Friday, 16 December 2011

What is the role of the father in caring for natural hair?


This question comes from Carol. 'I hope this does not come across as a grumble because my husband is a wonderful man. He embraced my natural hair and is the only one who supported me when I chose to start locks. We have three daughters and he is very good at praising their hair and telling them they are beautiful. His only problem is that he completely refuses to do any form of styling or handling of their hair. The girls wear twists most of the time and even when it is something simple like tying a hair band which has fallen off, he sends them to me. I feel like the girls get the message from him that hair care is complicated but he will not budge, he just says it is just not his thing. Am I expecting too much?'

I think when you have no help it can be hard but I do think that people have to do what they are comfortable with. My father never took care of my hair at all but I love my natural hair. Similar to your husband, he did do his role in telling us we were beautiful just as we were and I see how important that was now.

My husband really does not care for hair care either. He will help me with creating parts at the back of my head because it is hard to see but that is pretty much it. He also once helped me curl a bride's hair/weave (her hairdresser failed to turn up, so guests to the rescue!), and he was good at it but I know that it was not his favourite thing to do.

I think as your girls grow the take home message should be that they should care for their own hair. Pass your skills to them so they can be self sufficient as they get to 9-10 years old. He sounds like a pretty nice husband to me.

What do you think? What is the role of the father as far as natural hair is concerned?

13 comments:

  1. I think men in general have an aversion to doing hair, since they don't feel it's "manly" whatever that is. I don't expect my husband to help much with our future children's hair, since the responsibility of twists his locs is already on me lol

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  2. I believe a father does enough already! LOL
    That is like expecting my husband to help me do my make-up!

    I am not saying they cannot but why expect them to do more?

    As a Mom i am very happy to do my daughters hair even if i don;t always know what to do but it's a journey and no one is an expert at everything so that is where aunties,sisters,etc.. come in handy. :D

    We should let fathers be just be that why try dilute their role and make them like Moms?

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  3. I agree with Jc.

    And please don't shoot me, I mean this is in the nicest possible way but

    I feel like the girls get the message from him that hair care is complicated

    It's not that serious.I don't think your girls feel that way at all, especially since you take your time to do their hair.

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  4. LaNeshe - aversion is the word I was looking for.

    Anon - I generally agree with you but I do think there are some men who will be able to do hair and this is perfectly fine, we just shouldn't force them all to do it.

    On the subject of familial help, I would not trust any of my sisters to do my hair.....I think this is the thing with natural hair, often when you embrace it, the rest of your relatives are not following along and may not know what should be done.

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  5. When my husband was little, his mother made him and his others sibs take down her braids all the time. Since then, he hates anything hair care! He shaves his own hair very low every week and won't even grown it out despite my pleading.

    He loves my natural hair and has said I should have gone natural sooner. He compliments my hair all the time. Any time he goes to the US/Canada, he dutifully buys all the hair products on my shopping list and pays excess luggage. However, when it's time to style the hair, he moans, grumbles and flees the house! I have accepted hair care is not his thing. I don't mind it too much though, he is quite keen on facials and pedicures :-)

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  6. This is one of the most interesting questions I have seen in a long time! I think what Carol is asking also speaks to the evolving roles of men and women in society today. With more to do sometimes life presents situations that call for us to step into a different set of shoes.

    Obviously most men have an aversion to hair care. But I think Carol sees this task as one of the things you do as a parent. @Anonymous 15:43 who commented that this is "Diluting their roles and making them like Moms", I think parents do what is needed to keep their kids comfortable. I don't expect that Dads will start doing braidouts etc, but if a hair band falls off why not just snap it back in place? I also think it's very important for a Dad to at least understand the concept of what it takes for their kids hair to get "done". They may have to pay for it in future or even take their daughters to the salon if Mum is not around.

    For those Fathers that are willing to do more e.g. I read about the Atlanta professor who twists his (adopted) Ethiopian daughter's hair, I applaud them. I also think that it would be great to hear about how Single fathers deal with hair care for their kids for example.

    On the subject of familial or other help: Not everyone is that lucky. Some people live far away from their family or they are simply too busy to help or they may not even be willing.

    Sue

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  7. Thanks for all the lovely comments. Koily K your husband sounds lovely lol - You know British Curlies now stock pretty much the natural range from America and Oyin is available at Nexra Store

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  8. Considering how many fathers take an interest in maintaining their sons' hair, I don't think it's too much to ask them to at least be willing to fix a snapped hair band for their daughters. That isn't making them "like Moms", it's adding another tool to the toolbox. I travel often for my job and if my SO couldn't cover my responsibilities for a few days, that would weaken us as a family.

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  9. from Anonymous 15:43(who wrote the 2nd comment about diluting roles)

    My husband takes great interest in my sons hair and cannot wait to take him to the barbers(he is 5 months old lol).As for my daughters he cares about how my daughters hair looking good and if a hair band would fall off he would put it back on however i don't think he would sit for an 1hr+ doing box braids as i do each week and i don't expect that!

    I understand nowadays we don't have ideal situation with society being different i just believe each parent do enough in their own role without expecting them to do more.I hope that make sense. :)

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  10. thanks for chiming in again anon :)

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  11. JC - here's a tip for doing straight parts at the back of your head. Place your index finger at the back of your head, where the part ends and that would give you an idea of where to place the comb to continue the part. Its a bit hard to explain, but now my part are almost always straight.

    Also, to me hair care is generally woman's work, but every household divides labour in a different way - whatever works!

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  12. Thanks for the tip Lela, I will try it soon! :)

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  13. My 3 girls are (mostly) grown now, but when they were little my husband was the one who detangled their hair. He is so much better at it than I am.

    He got some nice father-daughter conversations in during the detangling sessions.

    He came to our teenager's rescue last year when a comb broke off in her hair.

    I do the cooking in the family, and he detangles -- we all have our strengths!

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