love respect, treat him that way while being yourself. It is not impossible!

Anonymous said...

I'm over this topic. We get it. Some men love natural hair others don't. I'm not married (though I plan to be someday) but y'all don't make it sound too enticing with your seemingly unending need to bend to a spouses will despite your own desires. Again, I must be a lonely, sad spinster of a 26 year old to be so jaded. But if wanting someone to love me 100%, (supposed) flaws and all, is so far fetched then I have a lonely future ahead of me.

We seem to keep coming to the conclusions, ladies. Can future guest bloggers or inquirers just refer to the comment sections of similar posts?

Anonymous said...

Africans don't know how to do or feel comfortable with natural hair?!!? WTH!?

If this is the case, the black psyche and self-esteem is in international trouble. I don't EVER want to hear that Africans ( or any other black in the diaspora, for that matter) has greater self-worth, higher self-esteem and less tolerance for racism than black Americans. I have heard this statement being thrown around quite a bit by blacks of the diaspora about black Americans- that we have less pride and confidence about being our natural selves (skin color and hair).

If you grew up on a predominantly black country and your culture has allowed itself to be so deeply affected by a minority culture's influences, well that is totally pathetic. This issue doesn't just stop with hair. When I was in Africa, I saw women buying high powered bleaching agents which can be destructive to the skin (so much so that those same particular products are banned in the U.S.) so that they could lighten their skin tone.

Makes we want to scream because I cannot understand for the life of me how the minds of AFRICANS who live in AFRICA could have gotten so twisted. Someone please explain it to me with RATIONAL thinking.

Just Rachy said...

I have never understood women who are in relationships for so long and have never shown their man their real hair...it doesn't make sense to me!!

www.youtube.com/UKnaturals

Anonymous said...

ITA with Anons 1:29 and 3:52--

all this 'how can i make my husband love my nappy hair' is nuts. I don't understand hating your hair so much you keep a wig on in your house until you go to bed, it's good she finally is able to free herself in that regard. And all the tips & tricks about how to ease your man into liking your new look--is anyone giving these men pointers on how to be respectful to their wives? I dated a guy who had a few of those bumps from ingrown hairs Black men often get (I'm not saying that's the same as natural hair-just humor me ya'll)--i NEVER said to him how nasty they looked to me. I went and found products for him to try until we found one that worked, and i didn't have to look at those things anymore. It was a win-win, if I just insulted him nothing would have been done and his feelings would be hurt. I'm not getting why as women, we always have to adjust when we are disrespected even by the men in our lives, and double when we are doing something as positive as wearing the hair we are born with.

And that other thread about women dolling themselves up, getting their hair done, etc. so they look great for photos right after giving birth--- jeez louise I'm grateful to be a feminist.

Anonymous said...

Meant to add, the young lady in the photo above has gorgeous,thick glossy kinky African coils. Maybe if these women learn to love their hair, nurture it and then show their husbands photos of women with hair textures similiar to theirs they will stop thinking all straight hair (her man loves a wig?!!!) is superior.

My3BoyZ said...

You ladies are bringing up great cooments about self-confidence. I feel sorry when I read posts like these of very unsupportive men. My husband has said he admires me for wearing my hair natural (for my confidence). I'm making sure that my 3 sons feel the same way and appreciate and love a Black woman's true beauty.

K said...

@ Anon 5:32 pm.

I am African, grew up there and lived there, and it's true, it might not seem "rational" that Africans do not like their natural hair. But, we have to understand that even though we live in Africa and are surrounded by Black people around us and there is no room for us to feel racism or anything like that, we are still all exposed to this beauty ideal that long and relaxed hair is better, based on the white model (=ideal). We went through colonization and we are still going through neo-colonialism. We are exposed to the same movies, videos, power relationships in the world etc. "Being White" and all that it encompasses is considered "better" (economic reasons too). We didn't got our minds "twisted", this issue is deeper that we may think and I do not think being Africans should mean that you SHOULD automatically embrace your natural hair. It's an issue of being Black, it's history and it's world dynamic.
Like Lela7 said, little is known about appropriate care of natural hair. So, natural hair = hard, difficult to deal with and basically "not wanted", in our world and mind. I BCed 3 years ago when I moved here, and I am trying to make people understand that natural hair can be nice and manageable, because we all have bad memories of when we were young with natural hair. It's a process, and we'll eventually get there.

Also, I have to say growing up we are not at all attached to our hair. Most schools require that girls cut their hair through middle school and sometimes high school. I would say my friends consider their hair as their place for art, as make-up or clothes. They just like playing with their hair and changing hair styles. Most do ABSOLUTELY not associate hair with pride of being black or African. At the end of day, it's just hair!

Debbie said...

"It may sound weird, but this is exactly why I don't bother with men who are attracted to me when I'm wearing a wig!"

same here!

Anonymous said...

