Natural Teens- Fighting for the Right to Remain Curly!


Taylor asks:

How can you convince your parents to allow you to wear your hair natural? I'm 18, in high school, and my parents are always making me straighten my hair!


Help her out ladies...

38 Weigh in!:
Janique said...

I started transitioning when I was 18. It just came to a point where I was like I work. If I'm paying for the products for my hair and to get my hair done, I can make my own decisions with my hair. My mom and dad made their comments, and sometimes they still do....but in the end, you're the one who has to deal with your hair, not them.

The AuthenticQueen/ Miss Reese said...

Life is strange. I wasn't a teenager when I transitioned but I was in my early 20's and still in college when I transitioned. My mother was not happy about it. She ALWAYS had something to say but I just made sure I always had it looking nice and she eventually came around. In fact, she's been transitioning for 6 months! That's why I said, Life is strange. Just make sure you take good care of your hair and make sure it is always looking nice then they will have fewer complaints.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi Taylor, i'm now 18 & fully natural, started transitioning when I was 17. Trust me, I know what your talking about. My mother was totally against the idea of me being completely natural, she said my hair would be nappy and unattractive. My advice to you is to be very adamant of your decision, constantly remind your parents that this is what you want to do... While your at it, show them pictures and videos of naturally curly divas of all hair types, let them see how truly beautiful this step can be, let them know how you plan to care for your hair... essentially you will have to educate them about natural hair for them to fully understand, which my parents still dont, but i simply told them this is a step i was going to take whether it be now or when i went off to college. Eventually they gave up lol But remember this must be a very unusual request in your parents eyes so you must be patient and respectful
Good Luck!

Skeeta said...

I think one thing that deters parents is that they think natural hair can look "unruly, unprofessional, etc." Keep your hair neat,start off by transitioning but straightening your roots with roller sets and wraps. If the roots get too thick, try and use light heat to straighten just the roots (many ppl transition using heat on the roots). Later, do cute curly styles like Nikki's twist and curl. You could go months doing this. Just try and transition as long as possible while keeping your hair looking "neat" and "acceptable".

Then after months and months, when they've gotten use to the neat curly styles and you are fully natural, you can bust out all of the big, wild, textured funky fro styles!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

you must be a good kid if your parents have an issue with your hair. so many parents have far worst issues with their 18 yr olds than to worry about their hair.

My advice is to go away for college :)

Anonymous said...

Well, i'm 16 and I started transitioning when I was 15. When I was 15 I cut my hair into a Pixie cut, so I was growing out my hair, which turned into transitioning. My Mom didn't like the idea of me going natural AT ALL but she realized its my hair and it JUST hair. So she got over it, the other ladies in my family didnt like it either they were discouraging but they knew the COULDNT DO ANYTHING ABOUT. Now, im 16 and i'm a year natural and my mom accepts and buy me products and the other ladies accept it too

Anonymous said...

I recently transition and I turn to curlynikki for guidance. Thanks for the infomation and your hair is beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

i was a freshman in college when i decided to get serious about going natural... i knew my parents wouldn't support the idea too much- especially my mom- so i just BCed... there is nothing they can do after that but talk. If ur not ready to BC then i would suggest getting braids, twists, or a sew-in and start transitioning. when you take the style down, get another style. that way your natural hair is growing out and your parents are satisfied knowing that your hair looks "american"- as a member of my family said.

Anonymous said...

I think your attitude about your decision will play a big part; be respectful but firm about your decision. Like mentioned earlier, keep it neat and remind them it's just hair. I used to cut my hair a lot and my parents hated it; hair is a really small battle unless they have some sort of religious reasoning behind it. If all else fails, go ahead and BC but make sure it's not an act of defiance.

Notthecoolmom said...

My advice would be to ask why they don't want you to wear your hair as it naturally grows from your head. Do it in a respectful way and explain why you would like to go natural. I'm 30+ and my mother asked me "what I was doing" in the beginning, but I try to make sure my hair looks nice when I see her and she has complimented some styles and does see that my hair is growing and is thick like it was when I was little. My biggest challenge was showing her that my little one's hair can be styled wet and that she doesn't have to cry to get it done and we don't have to use grease. It takes time.

Kearea' said...

my advice would be to involve your parents into your research, let them know why you believe natural hair is best for you. you can even show them pics online of women with natural hair who still maintain a professional and neat appearance. explain to them exactly what damage regular straightening causes your hair. hopefully your mom will understand that having healthy hair that fits your personality will ultimately make you happy and every parent wants their child to be happy.

