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Curly Nikki

Food For Thought…First Impressions

By January 27th, 202145 Comments

Ishea writes:

Recently I was debating whether or not to straighten my 2 month transitioning hair for a date or go with my new obsession – – the twist out. When speaking with a guy friend he told me that “straight hair is the ish”, and without straight hair, I “probably wouldn’t find a man”. Since I just started transitioning this led me to debate whether straight hair was still the preferred “go to” for a date or when meeting someone for the first time. I’m sure other natural or newly natural women have experienced this debate. This definitely made me go hhmmmmm……

CurlyNikki writes:

Do you straighten for special occasions, for a first date, or when meeting someone for the first time?

I did for about 2 years into my natural journey. Until one day I asked my self, ‘Self, why the hell is my hair good enough to wear everyday, but not good enough for _______ (e.g. church, weddings, banquets, work events). It was as is if I didn’t think it was ‘dressy’ enough. Go figure.

Weigh in ladies!


  • LambHair says:

    One thing to consider is that there are more men in this world than black men. I find that men of other nationalities like the beauty of natural hair vs. black men who go for creamy cracked hair….even if that means you risk unhealthy breaking hair. Ladies weigh it all in, don't go straight haired for a man because you/he thinks it is acceptable. Someone hit the nail on the head when they said it was CONFIDENCE. I was at a film awards ceremony and while some non-black woman was the star of a movie and men wowed because she showed a body part, I ended up being the life that the guys wanted to talk to because of my confidence and they ALL complimented me on my wash and go curly fro! It was freeing.

    There is a world full of men out there (non-black) who LOVE natural hair and don't weigh your decisions on any man. Don't let a small population of men (black) decide you and your natural ASSETS yes—-ASSETS are undesirable, because quite frankly, by the horses mouth, Other men LOVE it.

    Enjoy Life Ladies!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I BC'd on June 1st (I'm a teacher and that was the last day of school and I wanted to kick my summer off right.) I have not straightened it since my hair dresser cut it that day and I love it. I have been tempted to straighten but Have just been wearing it natural. I really like it the way it is. (I am a 3b with corkscrew, drinking straw diameter curls) I love them and as far as being professional – all the people I teach with love it like this.(I am one of only 3 blacks at my school). Its different. My sisters have been natural for a while, and now I know why. I BCd because I a medical reason. I'd love to share my story and pics with your readers some time. love your site – its been a blessing! CoryGP

  • Anonymous says:

    Girl bye! If this is your "new obsession" as you put it, you won't be able to contain yourself much longer after you get him or the next guy. Show them who you are at the beginning, if he doesn't want to continue seeing you b/c of your hair he wasn't worth your time anyway.

    Keeping It Movin- signing off

  • Wonder Curl says:

    I worked in marketing for an IT company where I would attend trade shows and Conferences. Most of the time I would be the only black woman in attendance at these events which targeted C-level and VPs. My hair would usually end up being a topic of envy. One of my white counterparts told me how I made her straight blonde hair appear boring. I believe that as more women make the decision to wear their hair without a relaxer the less 'taboo' it will become.

  • NappySince10/01/08 says:

    btw, i dont plan to st8n anytime soon so ppl better get used to these curls and naps or get gone! lol

  • NappySince10/01/08 says:

    One thing real quick: the very worst thing that I did during most of my transition was continue to use excessive heat.

    Let your confidence and personality speak for itself. If in the long run (even if you all's dating is short term and just for fun) he cannot get with or atleast respect this transition of full self acceptance and BEAUTY then he does not deserve you.

    There is noting more sexy on a man or woman, than confidence. Transitioning is the hardest part and I congratulate you girl. At the end of the day, it is your decision of what you want to do with it b/c it is YOUR hair! I wish you the best of luck. Stay strong and don't let ppl get in your ear, especially when you know what is best for you. Again, good luck!

  • curlychronicles says:

    Why does it seem like so many black women have these male black friends who don't accept their hair? I couldn't have friends like's counteractive! UGH!

    Anywho, you know the answer before I even type no. I do what I want 🙂

  • Shayla Simmons says:

    I can completely relate to this. I'm currently on the job hunt and I feel like I made big progress today. On my first few interviews I went with my hair slicked back with a phony pony bun. But today… I rocked my curls in a low pony puff. I still went with "small hair"… but I think it was a big step and a big confidence booster to wear my hair my wavy, kinky, curly hair on an interview.