Yes that's right, AFRICANS don't know what to do with natural hair, except maybe braiding it. Everyone is expected to relax their hair when they get to a certain age, as in womanhood. My mother was horrified when I cut off my hair. Every one in the city where we lived and village in Nigeria called me telling me to get my hair back. Yes even people in her friends' village were calling me (ok maybe not). They kept telling me that women are supposed to have hair, I kept my hair short for years. My advice is to be confident and trust me he'll come around. I should know, one of my best friends made fun of me for having natural hair and said to me 'I don't understand how a grown woman won't perm her hair.' Well the joke's on her cause she's natural now, and yes she did he big chop and all.

Angela said...

Another article about how somebody's man hates their natural hair... Can we please change the subject? I come to this blog for advice and positive energy. I want a break from thinking/ reading/ crying/discussing how another person dislikes our natural hair.

Anonymous said...

To K and Anon 10:58pm

Thank you both for entertaining my heartfelt question about self-confidence, attitudes about natural hair care and beauty image in Africans.

I guess I am totally dumbfounded at the idea that colonialism was able to simply obliterate (in totality) the education of and appreciation for natural hair care (not to mention an AFRICAN beauty standard) . I mean, after all, Africans existed for CENTURIES before any white European stepped onto the African continent and influenced beauty image and culture. WHAT DID AFRICANS DO BEFORE THAT? WHAT DID THEY FIND BEAUTIFUL??? Does anyone even know?

Now, for my very loaded question:
How, given this issue and its dilemma, does any black African (or any other black living in a predominantly black country) look down on black Americans with the feeling that we lack self-confidence, have no self-worth (or at least, one that is less than other blacks in the world), do not and aren't willing to fight racially destructive ideas which negatively affect us??? _ Especially when we seem to be the ones driving the resurgence of an inclusive beauty standard. . . given our inherent disadvantages in this regard (i.e. not growing up in a predominantly black country).
I have seen, experienced and heard from so many non-American blacks that American blacks are viewed this way by non-American blacks.

Historically, the European beauty standard and culture, for that matter, was literally forced on American blacks, after they were sold into slavery, sent to the Americas and threatened with death if they did not adhere.. How is it possible that the culture, appreciation and education of black hair care be obliterated from Africa and Africans and totally replaced with a European standard?
Are we (black people as a whole, Africans in particular)) THAT ( fill in the blank with something that could possibly describe this tragic reality here)????

*shakes head, wipes tears from eyes, fluffs deeply loved fro and sits waiting for an answer*

Anonymous said...

Wow!

It's not about making hair a political statement OR associating hair with black pride, but simply knowing how to care for hair in its natural state- basic hygiene and maintenance.
How is it possible that Africans are equally as clueless or maybe even have less of a clue than others. Is there NO history of hair care BEFORE Europeans hit the scene?? Not at all?? i guess they just cut it off, kept a TWA until the Europeans showed up and self-hate kicked in?? Lol!

Sophie said...

I'm going to chime in for the Africans too! Both of my parents are from Ghana actually, and it's true that it is quite the myth that everyone in Africa is rocking their natural hair and knowing how to care for it. I actually don't have any relatives here or abroad who wear their hair natural except my mom, who only stopped relaxing after she came to the U.S. I'm with people who say that showing him that your type of hair can be healthy too will help win him over.

And as a response to people who ask where the better hair care from before slavery/colonialism went: there are many tribes that braid their hair, and in that way protected and preserved it. Wearing it loose doesn't seem like it was something people did. When people were enslaved, they didn't want to take care of their hair because they saw it as one of the many things that was wrong with them. They didn't teach their daughters/sons to take pride in their hair because it wasn't seen as something to be proud of. And since it was mainly oral tradition many of the better hair practices were lost in the times when black people were trying to figure out how to straighten their hair. There are some tribes that maintain very unique hair styles even today, and I think they're a hint at what things were like before colonial influence.

Courtney said...

This is going to be my first and last comment about this whole "husband can't accept/doesn't like/strongly objects to wife's natural hair." I don't buy any excuses for the husband to act a fool over his wife's hair. It's especially appalling to see the number of women co-signing "he's your husband, not your boyfriend so you need to take his feelings into consideration/wear your hair straight to please him once in awhile/etc."

If you MARRY someone, it should be because you LOVE WHO THEY ARE. Wearing your hair NATURALLY is wearing your hair AS IT IS. I don't care if you were weaved up 24/7 during every second of every minute this man has ever seen you - despite taking a vow to marriage (which many people believe means you should be willing to compromise yourself to keep him happy), the HUSBAND has ALSO TAKEN A VOW TO LOVE YOU FOR YOU. That includes your hair!! If you are wearing YOUR hair is it is genetically made, there is NO excuse for negativity and pressure from your husband. None, nada, zip. No risking damage to your hair to wear it straight for "special occasions." He should be giving you NOTHING but support. He has promised in front of GOD to ACCEPT YOU AS YOU ARE. Wearing your hair as it grows out of your head is being WHO YOU ARE. If HE is not able to accept this and support you, then HE is not living up to HIS vows.

