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Curly Nikki

An Open Letter to the Natural Hair Community

By January 27th, 20218 Comments

An Open Letter to the Natural Hair Community

by Jor-El of Mane Man Blog

One of the reasons I started this blog was because of all of the support I had received from women in the natural hair community. Over the past few years I have gotten a lot of support from women in the movement and I’ll always be grateful for that. Although I have had a different experience than most of you, I hope that my support of the curly-haired community comes across loud and clear.

I realize that I did not have many of the experiences a lot of you had when it came to your hair. I did not get as much positive affirmation or nearly as much discouragement. I didn’t sit in between my mother’s legs and cry from all the pulling and tugging on my hair and scalp. I’ve never even gotten my hair braided or gotten headaches from having my hair pulled so taut. I’ve never had a comb break in my hair (wait…yeah that definitely happened once!). Images in the media absolutely hit me in a very different, and arguably in a less pointed, way. I never second guessed why I wore my hair the way I did. I just always assumed guys were supposed to wear short hair so that’s what I did.

I had a chemical process once, a few years ago, when I first came to NY. I texturized my hair to get a different look, but didn’t like it enough to stick with it. I also realized that keeping up something like that would be way too intensive for me. So I went back to my regular routine of getting hair cuts every few weeks. Fast forward to today and I have been wearing my fro for two years now. I like having a new style, a new edge, and I recognize that I have a new sense of confidence in myself. There’s a bit of freedom in wearing my hair whatever way I want, no matter what other people have to say about it.

I don’t see the natural hair movement as only a women’s issue. I see it as a self-esteem issue. If embracing your curls in their natural state gives you a sense of freedom and confidence then I fully support anyone who makes that decision. If you choose to relax or straighten your hair, then my hope is that you do it as safely as possible because I believe no one should be sacrificing their health for a good-looking head of hair. In the end, I believe we’re all entitled to express ourselves as we see fit. In the grand scheme of things, it is just hair but at the same time I know when I’m not feeling my hair it’s generally not the best of days.

All things considered, I have to say that seeing women wearing curly hair, locs and fros has inspired me to do whatever I want with my hair and judging from the (re)emergence of these styles among other men, I feel comfortable saying that the boys are following suit. As the years go by I hope that other men and boys will support the women in their lives and their decisions about their hair (and bodies). If this happens, then I think you will probably see more boys and men feeling comfortable enough to take their own risks with their image and hair. We’ve got a lot to learn and I want to keep learning and spreading the word!

Weigh in!

8 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this post and your hair is beautiful thick and full! its always nice to read a post from the male persuasion! will definitely check out the site.Thanks Pam

  • Unknown says:

    I can definitely appreciate your perspective, my son has wanted to grow his hair out since 9th grade…maybe younger…but I couldn't handle it..fast forward 4 years and he's been wearing his fro since his junior year and when he graduated from high school I followed in his footsteps and don't intend to look back. This has been an almost spiritual experience!

  • KC says:

    "I don’t see the natural hair movement as only a women’s issue. I see it as a self-esteem issue."

    That line made me sit up in my chair and pay attention to your post(:
    A man's natural hair blog is something I never even thought would ever exist, lol.. I'm gonna check it out right now!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post! Love reading the male perspective. Keep these types of posting coming along with everything else we see here please. Thank you. Love the hair!

  • mynamesnotalice says:

    This is a great post! I interviewed my younger brother about his experiences as a man with natural hair and he mentioned a few of the same experiences as Jor-El. http://hotdogsandcamo.blogspot.com/2011/03/natural-hair-dude-omari.html . It's great that the "movement" is becoming more inclusive and aware of the diversity of the people who are involved.

  • Emily CottonTop says:

    I like this post and I totally agree that the natural hair movement is in some ways a a self esteem 'movement', I just got finished watching a video of a young lady ranting on how mean guys are when it comes to her natural hair and how **they** should go get a perm and leave her alone! Its good to hear a man's perspective and I often question my honey on his thoughts about my hair. Natural hair makes a statement, I never look like anyone else, and if thats not a confidence booster then I dont know what is… nice post..

  • Anonymous says:

    My younger brother has being wearing his natural hair longer than the average Black male, too, for many years! He had the typical Black male close cut hair do from time to time, but I must be honest, he does look better with longer hair. His hair fits his round face, which could look even bigger, if he had a buzz cut! LOL! I think some Black men look really good with longer hairstyles, i.e., locks and an afro. Everyone should feel free to be themselves, even if it goes against societal norms.

  • H says:

    It's nice to see a man admit that he's been inspired by natural women. Very cool 🙂 I've (so far) only seen posts from one other natural man here (Kenneth) so I think it's also good for women to hear a male perspective, or at least I find it interesting. Thanks for sharing and I'll be checking out your blog!

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