Wolfgang Lisborg is a self proclaimed Natural Hair connoisseur, and among the many male Naturals who choose to document their journeys on social media. Despite the mixed reception they receive.To be quite frank, I see no reason why it comes as a surprise to people when a man decides to grow out his hair. Especially when it is afro-textured hair. It is not a new concept. Men from all cultures of the world have been doing it for many years. Take the Maasai men as a perfect example. The men grow out their tresses while most women are bald. Talk about reversed roles.
On this interview for Dear Cur Friend, Wolfgang and I further discussed his healthy hair regimen, his advocacy, and the politics of the Natural Hair Community.
- Note: AW = Acquelline Wanjiru; WL = Wolfgang Lisborg
AW: How long have you been natural? Why did you choose to grow out your hair?
WL: Well, that’s a funny but great question. I’ve been natural all my life. I had a multitude of reasons why I wanted to grow out my hair out. To simplify it, one of my aunt’s clients at her shop in Hyattsville, MD called, “His & Hers Hair Salon”. One of her clients kept mentioning to her, “your nephew has such good hair”. At the time I had a low cut look practically bald headed. So, I was so confused on what she was saying because I didn’t know what the meaning of “good hair” even was!? Time passed while still living in Maryland after coming to America in 2002 from Copenhagen, Denmark. It was then I came across Hispanic people, around the Langley Park area in Maryland. Now, this is when my eyes opened up because when I saw how sleek and shiny a person’s hair could be. Amazed at the textured look, I told myself that, I’ll be able to achieve that look later on in life but to the potential of what my hair can produce with it’s curls.
AW: How long have you been documenting your hair care journey? At what point did you decide to share your personal hair care journey with the worldwide web?
WL: To be honest taking pictures here and there has always been my thing since before my second chop (February, 2011) on Facebook. After, that chop and renewing my views on myself I began tracking my growth after growing my hair out for 3 years in 2014. I had just recently gotten into Instagram at that time, and have been documenting everything consistently since then.
AW: On Instagram, you seem to rock protective styles. However, which styles have you tried that do not work for you?
WL: That’s a really good question because, whenever something doesn’t work I quickly forget it. Now that I think about it, since I’m very minimalistic I don’t honestly go out of my zone of what functions. ACTUALLY, HOLD UP I LIED. Twists and other styles similar are usually a fail with my hair. My hair doesn’t do well with making itself more tangled since my hair is very thin.
AW: As a male natural you must receive quite polarizing comments from the masses. There are those who admire you and want to know your hair secrets. Then there are those who believe that you are invading a space created for black women. How do you respond to that?
WL: This is definitely something I made myself quite aware of before even going ahead and becoming an advocate within the field of natural hair. It’s something that doesn’t bother me. It more so allows me to see the amount of clarity the majority of women understand behind men having hair. Whenever there would be senseless comments it usually shows in my personal opinion, how much common knowledge some women have. And, I only say that because I find it interesting how some women can be so bias towards their counterpart having hair. Many of them forget we genetically inherit our parents genes too. Many sometimes despise what we naturally produce on a male which doesn’t make sense. Simply due to the fact we, both genders, grow hair. So, I’ll simply respond with common knowledge.
AW: Are you a holistic natural? If so, why? And could you please summarize your typical hair care regimen.
WL: I would definitely agree with that, my regimen is extremely simple and easy. Let’s start with whenever my hair is deprived of moisture. I do this very easy method which is called an “oil wash”! All it simply consists of is me adding “a” stimulating oil to my hair and scalp because, many misunderstand that adding to your hair is how your hair grows. When in actuality, it’s when adding to your scalp properly that you grants luscious hair. After, I allow my hair to absorb the oil for a semi long period of time. I go right ahead and head in the shower and condition my hair while brushing and combing through it. Then lastly, since I’m a minimalist when it pertains to my hair. I’ll proceed to do a bun, ponytail, two puffs, or even pineapple (more so curl based).
AW: What are your favourite or staple products?
WL: Woooooooooh, man I got a list to. I got ya. Here: ORS HaiRepair Vital Oils Grapeseed & Sweet Almond oil, ORS Silkening Serum, TGIN Replenishing Hair & Body Serum, TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask, L’Oreal Hydrating line, Mango & Lime Peppermint oil, and everything by Jessicurl.
AW: If given the chance, which brand would you like represent as an ambassador?
WL: Sheesh, man look on everything it’s between L’Oreal, Garnier Fructis, TGIN, and Jessicurl.
AW: What has been your favourite moment so far as a hair connoisseur?
WL: In all honesty, it’s really helping out the bros who want to get their hair health up. Due to circumstances, at the moment, there aren’t really any guys in the hair community like that, like that. They feel comfortable asking me since I do make everything easy to comprehend and there isn’t any bias from me of why they wish to aid their hair.
AW: Your Instagram’s DMs are always open for those with hair related questions? What is the most common question you get asked, and what do you answer to that?
WL: Indeed they are, 24/7. The main one nowadays is, “what do you put in your hair?” My answer usually is a highly stimulating oil (peppermint) and a rich conditioner that I use along with the “oil washing” routine I’ve been using for 4 years by my good South African friend @curlyfarah aka “Au Curls Naturelle” on YouTube.
AW: If you had a choice between a lifetime supply of your favourite staple products, or a guarantee of no more bad hair days, which one would you pick?
WL: The lifetime supply mainly because, I personally aim to maintain the consistency of my routine and learn new things that’ll improve my hair as products grow. Versus losing that ability and settling for what I would say is a stereotypical cop out because of what the environment claims as a bad hair day. What I claim as a cool hair day is my hair out all over actually looking appealing. Keeping the lifetime supplies would keep my hair nurtured daily. While aiming to please myself over a label of what my hair is perceived as, is out of the question.
AW: If there is one thing you could change about the Natural Hair Community what would it be?
WL: I’m so glad you asked this. The main thing is opening a market for men WHOLEHEARTEDLY so they can embrace the health of their natural hair as well. Many women are naturally bias towards men having hair. What they don’t understand is many of the males who wish to gain knowledge on how to nourish their hair, now, feel challenged about their orientation since it’s always a constant stigma on men who aim to know how to groom themselves.
AW: You are a transplant from Denmark. Had you been living there, do you think it would be easy to gain access to natural hair products as opposed to the USA?
WL: Yes I do, I’m from Copenhagen and it’s extremely cultured and up to date when it comes to products. Even when I was a preteen there, there were always stores hip to what was on the market.
AW: What is the one lesson you have learnt from caring for your kinky, afro-textured hair that you have implemented in your life?
WL: Beyond the fact that patience is a virtue. The main lesson is that it takes “real life years” to grow your hair out. Many lose sight of the journey and fall off the course of embracing their overall growth as an individual.
To find out more about Wolfgang Lisborg, please check out his visual diary on Instagram.