  • caribbeanchic says:

    hmmmm, I had to meet a potential client last weekend and i was fearful and about my hair and what he thought. I managed to put those thoughts away though and i was fine.

  • Anonymous says:

    These are some interesting posts and I can relate to the concerns of curly hair for special occasions. However, one occasion that concerns me the most is a job interview in "Corporate America"! What are your thoughts?…. I hear the sisters commenting about accepting yourself, blah blah blah…What happens when you enter a room with people who are not accustomed to this look. We all do not have the same type of curly hair. One curl pattern maybe viewed as nice and another as inappropriate.

  • Wonder Curl says:

    They still make men like that? I can't remember the last time I came across a man who didn't instantly fall in love with my hair.

  • Kasey says:

    Maybe the guys I know are just tired of weaves or something because they loooove my natural hair!My boyfriend prefers that i dont straighten! I went natural completely by accident and I love it, my signature style is a bantu knot out and im pretty much convinced that Ive perfected it and have even named it "wilona" after the character on Good Times. lol! I do straighten occasionally but that is because I enjoy wearing my hair straight sometimes, not becaause I feel pressured to do so.

  • Anonymous says:

    I hate the widespread train of thought that you "need" to straighten your hair for special occasions.

    This applies to people who aren't transitioning, as well. I've worn my hair curly for my whole life and have made it pretty clear that I love my curls, yet whenever a special occasion or event is coming up, I always get at least a couple people asking me if I'm going to straighten my hair….um, no? Why would I, especially because I wear my hair curly on a regular basis!

  • LBell says:

    Agreeing with the consensus: I haven't straightened for ANY occasion, special or otherwise, since before I locked in 2003. I've been back to loose hair for just over two years and even though it's currently longer than it's ever been in my LIFE, I'm still not interested in straightening it. I like to think that a man wouldn't waste his time with someone like me if what he really wants is straight hair.

    What REALLY astounds me is when I hear about women who wear weave 24-7 and have NEVER shown their SOs their real hair. I feel bad for those women because what happens if something bad happens to the weave? (I've never worn weave in my life and I'm not around women who wear weave so I don't know the terminology.) I can't even imagine the kind of stress hiding your hair to that extent must cause.

  • Anonymous says:

    I also want to put in another comment, my fiance is white and I want to let natural black women out there who may be going on a date with someone outside their race to know that you should not feel like you need to straighten your hair. I say this because I have had more than a few people ask me what my man thinks of my hair being natural. We meet after my BC in 2005 and he has seen my hair straightened out and he does not like it. He loves my huge Afro! He in general prefers black women who wear their hair natural anyway.

    So, don't feel the need to straighten your hair ladies! There are plenty of men out there that will love you just the way nature made you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow in the past I would have straighten my hair in a heartbeat when going out or on a special occasion, but for this ENTIRE summer I wore my natural hair~how good it felt not worrying about sweating it out or the wind or ANYTHING!

  • Anonymous says:

    My mom always says, "Start out like you intend to end." It is best to be yourself first…doing something just to please someone else only makes you stressed and unhappy (my opinion). Your date asked YOU out. Your hair(whether it is short,long, weave, straight, or natural)should not be a prerequisite as to whether or not you'll "find" somebody. In my opinion, the person who told you that is a bit shallow. Granted people have preferences but it is absurd to rule someone out because of a hairstyle. Some men loose their hair, would you not date a guy because he's bald or balding? That's ridiculous!

  • Rhapsody in PURPLE! says:

    Absolutely not.

    Im not knocking straight hair at all, but if they dont like all of me, they wont like any of me. my hair is who i am, you cant just like bits and pieces.

    I would rather go my whole life trying to find someone who loves my hair, then settle for someone who is constantly pressuring me to do something i don want to do.

    This is why i went natural twice. Trying to impress everyone but my self.

    Do what you love girl.

