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Pho­to Source: broswithfrosandcurls.tumblr.com

The con­ver­sa­tion about nat­u­ral hair often revolves around wom­en and the strug­gles they face to accept their nat­u­ral tex­ture, but men strug­gle too.

Beau­ty blog­ger Tia Williams recent­ly post­ed a con­ver­sa­tion she had with close friend Kib­we (NOT pic­tured above!) who is grow­ing out his type-4 hair as a sign of accept­ing it for what it was. Here’s a snip­pet of the con­ver­sa­tion:

Kib­we: Lis­ten. As a black man…a black man who’s hair doesn’t wave if I rock a du-rag to bed…your hair is this thing com­ing out of you that you have to hur­ry up and get rid of before every­one sees it. If I have even a mil­lime­ter of new growth, I look like a slave. It’s “peasy,” “beady-beads,” “taco meat.” It com­mu­ni­cates “urban,” there’s no oth­er option.
Me: Fair enough.
Kib­we: I’m sick of the Ceasar. I need to see my hair. I need to learn to react pos­i­tive­ly to it, because the cul­ture is not affirm­ing me. If I keep cut­ting it, no one will adjust their thinking…including me. It’s like when you’re a wom­an who feels gross with­out lip­gloss or some­thing. You should try skip­ping it to learn to love your­self with­out it.
[In my head, I’m like “umm…never, bud­dy.”]
Kib­we: Also, just from a fash­ion point of view…I always want­ed to have the “scruffy” option. White cul­ture has the “scruffy guy you still wan­na f*ck,” like John­ny Depp. Black cul­ture doesn’t. Locks and twists are just start­ing to kin­da become cool, like with 2 Chainz and Wayne and Wale. There’s Lenny, but he’s always been the excep­tion.
Me: Yeah, it’s like the whole dirty chic thing nev­er works on black girls. We can’t wear f*cked-up Uggs, or super-messy pony­tails. We look home­less.
Kib­we: We’re expect­ed to be clean cut, so as not to offend non-minori­ties. There’s no lane for a non-con­ven­tion­al black man (espe­cial­ly not for a gay one). Not if you wan­na keep your job.

Click here for the full arti­cle on ShakeYourBeauty.com.

And please share, ladies, have you wit­nessed men who strug­gle to embrace their nat­u­ral tex­ture?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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51 Comments on "Do Men Get Insecure About Having Kinky Hair?"

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BaldheadedFoo

There is WAY too many bald-head­ed black dudes out there. Glad to see bruthas mix­ing it up more. Hope the trend of grow­ing out hair becomes more pop­u­lar. With all the milk duds walk­ing around you could open a can­dy fac­to­ry.

iammastar21

I love black men with long nat­u­ral hair as long as it’s clean trimmed and well main­tained not dirty tan­gled and a wild mess. Big afros braids and dread­locks are sexy on black men when they main­tain it well. Short clean cuts are nice too though but I go crazy over a black man with long nat­u­ral hair.

rainbow

Had no idea that was why black men were get­ting ceasars. I see men with kinky hair out and scruffy look and they look hot! Check out Richie Drenz!!

Young Black Man
Long hair and short hair does not define a man, nor does it make him more fem­i­nine or mas­cu­line. Hair is an exten­sion of the body and brain, noth­ing else. If you’re too scared that your man­hood would be jeop­ar­dized for grow­ing long hair than per­haps you need to recheck your sex­u­al­i­ty. As a young black man myself I have worn both short and long hair.  I have grown the afro, had braids, short cuts, soup bowls, waves, shaved com­plete­ly bald, and I cur­rent­ly have locks of hair a few inch­es past my shoul­der. Speak­ing from my own man­ly point of… Read more »
MichelleF

Thank you very much, this is by far the best respon­se I have seen.

wie kann ich schnell abnehmen

I am delight­ed that I detect­ed this web site, pre­cise­ly the right infor­ma­tion that I was search­ing for! .

