When you’re married to a woman with natural hair… or a woman who wears her own hair…or a woman with any hair at all to be honest, you have to grow accustomed to certain things.
Let me try to list a few.
1) Watching her Bathroom Turn into a Mad Scientist’s Laboratory
On any given day, NaijaWife, when not harassing me over my television watching, will disappear for hours. Once I don’t hear her asking me “what are you doing?” I know that means she has locked herself in the bathroom again.
I remember the first day I walked up to her bathroom door, curious to hear what was keeping her so long. Smoke was coming out of the bottom of the door, and I think I heard some screams.
Moving closer, I could hear voices inside the bathroom (which I later realized were the faint sounds of a youtube video) giving her the following instructions:
- Add 1/2 cup of castor oil
- Add 1 tsp of lavender oil
- Add 10 drops of peppermint oil
I thought she was making a secret batch of candy until I heard the next few steps
- Add 10 bat’s eyes
- Add 1 goat’s head
- Add the white feathers of a dove
WHAT was she making?! Herbal medicine? A witch’s potion?
I may be exaggerating about the ingredients, but it turned out she was making yet another “team natural” concoction. Week after week I noticed she’d go through the same process until one day she came running out of the bathroom screaming:
“AT LAST! AT LAST! I”VE DONE IT! THEY SAID IT COULDN”T BE DONE! BUT I PROVED THEM WRONG! THEY WERE FOOLS TO DOUBT ME! I FINALLY MASTERED THE “SHEA BUTTER COCONUT MILK CHERRY BLOSSOM TREATMENT!” HAHAHAHA!
Then she stuck her hair in my face.
LOOK! LOOK! JUST LOOK AT THAT CURL DEFINITION!
I don’t know what curl definition is. But I have learned the hard way to just smile, pat her on the back…and not ask her why her hair is smelling like amino acids.
She’s happy. That’s all that matters.
2) Watching my Wife Contort Herself into Strange Positions
No, not sexually. Hair-ally.
One day NaijaWife was shouting my name from the bedroom. Expecting that she was in trouble I ran quickly only to find her hanging upside down off of the bed.
Me: “Did you slide off?!”
NaijaWife: “NO. I’m doing the inversion method.”
Me: “The what?”
NaijaWife: “It allows the blood to rush to my head, stimulating hair growth. I need you to time me for 3 minutes. Then help me lift my head back up slowly.”
Me: “I have a better idea.”
NaijaWife: “Oh really? What?”
Me: “Do pushups for 3 minutes instead. That will make your hair grow faster.”
NaijaWife: “REALLY?!” *as she scrambled to get back up*
3) Saturday Nights Are Not Date Nights
They are for her hair. Saturdays belong to NaijaWife’s hair.
Me: “Let’s go out today.”
NaijaWife: “Nope. I’m washing my hair.”
Me: “OK but it’s only 12 noon now. Will you be done in an hour?”
Me: “Um…will you be done in 2 hours?”
NaijaWife: “I’ll be done tomorrow morning.”
4) Rude Comments from Outsiders
I’ve watched my wife deal with strangers and even colleagues asking her stupid questions like
“Won’t you go and put relaxing cream in your hair like the other ladies?” – A man said this to her.
“What makes you think nappy hair like that is professional?” – A woman said this to her. Apparently it’s a common problem.
“Why do you carry the same hairstyle more than once a week? Can’t your husband pay for you to go to the salon?” – A few women said this to her.
“I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t manage my hair like that sha. It’s just so…wild.” – She probably gets this comment every week given the way she reports it back to me.
So being the husband of a woman who proudly chooses to carry her own hair (most times), I’ve had to learn to be supportive and make a few suggestions for replies to such rudeness. For example…
“Won’t you go and grow some balls like the other gentlemen?”
“My hair is more professional than your attitude. Which is clearly why you’re still job hunting.”
“Why do you repeat the same stupid questions every week? Can’t your husband pay for you to acquire some manners?”
As feisty as she is though, she hasn’t yet used any of those retorts. She just walks away, then comes home to tell me about it.
5) Spur of the Moment Purchases
It’s a good thing she has her own budget for random expenditures…because we would probably fight if her product addiction came out of the household budget.
Me: “You bought something today. I just know it.”
Me: “What did you buy?”
Me: “Didn’t you buy some last week?!”
NaijaWife: “But this one had really high reviews on naturallycurly.com ! They said it would make my hair shine. All I need to do is sit with it in my hair for 6 hours and it will permanently change my life!”
Me: “Did they also warn you it would permanently change your pockets?”
Her weaves aren’t exempt either. When she changes it up and wears weaves or braids (I know the difference now) I have to adjust accordingly and simply do the following:
6) Ignore When Your Wife Pats Herself on the Head Furiously
The first time she did that, I thought she was berating herself over something.
Me: “Darling…why are you hitting yourself?”
NaijaWife: “Oh no. I’m just scratching it.”
Me: “Why don’t you just scratch with your fingers?”
“NaijaWife: “Well I can’t reach my scalp through this weave….plus it doesn’t look nice to be scratching it.”
Me: “Do you think it looks better to box your brains out?!”
7) Don’t Question the Exorbitant Amounts
Not that NaijaWife does this exactly. But she likes to suggest it every now and then.
NaijaWife: “Babe…I’m thinking of investing.”
Me: “That’s great! What do you want to invest in?”
NaijaWife: “Peruvian hair”
Me: “Eh? A Peruvian hair company?”
NaijaWife: “No.. a bundle of Peruvian hair. Or maybe two bundles… They say you can use it over and over again.”
Me: “Does a Peruvian come attached to the hair?”
Me: “Yet you consider it an investment?”
NaijaWife: *Thinks for a while*…. “Yes.”
Me: “Then by all means. Carry on.”
8) Get Used To The Secret Group Meetings
Me: “What you up to today?”
NaijaWife: “I have a meeting.”
Me: “On Saturday?”
NaijaWife: “Yes…with some girls.”
Me: “What kind of meeting?”
NaijaWife: “Em. Hair meeting…”
Me: “You mean the hair salon?”
NaijaWife: “No…natural hair women’s meeting.”
Me: “I see…when will they hold one for the husbands of women with natural hair?”
Shoutout to Naijawife for helping me with the terminology on this post, and as always, for being the gracious recipient of my teasing. As a man I’m not the most knowledgeable person about the struggles women have with their hair, but I am learning. One thing I do know darling, is that your hair is almost as beautiful as you are.
Just don’t shave it off.
P.S. – I know you’ll have a rejoinder shortly.