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Curly Nikki

On the Couch with Karen V.

By January 27th, 202146 Comments

On the Couch with Karen V.

A Hair Story
from Bright Beating Hearts

Yesterday I took my girl to the hair salon. It was our first trip together, and the man who ran the shop came recommended by another local adoptive mom. Ava is fairly tender-headed—though she’s developed some real endurance over the last two years—and I wasn’t sure how she’d hold up with a stranger taking hold of her tresses. So I really talked up our visit to Mr. Greg and how fun it was going to be and what a big girl she was and that I would pack not one but two lollipops in my shorts pocket.

Neither of us really knew what to expect. I think Ava imagined a delightful afternoon of lollipops and simply another person in her life cooing over her beauty. I assumed I’d act a little awkward and high-pitched while trying to gracefully turn down any and all suggestions of relaxing treatments. An hour would pass; we’d emerge back into the sunlight with Ava’s hair perhaps done in a far better set of box braids than I could’ve managed in three times the amount of time. Hooray! Rite of passage, check.

Mr. Greg was awfully nice, a big booming type of a guy prone to loud claps. He got Ava up on a cushioned plank placed on the arms of a stylist chair and started feeling her hair. Her scalp looked great, he determined. Her hair was terrifically healthy. Well wasn’t I feeling like the cock of the walk. Then he pronounced that her coil pattern is simply too tight to justify the length of her hair. Her hair would always be prone to matting and tangling and eventual dreading and we really should cut it. Cut it? But her magnificent puffs!

Cut it. It wasn’t fair to me or to her, Mr. Greg said, not to choose a hairstyle that worked with her hair. She was not meant to have long hair. But, I stammered, you said her hair was healthy and my understanding is that in his (our?) culture black girls with short hair are frowned upon and wasn’t this what I signed up for when I became Ava’s mother? Her hair might be high maintenance but that was part of the deal. It was my job to spend time each morning detangling and conditioning. It’s my job to spend a few hours on Sunday attempting a new style that will hold nicely for a few days. He told me to get a new job.

At this point I was really flummoxed and I could tell Mr. Greg was starting to tire of my hand-wringing. I hate it when people think I’m nuts. (And yet it happens so often!) He had me look at a bunch of pictures of black women with short hair (and I mean to the scalp short). Did I not think they were beautiful? Well of course I do, I said, but they’re grown women who’ve made ta style choice for themselves, not because their nervous white mama made them go short, and they’re wearing gobs of makeup and big jewelry. Well pierce her ears, said Mr. Greg. Pierced ears would cut down on people calling her a boy or teasing her or questioning her sexuality. (All that for $14.95!) At this point in the afternoon I may have been quivering as I watched Mr. Greg put two little marker dots on Ava’s ears and take out his hydrogen peroxide and piercing kit. I stupidly telegraphed my discomfort by telling Ava that this was going to pinch. Well that really made Greg shake his head in disapproval. So now Greg is annoyed, Ava is scared and I’m ashamed to admit that I was on the brink of tears.

“I really think I should talk to Ava’s Dad about all this before I do anything,” I said. He handed me the phone. I left poor Tim a message and sent him a text, hoping that he’d get a break on set in time to see my SOS. Just as Mr. Greg was about to shoot the gun into Ava’s ear/my heart I managed to catch my breath and call cut.

Mr. Greg allowed himself a little groan of exasperation. It’s just that I expected my job that day to be advocating for kind treatment of her beautiful, natural hair, I tried to explain. But somehow I found myself arguing the other position, while this black man was encouraging me to broaden my concept of beauty, culture be damned. Poor Mr. Greg, trying to do the right thing. I’m so grateful to him for disavowing relaxers and banning them from his salon. I’m so impressed by his determination to run a shop whose mission is to reteach a culture how to love and respect their natural beauty. He’s so tired of black women thinking of their hair as the enemy. When he stopped relaxing hair at his salon he said most of his clients were not just mad, they came to think of him as the AntiChrist. Now he specializes in Sisterlocks. Yes to all of this!

And yet what to do with my three year old girl? Girls have long hair. Black girls especially. Shouldn’t Ava have braids or twists or rows, no matter the cost or, I don’t mean this, do I?, the demands put on her patience and pain threshold. And if I’m being brutally honest with myself, is it simply that I think A) she won’t look as pretty with short hair and I get an inordinate amount of pleasure at the number of people who remark on her adorableness and B) black women will look disapprovingly at me for cutting her hair. Hmm, A and B aren’t really about Ava at all, are they? I’m such a dick.

I paid my $25 consultation fee and promised Mr. Greg we’d be in touch again. I’m at such a loss of what to do.

Tim was so happy he didn’t come home to his little girl with gold posts in her ears.


