Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Getting him on the natural train

Published:Monday | June 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Choosing to go natural can be an amazing experience - there is just something about your hair in its natural state and learning how to love and take care of it which makes us feel liberated and secure in ourselves. It's also great when your partner encourages you to embrace your natural hair. But what happens if he does not? If you're in a relationship and thinking about going natural, you should know that it's quite possible your other half may not be so encouraging of the move.

Even though Jamaicans are predominantly of African descent, persons in the western hemisphere are cultured to believe that long, straight hair is associated with beauty, so it is only natural for men in the Caribbean to feel more attracted to women with long, straight, hair.

Amandatold us that her husband was not happy with her big chop, as he was used to her long straight hair. He made hurtful comments about her looking like a man, but he didn't behave less attracted to her.

Stacysaid that her husband was furious after seeing her short hair and didn't speak to her for a week. Not only are these responses from the one you love hurtful, but they can also cause you to rethink your decision to go natural. Here are some ways to deal with the difficult situation of a partner who does not encourage your move to forgo chemicals and go natural.

express your desires

This is especially true if you wish to return natural by the big chop route, as this is a dramatic new look that can be beautiful but can also be seen as looking very masculine if not accessorised well. Although the decision is ultimately yours, it does not hurt to give your partner the 'heads up' on your interest in returning to your 'roots'.

This will give him time to process and prepare for the new look as opposed to being shocked and hurt at the sight of you with very short hair.

Explain your reasons

Women go natural for a number of reasons which range from improved health to a simple change in opinion and perception of hair as part and parcel of self, and even curiosity about seeing and maintaining one's hair without chemicals. Whatever your reasons, ensure you explain why it is important to you, and ask for his support on your journey.

long-term transition

If you know your long, straight hair is one of his favourite things about you, you may want to compromise and do a long-term transition which will tremendously reduce the shock value when you do decide to cut off your relaxed ends. It will also give him time to slowly get acquainted with your natural hair as you'll both be able to see and touch the new growth.

Many women report that even though in the initial stages a man may not be the most supportive, they usually come around as the hair gets longer and styling becomes easier. Make your other half an active part of your natural journey; ask his opinion on styles and products so that he feels involved. Hopefully, he'll learn to love your natural hair just as much as he loves you!

Names changed to ensure privacy. Curly-Centric Jamaica is a natural-hair community hosting meetups which explore styling, care and treatment of natural hair and black hair overall. Like us on Facebook.com/curlycentric. Do you have comments, stories or questions on natural hair? Ask us at lifestyle@gleanerjm