Would You Dump Your Boyfriend If He Hates Your Natural Hair?

natural hair intimidating

I know! Another article about hair! But with the Blue Ivy petition fiasco and the debate about whether or not white women can claim #teamnatural, it’s clear that we are still not quite comfortable with the various textures that are uniquely assigned to our tresses.

A friend of mine recently decided to go for the “Big Chop” after years of perms and weaves. It took her a long time to finally go for it! She worried about whether or not she would readily adjust to such a drastically different look. She was used to having long hair, so the thought of not being able to wear a simple ponytail or a high bun, made her wary. But she was also tired of spending endless hours at the beauty salon, begging her boyfriend for money to get her expensive extensions installed. Her own hair was showing signs of wear and tear, which resulted in her relying on the security of hair weaves.

One afternoon while having brunch she announced to all of us that she was going to step outside her comfort zone by embracing the “natural hair movement”. We all applauded her and promised to give our unrelenting support. I never thought she would actually contemplate giving up her regimen, but a week later she greeted us with her new look. She looked incredible. Her eyes looked bigger, her skin glowed, and she even seemed taller. Her short Afro was everything! Finally we could see her gorgeous features without the aid of her trusted bangs and flowing mane. It was fresh, youthful and complimentary and I was so happy to see her enjoying her much-needed makeover.

She was relieved that her gamble had paid off, and even more excited that we loved it. But there was just one problem. Her boyfriend of six months was less than enthused with the prospect of his girlfriend being stripped of her long straight hair. She never really discussed it with him beforehand, which made the big reveal even more shocking and harder to digest. We tried to console her by explaining the fact that he probably needed time to get used to her shorter do. He was accustomed to her looking a certain way, and since he wasn’t privy to the fact that she was considering a major alteration, his reaction wasn’t necessarily unreasonable.

But almost two months later, her boyfriend is still reeling from the fact that she is now a bona fide naturalista. At first he started off with innocent jokes, but it has since escalated to full fledged demands. He is actually trying to convince her to go back to her weaves because she was a lot sexier when she had longer hair. Now that she has an Afro, she had lost that level of appeal that drew him in when they first started dating. Yep! He went there. Hitting below the belt by intertwining her attractiveness with the style of hair she chooses to wear.

Things have gotten so bad that their relationship is currently in code red status. They fight all the time, and there is barely any intimacy left. My friend is ready to walk away any day now, even though she is trying to hold on for dear life because she loves him. But of course she is disappointed that the man in her life is not supportive of her grooming habits. He refuses to understand why she made the change, and more importantly he won’t respect her decision regardless of whether or not he gets it.

It got me thinking about how I would react if I were in a similar situation. Is it mandatory to find out what a guy’s preference is when it comes to hair before getting serious? It sounds ludicrous, but based on my friend’s current situation; it definitely is a legitimate concern. I have never dated a guy who seemed hung up on how I wore my hair, but then again, I never wore weaves. I suppose we attract certain types of guys based on the way we present ourselves.

Would you dump a guy if he forced you to wear your hair a certain way?