Mercy
I’ve won­dered quite a few times myself. After see­ing actors like Matthew McConaugh­ey, Ash­ton Kutcher, many white rock singers and oth­ers over the years I won­dered why black men cut their hair so low! More White men are secure with hav­ing hair near their shoul­ders or at least grown out to right below their ears. They’re not con­sid­ered too fem­i­nine for hav­ing hair that is more than 3 inch­es long! Intrigu­ing when you think of oth­er races’ and cul­tures’ ide­als in gen­der roles. Samoan men pride in their hair. Like Kib­we men­tioned, I’ve over­heard many guys in high school speak… Read more »
Beautyintheeyes
Some things you have to under­stand: .White people’s cul­ture is not same to yours. .whether white, black, green, or blue, a man with too much hair is more of a fem­i­nine attrib­ute in many cul­tures, whether or not Ash­ton Kutcher and the rest are crit­i­cized for it does not change the fact. .Hav­ing long hair in men is not a sign of secu­ri­ty, how can you even see that as a sign of secu­ri­ty or inse­cu­ri­ty? It’s sim­ply a choice. How about say­ing the men with longer hair are inse­cure and does not want to show their skulls because it doesn’t have… Read more »
Mercy
There’s a tribe whose faces I could nev­er for­get. I was watch­ing a fea­ture on Nat­Geo years ago and I could nev­er for­get the Wodaabe after all of the­se years. Although I for­got their name, i nev­er for­got their rit­u­al and that the men grew long hair. That held my admi­ra­tion because the­se men’s tex­ture was sim­i­lar to mine’s and it looked great on them. There’s also the Masai tribe. Their men grow long hair too. And I’m sure there’s many oth­er African tribes whose men grow long hair too. I remem­ber years ago a lot of black men wore… Read more »
Candise
I don’t think its just black men, I think its all men in gen­er­al, but black men espe­cial­ly. Hair is beau­ti­ful, but since way back in the day, like most things when it comes to beau­ty, long hair has been asso­ci­at­ed with fem­i­nin­i­ty. The hair was cut to sep­a­rate the men from the wom­en, to make men look more pre­sentable, for a lot of rather stu­pid rea­sons. But why? Why should men not embrace their beau­ty? If hair was only meant for wom­en, then only wom­en would have hair and all the men in the world would be bald or… Read more »
William Dockery
Good day ladies and gents.Too Answer the above ques­tion about why men don’t let their hair , i will start with this. In,many cul­tures hair rep­re­sents fem­i­nal­i­ty, men gen­er­al­ly keep their hair short to avoid con­fu­sion with wom­en. Sec­ond­ly men,were gen­er­al­ly seen as war­riors so to have long hair would present an obsti­cle dur­ing war, a dis­ad­van­tage. You could be restrained by it. Final­ly as a black man for most its been ingrained in yes since we were chil­dren to go to the Bar­ber­shop and get a hair cut. Most moth­ers were sin­gle moms and did not have time to… Read more »
Beautyintheeyes
You are so right! This arti­cle got me won­der­ing until I saw your com­ment. What of Africa where there isn’t much on the issue of long hair/short hair? Men in Africa (I’m African), or most part of it, cut their hair it is not about accep­tance. It is a sign of mas­culin­i­ty. Ladies are sup­posed to wor­ry about hair and beau­ty, the men have no time for such. African-Amer­i­can men should no that their cut­ting their hair may not be as a result of their past, but the cul­ture where they were orig­i­nal­ly from (Africa). Men wear­ing long hair or wor­ry­ing… Read more »
Natalie
I’m sure that black guys in the UK can be inse­cure about kinky hair and I think it depends on what area you work in on how it is accept­ed. If you work in a bank or busi­ness where you are rep­re­sent­ing your com­pa­ny then you have to have hair that is pre­sentable. How­ev­er my broth­er has locks and he used to work for a high end car firm as a sales­man pro­vid­ing he looked pre­sentable it was OK. On TV you see black guys wear­ing canerows alot and on the street guys will go out with a du-rag or a… Read more »
Sheree
I’ve been think­ing about this sooo much since I start­ed wear­ing my hair out!! I would love to find some back­ground on why it’s so impor­tant for black men to get rid of their hair as soon as it starts grow­ing out. I feel they suf­fer from a lot of sup­pres­sion of what’s nat­u­ral­ly them just like black wom­en do but (at least in Jamaica), it’s large­ly ignored. I had a friend who, close to the end of high school, start­ed grow­ing out his hair into a big afro. There were girls and guys (espe­cial­ly girls) who used to tell him… Read more »
eidole

I live in France and I can relate on what you said!
Guys, most­ly africans, relaxed their hair. Westin­di­an guyS dont do that, they love to put corn­rowns, locks or leave their hair in pony­tails.

Michelle

Okay… not only in Bar­ba­dos, doesn’t make me feel any bet­ter that black men suf­fer this way out­side my coun­try though :(

Kenneth Wilson

There should be no injus­tice done. If men are afraid of wom­en with long hair it’s only because they have a prob­lem with them­selves. Do not be afraid of your wom­en, praise them. Nat­u­ral hair is what you want. Not the fake. Hang in there, you are loved for you.

africandiva
i am nat­u­ral. i love nat­u­ral hair, my boyfriend luvs my nat­u­ral hair. How­ev­er, when it comes to him I have to remind him to get a hair­cut. I just find it attrac­tive. Guys with long hair/fros just aren’t my cup of tea. Every­one has their cup of tea… its just like with trey songz for exam­ple, when he had his corn­rows I didn’t real­ly notice him BUT when he cut it all off! I was Trip­pin’. Nonethe­less I believe Men should DO THEM! if they want to cut, braid, loc even relax their hair, its all up to their… Read more »
AKING

