Being a guy, there’s always a stigma associated with having longish hair. Add mixed to the equation and you’ve got all out controversy. Girls always say, “did you get a perm or texturize your hair, because your hair is two different textures”. Guys assume that because you have hair, it’s a perm or a wig. But my question is why are guys with hair such a big deal? The African American communities, in particular look at you like you’re an alien because you don’t have your hair braided or faded. I think that in America you should have the freedom to express yourself whichever you see fit, that being said let me tell you about a mixed boy’s journey to taming and embracing his naturally red curly/wavy straight-ish hair.

Growing up I also fell into the mindset that because I was a guy I should have my hair short. But due to the fact that I’ve got a head the size of a small planet, that mindset changed quickly. Through some exploring of my genetic make-up when I was in high school, I found I was tri-racial, (having strong roots in three primary ethnic groups); those being Somalian, Native American, and Irish. So from this new found knowledge, I decided to do some exploring of my cultures and had a culture shock literally. I found that in Native American Tribes men with long hair symbolized strength, honor, and health. These realizations affirmed that I could have long hair and be proud, and that I should be an individual and ignore conformity imposed by a Eurocentric society which is America.

So this led me to a gut-wrenching journey of frying and torturing my hair. Being mixed sometimes you have an array of different textures. My hair on top was straight with a bit of wave and spiral curly in the back. So my solution was to fry it with a flat iron and make it all one texture. This ended up killing my hair leaving it lifeless, brittle and dry. This continued for 3 years, which led us up to February 2011 when I decided to take control of my hair. I did hours upon hours of research and found out some great methods to tame that hair.

• First I learned don’t wash your hair unless necessary.
• Second forget satin or cotton, stick to silk.
• Third no combing, only poof’s your hair and breaks it off more.

• Fourth use only natural products in your hair, because anything else will just petrify it.

• Fifth invest in a hair steamer, your hair will love you and thrive.
• Sixth if you have gotten some good growth don’t flat-iron it to death, be careful and keep it to a minimum.

• My seventh and final tip is to condition, condition, condition, and don’t forget CONDITION!