An Open Letter to the Natural Hair Community

One of the reasons I started this blog was because of all of the support I had received from women in the natural hair community.  Over the past few years I have gotten a lot of support from women in the movement and I’ll always be grateful for that.  Although I have had a different experience than most of you, I hope that my support of the curly-haired community comes across loud and clear.

I realize that I did not have many of the experiences a lot of you had when it came to your hair.  I did not get as much positive affirmation or nearly as much discouragement.  I didn’t sit in between my mother’s legs and cry from all the pulling and tugging on my hair and scalp.  I’ve never even gotten my hair braided or gotten headaches from having my hair pulled so taut.  I’ve never had a comb break in my hair (wait…yeah that definitely happened once!).  Images in the media absolutely hit me in a very different, and arguably in a less pointed, way.  I never second guessed why I wore my hair the way I did.  I just always assumed guys were supposed to wear short hair so that’s what I did.

I had a chemical process once, a few years ago, when I first came to NY.  I texturized my hair to get a different look, but didn’t like it enough to stick with it. I also realized that keeping up something like that would be way too intensive for me.  So I went back to my regular routine of getting hair cuts every few weeks.  Fast forward to today and I have been wearing my fro for two years now.  I like having a new style, a new edge, and I recognize that I have a new sense of confidence in myself.  There’s a bit of freedom in wearing my hair whatever way I want, no matter what other people have to say about it.

I don’t see the natural hair movement as only a women’s issue. I see it as a self-esteem issue. If embracing your curls in their natural state gives you a sense of freedom and confidence then I fully support anyone who makes that decision.  If you choose to relax or straighten your hair, then my hope is that you do it as safely as possible because I believe no one should be sacrificing their health for a good-looking head of hair.  In the end, I believe we’re all entitled to express ourselves as we see fit. In the grand scheme of things, it is just hair but at the same time I know when I’m not feeling my hair it’s generally not the best of days.

All things considered, I have to say that seeing women wearing curly hair, locs and fros has inspired me to do whatever I want with my hair and judging from the (re)emergence of these styles among other men, I feel comfortable saying that the boys are following suit.  As the years go by I hope that other men and boys will support the women in their lives and their decisions about their hair (and bodies).  If this happens, then I think you will probably see more boys and men feeling comfortable enough to take their own risks with their image and hair.  We’ve got a lot to learn and I want to keep learning and spreading the word!

Sincerely,

Mane Man

Natural Hairstyles for Black Men = AWESOME

I just came across this vid while lurking around the internet and it’s definitely a must see for those of you out there considering growing out your hair.  There are a lot of different styles and options. Find what works for you! Credit goes to naturalnana on YouTube.  Check out her other vids as well. There is background music so watch your volume. Enjoy!

Does it really work?!

I recently stopped in to Afrigenix to get my hair cut which you might have seen from my previous post Chopped!  Well another part of my experience that I did not write about before was my stylist fawning over how much length I had achieved since I started to grow my hair out.  Now, I don’t claim to have the magic answer to help make your hair grow but all I know is, my hair grows like the weeds that ruin the pretty new sod in your front yard. Continue reading Does it really work?!

Chopped!

(Source)

I cut my hair!  I still have plenty but you might know that lately I haven’t really been feeling my hair all that much.  It was getting too hard to deal with and I felt like I needed to switch it up a bit.  Plus, my hair does this weird thing (which apparently isn’t all that uncommon) where the ends flop over, which makes them look sort of scraggly (like the dancers,  Les Twins). I just got tired of seeing that and the sheer volume of hair I had to deal with on a daily basis.  And while I love big hair, recently it’s been a bit too much maintenance for me.  So I got a cut!

I walked into the salon (after all, most barbers aren’t prepared to deal with more than 2 inches of hair nowadays) and told my stylist Lisa that I was there for a cut.  She was appalled.  She kept asking, “Are you sure?….are you sure?!”  After a few minutes, I sat down in the chair and she asked me how short I wanted to go. I started having second thoughts. Wait, should I just get the ends trimmed?! I don’t know why but I have seriously never been so nervous about a stupid hair cut.  I can do this, I told myself. I took a deep breath and pulled out my work I.D. from about a year and a half ago for some inspiration.  I showed it to Lisa (the stylist) and she went at it! Continue reading Chopped!

Fro in the City: Sinful Saturday!

This past Saturday night, my friends and I enjoyed what can only be described as Sinful Saturday.  There were plenty of spirits and good time had by all.  As far as fro maintenance goes, I washed in the morning with Kinky Curly Come Clean, used Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner and then raked in some Donna Marie Miracurl Curling Gelly (PJism is a very expensive mistress).  It came out alright and I’ll do a more detailed review of the curling gelly soon but I’ve been a bit disgruntled with the status of my hair lately and just got my hair cut (post coming soon, I promise!). Check out the pictures after the jump! Continue reading Fro in the City: Sinful Saturday!

Quick Tips!

I recently came across a few articles specifically geared towards men’s hair care and wanted to share them with everyone.  The first is from Real Health and it takes a more holistic approach to growing healthy hair.  The second link lists Hair Growth Tips for Black Men but the tips are very applicable to anyone who wants to grow out their hair. I’ve used most of these tips myself and can definitely vouch for the wonders of co-washing.  Happy reading!

Have any questions about the tips?  Send in your questions or comments by clicking on the contact page or emailing maneman@manemanblog.com.

Fro in the City: Friday Night!

I went out for a friend’s birthday dinner Friday night and basically used my everyday routine.  I co-washed with Tresemme Naturals and raked in some pink EcoStyler gel and this is how it looked:

Good thing you can't see the absurd stain that's basically just out of frame. But the lettuce wraps were worth it!

Nothing out of the ordinary but the fro is starting to get a bit too big for me. Monday I’m going to get it cut so we’ll see how far I let ’em go!

A modern man's lifestyle guide to hair, health and everything in between.