The discussion of natural hair is an interesting and important one. I think the topic goes deeper than what a man finds attractive from the outset. Society has pushed an image forward regarding what is acceptable and many have followed this either consciously or subconsciously. Negative terms such as picky, rough and tough hair have often been associated with natural African and Caribbean hair and this has caused a large dislike for young woman to go natural. Rather than be content with natural hair, many stray away and choose to fit in. This is not the only reason why; I am aware that relaxed/straight hair and weave is easier to maintain and sometimes the extra hair is used for protection but, underlying all this it is important for women to understand the deep psychological effects and also the damage that the heat does to their hair.
The celebrated African and Caribbean figures do not help either. They often use weave or have their hair relaxed and given that many young women look up to them, this does not positively contribute to their self image. I remember watching a documentary by Chris Rock called Good Hair and it was astounding to hear what young black women thought of their hair. I recall one young girl being cursed for her natural hair by her “friends” and was told that she would never be able to go to an interview with “her hair like that”. With this kind of perception is it any wonder why many feel uncomfortable with going natural?
In terms of my personal preference, if it’s not been already made obvious, I prefer natural hair. However, ultimately it is a woman’s choice as to what she does with her hair. At the end of the day if someone wants to wear weave or relax their hair and damage it, that is up to them. I just hope that the ‘root’ of their reasons are positive and not out of a lack of self acceptance.