We are trying something new here! If you have ever wondered what some men really, really think of Natural hair, here's an opportunity to find out. Kunle shares his own perspective. (And yes, for the ladies that asked, he is a Nigerian, living in Nigeria).
I am Adekunle Shotubo. 40-something years old and very married to Gladys. My wife’s hair is relaxed and she occasionally wears a weave (not sure from which country). When I first met my wife, she had a Carl Lewis kind of hair cut and was just about to get into university. By the time we became an item, she had started doing the usual “I’m-grown-now” perms. She was still beautiful regardless of change in hairstyle, so no issues here. But sometimes, it’s really about the hair. A big turn off is when you try too much. A female ‘Denrele or Denis Rodman is a no-no. I just love seeing a woman with big Ghana weave cornrows. I’m almost enchanted with this hairstyle when properly done. One of the only times that I’m not going to get the “what are you looking at” sharp look from my wife when she catches me staring in the wrong direction. Lol. That’s my absolute favorite. The short dreadlocks with tints are also very catchy. While living in South Africa, I turned around a couple of times to look at ladies in really nice low (skin) haircuts.
While I compliment my wife on her hair when she “gets it right” – (now I’m dead!) I really do not get in the way of her looks. We’ve known each other since 91, so she kind of knows what I like. But she does not always make-up, dress up or do her hair to suit me. I believe people should be free to express themselves. Also, I can be very blunt with my opinion, so it does not always get expressly asked. I think, like a lot of women, my wife is quite wary of going full natural (kinky…without a perm and all). And that’s just OK.
I will tell you right now that you will not hear a man talk about a woman’s hair as reason for being with her, if it were an attached piece or weave on. But, on the contrary, you would hear folks say stuff like, “I was first struck by the way she looked in the low cut”. I believe any woman that can rock something natural and look good will be a blessing to wake up next to in the morning. So while most people have partners who are Brazilian or Chinese weaved, wigged and attached, etc., that would not be the attribute they would remember about their women. And if only women knew this they would not spend a fortune or fret endlessly over artificial hairdos. Truly, every well made hair, artificial or natural can enhance a woman’s looks. No doubt.
Now on to the questions.
Do you think hair is just hair?
I do not focus on hair, but I know how this can influence a woman’s look, and it’s the same with guys. So hair is not just hair. However, I tend to look at the full package with all senses too. The hair will really matter if it’s unusual and nice.
Do you actually like natural hair?
Oh yes, I do. I believe it makes you see more of the real person.
What do you REALLY, TRUTHFULLY think about natural-haired ladies?
I think a woman who is truly good looking will remain so in her natural state. And this is really in the eyes of the beholder. In my opinion, natural haired ladies are bold, confident and display a strong belief in “their own skin”. Going natural is also a way of telling others “there is more to me”.
Do you think naturals make "too much noise" about being #TeamNatural?
Lol. It’s all about awareness. I’ld like to see the folks on the other side start #TeamNotMine. The consciousness is also a way of helping others who feel the same way about natural hair but do not understand how to make it work after being led to believe something else for so long.
What would your reaction be if your wife/girlfriend told you that she wanted to do a big chop to go natural?
As with every big change, it takes some getting used to. However, I would want to know that this is something she wants for all the right reasons. I would help her in every way possible. She needs that support from home to be able to feel confident when she goes out. I would also like the fact that she would stand out from the rest… and I would finally get that Ghana weave or the funky stunted dreads with a burnt orange tint. Win, win.
What do you think about the idea of women wearing another person's hair (Indian, Peruvian e.t.c.)?
When I think of it in this context, it makes me shudder in…. I don’t even want to think of the process of harvesting the hair, the state of health of the previous owner, motivation to sell, and the self esteem of the person who thought theirs was not good enough and had to go get Sunita’s or Mariza’s. There’s also a strong element of “colo-mentality” to it as well…beauty as defined by others over the sea.
If you had to pick between Beyoncé and Esperanza Spalding, who would you choose?
Definitely not Beyonce. Tooo sassy does not work well with me. Purely for physical looks, I’ld go for Amber Rose. Esperanza?…Hmmm…I’m more into the Chimamanda or Thandiswa Mazwai look
Yes, it's unique and original, but which do you prefer, 100% natural, Weaves or Permed hair minus the weaves?
Big Ghana cornrows.
Would you help braid/local/twist/ do your woman's hair?
No. Already up to my neck in “honey-dos”. Get a professional please.
We see it a lot in music videos, especially Nigerian music videos the ladies with the long, long locks of the Brazilian and Peruvian variety. Is that really what the fellas love or are they indifferent to hair? Does it matter to them?
From a man’s point of view, it’s about the full package. No one remembers what the attached hair looked like… except if it appeared really tacky. By nature, video vixens are not known for their hair. You go figure that one out. Yea, I said it! But folks will definitely remember Lira’s or Zahara’s hair. The “usual” tends not to leave marks.
Would you allow your daughter's hair to be permed or shaved off because it's convenient for your wife?
Straight answer is NO. Convenience would not be a factor here in these types of decisions. It would have to be what is best for the child now and into the future. That being said, I know most women today are proud of their children’s full head of hair. I can’t even imagine Gladys would go that route with our daughter.