Anonymous said...

i agree with Notthecoolmom you should ask "why" but in a respectful way, if you don't they'll just shut off completly! I'm 17 and my parents are fine with my natural hair but there are alot of people who don't like my hair, but I always ask them why and they usually can't give me a straight answer or they say it's because my hair is nappy (4a/4b/4c sistas HOLLA! LOL. If they still insist on making you straighten your hair then wait for college and go crazy or tell them your 18 and legally you can decide what to do with your hair. But alot of Black people (women especially) hide or damage their hair because their ashamed of it, they don't know what to do with it or they think their hair won't look good. but if you do decide to go natural then it'll be about you not anyone else. Good luck!

BNatural said...

My mom had mixed reactions to me going natural. I Started going natural when I was 17, transitioned for 10 months. My mom was always like why you want to cut your hair. Her friends and even indiscreet random people asked me the same thing. Mom knew it was my hair and my choice though. Only advice I can offer is keep your hair neatly styled and wow them. Show them that natural hair is not ugly. Oh and play India Arie - "I am not my hair"! No seriously get that song and play it as often as you can! If you need style suggestions you are on the right site and also do hang out on fotki.

DeNee said...

One thing YOU own that your parents don't...is your body and your hair.
I had locks and my mother was furious and told me that I wouldn't know what to do with my hair when I'd cut them off... I've been "fro'ed" for a year. Now what.
They can lock you down in a basement and "strip you clean"...but your hair is still....yours.

Anonymous said...

You're 18. Do you.

Anonymous said...

I think it's very sad and small minded to have a problem with your children's hair. Not on drugs, focused on schooling and the betterment of yourself, respecting yourself, don't have any STD's - wonderful, were good!

Afrikan Latina said...

I agree with NTCM. Have an adult sit down with your parents and express to them how you feel about your hair and why you are choosing to wear it in its natural state.

Bun Ana Marie said...

I understand. My mother is Puerto Rican and has long very loosely wavy hair. I told her why i wanted to go natural but she wouldn't let me. I was 15 at the time. So one day, I just cut off my relaxed ends. There was nothing she could do about it since it was already cut off. She ended up liking my hair after she saw that I was taking good care of my hair and has since adopted my weekly routine. Of course, she still prefers that "wet" look, smh. Just do what you want to do. Its your hair. ;)

Bu said...

I went natural when I was 14, and now I'm 16 years old. My mother was generally okay with it, but I have had problems before with people constantly nagging me about my hair and pressuring me to perming it. Now, let me just say this, legally you are an adult and have control over your hair, but I'm assuming you already know this and just want to respect your parents, which by all means I encourage. You should try to show them why you want to do what you're doing. I suggest picking up books like Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black hair in America, if you haven't already, and spoon feeding your parents about the history and significance of natural black hair. If they can't except the curls that THEY gave you through THEIR DNA, then perhaps they need a serious intervention. That's like asking you to bleach your skin, or start talking in some foreign accent-it's not who you are. Show them that you are proud of the natural beauty that God has given you. Plus, you really should ask them why they're so worried about it in the first place. Maybe they're afraid of others looking at you in a bad way-show them that you're confident and determined. I believe they will eventually just go along with it, whether they're ecstatic about it or not.

Hey, if all else fails, you're 18. You can shave your head bald, if you feel like it. No one can condemn you for it.

Miss Chae Danielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LittleBlackGurl said...

I think it's wonderful that you're going natural! Because, at the end of the day, YOU have to like your hair. Have you ever had your hair done and didn't like it, but everyone else did? It may have felt good receiving compliments, but YOU still weren't satisfied with YOU. If you look in the mirror and say to yourself, "I'm one fine sista," then no one else's opinion should matter. One thing I had to realize is that I can't satisfy my parents all the time. There's always going to be something you do that they don't agree with, but once you recognize that, you can start to live your life to satisfy YOU. Good luck!

NaturalSinceBirth91 said...

Oh girl! I feel your pain!! My mother defiantly made her thoughts known when it came to my natural hair. She would say silly things such as "you need to stop putting all that curly crap in your hair" (meaning products that would help my curl definition) or she would say "you need to press you hair". Funny thing is now all of the sudden she wants to pay to get my hair straightened when throughout high school the only time I would get my hair done was for my birthday. Anyway, I'm in my second year of college and my advice to you is to stand strong and to keep doing what your doing. You are officially entering your adult years and this will not be the last time your parents make a big fuss about the decisions you will make in life. Explain to them in a respectful way that this is something your going to continue doing. Stand firm behind your decision and let it be known that they cant change it.Eventually they'll come around and accept it. I always believed that when you have people saying negative comments about you, then you probably doing something right. ;)

And if all fails, go off to college. You can do whatever you want. It will be your own little secret. :)

Good Luck to You.

ReRe said...

