As a celebrity hairstylist, Barry Fletcher has tamed the mane of beautiful celebrities such as Halle Berry, Tina Turner, Mary J Blige, Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle, just to name a few. His first book, Why Are Black Women Losing Their Hair?, dealt with what was literally on Black Women’s minds, how to properly care for their crown and glory. But his latest book, Learn A Man, Earn A Man, deals with matters of the heart.
Calling the book, “Sharp Advice For Women” Fletcher is placing his thirty years of experience doing hair for both men and women to give ladies unbiased advice on how to approach their relationships. TheUrbandaily.com spoke with Mr. Fletcher and asked him some frank questions about the challenges of relationships for this generation of couples.
TUD: Steve Harvey has been divorced and Karrine Steffans can’t keep a man but they are both writing books on how to get a man. What makes you qualified to write a relationship book?
Barry Fletcher: [laughs]I want people to realize there’s a difference between my views and Steve Harvey’s views. I think his book was written in a more repentant way because of all the bad he’s caused women all the years. So he does a nice, warm fuzzy rendition of a book that would make women happy to read. I try to save women from getting their heart broken. Trying to do someone’s hair when they’re heartbroken is not a good thing.
I think people sometimes don’t believe the power of a straight male hairdresser in the community when you’re dealing with women and men. I was a master barber first. I work with the most devious part of a woman’s personality. When you start to manipulate one’s vanity, ego and image women confide in me when I get it right. My relationships go back 30 years from which I’ve been doing hair. I started off as a barber and men would do the same thing, telling me all the woes of their relationships. They tell me the truth because they have nothing to gain by misleading me. I found myself advising both men and women. I think women and men should get advice on the opposite sex from the opposite sex. I consider myself a community psychologist because I take it all in and I try to offer some experience from trial and error. After 30 years of that I start to learn and understand a lot more, especially the subconscious thoughts of men. They’d rather tell their boys than give it straight to their women.
You’ve never been married and have no children. What are your thoughts on marriage?
I’m really wondering these days if marriage is really significant. I know it was if you go back two generations, but now if I had an 18 year old daughter I wouldn’t be encouraging her to find her Prince Charming, get married and have 2.3 kids. I think young ladies these days need to get out of a man’s ear and be more concerned with their careers. What usually happens is they end up having to take care of the same clueless young man they aspired to marry.
Commitment has different meanings for women and men. With women it means security, freedom, loyalty, permanent or forever. With men it means he has to expose his vulnerable side. It means he loses his freedom and his ability to make decisions for himself. I can help them out a little more in my book. I don’t try to be a philosopher too much but give them straight information.
Can you give me an example?
I talk about dating “potential.” A lot of women go after the same ten percent of men who are successful and good looking that have the house and cars. But they need to learn to date potential like Michelle Obama did. He drove a hooptie when they were in college. She could see what was going on with him and she learned his heart. One of the chapters is “How to learn a man’s heart.” Find out what’s dear to his heart. What are his pet projects? What does he spend his time on? If you really know the man you should know this. The best way to keep a man hooked on you is to help him with the things that are dear to his heart. You’ll cement a spot in his heart. The relationship isn’t all about you. It’s interdependent.
What are some things that drive men away from a woman?
A man wants a woman who is devoted to him enough to allow him his freedom. If you look at any marriage that has gone on 50 years or more, it’s the freedom factor involved. Sometimes women have a need for ownership in a relationship. They like to say “this is my man”. They don’t trust the man outside of their ability to monitor him. The other thing is understanding what sparks a flame in a man. They lose track of what keeps a man motivated. They have to work on this one word, Anticipation. Men want a surprise in life, especially when it comes to their woman. Sometimes the way a woman comes out of the bathroom to come to bed they look the same way. Anticipation is so important to men, that’s why we’re crazy about sports. We can’t wait to see what John Wall will do on the court. Women got to keep us fired up the same way. Anticipation is key to longevity in the relationship.
Barry Fletcher’s book Learn A Man, Earn A Man is available now on Amazon.com and other retailers.
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