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Curly Nikki

Black Men and Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202140 Comments
The beautiful and insightful Leslie, of Naturally Leslie, will be contributing cultural pieces to CN.com weekly!Check it out, and weigh in!

Black Men and Natural Hair

So one topic that tends to come up over and over again on the blogs is related to how men view our natural hair. I’ve shared before how I never had an issue with this since all of my serious relationships happened after I had been natural for quite a while. But I know many women are very concerned with either attracting a man or keeping the one they have with natural hair. My personal opinion is that if you’re single, you’ll attract men who like natural hair. But if you’re already in a relationship, while you should always be considerate of your partner, he/she should love you no matter what, even if it takes some adjusting.


So over on
Essence.com they took it to the streets of NYC to find out what some men really think. Looking at the variety of answers, I would say this is probably a sampling that is fairly representative of most men.

A lot of guys prefer the natural but some admitted they like it better straight. One thing all pretty much agreed on is that they DON’T like a weave/glue/tracks. Well..it’s nice to see they at least agree on one thing.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“I like natural hair, yeah I do. There is something about a girl who can rock natural hair—she’s a little more edgy, a little more secure with herself.”
“Natural hair is the best. I’ll take a perm but I prefer natural. I’ve never dated anyone with a weave but if my girl now decides to get one I would still be with her.”
“I like straight hair for the most part. I just think it looks better. And I guess I became accustomed to it growing up with my mother and sister—they always wore their hair straight, so that’s all I was used to seeing. I’m not a fan of weaves. They just rub your face and it feels like basketball shorts, it doesn’t feel good.”
“I have a wife and she wears natural hair and I love it. I remember I used to date this girl and I thought it was her real hair until I found out later that it wasn’t. I don’t like all weaved and glued-in hair because then it comes out and you’re shocked. I can do braids.”

So there you have it ladies.
Head on over to check out the rest then come back to weigh in! If you’re out there dating, what have been your experiences? If you were committed when you went natural, how was your partner’s reaction? And I want the men of CurlyNikki to throw their two cents in as well…don’t stay silent on this one!!!

40 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anonymous above me: how on EARTH did you type all of that with just the first letter of every word capitalized? That's some dedication right there!

  • Anonymous says:

    Black Men Are More Confused Than Black Women When It Comes To Hating Or Loving Natural, Kinky African Hair. On one hand….Black Say They Like Natural African Hair, But They Only Seem To Like Black Women's Natural Hair When It Is Curly or Wavy and Long so That It Still Resembles Caucasion Hair. Black Men Also Complain About Fake Hair……But They LOVE The Look Of Long, Straight, Curly or Wavy Flowing Hair. Black Men Have The Strongest Sexual Attraction To The Flowing, Long Hair And Are Attracted To Black Women Who Have Hair That Looks More Caucasion….whether the hair is Natural or Not. This Is Why Beyonce' Is Considered So Beautiful To Black Men……Because She Wears Long, Blonde Wigs And Weaves. Black Women And Young Black Girls Notice How Much Black Men Love The Flowing Hair And They Try To Change Themselves According To What Black Men Like. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. Black Men Are NUTS And Need To Learn To Lead By Example Instead Of Imposing Their Confused, European – Asian -Afro-Centric Standards Of Beauty On Black Women. At The Same Time, Black Men Are Pretending To Be Concerned About A Black Woman's Natural Hair Issues, While Disrespecting Black Women In So Many Other Ways. Black Women wouldn't have issues with our natural hair if Black Men Would Stop Responding Positively To Black Women Who Are Mixed And Have Caucasion Looking Hair Naturally (like Alicia Keys) Or Black Women Like Beyonce' Who Wear Wigs and Weaves To Acheive The look of European Hair. Black Men Know Damned Well That This Is What They Are Attracted To! People also need to realize that the word NATURAL means how your hair looks when it grows out of your Scalp. Chemically Processed Hair Is Not Natural Hair and Surprisingly Locs (yes "Dred" Locs) are not Natual because No one's hair grows out of their scalp in Locs. Locs are Absolutely BEAUTIFUL…But People Don't realize that Locs, Microbraids, Twists and Box Braids Are Just A Non-Chemical Way Of Imitating The Movement And Flow Of Straight Hair. Each Loc Represents A Strand Of Straight Hair, Whereas An Afro Looks Absolutely Nothing Like European Hair. This Does Not Mean That A Black Woman Who chooses To Wear Locs is doing so with the intention of imitating straight hair. Just like a black woman who straightens her hair, doesn't automatically have a low self image when it comes to her natural hair texture. Bottom Line, No Matter How A Black Woman Wears Her Hair…She is Gorgeous! At The End Of The Day….Black Women Should Wear Their Hair HOWEVER The Hell They Please…Then Find A Man Of Any Race Who Can Actually Appreciate Her!

