By Rashad Phillips
After publishing a hair magazine, I learned about the “Natural Hair” debate. Some African-American women are concerned about ‘going natural’ because they think that men prefer women with relaxed hair. In the past, I was on the fence about this issue. But, everything changed when I attended my first Natural Hair Care Expo in Raleigh, NC.
At the hair expo, Taji, a natural hair stylist invited me backstage to capture some photos for her salon. When I walked behind the curtain, I felt like I was transported back in time. I wasn’t in Raleigh anymore. I felt like I was at Fela Kuti’s Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria. These beautiful women had to be more than just natural hair models. I’m certain that they were members of Fela’s world-renowned stage performers. Their hairstyles didn’t look like anything that I had seen before. The Cowrie Shells, Afros, Bantu Knots, Cantu Twist, Cornrows, and Twisted Locs had me mesmerized. Their gorgeous natural hair put me into a trance. Most men (myself included), don’t usually spend much time checking out women’s hair. Usually, it’s a quick look at her face and then rapid eye movement to search for her curves. But this experience was different. My eyes were focused on their hair, face, and eyes.
Story continues below the gallery:
Natural Hair (Photo Gallery)
1. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 1 of 8
2. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 2 of 8
3. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 3 of 8
4. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 4 of 8
5. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 5 of 8
6. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 6 of 8
7. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 7 of 8
8. Natural HairSource:Rashad Phillips 8 of 8
After watching Taji and her team of natural hair stylists’ prepare their models to grace the runway, I was no longer on the fence. The natural hair goddesses had completely won me over. During my drive back to Charlotte, I couldn’t get these beauties out of my head. I called a few of my friends, but they didn’t understand my experience. After I posted my pictures on Facebook, my buddies were ready to join me on my next road trip to Raleigh.
I am not the only guy who has experienced a Natural Hair Awakening. After recent conversations with most of my friends, I am confident that African-American men are becoming more receptive to women with natural hair. A small minority of men may still prefer only women with relaxed hair, but women should not allow a small group of closed- minded individuals to control their hair preferences.
Rashad Phillips, our finance columnist typically writes about ways to save money and build wealth, but after becoming a hair magazine publisher, he decided to write a hair related guest column for us. Read his finance columns below: