Hair Confessions: John W.

Age: 29
Geographical Location: Tallahassee, FL
Educational Background: Doctoral Student

How important is hair to overall attractiveness? Specifically, which styles (down vs. ponytail vs. bun) and lengths?

In all honesty, hair is a big deal to me, but not necessarily in terms of length. Healthy hair means a lot to me, so that can be short, long, or anywhere in between. I don’t like the shaving the side of the head thing though. That looks like Gary Oldman from Fifth Element (movie).

Do you feel there is a ‘Natural Hair Movement’ currently occurring? Why do you think so many women are going natural (i.e. Do you think most women want to make a statement or to just stop relaxing)?

Well, I think for some, it is to make a statement. But many of the women I talk to are just tired of the maintenance that comes with perms and touch-ups. But then, most of them end up getting so involved in hair care that they end up having to maintain things when natural as well. I think the main thing is that going natural seems to be better for the hair and body in terms of chemical exposure and harshness, and that seems like common sense to me.

Would you support your significant other if she decided to become natural?

I have in the past, and that won’t change anytime soon.

Are you able to tell the difference in textures of hair? If your significant other were to go natural, would the texture of her hair affect your opinions on whether she should remain natural or not?

I am able to tell the difference, and believe it or not, most men can. We don’t like to admit it, but we notice bad perms, when touch ups are needed, and when you heat straighten your hair versus permed. For me, however, once my significant other gets the title, my love for her goes beyond what choices she makes with her hair. (Unless she decides to shave a side of it bald, as described above.)

Do you like or dislike when your significant other changes her hair style often (i.e. wigs, weaves, braids, flat ironed, wash & go)?

I like variety, but I think it should be an easy transition and something that suits her. Every hair style looks different from person to person, so I think that it should be something that suits her and her disposition.

Does the amount of time your significant other spends on her hair prove to be problematic?

Only when we are going to get food and a brotha is starving.

How do you feel about the amount of money your significant other spends on her hair? Is there a point where the amount of money is a source of conflict? Is it acceptable for her to spend as much as she chooses as long as she looks fly?

Your looks are an investment, and regardless of what anyone says, you are permitted to do whatever you desire to do with the money you have to maintain that look. With that said, as long as you don’t owe the loan company money because of your maintenance, then I think you do what it takes for you to be happy with your appearance.

Do you think your significant other should consider your opinion when making decisions about her hair?

Consider, perhaps. Should I have equal say in her final decision? Probably not. It is her hair, and though common sense says she should want her man pleased, personal privilege allows her the ability to make her decision.

Why do you think women care about a man’s opinion when it relates to hair?

Because ultimately she wants to attract a man. (Or a woman who is playing the role of a man…or a woman who plays the role of a woman in the place of a man. You get the drift.) Just like, most men who want abs don’t want abs just for the sake of having them and looking in the mirror. A flat stomach is just as healthy. But we want abs because women like abs. Same goes for women and hair.

How do you view women that wear weaves? Can you tell the difference between natural hair and a weave?

Funny story…I had just started dating a girl who had a hair track sewn in. She fell asleep on my chest, and she looked adorable. I began caressing her hair, and ran my fingers along the seam of the track. My first thought was…this poor girl must have had brain surgery cause I feel the stitches. She is such a fighter. I love a strong woman.

Clearly, I was mistaken.

Since then, I truly don’t care much for weaves. Unless there is a medical reason that prompts it, I think you should simply do the best to work with what you got. But then again, it is up to the individual, and I won’t say yay or nay to dating a woman on the strength of her weave.

How do you feel about satin sleeping bonnets or any type of hair scarf?

Don’t like em. Believe it or not, I love to cuddle and press my face against my woman’s hair. (Kinda like Andre 3000 in the Where Are My Panties interlude on Love Below).

Does it matter to you whether your significant other’s hair is relaxed or not?

As long as she is happy, no. But I would want her to be cognizant of what products are being used on her hair rather than just going to the salon and letting someone relax it for her without any information. And since I am a biologist, I have no problems helping her research what goes into those chemicals. Could be a bonding moment…or not.

If more women treated cosmetic treatments as health issues rather than beauty issues, I think we’d see more healthy decisions made about what they choose to do during these processes.