  • Anonymous says:

    I actually struggle with wearing my natural hair out because of fear of not being accepted. When I first BC'ed I got a lot of mixed feelings some saying WTH others saying I love it. Sometimes I absolutely love wearing my hair out other times I tuck it away in a wig. I want to find my inner confidence and wear my TWA out all the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    I personally dont understand guys who break up with a woman… for wearing her natural born God-given hair.. O_o it baffles me. We dont break up with a dude when his hair starts falling out and he decides to shave himself bald! Thats so shallow.. I think all my friends that rock their natural hair look amazing… cause I fo-sho rock mine~

  • Anonymous says:

    Q I am so in love with girlfriend's natural hair. It has helped in her confidence and other aspects of her life. I loved her when she had relaxed hair but she is so more sexy with natural hair. I have learned alot about natural hair and I'm proud to say I love being with a fine sexy gorgeous young woman who is natural

  • Aja says:

    Hello Family,

    I have been completely natural (both my hair & my overall well being) for just over a year now, though I have been intrigued by this lifestyle for some time. I was recently married on 10/10/09 to a wonderful man that also happened to be my very first boyfriend (we dated when I was 15 and reconnected before I graduated college). With that said, this man was knew me as a girl who always had longer, straight, relaxed hair. However, when we reconnected, I was more mature and on a different path. Not too long after became engaged I expressed to him that I desired more of a 'natural' look to fit our natural/healthier lifestyle. I explained to him my desire to grow my relaxer out and rock a huge afro (lol)! Of course, I (like most women presenting the idea of change to a man) braced myself so that his rejection wouldn't seem so harsh, yet I was pleasantly surprised to receive quite the opposite. He smiled a huge smile of admiration, and told me that this idea was the best thing he'd heard since I'd said "Yes!". To make a long story short, he watched me make the transition via braids during that summer and on one crisp evening in November, I got up out of our bed, headed straight towards the bathroom & cut off every piece of straight hair that I could find. When my (then) Fiancé woke up, he saw 'me' for the first time! He helped me wash my "new" hair, shaped me up a bit & that was the beginning of something special. He loves the real me and I love him even more for accepting me-for whoever I choose to be. Moral of the story: If someone loves/respects your spirit, the outside isn't all that important. Do what's best for you sistas!

    Blessings,
    ~Aja http://ajanaturals.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous says:

    I feel like most men need the difference between natural hair and real hair explained to them. After reading this, I've come to the realization that most men think that natural hair means hair that isn't weave. Most of the men kept saying that they prefer natural hair because they don't like weave, when in actuality I think they meant to say that they prefer real hair that is your own. And that guy who said he doesn't like that whole nappy thing can go somewhere. Isn't his name of African origin? He should be ashamed.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been natural for a while. My husband loves it. If I blow dry it straight, my husband asks, "What did you do? I like your hair curly." I like it too as it is easy to manage and I love my waves and curls. I have never had high-maintenance hair and would never spend the time to have high maintenance hair. LOL. I love my wash and go too much. My hair was past my butt and I recently cut it bra band length. I get compliments from men of all ethnic groups.

  • Anonymous says:

    The guy talking about nappy hair and the clean look killed me. Ridiculous. And he definitely was NOT a prize…

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been married for 18 years, my hubby is hispanic and he loves my natural hair. I tried to wear it straight last week and he was not happy, he told me to leave it natural he prefers it that way. It's my family members who seem to not like my natural hair. I am blessed to have a supportive hubby

  • Pinkrage says:

    I have been married for 8 years. I have been without a relaxer since Oct. 2007. My hubby likes my hair straight but he is getting used to the big hair. I recently started wearing natural styles. I was getting my hair pressed while transitioning.

    He LOVES me regardless.

  • Anonymous says:

    adding to Alicia's comment….i totally agree, you can't place men that like natural hair in categories….
    I'm natural, haven't had a perm since 2001, and I've NEVER, EVER, been approached by a "conscious" brother… ( when i say approached, i mean like asked on a real date) ALL the men I've dated have been professionals. that might have something to do with my preference, but the point is that professional black men like natural hair.

  • Alicia says:

    Anonymous (7:37pm) – that is quite an assumption! I've been natural all my life and never really dated "conscious" brothers. All of my serious relationships have been with "mainstream" men, and my husband is definitely not the "Dwele" type. lol. I really don't think you can put the men that like natural hair in categories like that b/c its simply not true.