I was 17 when I started transitioning.My mom was very angry when my twin sister and I decided to stop getting perms. She always told our hairdresser to give them to us but as soon as she left the shop we told the hairdresser no! We have a great hair stylist and she made it look like we had a perm when she straightened our hair.

Eventually my mom got hip to what we were doing when it got hot and our hair fuzzed up. So I started researching styles and wearing transistioning styles like the twistout and curly bun. She loved it! My sister on the other hand wouldn't style her hair and my mom kept threatning to make her get a perm.

The point of all of this is to show your parents that you can manage your hair in its curly state and make it look GREAT! Start wearing transitioner styles and make a regimine. Eventually your parents will see how serious you are and realize that you are saving THEM money. We're in a recession girl!

My mom drove us 1.5 hours to see our stylist, we all ate lunch there, paid $45 for ALL of our heads, drove another 1.5 hours home only to pay for a quick McDonald's run since we'd been in the car and at the shop so long! On top of gas, food, the hair, AND the tip my mom was fed up and only now realizes how much money my sister and I are saving her!

Anonymous said...

If you are responsible, and otherwise follow their wishes, they really shouldn't be able to say anything about your hair. If they say 'i want it straight,' you can point out all of the other great stuff you've got going on. You could show them that going natural isn't hindering you from doing what you need to do to reach your full potential. You can point out that embracing your identity is helping you to acheive in all areas of your life.

So, I would say: Make sure you are responsible in all areas of your life. Make sure your room is clean, your home work is done. Make sure you eat right and exercise, but not too much exercise. Keep your clothes washed and hung up. Don't spend too much time on the phone and internet; spend time reading. Spend time working towards your future, like registering for college. Even taking classes at community college is a great step. Don't stay out too late.

Do your parents go to church? Do they believe in the bible? Then you could point out the passage in Psalm 23 that says 'I annoint my head with oil'. It didn't say 'I annoint my head with oil, then straighten it.' It could possibly be an analogy for loving oneself and caring for oneself. Granted, the words are from David, and he is a boy, so he wouldn't straighten his hair anyway. But they should apply to all people.

You could also point out that you are too busy working for a good future, too busy to straighten.

Or you could talk about hair damage, and how you think it is time for you to truly take care of and love what you were born with.

Or, maybe they won't ever change. Maybe you have to accept that your choice can be a good one, even without their approval. It's a tough thing to imagine, since I bet they are usually right!

Good luck! If you are smart enough to research adn find this site, you are smart enough to navigate murky waters of your parents' wishes and your wishes!

Channyboo23 said...

Girl I remember wanting to go natural as early as 13 ( I wanted to grow locs so bad)but my mom said Nope when you turn 18 you can do whatever you want. Im quite sure I could've transitioned earlier if I had known that I was stretching my relaxers all that time. At the end of the day my mom was NEVER doing my hair for me, I was doing everything except applying a relaxer and my hair remained healthy. My advice is repsect your parents wishes, but try to educate them on the benefits of being natural and more importantly you only have one life to live so do you. I began my transition the week before my graduation and havent looked back since its been 2 yrs since I stopped relaxing and I've never been happier :)

af said...

Very tough situation. I've been in this situation as well. Personally I would just say you have to inform yourself about taking care of natural hair, and your specific hair type. Show your parents pictures from natural hair blogs and youtube tutorials. Also tell them about the damage that relaxers do to your hair.

If all else fails just wait to transition until you go away to university. At university you'll meet other natural students who can tell you about the experiences that they've had with going natural

Anonymous said...

My mother didnt like it at first, because i wasnt taking good care of it, but the better i take care of it, the more accepting she is.

Anonymous said...

The Bible says, "Wisdom is proved righteous by its works"....That means that the results will do the talking. YOU have to be totally convinced for both you and them and then maybe they will start to think out the box as well....Learn to ENDURE negativity when you know you're doing what is right.

BornAgainCurlz said...

i started transitioning when i was 17 turning 18 in like 3 months. i didn't tell my mother i was doing it. i wore head bands to cover the new growth. since she used to pay for my monthly touch ups, she realized on my 3rd month that I hadn't asked her for the money. I told her my plans of being natural.Now, my mom isn't the "do as i say b/c i say so" types shes more of the "you're doing what i want b/c i've made you believe that its what you want too" type lol but this time i knew what i wanted to do so when she started asking me questions in an attempt to get myself to doubt my decision, i told her about the damage the chemicals had done to my hair (the reason why no matter what i did to it was always dry and brittle), mentioned the money she'd be saving (she never guessed that i would develop into a major pj and just redirect the money lmao). for awhile she kept bugging, even would put money on my dresser acting like she forgot i was going natural. she started pointing out girls on tv with long straight hair and how beautiful they looked. so i retaliated. everything i learned about going natural, how to care for your hair, products etc i told her about it. i even printed a few pages and put it on her dresser...with the money. eventually she said "Becky I give you the freedom to do what you want with your hair"

Lesson: if its what you really want it wont matter what they say. learn to tune them out. stay strong in what you believe in. now your parents are a roaring in your ear but they will soon become a light whisper and eventually silent.

ps: one thing i said that seemed to sway my mom a bit more was "it may be temporary, just until my hair is healthy again"...which isn't entirely a lie. who knows what will happen in the future, its the most uncertain thing in life.

good luck!

skittledittle11 said...

