NATURAL HAIR, YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU....

By Hadassah Agbaps - August 10, 2016

Source: Pintrest


Hi people, what's been on?

Today I'm going to talk about a topic I'm sure most naturals will relate to especially new naturals.
I feel it will be a good idea to consider this aspect before going natural.

Here's a scenario,

You decided to go natural and do the big chop or transition. You've been slowly trying to get approval of your significant other by showing him pictures or pointing out women with natural hair and asking him if he thought she was pretty. He grunts in reply or gives a slight nod but doesn't really come out to say he hates it. If he talks, he might have said "it's okay".



You give him some time and slip into the conversation that you're thinking of going natural. You don't want to relax your hair anymore. He doesn't discourage you. He shrugs. Women things....it's your hair afterall. You take it as a good sign.

Then your transition begins. You stop going to the salon to have your regular touch ups. You're most likely in weaves or braids during the transition. He doesn't notice much. It's just a change in hairstyle. He even compliments your new look. You take it as a very good sign.

Then you continue. You get into the second, third, fourth and then 12th month. You are seeing a lot of new growth. You are seeing curly hair. You can already visualize how awesome your natural hair will be. Then you decide it is time.

You tell your significant other you are thinking of cutting your hair....no not scrapping it all off....just like a trim. You want to get rid of your relaxed ends. He's sceptical but so far you've been looking good so he leaves you to it.

You finally get the big chop and come home. Your significant other comes home and then he tells you,

" I don't like your hair. Please do something about it." 

You try to explain to him what natural hair is and how it is healthier for your scalp  than relaxing your hair and he tells you...

" I preferred it when your hair was relaxed and when you had a nice ,long weave on, please change this style. I don't like it."

You decide to find some form of support (you've come a long way afterall and you can't just go back)  and the majority of the naturalistas are telling you-

It's your hair...Does he love you for your hair or for you....He definitely has no love for the real African woman....He's been brainwashed by Eurocentric standards of beauty......

You are torn, angry, confused, betrayed, sad....all these emotions.....what to do???

Let's take another scenario.

You've been natural all your life. Your significant other loves your big curly do. He takes pride that in your natural hair styles.
 Then one day, you decide to change up your look.
 You get a straight weave or you straighten your hair and he goes...

"You look different"..."This hair makes you look....older"...." I prefer it when you have your natural hair."

You are angry.
 It's your hair afterall and you are entitled to switch it up whenever you want. 
How dare he say your new hair makes you look older?!!!!
Does it mean your hair is the only thing he was attracted to????


There are many different scenarios and we've experienced them in one form or another when we switch up our look.
Other people seem to have a say in how they prefer us to look when they should be loving us for us....not for our appearance.....and we can't ignore them because of love.

The real truth is loving someone for the person alone without caring about appearance is a fairy tale.
The frog still has to change into a prince.

Let's be real. 
The first thing that attracted you to your significant other was his/her appearance.
That was the first imprint.

You loved his height, his build, his complexion, the sound of his voice, the way he dressed, his eyes....his appearance fit your specs and it was the same thing for him.

He loved your hair, your height, your body, the way you moved, the sound of your voice, the way you dressed....your appearance fit his specs.

After the appearance caught his/her attention, the next thing that held you guys together was the inside...the character and you were held deeply in the web of love.

Now, when you imagine your significant other, what's the first image that pops into mind.....you first start with what they look like right?
 Every piece is made up of what appeals to you.

Imagine a situation where the first imprint of your significant other concerning your hair was smooth straight shiny hair (real or weave) or the first impression was big, bouncy curly hair (real or weave).....that would be his ideal.

Then imagine, five, ten years down, he comes home and meets you with a short crop of hair or with straight hair.

That different look will take some getting used to because it deviates from his "ideal you".

Let's put the shoe on the other foot....Imagine you come home to meet you husband's hair dyed blond or if he doesn't have tatoos, you meet one big bold design all over his arms and back ....would you be quick to accept it?

Most times going natural if you have been relaxed all your life is a really big step not just for you but for people around you. They will fight it..they will not like it....you look different.

Things have changed.

- These days your edges aren't laid as they used to be...

- Your hair isn't as long and sleek as it was before.....

-They don't understand why your hair looks rough and why you think that twist out was perfect when you look electrocuted......

- They don't understand why you complain about your natural hair and how long it takes you to care for it .....and you just won't relax it already.....

- They don't understand why you say relaxed hair care and weaves were expensive and then see you spend a fortune on hair products....

- They don't understand why you have to put in unattractive bonnets at night when they were used to seeing waterfall hair across the pillow.....

- They don't understand why they couldn't touch your hair when you have a weave and still can't touch your natural hair as you promised they could with the change......

Change is hard to accept and you have to do it gradually.

Here are some tips for making the transition easier for your significant other.

1. Get informed.

You can't just jump from relaxed to natural without giving yourself a reality check on what is actually going to happen. You may have the picture of a big curly afro with a comb stuck in it without being aware of the detangling war that took place after that picture was taken. Know what caring for natural hair means, prepare yourself so your regimen will be streamlined and without stress.