  • Moni says:

    My ("mainstream", black) boyfriend loves my natural hair. He's always preferred natural hair, even though I was relaxed when we met. I don't know where it comes from, since his mom and all his female cousins are relaxed or wear extensions. I know if I ever straighten it he'd want to wet it right away!

  • Anonymous says:

    In my experience, certain types of Black men will like natural hair and other types will not. For example, Dwele types and "conscious" brothers like natural hair. More mainstream men will not.

  • CurvyCurlyTrini says:

    I love these quotes there were the best

    Rohan Richards
    Age: 29
    City: New York City
    “I like natural hair because it’s her— that’s what I see, that’s what I am gonna get. Imagine this: If a
    man wore fake muscles a woman would be real disappointed when they got home. So why do women feel the need to have add-ons? I can think about some of the ladies I’ve met in the club with long hair then in the morning it’s actually short hair. I call it a hat because they wear it like a hat. But seriously, I hate weaves and clip-ons!”

  • Anonymous says:

    I have 4b hair and I used to wear only weaves and lace front wigs. My husband is white and he has been the most supportive of my natural hair and truly likes it. His favorite is when I wear an afro puff on top of my head. On the other hand my black family members do not like my natural hair whatsoever. Isn't that crazy?

  • Anonymous says:

    just to let you know curly nikki, you have an ad for a hair relaxer on the top of your page.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow I'd like to know where these natural hair loving men are..lol. I live on the west coast, L.A. to be exact and natural hair just isn't popular here, especially with the brothers. The men out here, and to be honest Hollywood in general are obsessed with long straight hair. Women out here rock weaves and press n curls, like there's no tomorrow. I've actually found that white men and men of other ethnicities like my hair way more than Black men. Maybe I need to relocate…lol. None the less I love my natural hair and I will not be changing it for a man.

  • b. says:

    I sat stunned when I read the "basketball shorts" comment. Way to keep it real! Dang…

    I am grateful that my hubby likes my hair big and natural. He all but jumped up and down with excitement when I cut my hair in college all those years ago. He's encouraged me to grow my hair long and I'm glad b/c it's fun. He's less than excited when I do twists and braids, and says no if I ask him whether he'd like to see my hair straight (pressed). The mutual understanding is that I do what I want with my hair, but I am glad we are on the same page. My hair is super-coiled, so it's not a matter of the "right" kind of natural.

    When I'm alone, some men look twice at me and some don't. (I'm not on the "market" but I do notice!) The preference depends on where I am, where the person is from, and the person's mindset. Some of us ladies prefer a man with a certain look and so do men. Like someone mentioned above, many of us had to come around over time to embracing our hair and so do the men.

  • Lena Jolie says:

    Reading some of those comments cracked me up and there were alot in there that were refreshing to hear. Guys that prefer straight hair b/c they "think" its better and dislike nappy/kinky/curly etc hair have deep rooted issues somewhere, I'm sure. If you noticed, alot of the permie-preferrers (I know its not a word lol) had ethnic names. Hmmm? That's all I'm going to say about that for now lol

    But I am lucky to be married to someone who loves natural hair. My sweetie couldn't stand to see my struggles with trying to keep straight hair (80% permed at the time) and he helped me see that I was doing more harm than good with heat/perms/ etc. He embraced it. Other guys that I used to talk to would look at me backwards and tell me I needed a perm, and at times I felt like I needed to have straight hair to be attractive to them. Big mistake lol

    I'm hotter with kinky/curly hair and I'm lucky to have a man that embraces it 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Let me first say that I'm a teenager [nearly 18] and I've been natural my whole life. My perspecive on men and our natural hair is that they typically don't understand it but they like it anyways. Example, after a long night of dancing and being all sweaty I walked out of the club and hear a guy standing with a group of his friends say to me "excuse me miss, but I really love your hair, it's beautiful" *SHOCKKK* the best kind of course, came over me. General conclusion, men love women who are themselves, on some level liberated, and FUN! Natural hair is very much a part of who a woman is and natural hair represents the fun, playful, beautiful, and pure sides of a woman.

  • Afrikan Latina says:

    I'm definitely thankful to have a man that loves and appreciates my hair in its natural state. He met me when I had a relaxer so he had to be at least a little cool with it to have wifed me up with it lol But after I decided to grow out the relaxer he has supported me 100%. He's not a fan of weaves, braids,extensions,etc AT ALL so there you have it.

