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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… Read more »
MichelleF

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

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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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… Read more »
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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