Natural hair and interracial dating
I met my French boyfriend before I was natural. In the beginning he never saw my real hair because I wore weaves all the time.
One night when he tried to run his fingers through my hair, I had to explain what a weave was. His eyes where then opened and he’d play spot the weave every time he saw a black woman!
I moved to Korea and we were apart for over a year, this is when I big chopped. I big chopped for personal reasons and because being in Korea, I couldn’t find anywhere to get my relaxer done or products to look after my hair. During the day I wore wigs to avoid unwanted attention from Koreans who are not used to anyone that doesn’t look like them and at night, in my apartment I would look after my TWA.
When I skyped my boyfriend I wore my wig. I was too shy to let him see me without the long flowing hair I once spotted. I didn’t know what he’d think. Would he like it? Would he look at me differently? Would he think less of me? All my questions would soon be answered when we decided to move in together. This made me nervous because he’d have to see me on wash day when I’m air drying my hair in twists or bantu knots and worst of all he’d see me every night when I put on my satin bonnet before bed! I didn’t think he could handle it so while he prepared our apartment in Paris, I prepared my head. I got my first weave in over a year.
Living together was and still is amazing. But after 3 months it was time to take down the weave. I’m tender headed and was missing my natural hair so getting another weave was not option. I told myself that if we were gonna share our lives and live together, he was gonna have to see and accept the real me. So I began to take down my weave. After an hour of struggling, he offered to help me take it out. I was hesitant at first but frustrated at how long it was taking me to get it done so I let him help me. I felt vulnerable. The first time he saw me without my weave, he saw me with my old cornrows with dandruff and bits of weave tracks stuck to them. He wasn’t shocked or disgusted like I thought he would be. In fact he was fascinated at the soft fluffy hair as he unravelled each cornrow. He kept reassuring me that I was (still) beautiful and that he loved me no matter how my hair looks.
He loves my afro so much and he encourages me to wear it out more often. He prefers it in its natural shrunken state to it blow dried and straightened. He also loves running his fingers through it and playing with my curls. He understands that wash day can turn into an all-day event and he thinks it’s funny that he can cook with all the stuff I put on my hair! He understands that my night time routine can be a bit lengthy at times and that I have to sleep in my bright purple satin bonnet but he doesn’t seem to mind…well except for the purple satin bonnet, I think he just tolerates it!
I’m impressed with how clued up he is now on natural hair. He can accurately tell what a person’s curl pattern is and I find it amusing when he recommends hair care products and practices to my friends! He has been the most supportive person on my natural journey and even helped me set up this blog. I now feel so ridiculous at how paranoid and secretive I was in the beginning about my hair!
About the Author
South African. World citizen. Currently based in Paris.
Traveler. Writer. Model. Teacher.