Walking the Talk: The Day I Finally Convinced My Daughter to Stop Texturizing Her Hair
I first texturized my daughter’s hair when she was 10 years old.
I had not yet come to embrace my natural hair journey at that time and I still relaxed my own hair. To be honest, I put a texturizer in her hair out of pure laziness on my part. Her hair, which I kept braided or smoothed back into a ponytail during her childhood had grown to be so long and thick by age ten that I just didn’t know what to do with it. It was such a production just to wash her hair. She had so much hair that it was a two-hour process to wash, condition and comb it. It was just easier to “smooth” it a bit.
I convinced myself that texturizing was better than relaxing – I didn’t want her hair to be bone straight. Just smooth enough to make it manageable. I didn’t know the things that I know now about the different types of products that I could have used to make her hair more manageable, or that washing her hair in sections would make it easier to wash and condition.
As she got a little older, we started putting a mild relaxer in her hair. She loved it. I started to see the damage that relaxers can do to the hair. All of that long thick, kinky, coily, beautiful hair started to slowly break off, no matter how careful we were with her hair.
This was around the time that I started my natural hair care journey in earnest. It was January, 2012 and I was tired of the creamy crack. By then, my daughter was 15 and had no interest in going natural but mother knows best. ;-). I decided to convince her to join me on my journey of hair rediscovery and appreciation of the hair that naturally springs from our scalps. It took a lot of work. She liked wearing her hair straight. I talked to her about the history of black hair; the good the bad and the ugly. I shared with her why we as a people started to straighten our hair all those years ago and that even though most women today straighten their hair as a styling preference and not based on some deep rooted hatred of their hair, that it was important to know our hair history. I told her how I had made a big mistake trying to tame her beautiful, thick hair and that if I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I would never have added any chemicals to her hair. I also tried to get to the root of her vanity by telling her that if she wanted her hair to be as long and healthy as it used to be, she had to stop relaxing it. It took two years, but in August of 2014, my daughter decided that she no longer wanted to chemically straighten her hair!
She doesn’t seem to miss chemical straightening; particularly the occasional scalp burns she had to endure. She is not ready to cut off the straightened hair and her style of choice is to wear her hair in a thick bun. She will occasionally wear a braid out and every so often, she will flat iron her hair. What is wonderful is that she seems happy with her hair. If she should have a daughter, I’m hoping that chemically straightening her hair will be the furthest thing on her mind.
|“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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