Confidence is key when rocking any hairstyle. When you’re confident, it’s evident in your overall presence; from how you enter into a room to your choice of words in conversations with others. Many factors contribute to a person’s confidence, including a hairstyle. Confidence about a hairstyle suggests that it’s cute even when others may think otherwise. Nowadays, women are becoming more confident in wearing natural hairstyles. Many people have embraced the natural hair trend; however, others have negative thoughts and opinions about natural hair. Jokes about certain hair textures are common. Hard (sometimes rude) stares are also common when black women wear certain styles such as the 70’s afro or a big blowout. It’s also common to be stereotyped or even ostracized in corporate America when wearing certain styles. Nonetheless, a common cliché is, “I don’t care what others think.” Is that REALLY a true statement? When dating or considering someone of interest, have you ever wondered what that person thinks about your hair? Don’t all answer at once! I’m sure you spend several minutes in the mirror putting last minute touches to your hair in preparation for that first date. You want to make a good first impression, so your hair is priority indeed. Jenisha Watts of Essence magazine went into the streets of some major cities to see what some black men think about hair. Let’s review what these men had to say.
- Arbender Robinson is 32 years old from Chicago. He stated, “I like natural hair, yeah I do. There is something about a girl who can rock natural hair—she’s a little more edgy, a little more secure with herself.”
- Rondu Abad is 27 years old from New York City. He stated, “I like for my lady to wear her hair straight down—no perm, all natural. I hate going through female’s hair and finding tracks and stuff. I like to see a female rocking natural hair because it shows her in her natural form, natural beauty.”
- Sylvester Brown is 24 years old from New York City. He stated, “Natural hair is the best. I’ll take a perm but I prefer natural. I’ve never dated anyone with a weave but if my girl now decides to get one I would still be with her.”
- Ben Gordon is 28 years old from New York City. He stated, “I’m not particular when it comes to my woman’s hair but I do like it well-kept. I’ve been in situations where a woman did not want to get their hair wet and I’ve picked them up and dunked them in the pool anyways and she got really mad, but it was fun.”
- Brandon McCarty is 23 years old from Washington, D.C. He stated, “I like straight hair for the most part. I just think it looks better. And I guess I became accustomed to it growing up with my mother and sister—they always wore their hair straight, so that’s all I was used to seeing. I’m not a fan of weaves. They just rub your face and it feels like basketball shorts, it doesn’t feel good. (Sidenote: the girls he dated must’ve been wearing synthetic weaves—barbie doll hair—If it felt like basketball shorts! Lol!)
- Ryan Badejo is 23 years old from Washington, D.C. He stated, “My preference is typically curly—it just does it for me. It’s a natural attraction. I’ve never stopped dating a girl because she cut her hair, but my current girlfriend is considering cutting hers. It’s ultimately her choice, but it is a touchy subject.”
- Debole Smith is 22 years old from Virginia. He stated, “I mostly like relaxed hair. I’m not into the whole nappy thing. I think it’s a cool look but I just like the clean look of relaxed hair. It’s a preference.”
- H. Maneul is 42 years old from New York City. He stated, “I think long hair is a good look for taller women but shorter women with a smaller face look nice with short hair. I don’t like that nappy, nappy hair all the time. If she likes long hair, I like it. But if she has short hair and it doesn’t fit her then we might break up.”
- Dorollo Nixon Jr. is 31 years old from Rochester New York. He stated, “I like long hair, the simpler the better. I’ve seen some shorter styles that work like the Halle Berry cut but I’ve always preferred longer hair. Natural hair is nice on our women but it’s tricky because not all women can wear their hair that way.”
- Akeem Benjamin is 23 years old from New York City. He stated, “Honestly, I like permed hair but it has to be yours. I want to be able to stroke my hand through my girl’s hair without any stops. I want to be able to go from the top without catching any speed bumps or a little derailed track, you know.”
These men had several things in common. Many of them related hair to a woman’s security or confidence. I couldn’t help but notice that many of these men prefer natural hair over weaves, yet permed hair over natural textures. I noted the term “nappy” hair stated several times with negative connotations. I also took note of the comparison of naturally “curly” hair and natural beauty. This implies that texture is important to men. It also appears that length and running fingers through hair without feeling anything other than scalp is important to some men. However, some men were more open-minded about hair and stated in short that they simply preferred for their woman to look good. I agree with one of the men who says that speaking about natural hair can be a touchy topic. At the end of the day, I say take these standpoints with a grain of salt. Rock the styles you feel most confident wearing. If a guy is truly attracted to you, he’ll learn to love the things you love and are most confident about.
Roxy is known for her creative nature, unique laugh, and heart for helping others. Born and raised on the Westbank of New Orleans, Roxy developed a love for Cajun food and soulful music. Roxy is known for experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen and adding her own “twist” to dishes. Roxy attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe and has a BS in Business Administration and a MS in Child Psychology. She’s known for her teaching spirit and for being the “fun adult” that all kids love being around. Roxy enjoys drawing, painting, reading, writing, photography, health, and fitness. Stay connected with Roxy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @RoxyDionne!
Watts, Jenisha. “Word on the Street: What Black Men Think About Your Hair.” Essence Magazine, 2015.