Engage Your Daughter on Her Natural Hair Journey – Here’s How
For decades, black women have conformed to the unspoken societal norms that required that we straighten our natural hair in order to fit in based on the European standard of what was considered beautiful.
It was not all that long ago that to be seen out in public with ‘natural hair’ was considered taboo. And don’t think that you would ever get a job or a seat at a restaurant, whether black or white owned with hair that was not “fried, dyed, and laid to the side”.
Straightening our hair became such an entrenched and unflappable standard, that most of us did not even know what our hair’s true texture was until we decided to embrace our natural hair.
Now you are a mother and you are faced with caring for your child’s kinky curly mane.
How do you teach your daughter to embrace her beautiful hair? How do you make caring for her hair an event and not a chore?
Here are some tips to help you to engross your child on her natural hair journey:
Educate yourself on how to best care for natural hair. Surf the web or talk to other parents who have young girls with natural hair in order to get tips and strategies based on their experiences. Don’t be afraid to try a few products so that you get the right combination of products that work best on your child’s mane.
Teach your child about how to care for her own hair. At a certain age, you want to begin educating your child on how to best care for her hair. It is a great time to foster learning and bond at the same time.
Teach her the styling techniques that you use to care for her hair. Explain why it is best to comb their natural hair from the roots to ends while it is wet and saturated with conditioner for example.
Sit her in front of a mirror while styling and talk about the way you are caring for her hair and why. Let your child take a turn at combing a section of hair, or let her help you a bit with your hair. It doesn’t have to all be about hair so use this time to educate, communicate, and laugh together.
Remind your child every day that she and her hair are beautiful. The spoken word is a powerful thing. Studies show that children who are told that they are stupid, or ugly, believe that to be true and act accordingly.
Tell your child how beautiful her hair is and how blessed she is to have hair that is thick, soft, and full. Educate her on the different hair types, (straight, wavy, curly, and coily/kinky) and how we are all blessed to have the hair that we were born with and that no one hair type is more special than another.
Teach her that her kinky, curly, coily hair is beautiful and that she is special too. If you believe it and let your child know what you think on a regular basis, she will believe it too.
Don’t allow other people to say negative things about your child’s hair. Your favorite aunt may mean well, but saying things like, “when are you going to comb that child’s nappy hair” in front of the child will send a negative message. Counter any negative talk by reminding your child right then and there that her hair is in fact beautiful and never believe otherwise!
Don’t rush through the hair styling process. If you act as if styling your child’s hair is a chore or a pain, your child will pick up on your negative vibes.
Teach your sons to respect girls and women with natural hair. It is interesting that our boys and men have almost always worn their hair natural yet many view natural hair as less attractive then straight hair.
Teach your sons from an early age that our textured hair is beautiful and that women with natural hair are beautiful.
Refrain from making negative statements to young boys and children in general about how “difficult” natural hair is or any other comment that implies that natural hair is a chore. Learning to respect and embrace our girls and women with natural hair starts at home.
We must engage our children on the beauty of natural hair starting right now. Doing so will be an investment in a future where black children, whether they are boys or girls, no longer feel that our hair is ‘less than’ because it isn’t straight or because it is not a particular curl pattern.
Do you have general thoughts on the topic or natural hair care tips for children that you can share with others? Post in the comment section below.
|“Changing attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural.
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