NB: In your opinion, what role does hair play in assessing your initial attraction to a woman?
“Hair plays a major role in my initial attraction. I’m not going to want to get to know someone better if they look like Florida Evans. I’m not a fan of the afro on women or hair that looks unkempt (not to say the afro looks unkempt). Women should take pride in their appearance and walking out the house looking like you woke up and didn’t even bother to touch your hair says a lot about you.”
NB: Why do you think so many women are going natural? Do you think the trend will fade?
“I think many women are starting to go natural because they are becoming more educated about what chemicals that are in the products they once used for relaxing their hair. Studies show that the chemicals used in relaxers do more harm than good, and women want healthy hair it seems by any means necessary today, even cutting almost all of their hair off to get rid of the perm. I remember in 2004, “going natural” was virtually unheard of and really didn’t begin to get more popular until 2007. Plus, the movie “Good Hair” didn’t hurt in attracting attention to this trend, which highlighted several issues in the African American community that made people analyze their personal views on what is ‘good hair’ to them.”
“I honestly do not think this trend will fade because women have seen the results of going natural and understand that it is possible to maintain ‘the look’ without looking disheveled daily. They also have witnessed what perms have done to their older relatives who have been getting relaxers in their hair for most of their lives but wear wigs now because the chemicals destroyed their ability to have a healthy head of hair. Also, more and more salons are becoming familiarized with how to properly style and help maintain their clients’ natural hair.”
NB: It has been researched that most black men prefer their women with natural hair; however, they prefer the woman’s hair to be straight. What is your opinion on this finding?
“I honestly do not care if my lady has relaxed hair or natural hair, AS LONG AS IT LOOKS GOOD. I don’t get caught up in the ‘natural hair bashing’ hype like I used to because I understand why women do it today. At the same time, I don’t care if my lady gets her hair relaxed either. It’s not my place to tell a woman how to wear HER hair, but if you have any interest in me, just make sure it looks good (not unkempt, tracks not showing, clean, well-maintained and somewhat fashionable)”
NB: How do you feel about satin bonnets, scarf’s and other nighttime protective tools that natural women use to maintain their hair at night? Are these items problematic to you?
“*laughs* This has never presented a problem to me because I grew up with mostly women so I am quite used to this look. Word of advice: If you like to spoon at night with your man, make sure the ‘protective hair tools’ smell fresh and are clean. It’s nothing worse than a lady wanting to spoon and you’re stuck smelling a scarf that hasn’t been washed since she first purchased it. One more thing: Don’t wear it outside the house!!”
NB: Are you opposed to dating a woman who gets a relaxer or who wears a weave?
I’m not opposed to either. However, I do like the feeling of running my fingers through a woman’s hair and weave does get in the way of that, but I’ll get over it.”
NB: Describe your personal style.
“Daily I wear tailored suits to work, but after work my style is more ‘sophisticated urban’. I enjoy wearing what no one else is wearing, if that makes sense. Gilt Groupe is my go to website for apparel.”
NB: What are some of your favorite hair care products?
“My personal favorite hair care products are my Annies Brush, my polyester du-rag, T-Gel shampoo, and Suave conditioner.”
NB: Why do you think some women with natural hair have a perception that most black men don’t accept or appreciate their natural hair (specifically if she chooses to wear a tiny afro, large afro or any other afro centric style)?
“Women have that perception because WE DON’T LIKE IT. Personally I do not like the awkward afro phase of going natural. I’m simply not a fan. There is no rhyme or reason to my reasoning; I just do not find it particularly attractive. Once upon a time when I was on a quest to grow my hair out to get braids, I too went through the awkward afro phase and I literally got no play from women during that period. It’s just a part of the game.”
NB: If you were to have a daughter how would you want her to wear her hair?
“I think that’s a decision me and my wife would discuss in the future but I am pro-natural especially after watching ‘Good Hair’.”
NB: Do you think it’s unattractive for a woman to spend too much time, money & energy maintaining her hair? (Whether it is natural or relaxed.)
“I don’t find it unattractive at all. If you are privileged enough to have female friends or go out on dates with different women then you already know that women take all the time in the world to ‘get ready’ anyhow. Just turn on Sport Center, sip some Simply Raspberry Lemonade and relax while she’s getting dolled up, the time she takes will be worth it. I would probably take issue with the money requirements if it was coming out of my personal bank account, but if not, spend away.”
NB: Do you agree that some women of color notice the men who disapprove of their natural hair more than the brotha’s who actually embrace and appreciate her in a more natural state? If yes, what do you think are the first steps to fixing this problem?
“Sometimes I really do think women notice brothas that disapprove of natural hair more. I can go on social media all day and sing the praises of natural hair and probably will barely get a “thank you”, but let me start slandering the “natural hair movement”: women mobilize the “social media natural hair secret services” and attack with the swiftness of Usain Bolt (believe me, I know). There are no steps to fixing this. It’s quite simple actually, if a man doesn’t like your natural hair then DON’T DATE HIM AND IGNORE HIM. Problem solved.”
NB:Is there anything else you wish women knew about how men truly feel about natural hair?
“Ladies, we love your hair; it’s an extension of your beauty. Most men don’t mind how you wear your hair, whether it’s relaxed or in a natural state, as long as we feel it looks good. Some of our definitions of what ‘good’ looks like may vary but overall it’s the same: well maintained and taken care of. If a man doesn’t particularly like your afro, twist, or natural hair then don’t date his a** and ignore him. You bashing that man on twitter is not going to change his mind and you look bitter. Remember: “He wasn’t with you sittin’ under the dryer” so what do you care. Lastly, none of this hair talk matters if you’re not intelligent. It doesn’t make a difference if your hair was done by Jesus himself if your conversation skills are up to par with a cinderblock. Therefore turn off Love and Hip-Hop and pick up a damn book!”
NB: Anything else you would like to add?
“Don’t hate me for my opinions, Jesus wouldn’t like that.”
James is originally from Detroit, MI but currently resides in Atlanta, Ga.
Any questions for James? Drop them below!