How One White Man Views Our Natural Hair
By Terez Howard
Why do you spend all that time on your hair?
That’s what my husband used to ask me about 6 years ago. I was natural. But I didn’t wear my natural hair. I straightened it as straight as I could. I rolled it every night in curlers. I rarely wore my hair down for fear the dreaded moisture monster would scare my hair into its natural state.
Now I spend about 8 hours retightening my locs every 5 weeks. And he says, “That’s really fast, Terez. You’re getting good at that.”
That might seem ridiculous. However, my white husband appreciates that I am wearing my natural hair. Ethan has been my No. 1 biggest supporter. Although I had a lot of chemical-free bloggers, Internet-based DIY-ers and online naturals to turn to, if I didn’t have him in my corner, I don’t think I could have done this natural hair thing.
When we first got married, he did not understand what I had to do to make my hair look “presentable.” I would not dare go out with freshly washed hair. Ethan would always ask why. I always retorted, “I can’t.” He was the first person to tell me there was nothing wrong with wearing my hair after it was washed. I think that was on our honeymoon.
It took me a year of marriage to realize that he was right. There has got to be a better way to maintain my hair, I thought. Even though he couldn’t show me what to do with my natural hair, he always told me that it looked beautiful. Sometimes, it didn’t. Those beginning months were days of experimentation.
Once I started wearing my natural hair, he probably had his hands in my hair as much as I did. He was just as enthralled by what could be done with natural hair as I was.
Then came locs
Unfortunately, Ethan couldn’t be with me when I got my micro locs installed. The day after installation was the first time he saw them, and I had prepared him for the worst. Most people don’t like the initial look. His first reaction was, “Oh. They look REALLY GOOD!”
He faithfully drove me hours away from our home to get my hair maintained. He footed what totaled an enormous bill for my hair over the course of a year. When I need to retighten my hair now, he happily occupies our 4-year-old daughter. He has never ever complained about what could easily be looked at as a hassle with my hair. Instead, he encourages me. He loves natural, and everything else – the driving, the money, the time – is inconsequential.
My blogging begins
With my blog, I spend a considerable amount of time writing and researching as well as reading, watching and promoting other naturals’ resourceful information. Is it too much time for Ethan?
Not at all. Once again, he has only been a source of encouragement. He recently said, “It’s great that you just want to help people.”
He helps me help other naturals by being my personal photographer. Most of the pictures on my blog were taken by Ethan.
We have taken note of innumerable black naturals with white men. We like to believe that these white men are encouraging their black women to embrace what’s naturally theirs. That’s what happened in our case.
Ethan has taken an active interest in my natural hair. He listens to my discoveries and watches the Youtube hair videos I love. He had an interest in natural hair before I did. My natural hair obsession started with one white man.
About the author
Read more about Terez’s obsession with natural hair at her blog, Naturalicious Hair