Hello lovelies! Welcome back to the third and final part in this very open and honest interview with my darling husband, Massimo. If you are new, welcome! You may want to read part one and part two of this interview before getting stuck into this one. As always, chat to me in the comments section below and let me know what you’ve thought of this series as well as what you’d like me to write about next. Enjoy!
H: Do you ever feel like you’d want me to relax my hair again?
M: No. No, absolutely not. I mean don’t get me wrong, your hair relaxed looked nice. Especially short relaxed hair -that was PENG. That’s still up there for me because I love short hair. But knowing a bit about the damage that the chemicals do to your hair, absolutely not.
M: Fortunately we’re in a place in our lives where we’re doing a lot of reviewing of the stuff we use anyway, we’re being empowered by the knowledge we’re gaining. I don’t get how, knowing the damage it can do to you, it would make sense for me to still want you to use that.
H: How would you feel then if I chose to relax my hair again?
M: I’d be confused. I’d wonder why you’d done this. You went on this journey (and took me through months of hell) with dead trims, masculine box cuts and awkward afros. For you to then go back to how you were before, I would be really confused. But at the same time, people still do make the decision to relax their hair these days. As long as you are making these decisions knowingly then what more can I say to you? I mean if you decide ‘I’m going to do this now’ then I’d trust you’d made an informed decision. But knowing what I know about it, I just wouldn’t understand it. It’s like with food. There are certain things we now know about the types of food we eat so it doesn’t make sense to eat them anywhere near as much as we used to.
H: Lol… Popeyes.
M: Exactly, it just doesn’t make any sense. And there are even certain things we’ve completely cut out because they’re poison.
Basically, you wouldn’t have my support in relaxing your hair. But like I said, you’re not stupid, you have the knowledge, I’d trust that you’d have made an informed decision and that you’d know what you’re doing so I guess I’d stand with you. I’d have no choice if you’ve made that decision but I wouldn’t understand it. I wouldn’t want my daughters’ hair relaxed. Especially as young kids, knowing what relaxers do, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that in their hair.
H: Which brings me to my next question perfectly: what kind of hairstyle would you want our future daughters to have?
M: Hair like yours. Natural hair.
H: You wouldn’t want them to relax their hair?
M: As children, definitely not. If they make that decision as adults, again it’s not something I would understand or like but it’s something I could accept. I’m not gonna judge people that have relaxed hair but knowing that it burns your scalp, I would not want my daughter(s) to go through that.
H: Have I changed at all since going natural? If so, how?
M: I’d say there’s been a growth in self-confidence, I feel like you’re more knowledgeable about natural hair and are able to contribute more to that community. I hear you leading and facilitating conversations around natural hair more. You’re more of an inspiration to others too because not everyone’s done it; people around you are now asking questions. But the main change has been the growth in confidence and assuredness in your own beauty.
H: Would you recommend other women to go natural then? Why/why not?
M: Yeah, I would! But at the end of the day I’d say ‘each to their own.’ Ultimately, in terms of normalising natural hair, the more people going natural, the better.
I’m thinking about the generation coming after us; I think having more confident women, who have mastered styling natural hair, as role models for our future young ladies is really important.
M: Helping someone to understand and accept, be convinced of and to believe in their own beauty, is particularly important – especially with Black girls. I think the natural hair journey is definitely a great one to embark on. I would say, through seeing your journey personally, it would be great to see even more of this happening. And it’s encouraging to see there is a movement. Helping natural afro hair become more ‘normal’ is why I’d like to see more people doing it.
H: What have you learned about natural hair from my journey?
M: I’ve learned that our natural hair is not easy to take care of.
H: Too right!
M: But I’ve learned that it isn’t this untameable thing that needs to be hidden either, it can be managed. I’ve learned that it’s actually quite versatile in terms of what you can do with it. I remember I would often ask you ‘so wait, what are you going to do with your hair. Are you still able to do this style and that style etc?’ And you would say ‘yeah, when I reach a certain length I’ll be able to do X, Y and Z.’ I had preconceived ideas that the range of things you could do with natural hair would be quite limited and I assume that’s why some ladies are hesitant to do it.
H: I’d actually like to come in here and add the keyword for the natural hair journey: patience. People think that natural hair doesn’t grow. It does take longer for natural hair to grow, for most of us. It can take a lot longer for us to see results. But they do come. You just have to be really patient. There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to cut it all off and start again but I’ve manage to wait.
H: With Black women, we’re used to changing our hair regularly and so can easily get bored of rocking the same hairstyle. But we’re on a journey and it’s called a journey for a reason. It’s because it takes a long time to understand it, to know what to use and to get the desired results. But you can’t give up. You’ve got to ride it out!
H: What kind of advice would you give to men who’s women are going natural?
M: You’ve just mentioned it yourself but they will need to be patient. There will be some dark days where you will question how you ended up here. Obviously it’s not your journey – well you’re on the journey but it’s not about your hair – it’s about theirs. It’s a journey that they’re steering and you’re the passenger: you’ve got to learn to trust the driver. You’ve also got to be encouraging of that driver, support them because they’re gonna have times when even they question their decision. They’re gonna have times where they may even question themselves and their beauty but you’ve got to endure beyond that.
M: Because you’re on the journey with them, try to learn a thing or two as well. I’ve learned some things I’ve been able to incorporate into my own beard care, even scalp care. Even if you’re bald, there’s still hope for you to learn something new. The knowledge has helped me to learn a bit more about being Black, having a certain type of hair and certain type of skin too. There’s learning for both of you so enjoy the lessons.
M: To sum up, the main things are to be patient and encouraging. Don’t give up on her because she’s gonna need you.
H: The final question: what advice would you give to women who are thinking of going natural?
M: If you’re thinking of going natural and maybe weighing up the pros and cons, I would say just do it. The general consensus seems to be when you take that leap, it’s really liberating and the journey is really empowering. You become part of a community of people that are trying to understand themselves more and that’s great for you! You’ll gain belief in yourself that you perhaps may not have had before because you’ll see yourself through a different lens and from a different perspective. So I would encourage you to do it. Don’t doubt it. Don’t worry about it if your head shape is not fantastic. Just go for it. And find out what good comes of it because good will come of it.
H: He has spoken! Thank you Massimo for agreeing to this and for being such an awesome interviewee. And of course for being so open and honest with me and all my followers. Hopefully, you back here soon.
What have you liked about/learned from this interview? If I was to do another interview with Massimo, what should it be about?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. Catch you in my next post!
Love you guys, Helen x