Handling Your Parents- Curly Teens


by Chelsea of Curly and Young

So you’ve made your decision to go natural, now what? If you’re like many young women I know, you will be met with some resistance. I often find that much of the resistance comes from within the family, more specifically the parents, and even more specific than that, the mothers. I’m speaking from first hand experience. My mother hated that I wanted to go natural and she actually forbade me from cutting my hair. Needless to say, I did it anyway, but let the record show that I am on a different continent from her, and this is the reason why I am alive to write this post today!

The problem lies in the fact that most of us live with our parents, and thus we are subjected to their rules. As young women, we are often at the mercy of our parents who will not indulge us in our hair escapades-- they try to limit our bathroom time, they refuse to, or are reluctant to invest in natural products, and they may insult the styles we wear. So how do we cope with parents who refuse to just give it up!?

Here are a few tips that you can try:
  • Never waiver! The moment you show your parents that you’re second guessing your decision they will spot that loophole and use it against you. Stay strong.
  • Become a human mirror. You know the old adage; sticks and stones? When people say hurtful things, learn to deflect them. Their comments do not define you or the beauty of your hair... you do! When people tell me things, I keep it moving, and add a swing to my step to show them that their comments meant nothing to me. They are trying to solicit a response from you and if you do not give them one, they will eventually get bored and stop.
  • Try to show your family the beauty of natural hair. Whenever I mentioned going natural, the first thing people asked me was if I planned to wear an afro, and if not, then what? Sadly, people are ignorant about the versatility of natural hair. So experiment, try new things,- wear it up, down and out, and show them that straight hair is not the only type of hair that can be beautiful.
  • Be aware of your hair and its propriety for an occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE BIG HAIR, but not everyone does, case in point, your parents. Remember, you are still trying to gain their approval, so until then, try to compromise with them when it comes to your hairstyles and formal outings. My compromise is wearing loose styles for church. My aunt does not like to see my hair in twists, as she does not deem them appropriate for church. I noticed that once I made the compromise, the little squabbles over my hair dissipated. You could try to do the same.
  • Try talking to your parents. As young adults, it is normal for us to be anti-authoritarians, but remember that this is one battle you cannot afford to lose. Talking to your parents can work for two reasons; they will realize that you are serious about your decision and that it is not just some fashion trend that you will grow old of, and they may be better able to understand your decision, as them lashing out may be the result of their confusion.
So there you have it ladies. Try implementing a few of these suggestions and see what happens. Remember that although the comments of your parents may be hurtful, they do still love you, and chances are they will come around. However, if they don’t, you are still beautiful and you do not need your parents to tell you that.

**Remember in all that you do be respectful. I will not be responsible for your parents killing you for rudeness**

20 Weigh in!:
Anonymous said...

Nicely said, especially this '**Remember in all that you do be respectful. I will not be responsible for your parents killing you for rudeness**' Great Post!

MsLizziA said...

**Remember in all that you do be respectful. I will not be responsible for your parents killing you for rudeness**' Ha! I love this!

I also would like to add a tip as well. Ask you parents if they would like to research information with you so you can show them the beauty of natural hair before you even try anything. That way, they will get a better understanding of why you want to do it

GGmadeit said...

Great post!

april said...

When I went natural, and back then I didn't even know that term, my mother wasn't very keen on the idea, but she still respected what I wanted to do with my hair. She encouraged me to wear my hair straightend many times, but I didn't want to and it was ok. Now she really likes my natural hair and admires my thickness, shine and curls.

naturallychelsea said...

thnx guys and MzLizzia I will add your tip

Shakirah said...

Great job! Good advice too. But I must say....your aunt....did she really say a hairstyle wasn't appropriate for CHURCH? House of God? Come as you are?! Wow....

Anonymous said...

Wow. I thought this was something that was overlooked in the natural hair community! I really appreciate this being posted. I just cut my hair recently and my mother swore i did it to be spiteful! lol

naturallychelsea said...

@ Shakirah I think my aunt just wanted my hair to be a certain way and used church as an excuse but I don't like to argue with adults.

and lol @ anon 10:19 I don't think my mother knows that I cut my hair. Everyday when she called she'd remind me to not cut it

Anonymous said...

love this chelsea!

Anonymous said...

Great piece! I'm 16 and going thorugh this very thing. I will definitely try some of your tips cuz my mum is tripping!

