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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our Brothers and Our Hair

Stretched Fro for the party
Last night, I went to a house party with a friend.  Earlier that day, I wore my hair up and by the evening I was getting a headache, so I decided to take it down and wear a stretched fro to the party.  From my experience, my twistouts and pulled-up styles get the most favorable reaction, but I generally don't get many compliments on my fro styles from the average guy.  I get more stares and people shaking their head as if I really need to DO something with my hair.  It's only the deep brother that will express appreciation for seeing me embrace my natural roots when wearing fro styles, so I really wasn't expecting much of a positive reaction when I walked into the party.  However, when I walked in, the guys instantly began complimenting me on my hair, my style and my vibe.  They were actually impressed . . . hmmmm . . . interesting.

As the night went on, I began scoping out the room and noticing that most of the women were wearing weaves.  There were only a small number of women wearing their own hair and almost all of them had very short hair.  I was the only natural in the group.  So I began wondering if these ladies shared their hairstory, what would it be?  Are the weaves and short hairstyles for convenience or do they believe that their own hair won't grow? Did they become frustrated with their hair and decide not to deal with it?  Do they believe that they look better with the weaves or are they temporarily wearing weaves for versatility?  Then I couldn't help but wonder what their own hair looked like underneath.  Were they caring for their own hair and protecting it or was there little to no hair underneath the mounds of hair hanging around their shoulders?  

As I continued to ponder the situation, I began having flash backs to comments some of the brothers have made about my hair:

  • "All that hair - and it's yours too!"
  • "Finally! A sister wearing her own hair"
  • "I love your hair"
  • "I wish my wife/girlfriend/daughter would wear her hair natural."
  • "Your hair is amazing"
Never did I get these kinds of comments or compliments when I wore my hair straight or when I was wearing weaves and extensions.  I occasionally received compliments on my hairstyles, but those compliments were mostly from other women. Men never seemed to care how I wore my hair - they only wanted to know if it was mine.  Now, I not only receive compliments, but guys go out of their way to say something about it and it is often expanded into a discussion and they seem genuinely impressed.  

I said all of that to ask, what has been your experience?  I've read so many discussion board postings from women saying that their boyfriend or husband didn't like their natural hair and they were worried about losing them.  Are things now changing?  Are we leading the way in this mental change and are our brothers now supporting and embracing this change?  Please weigh in.

BTW - You brothers can weigh in too.  I know you're being incognito, so if you don't want to post openly, send me a message and I'll share your thoughts privately in the comment section.  I'm always interested in hearing different points of views, so lay it on me!
~Loving Me Naturally


  1. Since going natural most of the brothers comment on my hair when they holla. Not like before. Love it!

    Very cute sis! Love the hair!

  2. That's right - it's a beautiful thing! Thanks for commenting Jenell - much love!

  3. I've definitely gotten the most positive feedback from my natural hair... except for certain women and the guy I was with when I finally chopped off the perm. That one didn't last, but my now-husband (along with just about every other male I know, including my small son) threatens to divorce or shoot me when I joke about straightening the 'fro. I think he's kidding.....?

  4. I've gotten infinitely many hair compliments since going natural. Quite a few of them have been from men. I didn't get as many compliments (from men or women) when I was relaxed. It's a nice change. :)

  5. @Candy - I don't think he's kidding! :-)

    @Mangomadness - Since so many ladies wear their hair straight, a woman wearing her hair naturally stands out. Our hair commands attention . . . and rightfully so :-)

  6. I think men too can join the hair conversation. Compliments are a great way to start!

  7. My husband was actually instrumental in convincing me to go natural. At first I wasn't hearing it (having been relaxed since I was in middle school) but we moved to Atlanta and I got to meet and talk to a lot of naturals. He's constantly telling me that he loves how versatile my hair is, and that I don't act scared of the rain anymore =) Love this post!

    1. That's great naturaldiva81! Since your husband encouraged it, at least you didn't have to wonder if he was going to embrace the change. That's a beautiful thing.