“He had a relaxer”

“How did your date go,” I asked my friend.

She was excited about the idea of taking a cordial situation to a new level.

She met him a couple of years ago. They went on a few dates. It never went anywhere, even though they stayed in touch over the phone, by text and through Facebook chat.

He reached out and asked her out again. She agreed.

Why not? He was cute and personable – and really nice.

“He had a relaxer,” she said.

“Wait. What? No. Really,” I said. “Girl, doesn’t he know the natural hair movement is in?”

It was a futile attempt to offer some comic relief to the situation.

“I’m serious,” she said. “This is all bad.”

She remembered him being cutting-edge, but his new coif has taken things to a new level.

According to my friend, it was a cross between Bruno Mars’ performance hair and Miguel’s latest style. There was definitely some ironwork/hot curlers or a roller set involved.

“Girl, I couldn’t focus,” she said. “I was so shocked by this up-do. In all honesty, the curls were somewhat subtle, but in my head he looked like Little Richard.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t natural?” I asked. “Maybe he had it cut low last time and it was too short for the curls to turn over.”

“Oh, I’m sure,” she said. “There was nothing natural about what was going on in that head. He had a quiet conk.”

I didn’t know what to do, say or suggest. The thought of dating a man with processed hair hasn’t been an issue since curls (and later texturizers) were in style – but back then everybody had one.

“You told me you liked him,” I said. “Plus, you dated Brandon Eyebrows.”

As our nickname for him suggests, Brandon’s eyebrows were snatched and waxed for dear life with an impeccable arch.

“That’s totally different,” she said. “Manscaping is something totally different. Besides, I just pretended Brandon was Puerto Rican – you know, they keep their eyebrows in check and it works for them.”

“Trimming your eyebrows is not manscaping – you have to go lower, much lower, to catch some manscape action.”

“Manscaping and Brandon Eyebrows don’t have anything to do with what I’m going through,” she said. “What should I do? Should I tell him that his new hair swag is blocking any feelings that might otherwise be developing?”

I didn’t know how to respond. I mean, how rare is it that you run across a man with relaxed hair? It’s like a four leaf clover or something.

I think the situation was made worse by the fact that she hadn’t had a relaxer herself in going on five years.

Even Prince – once the poster child for the near-extinct population of heterosexual males with a hair process – is rockin’ a fro these days.

And this man’s full out PCJ (as in “pressing comb in a jar”) clearly gave her the blues.

I’m sure this sounds so petty, shallow and superficial. It is what it is.

I tried to put myself in her shoes, but I really couldn’t tell her anything else but to be honest with him and herself.

He might not know that his hairdo is shrinking his status in the dating pool.

It could be a social experiment to weed out the women who won’t accept him for who he is – or what he has going on at the top of his head.

Who am I kidding to make it that deep? He probably just thought it would be cute on him and decided to roll with it.

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