Reader Aloted left a comment on a previous post ,
'i only recently started showing my natural hair..i love it but my husband isnt pleased! he wants me to go back to relaxing. it is a battle right now...when my hair is in braids i dont hear any complaints but now that it's out in the open i must get a reaction from him..i try to ignore it but it is very annoying'
I decided to consult the oracle (ok google lol) under the search terms 'husband natural hair' and my heart sank as I realised this was more common than I thought it would be. One lady was natural for 7 years and then relaxed her hair for her husband, yet she didn't really want to relax!
I am very tempted to indulge in a spot of male bashing but I really never do this (because I like them especially my own :)). I therefore thought that I should perhaps think about reasons why a husband would be unsupportive?
1. Many naturals need a period of self adjustment to accept their hair. Do the men also need this period especially if they have only related to relaxed hair?
2. Many naturals have to cut their hair in order to transition and the female aesthetic is long locks - is this another reason?
3. Was he consulted beforehand, does he realize the reasons why the woman wishes to go natural (health, self affirmation, culture, just because ..........whatever the reason!) ?
I think it is important in a marriage to have open discussions. It is important to be heard and equally important to acknowledge that the other also has feelings (misguided as they may be they are still feelings).
Reclaiming your natural hair unfortunately in society right now needs a lot of tenacity. Many of us have run the gauntlet of snide comments from those who know not. I think it is a million times more difficult when they come from the one who you lay next to at night.
My advice is to
1. Have a discussion - explain the reasons why natural hair is important to you. Listen to why he doesn't like it with an open mind and then correct him (because he is wrong......don't get it twisted!)
2. Show him the fab fotkis with acres of women with natural hair of all lengths and textures. Show him that natural hair should be adored and celebrated.
3. Be strong - If having your natural hair is that important to you, just persist in educating him.
What would your advice be? (Smacking upside the head - does not count). Or have you faced a similar situation, how did/do you handle it?
****Edit to add - For transitioners check out this post over at Naturally Leslie ****