LovelyB said...

I wish everyone would stop trying to turn their hair into a political statement. Yes, you can use your hair to make a statement but it doesn't HAVE to be that way.

He as her husband has every right to express to her how he feels. As she does him. I agree with what Contender2dthrone (Oct 28th) said. The wife is the one who has suddenly switched it up on him. He didn't marry her for her hair. He's not saying relax your hair or I'll divorce you. No he's simply saying I'm used to you looking one way and how you wear your hair now isn't as attractive to me. so she should try to find more styles he finds attractive. Just as if he was gaining weight I'm sure she'd say something to him. Or if she didn't like his new style of dressing etc.

I know my boyfriend (totally different from husband/wife I know) completely prefers my hair straight. He doesn't hate natural hair and want me to get a relaxer he simply prefers straight styles or if it is curly wants it to hang longer. So I wear my hair straight (granted I really like that style as well) sometimes and show him how beautiful my hair is curly (generally in a twist-out) as well. As he says he doesn't think curly hair is ugly and if I shaved my head I would still be beautiful to him.

Everyone has their preferences is all I'm saying. Hair is such a small thing that seriously makes a difference in your overall appearance. and I think everyone should wear their hair in a style that flatters them.

Lela7 said...

I thought I should step in since many africans do not seeem to understand how and why africans dislike natural hair.

They were colonised as well - americans are acting as if they were the only ones affected. Also, they are still subject to the dominance of western media like everyone else. Also, there consistently bad hair practices reinforces the idea that afro hair is ugly.


Here in Europe (where I live), most naturals are caribbean black not african black. You would expect them to be more resistant, (because of the slavery) but generally speaking they more accepting thn africans. Most type 4 naturals are caribbean descent not african, and they also experienced more direct colonisation. But overall there understanding of hair is a little better than africans (don't know why).

RisesPhoenix said...

I don't know much anout africa and hair but I've lived in the Caribbean my entire life have to put in my two cents. I've lived in 3 Caribbean countries and visited at least 10 of them and in general there is really no stigma against wearing natural hair. Although ppl have personal preferences, it is generally a perfectly acceptable style option and you will not be perceived as less professional or "less than" for having natural hair.
I live in Jamaica right now and here, natural hair is very common, as many as 1 in 3 women in some areas. Many persons wear natural hair for religious reasons (Rastafarians and certain strict Christians) and most persons with type 3 hair will remain natural. There are also many people with dreadlocks who are not Rastafarians, and many poorer persons who will keep natural for financial reasons.
However, there is one major bias about natural hair - type 3s will usually wear wash and go or blown out styles, but type 4s are strongly expected to have very groomed or "done" styles. Twists, twa's, cornrows, and braids are acceptable, and even very curly/defined wash and goes. But choose to wear a chunky twist-out or frizzier wng an you are asking for trouble. Random persons on the street will ask you when you're getting your hair done, and despite a business suit you'll elicit questions about your Rastafarianism. And don't even think about going to work that way, no matter how neat and pretty it might be. And long hair, like everywhere, is universally preferred.
And note, as acceptable as natural hair is, the vast majority of women still wear relaxers, weaves and wigs. Most times those styles garner far more positive attention.

nappy headed black girl said...

I don't know why people think that Africans adore natural hair. They are just as affected by common stereotypical beauty ideals as we Americans are.

Uche said...

I guess I am the exception. I am Nigerian, with two Nigerian parents and when I mentioned I was going natural, I got jokes and some side eye, but no one tried to convince me not to. After my big chop, everyone that has seen my hair loves it and now wants to go natural. Please, lets us stop making generalizations about all Africans (?!?!). There are many successful and powerful African women with their natural hair - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, to name a few.

There are a lot more Nigerian women (for example) with natural hair than American women. When did braids and cornrows stop being considered natural? Are we saying all those naturals that PS 24/7 don't like their hair?

Casimiransmom said...

OK I needed to come back and comment. Africans were colonized, a lot of them still very much are, since they are still under a British educational system and many of the major companies are European. BUT, we are talking a lot about the westernized areas of these countries, which I guess is what most people see when they come to visit and work, ect. There are HUGE populations of people in villages, who take care of their hair and don't wear extensions and weaves. When I visit the village, where my mom was born, it is completely different than the city. Also, natural hair does require a special care, but I also don't think it is as big a process as we like to make it out to be, what did they do in the 70s when everyone was rocking a fro? There weren't nearly as many products on the market. Sometimes we forget that simplicity works, and for many areas in Africa they are simply just wearing their hair. Maybe not styling it every five minutes, but just wearing it.

Anonymous said...

I total agree with number two. My husband loves to put his hands in my hair. Every chance he gets his fingers are in there. :-)

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