Is There a Gender Divide in the Natural Hair Community?

Quick. Name 3 popular female natural hair YouTubers/vloggers.

Now, name 3 male natural vloggers.

I’ll wait…

Struggling to come up with 3? Or anyone, for that matter? Don’t fret, you’re probably not alone.

Like it or not, the natural hair community is mostly made up of women.

Why is this the case? The answer is easy. There are more women with natural hair than men, And by that, I mean there aren’t as many men with long natural hair in locs, braids, or a loose style. There are also more female bloggers than male. Not to mention, the majority of companies that sell natural hair products target women, not men. You can tell that women are their target consumer by looking at most advertisements, commercials, featured customer reviews, website images, etc. There are women everywhere! Matter of fact, I can’t remember ever visiting the social media pages or websites of any company and seeing a man! Can you?

Men may feel alienated by the community.

For many women, our hair is tied to our identity. It draws attention, criticism, positivity, etc. from strangers, family members, friends, and co-workers. Women bond through hair – whether permed or natural.  When we gather online for fellowship, advice, and support, many of the questions we have are tied to this relationship.  “Should I press my hair for this wedding?” “How can I accessorize my TWA?” “How should I style my hair for this job interview?” “My boyfriend doesn’t like natural hair, but I want to go natural. What should I do?”

A lot of the bonding that women do around their natural hair is probably, by its very nature, foreign to men. Generally speaking, men don’t have (or aren’t forced to have) the same relationships with their hair that we do. So, how can they really connect with us around these issues?

Men aren’t supposed to have long hair.

Many women want “long hair, don’t care”. We join hair growth challenges, we buy products to encourage growth, and we make t-shirts, take photos, and make videos to track our progress. Are men doing the same thing? Not really.

I ain’t one to gossip, so you ain’t heard that from me *in my Benita Butrell voice*…but men aren’t supposed to have long hair. I don’t know where this comes from, but there are negative stereotypes associated with men who have long hair.

Most men are not trying to enhance their curl pattern!

What? Don’t look at me like that, it’s true. A lot of the marketing for natural hair products includes phrases for “your curly hair”, “your curls”, “your coils”, “your kinks”. Enhancing your curls is a primary concern among many naturals with loose natural hair. Companies understand this, and create (and market) products for curl definition to women, not to men. How many men have said, “What products can I use to define my curls?” There may be a few, but there aren’t many.

But I want to know what you think.

Is there a gender divide in the natural hair community?

If so, why?

There are 13 comments

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    • naturalhairads

      Hi Kayla. AfrikanHairGod does seem to be one of the more popular male YouTube vloggers. But it’d be interesting to find out who is target audience is, and whether or not most of his subscribers are men or women.

  1. Elsie Feairheller

    apart from the African hair god, other guys I’ve seen on YT talking about natural hair in a positive way is encouraging more women to go natural or talking about what they find attractive about naturalistas….or what they think of naturalistas in general or what they say other men think about it especially some black men think of a naturalista

    • naturalhairads

      Hi Elsie. I’ve noticed this as well. There was that one popular YT video about “natural hair. yo boyfriend don’t like it?” that a man created. I have also seen some negative videos created by men about natural hair. But you’re right, I haven’t seen too many men on YT with style videos or product reviews.

      • Elsie Feairheller

        at 1st it bothered me but i was like whatever you know, as long as i like it that’s what matters..but there’s some positive videos also with guys saying how much they love naturalistas and what they think of us, but its amazing how that majority of black men are negative about natural hair than any other ethnicity, but i think its slowly changing though…because natural hair is becoming the new creamy crack somewhat lol

        • naturalhairads

          Exactly! Any man that I’m with doesn’t have to like my hair, but he does have to respect it. Of course, it’d be easier if he did, but I just don’t want to hear any negative comments or any gentle/aggressive pushes towards cutting off my locs. I also think that men’s perception of natural hair is changing. There’s a huge difference between how it was viewed 10 years ago versus now, imo. I talked about this elsewhere, but when I went natural in 2004, so many men thought I was a rebellious, afrocentric vegetarian. That just wasn’t me. And I hope that as it becomes more popular (and hopefully acceptable), this negativity that some men show towards natural hair will decrease. Until then, I’m going to be alright with my locs!


  2. cretta wva

    Being a guy. Most of us lose our hair and go bald or shave our heads. As for me,I like to keep my head in the sand.(Ha,Ha). Why do I read this blog? It has made me respect all the trouble women go though to be in fashion. Like women don’t have enought issues as it is. Today I’m dressed very fashionable. Ripped jeans with,dirt,grease, and a matching shirt. Rubber boots with cow poop. I smell of feed,hay,and cow poop.Theres 48 ladies who love me and there calling my name right now. Why they call me MOO I don’t know. I see something beautiful in every lady I’ve met. I’ll leave ya’ll with this thought:I’ve never met a heart that doesn’t deserve love. Wishing 2013 is huge for you Tiffany and for all you ladies.

  3. cb

    hey, you put up Lisa Bonet’s ex-husband and current husband pictures in this article…she has great taste in men

  4. paradise8686

    I can actually name 3 and not suprising…that is all just 3….and sometimes i know they feel alienated because they ARE natural as well….arent they??? i mean they dont get relaxers either. lol…..#IJS…but companies appeal to us women because we take more pride in our hair than men and we dont mind taking out the time to put in hard work for a hair style, we want it long, strong, and defined

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