  • KeetaRay says:

    Well, I met my BF less than 1 month after my BC, so apparently he liked/likes natural hair. He loves when I wear a 'fro and wear it big rather than more "tame" styles. I mentioned maybe straightening my hair for my 1 year anniv. this month and he seemed less than interested. LOL I've also been approached by the same amount of men as when I was relaxed, but like the post above states, now I'm just approached by men who like natural hair. They always give compliments, so I say go for it. You have to do what makes you happy, and if getting rid of your relaxer makes you happy, I think you should, regardless of what your partner thinks. Just my opinion.

  • Aisha says:

    I haven't had a problem with men and my natural hair. Then again, I have been natural my entire adult life. I don't think men really care that much as long as the style suits the woman well. Also, I think location plays a role, as well as the length and texture of the hair.

    When guys say they don't like weaves, I think they mean they don't like OBVIOUS weaves.

  • NikNak says:

    I dunno how representative that sampling is. From my own experience, men have told me they want a woman with long hair, and if she can't grow it, they'll accept a weave. I've also been told for the most part, that they don't like all textures of natural hair, if it's "too" nappy they expect the woman to put a perm in it or texturize it or something.

    just my two cents

  • Congolaise says:

    I agree with Leslie that when you're in a relationship, you have to be considerate of the other person because he might need time to adjust. I brought up this issue on naturallycurly.com several months ago when I was transitioning. I stressed over and over that a lot of black men grow up seeing their mothers and sisters with straight hair so they find that more attractive. Like most of us, they live in the world where others have set our standards for beauty, therefore, they need time and even education just like we did.

  • NomadChick says:

    I've been natural for about 12 years and I never had any problem with getting dates or turning off suitors. I think that it has more to do with confidence than anything. That being said, I dated a few men who preferred my hair straight after seeing me with a press n curl. I immediately explained that the straight look is not something that I'm willing to keep up. Some men are okay with this, some are not. Most men are just happy that it's not fake or gelled within an inch of it's life! When I met my hubby, he was attracted to my hair. It was raining hard that night and my hair was not looking its best (my braid-out was looking straggly. He just came up and talked to me and said that I had the most beautiful and distinctive hair he'd seen. Stay natural and be true to yourself, my sistas… and the men will be lining up for you! 🙂

  • MizzTriniRiRi says:

    I was in a long-term relationship when I decided to transition and big chop, and my boyfriend was very supportive and excited. He actually used to complain about my relaxed hair, that he wished I would switch up my hair. I have never been into weaves/wigs, and in turn I was never interested in men who discriminate in favor of weaved up women. Now, as a natural on the dating scene, I find that I enjoy the type of men I attract. I think they have a depth about them that is refreshing, and which is more in line with who I am anyway. I'm pleased.

  • Ishea says:

    I think the beauty of natural hair is being able to rock curls or go straight… you have the freedom and flexibility to do anything you'd like with your hair, while keeping it healthy. My boyfriend likes my curls but when I straighten it's a treat for him. I think at the end of the day men like running their fingers thru your hair so however they can do that best works for them.

  • Yarah says:

    All I can go off of are my experiences, but here is just one example. This week I was at an Alpha probate in Chicago and I wore my usual braid out. Every fella there could not keep their hands out of it. Like seriously, when I gave someone a hug, BAM their hands were in my head lol. I didn't mind because to me, this is normalizing the idea of women wearing their hair naturally without perms, weaves, extensions, etc. When guys see that natural hair IS maintainable, can be soft, smell good, and look put together it makes me feel good. I'm also in a relationship and the man I'm with loves my naturalness lol. I was actually with him when I decided to cut my hair and he was super down with the idea. Like most men in the Essence article he hates the idea of weaves, and lets not get to wigs lol. One thing I told him I'm never giving up are my Moesha braids lol and he's pretty cool with that.

    I would just encourage all the natural headed ladies to keep doing what makes you happy and wearing your hair the way you please. You'll see that most people are open to the idea, and once you normalize having natural hair into your life, there really isn't a 'shock' value anymore. I've found that when you are unsure of yourself do people feel that insecurity and react off of it.

  • Heavenly Hummingbird says:

    love this post…i think this is so true—"he/she should love you no matter what" I good to see what most men love…i think with my natural hair i can be more true to myself b/c my hair is so awesome i can spend less time on my hair and more time on pampering me. My boyfriend loves my natural hair…although some men dont like it or they dont know if they like it…they ALL love to play in it 🙂

    I love this quote “I like natural hair, yeah I do. There is something about a girl who can rock natural hair—she’s a little more edgy, a little more secure with herself"

  • Uche says:

    “I like natural hair because it’s her— that’s what I see, that’s what I am gonna get. Imagine this: If a
    man wore fake muscles a woman would be real disappointed when they got home. So why do women feel the need to have add-ons? I can think about some of the ladies I’ve met in the club with long hair then in the morning it’s actually short hair. I call it a hat because they wear it like a hat. But seriously, I hate weaves and clip-ons!”