Great read. I had wore my hair in “waves” and “even-stevens” before. I’ve been wear­ing my hair unkept in curls/afros since I was 15yrs old. I’m 28 now. As a adult it’s eas­ier because I know who I am and I’m com­fort­able with that. But at 1st, being a young black man, it was very hard to “be dif­fer­ent” among my peers. Grow­ing up in the hood in the 90’s/early 2000’s, it was frowned upon to march to the beat of your own drum smh

Dana

I know a mixed guy who said one time (real fast) “No, I’m not wear­ing no crazy afros” and I had to tell him that that was insen­si­tive and prej­u­diced, and he got the point. You got­ta speak up or peo­ple won’t learn that what they’re uncon­scious­ly har­bor­ing is ugly and erod­ing to everyone’s self-esteem, theirs includ­ed.

Kaila P
I had nev­er real­ized it but men have the whole good hair bad hair stig­ma too ‚there was a guy in my class who tex­tur­ized his hair to get soft ‘nice” hair I know two oth­ers who did it for the same rea­son. ANoth­er time one of my guy friends told anoth­er friend that he would do a style but he doesn’t have good hair like the oth­er friend, he’s half white half black btw, the inter­ra­cial guy was like the hair you have on your head is total­ly fine learn to be hap­py with it. Hon­est­ly that sit­u­a­tion warmed… Read more »
Rhonda

Les Twins–they’re dancers from France
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stephanie

My babies!!! <3
I hope my future hus­band is nat­u­ral like them :)

Daaammn

Daaam­mmnnnn he iiis fii­i­i­ine. :op

lexdiamonz

I LOVE to see a wild-haired,bushy unkemp black guy’s hair it is sooooo shab­by chic not to men­tion the­se are usu­al­ly the artsy,intelligent, f-the world types that I LOVE (Saul Williams) HELLO!!! lol I have grown to learn it is what’s in your head not on it

amy03
I’ve always loved men with long hair. When I say long, I mean neck length. When it’s too long, it’s a bit weird (just my pref­er­ence). The last time my sis­ter shaved her son, I was so sad because I think he’s so cute with hair. I was dis­cussing this with a friend who’s grow­ing out his hair and anoth­er guy. The oth­er guy said that for a man, hav­ing a clean-cut shave is a norm in our soci­ety and it means that per­son is clean and takes care of him­self. No need to tell you that I was real­ly… Read more »
Leo the Yardie Chick

“Remem­ber the Nivea ad.”

Ooooh yes. “Re-civ­i­lize your­self”. *side-eye*

Michelle

Yeah who could for­get the Nivea ad, thanks to cracked.com I also got to see some oth­er real­ly insen­si­tive ads as well. Some peo­ple just don’t under­stand what true beau­ty is that’s all.

shelikes

keep your hair long and healthy; just please don’t primp like a girl.

Nina

I appre­ci­ate black men with free-form locks. Hell, I was mad crush­ing on one who was a mime (true sto­ry). Not to men­tion, Cipri­ana from Urban Bush Babes has a fii­ine-ass man with nat­u­ral hair. I real­ize there are a lot of black wom­en who do not share this attrac­tion for black men real­ly rock­ing nat­u­ral hair, and that needs to change, because if we can­not appre­ci­ate black men in their nat­u­ral state, how can we begin to have the audac­i­ty to demand that appre­ci­a­tion from them for ours? We can’t.

Michelle

I have to agree with you there, we can’t ful­ly embrace who we are if we leave out the men.

Michelle

yeah they do, even when they keep their hair short (as in cut close to the scalp), there is still a ten­den­cy in Bar­ba­dos — espe­cial­ly when guys have type 4 hair — to get a lit­tle relax­er put on it first to soft­en it up. This way, when the bar­ber cuts it down, it looks like they have type 3 hair or some­thing (oth­er­wise known as ‘good hair’).

Sheree

I had a friend in Jamaica do that once and they were teased lol but in France it’s not even a lit­tle relax­er they do that ish for real.

Vanity601

Absolute­ly! Lots of black men haven’t been instilled with pride about their own hair, which is why they push those neg­a­tive atti­tudes on to black wom­en.