Lexi said...

Wonderful post! I made the decision to go natural at 15 (i'm 17 now). The journey was very difficult but i'm very happy with the results now.

I got called all sorts of names (butch, dyke,and hideous to name a few) by my family!

I guess the knowledge that i would be up and out of my parents' house soon helped me out. Lol

KCAS said...

Very interesting article!!
I am no longer a teen and was an adult when decided go natural, but my mother never supported me. Now and then, she says "your hair would be so long if you stretched it" or "you don't take care of you hair anymore". It used to made me mad, but now I let it go. I pretend I'm not hearing. I saw her twice a month and at least once she makes comments on my hair.

By the way, I do care for my hair, I follow Teri La Flesh techniques and my hair gets many coils. But, for my mother, beautiful hair is straight hair. :-(

Jeannette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeannette said...

Chelsea...this article was beautifully written! Do I see a future journalist in you?? :) I commend you for encouraging young people such as yourself to keep their heads up from the negativity from our family, especially parents when we go natural. Yes, sometimes, they cannot understand why. When I first went Natural, I cut all of my hair off. My mother thought that I literally went crazy. My mother has a soft spot for long hair and thought that by me cutting it I was loosing my mind. When she saw that I was taking care of my hair and how beautifully it was growing, she went natural and cut all of her hair off a year later. Now she is natural as well as I am and enjoying her hair. Chelsea...Lead by example. Now as far as your Aunt, I have no idea why she feels that you wearing twists in the Church is inappropriate but I do like your idea of compromising. Very mature Young Lady! Stay Blessed!

Anonymous said...

I'm no longer a teen, but I would find this article to be very helpful if I were a young natural. Good job! I think you gave a great deal of good advice to young girls who want to rock their natural hair.

@Jeannette

I think it is amazing that your confidence in your natural hair rubbed off on your mother and you unintentionally inspired her to embrace her own natural hair. I love it! My mom was not very open to my decision to go natural, but I noticed that she is becoming fascinated with my natural hair journey. She is always checking out my hairstyles and commenting on it. Thankfully, most of her comments are positive. Who knows....maybe she will consider going natural one day, too! LOL!

Peace & Love!

-RB

Anonymous said...

I'm 18, going to school and living with my parents, rocking a kooky TWA :).. when doing my hair this morning, why did my mother say: Jessica, get out of the mirror, you know there is just nothing else you can do to that hair! Why don't you go get a weave? You look crazy!.. This article says to remain respectful, I was just about ready to light a match and burn the house down lol :)

Bree said...

Great article and tips, I remember when I first decide to go natural my mom use to buy me a box perm and was like "are you ready for me to do your hair?" I just said no and started to do my hair more and more. But I learn that after awhile parents do come around if you hold to your beliefs and continue down the path of your hair journey. The biggest thing for some moms is to show them that you are in charge of your hair and actively take care of it

shealuving said...

I was 16 when i started transitioning and i remember my mum saying when you going to relax your hair or making excuses that im going to get headaches because im not getting a perm.

Well I did the BC anyhow and now its even more difficult with her because im washing and twisting my hair often she believes im wasting time....but hey next year im off to college so less of the earful :P

Kitty said...

Great post!

I'm glad I never had to deal with a disapproving Mami when it came to going natural. She was the one who took me to the barber to cut my relaxer off. She's even gone natural herself. ^_^

My heart and prayers go out to the young ladies (and gents) who go natural and face resistance from family.

Anonymous said...

Great Post...

I'm honestly baffled at the responses some people get when they cut their hair! Where I come from, you see Black women everywhere with every hairstyle under the sun- braids, weaves, relaxers, locks, twists, small 'fros, natural curls and coils, very short, very long, in between- you name it. I cut my hair off last year and have never regretted it, and have never faced any negative remarks from friends or family. I love my hair natural, and although I would explore my options to have it temporarily straightened on occasion (when I feel for that look) when it gets longer, I am happy the way it is and would never permanently straighten it again. But, I don't look down on someone who chooses to relax, or texturize or whatever. I think the beauty of Black hair is its versatility. You can wear it in so many styles and there are so many different textures- its just beautiful. I think the key is just embracing the hair you have and having it look its best- whether you relax it, weave it, braid it, lock it or leave it kinky or curly.

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