My Partner Hates My Natural Hair. Help!
I wrote a blog post a while back called “6 Tips for Dating Someone with Dreadlocks.” And recently, someone left a comment:
For years, I have always had my hair naturally low and wavy all over. But this year is definitely different for me. I chose to grow my hair out and grow dreads. So far, I have it in an Afro. I’ve been married for 15 years to my first wife, and she doesn’t agree with what I want to do with my hair. She stated to me that my ‘fro looks ugly on my head. I am 41, but I don’t look like it; I look like I’m still in my thirties. I’m at the point where my impressing people are over in my life. Am I wrong for going from low, wavy, “natural hair to dreads?”
YOUR HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL
It sucks any time you’re in a situation like that where someone whom you care about hates your hair or tells you that it’s ugly. That can’t feel good, so I’m sorry that you have to go through that.
Please know that your natural hair is awesome. We think about it with guys as much, guys who have natural hair, because I think it’s more accepted.
But sometimes you guys go through the same things that we go through when we go natural. So again, before we move on, I’m gonna say your hair is perfect. Your hair is beautiful.
That’s for anyone with natural hair. I am always gonna hype you guys up about your natural hair. That’s what I’m here for. That is my job. Moving right along…
HOW YOU WEAR YOUR HAIR IS *YOUR* CHOICE
You are a grown man and you shouldn’t have to ask permission to do what you want to do with your hair. It’s just a hairstyle. Your wife should love you for what’s on the inside, and how your hair looks shouldn’t make a difference.
You shouldn’t have to conform to Euro-centric beauty ideals. If you wanna grow dreads, there’s nothing wrong with you growing dreads.
I believe that’s what I’m supposed to say, so I wanted to go ahead and put it out there, but that’s not really how I feel.
YOUR PARTNER’S OPINION MATTERS
This is your wife, okay? This is not a woman that you’re dating. This isn’t your girlfriend, this isn’t a fling. This is the woman who, hopefully, you’ll be married to for the rest of your life.
Her opinion matters. Her opinion is a big deal. She’s your wife.
You said you just started growing your hair out this year, which means that you’ve had a low cut for, what, maybe the whole entire rest of your marriage? So this is a big change, you know what I’m sayin’?
I’m assuming you’re black because you said you had an Afro, so I kinda get her not liking your fro. It sucks, but a lot of black women feel that way.
They prefer low cuts. Of course, this is a general statement. And of course I’m not speaking for every black woman in the world, but I have found that it’s a thing with us, and I think it has to do with looking “presentable”.
It’s hard to break, you know what I mean? It can be a big adjustment going from low hair to dreads. It’s a big change.
It sounds like you’ve already decided to go through with it, because your letter says that you chose to grow your hair out and grow dreads, and I’m sure she’s been noticing that you’re growing your hair out.
I’m sure you’ve had a conversation about it already. And you also said, well, I’m assuming you meant to say that you’re over the stage where you have to impress people in your life, and I get that.
I’ve been in that stage with you for a very long time. But again your wife is not people; she’s your wife.
SHOULD YOU STILL GET DREADS?
So your question is: Are you wrong for wanting to grow your hair? No, of course not. I would never say that.
But do I think it’s wrong of you not to consider your wife’s feelings? Absolutely. If your wife were the one wanting to grow dreads, I would say the same thing to her.
I don’t know what to tell you on this one, whether you should still do it or not. I will say that if she’s not digging your ‘fro right now, she may not appreciate your dreads too much in the beginning either.
I don’t know if you know anything about the dread process. It can be a little crazy when you first start, until it starts to settle.
A lot of people don’t like it when they’re short and nappy. In the beginning, it’s not always appreciated the way that it should be.
You’ve already started the first part: growing your hair out. Maybe see if your wife is okay with just trying it for six months or a year. See if she’s willing to give it some time.
And who knows, maybe once you actually start the dread process, she’ll get on board with it. ‘Cause you never really know how they’re gonna look until you have them.
If anyone has experience with this type of situation, please leave a comment. Also check out the comments on my YouTube video from those who have been down this road before.
Love your natural hair.