Friday, 4 October 2013

Natural Hair & Your Significant Other

Source
This is a topic I've read and heard tirelessly about and haven't really felt the need to comment on... until now. For some reason, this particular article on Clutch Magazine made me want to share my story of how I went natural and what it meant for my man and our relationship.

Natural Hair: Marriage and Bad Advice

I totally understand why the author had an issue with the response the newly natural lady received from others. You're married, you said vows...is your husband's dislike for your hair a valid enough reason to leave the marriage? I don't think so. Yes, we all like to think that if our husband/boyfriend/fiance went and got a drastic hairstyle change we'd happily accept it because that's what we'd like and expect from them. But seriously, I met my man with shorter hair. I personally can't stand long hair on men. Ponytails on men? Even worse. So if he were to grow his hair hair out and start tying it in a ponytail, no I wouldn't leave him, but believe me I also wouldn't stop mentioning it until he cut it off. So I think it's totally within a man's rights to at least express that he's not feeling your hair.

Obviously, I get how personal a woman's decision to go natural is. I've been there and I didn't make my decision in a vacuum. I've already shared my story about how I prepared for my BC but I purposefully didn't include much about the preparation I did to make sure my man was on board. I discussed it with him from as soon as the thought planted itself in my head. I'm grateful that he's naturally a very open minded and honest guy who admired my courage to do the big chop. He couldn't lie to me and promise that he would love it but he promised to still love me. I knew that if all else failed and I hated it I could always braid or weave it out. He had to go through many of the steps to going natural with me too. From the research to the quick photoshopping of how I could look like with short hair (yes I really did that! It looked terrible lol). He quickly understood the reasons why I wanted to go natural and because he got it, he welcomed it. In fact, the week before I finally chopped he was actually pushing me to do it already.

I know not every woman will have the same attitude from her man, but the way I see it if it's big enough for you to even think about your love's reaction to you going natural then it's big enough to at least discuss it with him. No, hair shouldn't be that big of a deal but in reality it is; to many women, and sometimes I feel like more so to Black women. We all like to think that we're confident enough to love ourselves and feel confident even if everyone else hates the way we look. But many of us aren't that strong and I know for sure that if my man was one of the handful of people who didn't warm up to my big chop, it would have devastated me. I was already low at months 3 and 4 but he stuck by me and my decision. He reminded me why I went natural when I forgot. So for reasons like that, I think it's key to have your man by your side when making such a decision. He may not love it but he could still support you especially when others aren't on your side. And something that I've told many friends and readers whose family or man aren't convinced yet; give them some time. I no longer have anyone questioning my decision to go natural, and that praise only began when my hair was a bit further down the journey.

I hesitate to give advice about this topic because it's very sensitive for some people and everyone's situation is different. I just hope and pray that one's in the kind of relationship where you can both explore yourselves or do things you're passionate about without it resulting in the threat of a break up or divorce. I don't think that hair - natural or not - is that extreme.

My two cents.

What's yours?

10 comments:

  1. This post has really hit home for me in way. To cut my story short, I went natural back in 2005 (yes before being natural was cool...lol) and met my now boyfriend in 2008 rocking my beautiful big afro. Early this year I started toying with the idea of cutting. He loves me either way, weaved, braided or rocking the afro which he tended to lean more towards and would complain about if it was hidden for too long. So naturally cutting it wasn't exactly welcomed with open arms. It took 3 months of joking about it and doing some serious convincing for him to warm up to the idea. I finally cut it last Thursday and dyed it rich copper after having black hair for practically my whole life, needless to say it was a big change. I was so scared and so unsure about it, but the minute he saw me, he was gushing about how great I looked. The whole weekend he was complimenting me and insisting we go out so he can show me off. I absolutely love love my new look now because of him and rocking it proudly and confidently.
    Having by-in from your significant other is very important because its a big change in your appearance but its also an emotional time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Great post! Thanks for sharing.

    http://www.martinickhair.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with your opinion and I am amazed at the all or nothing stance people adopt in respect of their hair. I wore my hair very long and natural for about 22 years before relaxing for the first time. Now I am happily relaxed but every now and then I toy with the idea of going natural again just to switch up my look. Before I make my next big decision, I will talk to my partner and we will come to a compromise. He is not for short hair at all. All this is to say that being in relationship is about letting our significant other be part of the decision making process. It's about "relating" to each other's viewpoint so that even if you disagree, you will always have each other's support.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well

    I think it just boils down to whether his opinion matters to you or not. In relationships, I try not to get too comfortable and not mold myself towards what the "he" wants. I like you, we're together, but your opinion on my hair and what I wear and stuff, is largely irrelevant. I don't try to change people, so you don't change me. That's my own philosophy.