I began transitioning while i was in college, my parents were totally against it and my mother constantly made comments. after I bc'd she came around. My sister has been trying to transition for the last year but my mother keeps making her get a relaxer. My sister is 17 and a junior in high school. When I spoke to my mother about it she said that she doesn't want her to go natural becuause she doesn't have a nice texture. I've been trying to get her to see that thats not what its about but she can't wrap her mind around it. I guess she's just kind of old school, my sis will probably have to wait til college when my mother won't have such a constant presence.

Anonymous said...

Don't be scared :)
I went natural for the first time when I was 19, that was almost 10 years ago. I BC'd after going without a perm for about 2 months. Spur of the moment. I just locked myself in the hall bathroom with a pair of shears and got to cutting. At that time my relaxed ends hit below my shoulder, so I lost quite a bit. My mom, sister and boyfriend at the time couldn't stop staring at me with bugged-out eyes. The second time I did it was 2 years later. My mom smirked and said that my forehead was too big for my TWA, which it was. I have my dad's forehead. Nevertheless, I kept on trucking. The third, most recent, and last time for me was a little over 2 years ago. I got eyes as big as saucers staring at me again. This time I didn't get the rude comments from my folks. They know how I'd taken better care of my hair when I was natural. I caught a lot of static from the coworkers, though. Took a lot to remind myself that the females commenting about my natural hair probably haven't seen more than an inch of THEIRS since their first relaxers. You all know the usual questions/comments.
"What are you going to do to your hair? Just leave it like that?"
"Don't you think you need a perm?"
"When was the last time it was combed?"
"You need to detangle those cockle-burrs."
On the other hand, the fellas...let me just say that they loved it, for the most part. Even more as it grew out. One person had asked me what would I think if someone had told me that they didn't like my hair. I let fly. Told her, "WhoEVER said that, if he/she doesn't like MY hair, they don't have to. I never asked for that. I like my hair the way it is b/c it's mine." I let go of the thought of having "pretty, long hair" b/c I'd already had it. Sounded like someone projecting fear of one's own natural texture to me.
And you will get a lot of that, little sister. So go ahead and do it when you're ready. It doesn't matter when b/c you'll get the comments and beautiful compliments whenever you do. Peace.
PS: It'll be so easy to fit your graduation cap over your TWA(and not have to worry about how your hair's laying under the cap).

BuenaventuraAvenue said...

My sister's friend is having the same problem, she wants to transition but her mom won't let her. The difference in your situation and hers is that she's still a junior and you're a senior. You're sooo close to graduating and very soon your parents will be out of your hair (pun intended). I say, get that one last relaxer for graduation to make your parents happy and then officially begin your transition. By this time next year you'll have a head full of natural hair and there'll be nothing they can do to prevent it from happening.

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, no matter what you do your family will obviously still love you. People just tend to be afraid of what's unfamiliar to them. What's important is that you make a decision that you will love.

CollegeGirl said...

Do what I did: don't tell them. Just go get your hair pressed for graduation, then, when you go to college, have it your way. If you aren't going to college, just ask them to give you six months to try it out! If you stick to it that long, they will let you continue (they pretty much won't have a choice after 6 whole months!) Tell them that making personal decisions such as those concerning your appearance are part of growing up and that they need to let you do that. Or show them how beautiful and "mainstream" natural hair is and how it can look (internet).

My mom still gets queasy when I wash my hair and it's been about 14 months... AND I still have my relaxed ends! She just accepted the fact that I'm not going to put another relaxer in my hair. I think she's just relieved that I can make it look nice, to be honest.

Anonymous said...

You could sit them down and explain how important this is to you, then show them some youtube vids and some blogs, that would help reinforce your cause and show them how great it is to be natural. Good Luck Sweetie.

Anonymous said...

Check my girl India <3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_5jIt0f5Z4

Anonymous said...

Looking for kinky and curly teens to spearhead this facebook page "teens that dare wear their hair natural"

Eleonoraheart said...

I relaxed at 11..I transitioned at 13.. my Indian mother didnt want me to relax in the first place so she was happy with my decision to go back to curls.. now I'm almost 15 and my hair is shoulder length and beautiful 3B curls again..

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