Cherelle

Looka like both wom­en and men are con­tin­u­ing a cycle that makes no sense to hold on to or that was cre­at­ed by us .… …

Cherelle

that was­nt cre­at­ed*

Cherelle
I think black men look bea-ut-i-FUL with their hair doing its thing.… .  It was in fact me notic­ing this about men that I thought, sure­ly if they look nice with their hair show­ing, I would too. I reme­ber say­ing to a friend after I saw a beau­ti­ful man with gor­geous hair on under­ground — “why is it accept­able for a black man to have his nat­u­ral hair out and be con­sid­ered nice, but a black wom­an has to do every­thing in her pow­er to make sure it looks noth­ing of the sort”. After a real hard look at this issue, I thought screw… Read more »
Yayer

Co-sign­ing Cherelle on her sec­ond para. It seems that young black wom­en in the UK from lat­er teens to 35 are under pres­sure to wear our hair straight or weaved but def­i­nite­ly not as is where­as men often have free form fros, big curly fros etc etc and no one says much about it.

Carmen
I’m African and Euro­pean. Born in Europe, raised in Africa and now liv­ing in Europe again. I’m a big fan of african amer­i­can (nat­u­ral) women’s style. But I don’t get african amer­i­can men’s hair­styles. I don’t get waves, I don’t get shap­ing up hair­li­nes, I don’t get man­i­cured locks. In Europe, there’s a lot of young black men with cute fros (and old­er men with longer hair). In Africa, there’s a lot of hand­some guys with free formed locks. I love black men and I espe­cial­ly love their hair. I learned to love my own nat­u­ral hair because I fell… Read more »
Rou
Car­men, I share your attrac­tion for Black men, who express them­selves through their hair. I am tired of look­ing at the typ­i­cal “Black man” hair­cut. It is bor­ing! I love it when Black men rock locks, afros, and var­i­ous oth­er nat­u­ral hair­styles. It tells me that he is a self-thinker, uncon­ven­tion­al, inde­pen­dent, and/or artis­tic. All of the qual­i­ties I val­ue in a sig­nif­i­cant oth­er. I love men who aren’t afraid to be them­selves, regard­less of the back­lash they will receive from soci­ety at large. To hell with what oth­er peo­ple think; if you can’t be your­self, your liv­ing an unau­then­tic… Read more »
maralondon
I’m from the UK but i use to date an AA guy who want­ed me to lock my hair. He hat­ed the man­i­cured look and encour­aged me to go the free form way. Need­less to say i didn’t do either. He on the oth­er hand always vis­it­ed the bar­bers to get his hair and beard trimmed and hat­ed long hair on men. I have to agree with you Car­men about the man­i­cured locks on men, i’m not much of a fan espe­cial­ly when they corn­row them and wear their hair in up dos. I’m a fan of messy afros on… Read more »
erigirl

I am a self-pro­fessed fan of clean-cut black man. This arti­cle has made me real­ize how hyp­o­crit­i­cal I’ve been. While I am a fan and sup­port­er of Black wom­en hav­ing the pre­rog­a­tive to rock their hair how­ev­er they see fit (from a baldie to a waist-length weave), I haven’t been giv­ing Black men that same free­dom, in my mind at least. I’ve nev­er appre­ci­at­ed a man’s need to express him­self through his hair. I will def­i­nite­ly be think­ing twice before I judge the next Black man with my usu­al thought of “he would prob­a­bly look great if he got a fade”.

Kayla

Whoa, same. I’ve been so anti-guys with dreads with­out think­ing about the hypocrisy on my part.

kb1908

I absolute­ly can’t stand, when a wom­an refers to black man’s body hair as taco meat. If some­one flipped it and a black woman’s hair is messy cause it’s not per­med, peo­ple would be upset.
I mean is he sup­posed to perm his chest hair?

Dominika

he’s got a darn point there

Larry Wynn

I’ve actu­al­ly came across this. Last year, I decid­ed to grow my hair out. When I wore it out in an afro, my fam­i­ly and many oth­ers ridiculed me; but when I wore it curly, no one had a prob­lem. It made me feel inse­cure about my own hair. I want­ed to cut it. But I stuck with it and start­ed locs. Many peo­ple said they did not like locs, but it was accept­able for me because I was an artist. Sad isn’t it.

Leo the Yardie Chick

I hear you. Since artists are already stereo­typed as whacky bound­ary-push­ers, it gives you more lee­way to let your hair do its thing than if you were in a more tra­di­tion­al career/lifestyle. It can be lib­er­at­ing and con­fin­ing in its own way. Sad.

Penelope

This is so true. I’m so glad to have read this. There real­ly isn’t any room for a black per­son to look less than “top notch”, espe­cial­ly if you’re a male and want to be tak­en seri­ous­ly or treat­ed with respect. A fam­i­ly friend of mine had to cut of his hair for his new job. Even out­side of that, the “scruffy” look on peo­ple with kinky hair is seen as unpre­sentable, as if kinky hair is already enough.
Good for your friend, Kib­we! You have to reject the­se things one at a time, day by day.

Penelope

*as if kinky hair is already scruffy enough.
Sor­ry for the typo!

PMS

He was fine.…then well.…le sigh!

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