A Black Man’s Perspective on “Natural Hair”
Name: DeVario Hannah
Location: Everywhere, USA
What has been your experience with natural hair? Do you know anyone with natural hair?
My mother, a cousin, and a multitude of friends are natural. I myself have experimented with growing my hair out and I had braids once in college because there wasn’t a barber that I trusted when I studied abroad in France.
When looking for a mate, do you have a hair preference? (long, straight, natural, short)
I don’t have a hair preference. As long as she keeps her hair maintained, whether permed or natural, I’m good. I just want her to have healthy hair and we all know that it would be healthiest natural.
According to a recent article on The Atlanta Post, African Americans spent $507 billion (out of our total estimated buying power of $836 billion) in 2009 on hair care and personal grooming items. Do you think that too much value is placed on looks and hair in the African American community?
I do. The reason I think that is because we have been stripped of our identity here in America. We’ve been told every four and a half minutes after watching a segment of television, during commercials that straight equals beauty. Even the majority of the black celebrities that are looked at as beautiful are wearing long, straight, shiny Indian weaves. As a disclaimer, I’m not knocking those that choose to wear their hair straight, but there’s nothing wrong with a little kink and curl every now and then.
Whether straight or natural, what are your thoughts on the time and money that is put into African American women’s hair?
Too be perfectly honest, I really do not have a problem with the amount of time, but I do disagree with the amount of money that is spent on products. The majority of commercial products use one key main ingredient that can be found at local natural grocery stores. Time is not really an issue for me as long as it is not taking away time from other important things in your personal and professional life. Money is definitely an issue because it can take away from the financial stability of a home. Especially when you can get the same results by using key ingredients you can find yourself.
What are your thoughts on natural hair? Is it just another trend to you or do you think it is here to stay?
For some people, I think because it has boomed over the past couple of years, it is a trend for them. However, because it has stood the test of time (it has been around for awhile but not in such large numbers), I believe it is here to stay.