We curly ladies aren’t the only ones who face unexpected challenges related to our >natural hair. Our partners also find themselves in unfamiliar and often maddening territory as they help us navigate the terrain of curlydom, frequently making significant sacrifices for our good hair days.
My husband has patiently listened to me detail the importance of conditioners and styling products to my well-being, my incessant need to check the weather forecast before deciding what products I’ll use that day, and the unique proportion of conditioner to styling product I require based on the amount of relative humidity in the air.
He’s mostly understanding, but one issue sets him on edge.
“All those bottles!” he exclaims. “I don’t have enough room for my soap, shampoo, and conditioner!”
Guilty as charged. All the guy wants is a tiny space in our shower for three items, but my menagerie of curly hair conditioners, detanglers and shampoo bottles somehow continues to grow, leaving no room for his few necessities.
Since meeting me, Corey also knows a quick trip to the grocery store could turn into a marathon afternoon if I encounter another curly. We give each other a knowing look, a curly bat signal of sorts, start talking hair and comparing products. Meanwhile, my husband is left waiting… and waiting… and waiting… and the ice cream melts.
Then there’s Harold S., whose girlfriend is experimenting with a number of different straightened looks while considering going natural.
“It’s like she’s in a transition phase,” he said.
Harold’s learning the lingo (transitioning!), and he’s already noticing how the bathroom countertop is filling up with bottles, leaving him with no place to put his meager amount of stuff. Soon date nights might be spent watching YouTube videos of stylists and vloggers demonstrating their latest looks instead of a movie or concert.
As much as our guys might complain about our hair product addictions, Internet “research” and obsession with weather patterns, they often are the most supportive of our natural hair goals. My husband can’t keep his hands out of my curly hair and sometimes, he’s able to tell a stranger about my hair regimen better than I can.
If you’ve got a supportive partner, hold on to him. Even if he nods off listening to your latest deep conditioner discovery and doesn’t feel the intense pain of discovering your Holy Grail product has been discontinued, he does appreciate the end result of your hard work.
Just give him a little space to put his one bottle of shampoo and conditioner, okay?
Written By: Shannon Shelton Miller
Since going natural in college more than 10 years ago (wow, time flies), Shannons hair journey has taken her through life in humid and dry climates, product junkie-ism, hair show modeling, wedding-hair styling and now, the world of “mom” hair. Shannon lives in Ohio with her husband and 1-year-old son, and continues to enjoy exploring the world of curly hair.