    However, I did care for my mom's opinion and approval. I had to talk her through it for months, and the day before my big chop, she actually told me going natural would not look good on me! I cried a few tears, but went to the salon the next day anyway. It took her A LOT of getting used to. Over a year now, and she isn't fully on my team yet but she's reading my blog religiously, talking to me about my hair, truly trying to understand it, letting me BE.

    If you care about what the person you're with thinks (And I think married people should), you need to slowly ease them into it. You can't go all or nothing or be all radical about it because only a few months or weeks or years ago, you probably shared their sentiments about natural hair! If it's a relationship that ends because of your hair, mmm maybe it wasn't meant to be, but marriage? I am in no way qualified to speak on marriage, but Divorce over hair? That's a little extra.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Girl you got a GOOD man..lol That is too sweet! Please excuse the hopeless romantic within me! Anywho, I didn't have a BF when I BC'ed but I was very sensitive to comments and criticism. So I can only imagine how I would feel if that criticism came from my man. I remember one guy at school said {in reaction to my BC} "Natural hair isn't for everybody". I knew he was referring to my texture and that really hurt my feelings! I stopped wearing my hair out on campus after that. I was 21 and very insecure. But yea, it is important for a woman to discuss these things with her man but he should be as understanding as your man was. And ladies should still care about how they look, even when they BC , that helps too. Because at the end of the day, that woman still has her same face & personality. Just my two cents. Great post <3

    http://ammamama.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, reading this post makes me appreciate my husband even more. He met me when I had long relaxed hair and he loved it. When I decided to chop my hair I did even have to discuss it with him and not because I didn't care about his feelings or opinion (well, it'd not have changed me mind) but because I knew it wouldn't be an issue since he loves me and not my hair. Anyway, I told him I was tired of my hair and wanted to chop it, he just asked if I was sure cause he knew I loved my hair. When the day came, actually the night... At 2 am after removing my braids, I was even so excited that my hair has grown even longer but then I told my hubby I wanna chop it, again the are you sure came up and I said If I wait till morning I won't do it. Well he just took the scissors, I got in the tub and he chopped away, a few days later I went to the salon to have it properly cut. I have never regretted my decision as I love my natural hair so much so does he, he really doesn't care whether I relax, braid, cut as long as I'm comfortable and I thank The Lord for that!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Leaving ur hubby bcus of hair? Woah. That has passed ridiculous and entered pathetic. Really? If it was a casual bf mayb id tell him I'm cuttin my hair and regardless of his opinion I'd still do it and leave him if he cudnt deal wiv my hair. But my hubby? For cryin out loud ur married. U chose this person to spend the rest of ur lyf with. The least u cud do is tell him ur cuttin ur hair. And if u know he hates short hair then y cudnt u talk to him and compromise and reach a middle ground. The babe cud hav transitioned until her hair was a lil bit long. There r so many solutions and divorce just isn't even in the top 20. It just makes black women seem vapid and like we hav nothin better to do to make this big of a ruckus about hair. I mean hair is important but not that important. Cus in the scheme of things its still just only freaking hair. Sigh

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi
    I am totally agreed with Geenie. We must consider our hubby`s likeness and dis likeness. Long hairs are blessing we must value it.

    Sarah Larson,
    The Theradome Team

    ReplyDelete
  9. Found you through Berry Dakara's post.

    I agree - major hair changes are worth a discussion. Hair can be a very personal thing but some significant others also care a lot so their opinions should be considered. Take the time out to pitch the idea and let them sit with it. Some don't care so in that case it' easy. But hair is not even close to a smidgen of a reason to leave a marriage. 'Til death and all - not 'til haircut.

    Those responses the lady got are downright irresponsible!

    Fortunately I do not intend to get a perm ever again but I do want to 'loc eventually so I drop that into conversations with interested and uninterested parties if the opportunity arises (momsie if you read this, you are in that group o!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I could'couldn't agree more, Ive always been natural from my teens to my adult life, Ive had all sort from spikes to Mohawks after some time i got tired of playing around and commit so I dreaded my fro and with extensions they were quite long and I looked hot, if i must say so myself. But funny enough with the commitment to a hairdo came 1st serious boyfriend as an adult and he loves him some natural women, he was crazy about my locks but year later I got bored with the same hair do so i started thinking about chopping my locks, being a spinster so long ive never been the type to over think a hairdo, i just do it. however this time it was diffeerent, having a significant other who was more inlove with my locks then me got me scared a little, I thought about it for month before I finally ran the though past him and his immediate response was NO!!! but i kept talking about it until he softened up but was still skeptic, when I finally did I was also so scared, actually felt ugly cut me shorter than I wanted, but gosh when he saw me, he was blown away, wouldnt stop telling me how hot I was and why I had taken so long to do it, I felt like a super star and rock my very short hair with confidence

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...