What are you going to do with your hair on your wedding day?
When I was teenager, one of my guy friends would always ask me: “what are you going to do with your hair on your wedding day? You’re not going to wear it natural, are you? You’re going to have to perm it!”
I used to say to him: “if I met a guy who liked me enough to want to marry me, that would mean he would have had to have liked me, natural hair and all! So why on earth would I change my hair on the day when I would want to look my absolute best for him? I highly doubt that he would appreciate that kind of shock on his wedding day.”
My friend would laugh at me, and insist that I would perm or at least straighten my hair on my wedding day. He was also ready to put money on it because he couldn’t imagine the thought of a bride not having straight hair on her Big Day. What he was basically saying to me was that “you can’t look pretty with natural hair on your wedding day!”
May 31st: a day to celebrate love
Well, today is my 1st wedding anniversary, and it’s also, coincidentally, International Natural Hair Meetup Day– so, for me, it’s a day to celebrate love for my husband and love for myself, too!
A year ago, I married the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful, amazing man I know!
And on my Big Day, my hair was natural…
Believe it or not, my now-hubby would not have wanted it any other way…
When we were still dating, one day I decided to switch it up and flat-iron my hair. My-then-boyfriend was not happy- and I was shocked! Why? Because I was so accustomed to guys giving me a lot more positive attention when my hair was straightened.
I have a distinct memory from undergrad of the first time I went to Mass Appeal salon in Atlanta to get my hair “whipped”. When I left that salon, please believe, my hair was “laid”—and the reaction I got from my male friends was astounding! It was as if they had never seen me before—all of a sudden, I had been transformed into this “hot” girl…who they now wanted to talk to, lol! (To be honest, I enjoyed the attention, but what I didn’t enjoy was that my hair took the press too well: it took several weeks to wash it out of my hair, and some of the ends refused to turn back…so I had to cut them! Not cool!)
At the time, I didn’t realize that straightening my hair was such a big deal. I figured, I’m the same person, with the same face, just with a different hairdo; but clearly, straightening your hair was the “sexy” thing to do.
Needless to say, I was expecting my boyfriend to go crazy about my new ‘do. But his response was less than satisfactory:
“Why did you do that to your hair?” he asked when I got into the car. “It’s so flat and weird now,” he said, as he ran his fingers through and rubbed my scalp.
“Um, what’s that supposed to mean? You don’t think I look pretty?” (I can honestly say I was a little bit irked by his reception because it had taken me over an hour to straighten it by myself, and this was not the reaction I was expecting.)
“Yeah, of course you look pretty; but it’s not the hairstyle that looks pretty: it’s your face!”
And that, my friends, was the day I fell in love with him! I’m just kidding! But knowing that he liked my hair—just the way it was—did make a world of difference to me! From then on, I didn’t have worry about whether he was just “accepting” my natural hair—I knew that he actually liked it. Which also meant that there was no pressure on my end to try to change it to “keep” him.
I count myself blessed and I am so grateful for his love.
My soul sista, Jill Scott, captures it so well:
You love me especially different every time
You keep me on my feet happily excited
By your cologne, your hands, your smile, your intelligence
You woo me, you court me, you tease me, you please me
You school me, give me some things to think about
Ignite me, you invite me, you co-write me, you love me, you like me
You incite me to chorus, ooh…
You’re different and special
You’re different and special in every way imaginable
You love me from my hair follicles to my toenails
You got me feeling like the breeze, easy and free and lovely and new…
(Excerpt from “He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)” by Jill Scott and Keith Pelzer)
When you meet someone who loves you from your hair follicles to your toenails, and everywhere in-between, be sure to hold on to them!
Happy Anniversary to The Love of my Life!
And Happy International Natural Hair Meetup Day to all naturalistas around the world! Visit this link for events near you: http://nnhmd.com/about-the-event/
How are you spending your International Natural Hair Meetup Day?
11 thoughts on ““He loves me from my hair follicles to my toenails…””
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Glad you enjoyed it, Fashionforlunch! Please visit often!
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Thanks, Auntie Racquel!
My goodness, this is altogether lovely! Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. Beautiful natural bride!
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Thanks for the love, Yadeï! Please come back again soon!
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I sure will be around. You are very inspiring!
Love this !!!! Yessss :)))
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Thanks for the support, Erica!
***These comments have more to do with your blog as a whole***
Hey Ndija, so I am not one to stress over hair, and if you forgive my candor, have always wondered why people stressed so much over it (whether they be black, white or yellow). I have always allowed people to touch my hair (regardless of the race) since I’ve always felt it creates an opening for conversation and allows for a point of connection. I guess what I am getting at is that hair for me is made up of dead cells that grow out of my head. I resented the level of care involved in maintaining my natural hair and so I got locs. O.k. so I am rambling. Point is, although I have very little interest in hair, your blog is so intriguing (well researched) that I’m actually curious to learn more. Somehow, the way you’ve written about it makes me see it in a light other than just vanity. Please write on. I’ll be reading.
(And thank you for sharing your beautiful story…so refreshing)
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Wow, merci, Mme Jean Charles! First of all, I am so glad that you’ve taken the time to read my posts! Your comment means a lot to me! Through this blog, my hope is to start a deeper conversation about how hair relates to our humanity- beyond simple aesthetics- so it is very encouraging to know that you are finding it to be relevant and interesting! Thank you for being candid- you’re right though, it IS “just” hair! And it connects us, human beings, because we ALL have it! I am looking forward to the day when we all will have the privilege to be free from the loaded perceptions that are often attached to it. Thanks for following!