I’ve been married for 15 years and have two teenagers at home. I’m in a different place from many naturals out here who are running off to classes, raising babies or taking booty shots for Instagram. I’m what many would call a mature natural or an older natural. I’m more worried about gray hairs, my 401k and when the next New Edition Reunion concert is coming to Denver but that doesn’t mean I ‘m not worried about my hair or what my husband thinks about it. Well…or not think about it. Let me explain.
I’ve had almost every hairstyle a black woman can have with the exception of the Jheri Curl (thank goodness for small favors). I’ve had box braids down to my butt (Not Beyonce box braids, Janet Jackson box braids….remember I’m older than you!), wore weaves, had the Halle Berry infamous haircut and even rocked a few wigs. This was before and after I got married. I took you down memory lane so you would know that my husband has seen it all…all hairstyles under the sun on my head and for the most part he really had nothing to say about it.
We met at a nightclub and yes, you can find your soul mate in da club! I was wearing box braids down to my butt as I often did during the summers in humid-ass New Orleans. He liked my braids I guess because he bought me a drink and asked for my number. Within a year we were married and I’ve sported so many styles over the years that I’m not sure if he even noticed some of them.
Let me explain something. My husband ISN’T a talker. He is truly a man of few words with a dry sense of humor. He’s witty and smart but not one to just do small talk. I’m the talker and I can make him talk but he expresses himself through his actions. Nothing wrong with that but whenever I asked him if he liked a new hairstyle, wig, weave…whatever, he would always say the same thing. “I’m not with you for your hair”. I kid you not…that was what he always said. Even when I pressed the issue (I may have been self-conscious about a look) I would always get the same thing but maybe he would add a “What do you want me to say?” *sigh*
When I went natural over 8 years ago it was because we moved from a humid climate to a dry one and I thought the climate change and the chemicals would be a bad combination for my tresses. I was still wearing braids, wigs and weaves but not relaxing and when I finally decided to go full out natural I was terrified. Worried about how I looked I asked him again and I got the same answer. As I grew more confident and more knowledgeable, my hair grew and I began finding my way. I did the BC after a few years of horrible treatment to my hair and it grew out from the TWA and I primarily wore a wash and go. Whenever I would straighten my hair I asked the question and I noticed a slight hesitation from him and after his usual reply he would ask when it would be curly again….aha!
That was just a small indication of him liking my hair. The real clue came when we were watching TV one night in the living room. He was sitting on the couch I was laying my head in his lap. Without warning he starts to stroke my hair. I almost had a heart attack! This man NEVER and I mean NEVER stroked or touched my hair. He was actually playing in it and I began to tear up. I was no longer watching TV but thinking back over our marriage and I couldn’t remember one single time he played in my hair. Not one. That was clue enough for me. This man, my best friend, who never really said much about my hair was in love with my natural hair.
I never said a word. There was no need. He showed me what he thought and it made me feel wonderful. Now, I’m not saying he never liked it before but like my mother has always told me…”Actions speak louder than words.” I knew being natural was right for me and obviously right for him and even though he continues to play in my hair I only smile but keep this tidbit to myself. He already spoke volumes.