    This comment by one of the guys killed me – had me thinking about "hairhats" and what not=o) I'm a single student right now, and the way that I've been approached w/ my natural hair, compared to when I had a perm…TOTALLY DIFFERENT. You get a different kind of "holla"; it's more respectful. That's been my experience anyway! I think it also has to do with the fact that I like me a whole lot more w/ natural hair than I did w/ the perm=o)

  • Anonymous says:

    when i first went natural, back in 2002, by boyfriend wasn't a big fan. He won't admit it today, but his preference was long straight hair. But now I'm happy to announce that he's a true convert!

    On a flight last year, the flight attendant had twist in her hair and i was sooo pleased when he complimented her on how nice her hair looked! ….that's the power of a woman at work! LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi! Just wanted to give my personal experience on this one! I was already married for many years when I decided last year to go natural. At first, my husband was very hesitant about what I was doing but he's learned from the past, it really didn't matter once I'd determined it was better for me and my girls. The surprise was, once I did my BC, believe me when I tell ya'll, I've never had his attention this much towards my hair in all the 21 years we've been married, as I have this past year! This man is so into my hair, he now makes it a point to point out other naturals to me. And I honestly think he's cuddling more with me because he likes the feel of the 'fro up against his neck! lol So, my take on it is, some men may not prefer it but once they get a "taste" of it, there's no going back! 😉 Take care!
    T.J.

  • the one and only says:

    my guy loves my natural hair. he always talks about how soft shiny it is. he can't really tell me why he likes it so much, but all i know is that he loves the crap out of it. a lot of other guys that i know like it too. they say it's different from the 'mainstream' styles and that they like it better. they say that when they seen a hick with natural hair, they seem more confident about themselves. they aren't afraid to be different. i just know that my guy loves it. he like the straight styles too, but after a while they do get boreing and they are hard to manage if your not used to them. natural hair isn't 'as fussy' as he likes to say.

  • Alicia says:

    Its so odd that this has even become an issue. I've been natural all my life and never had a problem with men and my hair. Usually they love it an can't keep their hands out of it. My husband loves the natural look, including little/no makeup, and so have the guys I've dated in the past. Do women really have issues with men not liking their natural hair?

  • Nappturall says:

    I'm a divorced mom of 7 children and I was with my ex-husband since I was 18 and we divorced in 2007. Got back together also in 2007…he just recently left cause he said I've changed too much…and he's not the type to be with a woman with my type of hair. I went napptural Jan 09. My 8 yr old daughter overheard him said to one of his male friends how nappy my hair is and he perfer a stright-hair woman…he also now perfers white woman…he also lately been calling me a nappy hair black b***h and there won't be any man on earth that would want a nappy hair black B***h with lots of kids….so that was my experience with a man dealing with my new me. ALso I reminded him..that this is ME and who I am.and there won't be any changes…he said he's out…and I made sure the door hit him on his ass.

  • Anonymous says:

    BASKETBALL SHORTS!!!!!! LMBO!!!
    When I met my husband (in high school), I had long relaxed hair. He loved it and always complimented me on my hair. Years later, after marriage (and after a salon disaster with some Nefertiti Relaxer), he saw the condition of my hair and all the unnecessary work I was putting into keeping it straight. I told him I was going natural and he said "do it!". He's just happy that my hair is healthy. He loves my curls and always comments on how thick and black my hair is (it was getting rusty while I had it relaxed).
    My friends say that I would have never gone natural if I wasn't married ( ie. "He can't go nowhere now.") I have friends who say " I plan on going natural after I get married." or " I wanna have a perm for my wedding day, but after that, I'll go natural.". I don't judge. Whatever works for them. I can't speak on their experiences, so I stay out of it. All I know is…I'm blessed to have a husband that loves ME.

  • Namun says:

    I enjoyed reading some of the gentlemen's comments. There were a few that made me raise an eyebrow though. I was in a relationship when I decided to go natural. The guy I was dating didn't like my decision. Eventually we separated. He didn't like my hair and we had our issues as well. However, I think that my patience and tolerance for shallow men fell out with my relaxed ends. Anyway, I was more than happy to wave him out the door.

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