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What Type Of Man Does Your Hair Attract? The Link Between Gender, Desire & Black Hairstyles

From styling techniques to microaggressions, when it comes to Black women and their hair, the discussions are endless. From situationships to who should pay on the first date, when it comes to dating in today's society, the debates are endless. So, when it comes to the intersection of the two, hold onto your edges, we’re in for a rocky ride.

I’d never paid much thought to the comments that I received about my hair by men who were trying to date me. Having natural Afro hair my whole life, I’ve gotten used to people assuming that my hair is a political choice, and sharing their unwanted opinion about how I look prettier with braids, straight hair or an Afro.

It wasn’t until I was researching for my book, A Quick Ting on The Black Girl Afro, and surveyed hundreds of Black women, that I realised how deep this topic is. Although I didn’t have much time or space to explore this in depth for my book, the responses relating to the impact of heterosexual dating and relationships on a Black woman’s hair journey stuck with me, and they only scratched the surface of how our hair is judged within the dating world.

Certain assumptions are made of Black women purely because of how they wear their hair. For example, I’ve lost count of the number of times a man flirting with me has called me a “Nubian queen” or their “African sista”, equating my natural Afro hair to being overly Afrocentric and hotep-y. My best friend noticed that when she wears a straight or wavy wig, guys view her as materialistic and ‘boujie’, and she’s approached by a specific type of man who cares about this aesthetic.