  • Ayomide says:

    I would wear my hair in it's curly state no matter where I go. This is sad but it helps people to get "use" to my hair being wild and free. When I wear it straight it is like an extra surprise for everyone that I know. They wow at how long my hair is when it's straight and that in a way helps them to understand how curly hair acts. I figure why not inform others of the versatilely of curly hair. I notice now the people that wouldn't say anything to me while I was curly have "secretly" gone natural themselves. The way black women's hair is falling out due to stress and other factors it makes sense to go natural- stop fighting it.

  • Ms. Harmony says:

    I'm currently having this dilemma as well. I've been transitioning for 5 months and haven't made the big announcement to my family. So as a way to break into the habit of wearing my hair curly all the time I took my first vacay to Vegas rocking my curls. This may sound trivial but this was my first step to saying "Hey world, I'm going Natural!"

  • Bella says:

    This post is so on point. Lately i've been feeling like the biggest dud when I wash and go and have been seriously contemplating going back to my blow dry/flatiron routine. I haven't yet fully embraced the curls so I'm not nearly as confident as I am with the straight hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    My ex and I met when I had my hair straightened and he didn't really like my natural hair at all but he still maintained he found me beautiful. For some reason I can't help but to think that it had something to do with his fleeting interest bc I refused to straighten it again in spite of him.
    It's tough but some guys are really programmed and conditioned to only like straight hair, these are not the guys for you. Let's raise the bar and get open minded mature men that are objective about beauty and hair.

  • Fatty Bamboo says:

    i think if u accept and love all that you are, everyone that matters will follow suit! and if they don't, EFF em!
    who are these men that don't love natural hair?? ever since i BC'ed, the boys go WILD when they see me! and the few that don't… well, hey.. i'm not for everybody! and i can't be bothered to please someone that doesn't like the natural me. boi, stop. lol

  • satin doll says:

    this is crazy….i have never had a problem with natural hair and men…when i first bc'd i had more men trying to talk to me then normal…my husband loves it when i wear my hair out and curly, he hates it when it's straight, in a bun, or in twists/braids…trust me, there are plenty of men that loooooove natural hair

  • B. Reed says:

    I too went through this same ordeal mainly because of family pressuring me to straighten my hair for job interviews, engagement photos, and my wedding. My mother ended up straighten my hair for engagement photos (and absolutely hated it) but 3 days later; I ended up going to the beauty shop and getting my hair washed back into my kinky state. Straightened hair was too much maintainance for me. It wasnt long enough for a pony tail and I was too lazy to roll my hair up at night.

    But I told myself and others that I WOULD NOT straighten my hair for my wedding. 1) My nerves would get the best of me and the first place I perspire is in my head. 2) I wanted to show people (especially my family) that I was beautiful with my natural curly, kinky fro. (AND I WAS) 3)And to prove to myself as well
    that I was beautiful with my kinky curly fro.

    Needless to say I rocked a curly fro and I was FAB doing so.

    So case and point: I think you should rock your natural hair. That's what you rock anyway and if he ain't with it…then push on. What your male friend is talking about is foolishness. There are plenty of men that like us kinky, curly and all (that includes me and Curly Nikki) 🙂

  • Renise B says:

    I did my BC 3 months ago. My hair is very short so straightening is not even remotely an option for me. I do have to say, that reading the comments has given me a bit of a confidence boost. I was at a party with a friend who wears a apl length lace-front wig EVERYDAY. She was asked to dance numerous times that night while me and my wash n go twa sat all night. My feelings were a bit hurt. I'd never had that happen. I'm used to limping to the car in my 4 inch stilletos from dancing too much! lol! But I know that just b/c those particular group of guys weren't feeling my look, doesn't mean that I'm not cute. I refuse to apply heat to these curls though and will continue to rock them with much confidence. My hair is fly!

  • Passion says:

    I use to think that straight hair was better for occasions like that but, I've decided that my hair is apart of me. I'm married and I meet my husband wearing my natural hair, but if he didn't like me because of my hair, he wouldn't be worth being with. A man who wants a lasting relationship will not care about your hair; he will be more concerned about who you are as a person. I say do it because you want to not because you think you have to.

  • Maria says:

    I recently attended a conference and found it easier to keep all my products at home and just go with straight hair. I find that my curly hair can be very unpredictable if I wear it out. As far as dating, I'm married so I can't comment on that. I am not ashamed of my natural hair, but I find myself doing styles that can at least keep my hair looking nice without any "surprises" like a mullet or one side puffier than another LOL If I am going to wear it natural and have a meeting I will either do a bun or wake up early to wear a wash and go that will look presentable (no wet clothes).

  • puff says:

    I never straighten my hair – not for work, dates or special events. (well, I did blow-dry my hair straight last week but that was only because I was getting it cornrowed :)). This is mainly due to preference – I don't really think my hair looks good straight any more, and I'm too in love with my fro. I don't think wearing my hair straight would necessary give people a "better" impression of me, and as I always get compliments when I wear my hair natural, I personally see no reason to do otherwise. As long as it looks neat and presentable (albeit a little wild), I don't see any reason to not show the "real" me when meeting someone for the first time.

    The way I see it, curly hair looks just as good as straight hair. It's just a matter of the mood you're in. But, I don't think anyone should feel pressured to wear their hair in a particular way because it will supposedly improve their chances with the opposite sex (any man that has a problem with your natural hair/curly hair is not worth it, IMO). Being yourself is what is most important, regardless of what glossy magazines may want us to believe.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have never thought about straightening my hair for a date, because I want a man who is attracted to natural hair. There is nothing worse than having a man around who wants you to be something that you are not. If you wear your hair with confidence, then you will attract men who really love the way you look! All the men I date LOVE my hair and can't keep their hands out of it!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am currently transitioning, month 5, and decided during month 2 to stop straightening my hair. Thanks to people like "Curly Nikki" sharing their hair stories, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about taking care of my hair. My hair is very thin and fine therefore I thought be in my best interest to wear rollersets, twistouts, & braidouts during my transition. I started my journey with very short bob cut to my nape in the back and jawbone on either side relaxed, which leaves very few styling options for me. No ponytails/buns and I have never worn braids before! I mostly wear rollsets (using perm rods) to work, but recently starting adding twistouts as well. My co-workers noticed the change, but after about 2 weeks everything went back to normal. Since my permed hair is still on the ends, my hair still looks "curly" and not kinky like my new growth. Part of my decision to transition without straightening my hair was also to give me a chance to mentally accept my new growth.

  • Milan says:

    We have to get rid of this mentality that our hair is "dressy" enough for whatever the occasion. I've worn my natural hair to weddings, dates, church, etc and have received nothing but compliments. Start wearing that hair out!

  • Urban Homeschoolers Of Columbus says:

    I went through the same thing…then oneday I said "If a man can not accept my hair…then he can't accept me".

  • Unknown says:

    OMG!! Are you kidding me?!? I know a hell of a lotta guys who are OBSESSED with natural hair!! Lemme tell you something, there's something very very VERY sexy-confident about rocking the natural curls … and when you feel the confidence seeping thru your sexy-flirty dress, guys will pick up on that right away.

    Rock the natural look girl, OWN IT!! You are not a political statement just becos you choose to wear your hair a certain way … like our girl India Aire says: you are NOT your hair!!

    I have def debated to straighten or not to straighten … I decided no mo heat! While I think I can understand the dilemma, I refuse to conform to what is deemed by the wider populace as 'appropriate' or 'acceptable'. Besides, styling my own hair is the most exciting thing I do after a hop outta tha shower. And, pls sistah, if ANYONE tells you you cant get a man becos of your natural hair, hit em upside the head cos that right there is a load of BULLOCKS!! Those are the type of lies society would have us believe … dont fall for it!!

    Sooo … put on those sexy stilettos, find your flirtiest dress and let your date know you are too confident to be limited by a hair-do! 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    Dag, I was just thinking about this same thing last night (different setting). I am a little over 3 months out from my relaxer and in the process of looking for a new job. I was considering doing the BC this weekend, but my second thought was that I should wait until after I get the job and while I still have enough hair to straighten. My last thought was that this thought process is truly crazy. (But does crazy make it not true(be it first date, job interview, special event, etc)? B

  • Anonymous says:

    I just had this dilemma last weekend…I had a series of dates with a new guy. I'm a month 5 transitioner, and usually rely on TnC-outs (thanks Nikki!) and buns. I have to admit weather played a factor in my decision not to straighten (it was rainy, hot and humid so a blowout wouldn't have lasted anyway!) but also I felt that if he can't accept me for who I am/am becoming it's his loss. Fri. I wore a Tnc-out, Sat. it was half pinned up with a headband and by Sun. it was bun time with a headband!! While I know my hair is in limbo right now, one day it will absolutely fabulous and he'll miss out on all my wonderful fabulousness(inside and out)!

