My Partner Helped Me Take Out My Braids & We Bonded


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We’ve never done this before. My haircare is business I typically keep between myself, my hairstylist, and my mother (the hairstylist in question). But, for the first time in my adult life, I felt comfortable letting my boyfriend (any boyfriend!) help me with my natural hair. To be clear, my Black biracial partner was already familiar with my lovable Black woman-isms: I have more hair products than bathroom cabinet space and he already knew that when I say “I’m getting my hair done” he may not see me for the entire day. But, having him take out my braids felt different. In the past three years of our relationship, we’ve had many milestones. Our first apartment. Our first holiday. Our first big argument. Letting him in on one of my sacred and private Black women’s rituals was an entirely new kind of first for the both of us — one that required me to let go of my need to always be “done” and “perfect” and be even more vulnerable with my partner. For my boyfriend, he simply had to prove that he was trustworthy with a pair of scissors. Why did I find this gesture one of the most intimate, bonding experiences we’ve had as a couple in recent times?

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