2. Understand your spouse

You can't just go from straight to curly (and vice versa) and have no one complain. It sometimes has nothing to do with Eurocentric values of beauty...it has everything to do with familiarity. He's might not be comfortable with the change. If your hair has changed, what else changed?
You know your spouse best.
 If he's the adventurous type, you may get away with going out long and coming back short. If he's not, it's not a good idea to go out long and come back with shorter hair.

3. Take it slow

Don't go afro on him all of a sudden. Go straight to wavy to curly to kinky to give him time to adjust.

When you transition, you can start with stretching your natural hair using heat or heatless methods. Then add waves by means of braids/twists or roller sets. Then add curls by means of permrods or twistouts before going to wash and go. This will make the transition smooth.

You can also do it with a weave by switching to a wavy weave, then a curly weave , then a kinky weave then the big reveal!

You can also do it by gradually switching to extensions that mimic natural hair so he gets used to it before the big reveal.

Don't go short crop all of a sudden. Gradually snip your hair little by little taking care to make it look good. There are wonderful stylists that know how to give a great cut.

4. Be confident.

If you keep complaining about how long it takes you to care for your natural hair and makes it look like a problem you are bearing, most likely your significant other won't be accepting of your natural hair. Quit complaining about your texture. Quit making a deal about your curl definition. Quit wasting money looking for products to change your texture....in fact quit fussing about your hair.
Act confident and he'll come to love your hair.

5. Create mystique

Before you went natural, your spouse probably never saw the "in between" stage where your hair was a mess. All he knew was you went to the salon and came home looking like a goddess. Now you are natural, all he's seeing is you struggling with detangling, wearing rough twists, smelling like vegetable oil, wasting time with definition...after all this stress you put him (and yourself) through, it's hard to appreciate the fab twistout in the morning.
Create mystique. Make every step seem effortless and glamorous. It's hard when you're living with someone in close quarters but it's possible to create "girly time".

- Instead of ugly bonnets, purchase beautiful bonnets that match your nightie.
- Use products that make your hair smell nice and feel good. Save the vegetable and egg smell for when he's not around.
- Try not be obsessed with your hair. Once he feels he's competing with your hair for affection...guess who's gonna go?

6. Listen

Listen carefully to what he likes or doesn't like about your hair. Sometimes it's not the fact that you are natural that bothers him but how your current style looks. Not everyone feel twistouts look good, not everyone feels comfortable with bantu knots. Never forget that these styles are optional natural hairstyles not the default natural hairstyles. I believe that natural hair is no big deal. All you are doing differently is stopping relaxer treatments.
If he hates your twistouts, listen. Try other hairstyles. Don't go to natural hair forums for validation. They are not in your relationship.
There are beautiful natural hair styles....check out the Natural Hair Style tab for inspiration.

Hope this post has been helpful.

 Did you have a transition? How did you cope? Do share your experiences so we can all learn.

No matter what is said about your hair being yours and doing whatever, the truth is the opinions and support of the people we love really matter in making our transition easy or hard.

Live Beautifully, Naturally.
Hadassah A.

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15 comments

  1. Wow! This was very insightful. Thank you!

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  2. I am presently transitioning and I keep it just simple. No fuss no muss. D products I used r quite easy 2 find and mostly made by myself - I made d palm kernel oil and d coconut oil mysef and mix wt sweet smelling eucalyptus oil so d peeps around me don't av reason 2 complain. I also wear cool protective styling as regularly as I can. I think y most transitioners/new naturals break d bank looking 4 products and spend 2 much time fussing wt their hair is 2 much conflicting info in d 'net abt going natural and maintenance. I simply read all ths available info take watever I kno is easy and workable and affordable 4 me and run wt it.

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    Replies
    1. You're right on! Natural hair should actually be liberating but like you said, with a lot of conflicting info, it's tempting to do too much and expect more than the hair can deliver! Your method is a really sound way of making natural hair care easy!

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  3. Amazing post..well thought out! Your hair is super gorgeous BTW

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  4. Great post! Fabulous writing. I almost inhaled my food when I got to "They don't understand why your hair looks rough and why you think that twist out was perfect when you look electrocuted......" Lmbo! I'm out...
    No really, this article is truth. Your relationship is yours to work out. Sass is cool with strangers but with your significant other, you have to be understanding.

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  5. EeeK! I saw u on bglh and found you are my hair twin! Lol. Great inspiration and blog too! Xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks dear! I appreciate your encouragement!

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  6. Transitioning at d moment tooo, luckily for me his very supportive and got me a wig.my hair has really improved.
    thanks for all your tips.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome dear! I'm glad you have his support. It makes the journey easier! I'm glad the tips proved useful!

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  7. I'm happy I never had this issue with Cakes. However the minute I mention cutting or coloring my hair, he gets all macho :P

    Berry Dakara Blog

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  8. Beautiful post. For me he was the one that told me to grow natural hair. As at that time I was pregnant and I had to big chop my relaxed hair due to heat. So when I gave birth he suggested it and I decided to grow it and it's one year already and my hair is growing. Thanks for your hair tips.

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  9. Word! 👍👍 I'm glad i went natural in my single days though...so he'll meet me all puffy haired now 😆😆

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