  • Anonymous says:

    I've actually been set against straightening my hair for special occasions. To me, a style that maintains my texture can still be perfect for a special occasion. I was in a wedding a few months after BCing and I made sure to let the bride know that I wouldn't be wearing any style that involved straightening. She was fine with it and my TWA got rave reviews from weddings guests and the wedding party. 🙂 ~KF519

  • No1blkbeauty says:

    About a week after my last relaxer in November 2007, I decided to transition. My flat iron has been gathering dust ever since.

    I choose not to straighten my hair for fear of heat damage. Before my first relaxer in my senior year of high school, my daily flat-ironed hair was permanently straight in most parts and breaking off everywhere.

    Also, I love me with my big curly hair. Now, to me, straight hair is just … blah.

  • Serenity3-0 says:

    I don't really have anything to say one way or the other, but my question is if you meet someone initially with straight hair isn't that deceptive if you are wearing your hair curly/wavy/kinky on a regular basis? If they can't accept your hair the way you usually wear it then they aren't gonna accept you right?

  • Ishea says:

    It's Ishea here. Since submitting this question I came to learn that it's not about the way I'm wearing my hair, it's about the confidence I exude…and I'm proud to say that not only did I land a date (a few of them) but I'm now in a relationship with someone that loves to play in my hair. My boyfriend is Japanese and black and jokes that my twist-outs are called "the process" and enjoys watching the different "phases" of me doing my hair. The biggest compliment came when he said that he never understood black women's obsession with their hair. He thought we were all being dramatic but he's been able to see how much time/energy it takes and appreciates it. I have now been transitioning for almost 4 months and prefer wearing my hair in a twist-out. I don't know when/if I ever do a formal "big chop". I'd much prefer to just gradually trim my ends… but my goal is big hair and I'm eager to have it! Thanks Curly Nikki for choosing my question and I'm glad to say that I'm no longer insecure about my date night hair 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I was in a similar situation when I was transitioning three years ago. I met this guy while my hair was straight and he asked me out. I met up with him with my hair in a bantu knot out and yadda yadda yadda…I’ve moved onto greener pastures. The bottom line is if your hairstyle is deal breaker for him, then it’s best to find that out in the beginning. Do you today, tomorrow and forever:-)

  • ~Decidedly Imperfect~ says:

    Currently, I am going through the same dilemma. Over the next two weekends, my sister will be filled with people here for the holiday & Classic weekend. There are going to be parties all over. This is the time when you bring out the big guns so your hair game has got to be on point. For the last few days, I've been pondering if I should straighten my hair for the weekend. Reading this just made me realize that I'm going to rock my twist out with pride! I've taken on the mentality that people wil stare but it's mostly in admiration of my luscious curls!!

  • Marsha (BrownFace) says:

    Nope, I'm kinky whatever the occasion…lol. I think because I had straightened for all my life with relaxers, that I was too thru! Either accept me or not.

  • Mzbush says:

    I think that it is more difficult to get used to your curly self if you keep relying on straight styles for 'special occasions'. If you are satisfied with the way you look with a twist-out, why do you have to hide it to satisfy someone else? If that person isn't going to dig on you the way that you dig on yourself, then you aren't a good match. Be true to yourself! Later on, you can WOW him with a straight style if you choose to do so but I think you should show him your true colors first.

  • Anonymous says:

    If the person you are going on a date with is going to evaluate you based on your hair being straight vs. natural, run away and fast! I find it really sad that most newly and some old natural black women have to have this question run through their mind when meeting someone. I also wonder if the guy friend of hers applies the "straight hair is the ish" to women who are not black. It's funny that a white woman(or woman other than black) is accepted for having curly hair, but if a black woman wears her hair the way nature intended it's too much for some people to handle.

    If a person cannot accept ALL of you, they deserve NONE of you.

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