  • My Idle Prattle says:

    My babies are multi-racial and figuring my hair (the first to go natural in "fried dyed and laid to the side" family) with two very different hair typed curly mops has its challenges. I was appalled, shocked, and just so upset to hear he wanted to chop your baby's hair!!! I'd have slapped him and walked out. Nobody, and I mean nobody is going to lop my baby's hair for anything. I cut ends with my heart in my throat to make sure their hair is healthy and strong. If they ever need a cut to keep it healthy I think I might pass out. I will work myself tired before I sacrifice length until such time as they decide hey – I want to lose some length. I still can't get over him telling you long hair can't be cared for – it just takes more effort. And as I go through learning my hair, I'm finding that the longer it gets the lazier I can be with it and still have it look good. God bless you for being strong and not giving in to pressure! You are her Mom. And Mommy knows best. xoxo

  • Anonymous says:

    No one has mentioned using any type of oil or butter on this little one's hair. Is her hair the wrong type for this application?
    I am also a "white" adoptive mother with a biracial daughter. I am using lots of oils and butters for conditioning and detangling.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! Unbelievable!!

    A few words of advice –

    1. Stick with protective styles til she gets older and has more of an opinion regarding her hair – i.e. cornrows, braids or twists.

    2. Find someone you trust who comes highly recommended. If they do what you ask and take care of your daughters hair, they are a good stylist. Suggestions are always appropriate but you shouldn't feel pressured to do anything you aren't ready for.

    3. NEVER get your ears pierced by anyone other than a doctor or a tattoo/piercing specialist. They know that the best way and least traumatic way to pierce is using a needle and NOT a piercing gun. I have had my ears pierced with a gun and my second holes get swollen, red, hot and irritated every time I try to wear earrings in them of any kind. And these holes are over 15 years old. Google it and see for yourself the number of issues from gun piercings.

    You are a good mom for getting her out of there before something went down that you weren't comfortable with. Go with your gut – it never misleads you 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    not liking short hair on girls or long hair on boys doesn't make you a bad person. i don't like seeing little boys with long hair. that doesn't mean i tell anyone else what to do with their children's hair.
    cut it, grow it, shake it or bake it. it will be Ava's decision when she's older anyway. Mine ended up pink and shaggy when i was 19.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm really surprised that he wanted to cut her hair!!!!!! People go natural (now this is not the only reason) to retain length no matter what the texture. I don't think he really believes in what he does. He runs a fully natural salon but feels that certain textures should be confined to a certain length??? I think he's just into fad styling.

  • erika says:

    Karen your daughters hair seems to be a similar texture as my nieces ( she's 6) who is also tender headed.

    Bravo for not letting him cut her hair, I think the message you are sending to her, just like the message we try to send to my niece is that her hair is beautiful just the way it is.

    There is nothing wrong with short hair, however the message (even though she is young)can come off like her hair is inherently problematic and getting rid of it ( or keeping it short) is her only option.

    For too long Black women ( I say this in very general terms) have thought our hair just didn't grow, that it was and would always be problematic. However, when I learned it was my care methods vs. the qualities of my hair that were the problem another dimension of self love was introduced.

    With my niece we are teaching her how to care for her uniquely gorgeous hair. For her we do a "warm oil" treatment with olive oil, followed by a shampoo, then a deep conditioning with a little olive oil mixed in. Before we rinse the DC we detangle in small sections with a seamless shower comb (sally's) from ends working up to the roots then twist that section. After her entire head is detangled we rinse with warm water, then with cold.

    After that her hair is ready ( and detangled) for a leave in, a very light sealing oil, and a braided or twisted style.

  • homeskillette says:

    Maybe I'm the only one thinking this way, but I got the impression that it may have been a touch of laziness, but for the most part, I believe he just assumed that because you are white, that you couldn't possibly deal with all of that hair and that you'd somehow end up ruining it in the long run. I think he thought he was somehow sparing you of a long arduous journey. Perhaps he thought that you didn't know what you had gotten yourself into and figured he would make your life easier. But clearly, you know what you signed up for and you are more than willing to put in the time and effort to take care of your little cutie.

    I think it was just prejudice. IMHO

  • Mama Dog says:

    Hi everyone–Karen V. from the Couch here.

    I'm extraordinarily grateful for all the feedback, here and on my blog. I do think it's worth repeating that I think the stylist had only good intentions and that the core of his message was not just sound but admirable. I'm forgiving of my own dithering too, as this was my first trip to a professional expert and I went in looking to be educated. That said, I'm proud of myself for having enough wits about me to finally make what felt like the right call for us now.

    I do hope it's clear that my agenda going in was not to rid myself of some supposed burden. My mission, as the stylist asked of me from the get-go, was "to ensure that my child's hair was healthy and that I was living up to its beauty." I'm a work in progress, just like the rest of us.

    A few final thoughts from my end:
    1) People really don't care much for short hair on girls.
    2) Ava is my child and I'm her mother. That's not in "quotes," that's not in question. Even if her mama is occasionally "wishy washy" or still getting her hair chops up to speed, we remain bound to one another in the most beautiful, clear way.
    3) Off now to the snapaholics website to order myself some chunky beads!

  • Barbara Naturally Speaking says:

    Your daughter is beautiful. I'm so glad that you listened to your intuition before following this stylists advice. There's no way that her curl pattern deems her hair as "having to be cut". Wow! That makes me think that some stylists that say that they're "natural stylists" either don't know how to style lengthy natural hair, or don't want to take the time to style it. He also didn't take the time to ensure that he was meeting the goals that you wanted to achieve with your daughter's hair. Stylists that don't listen scare me. He was quick to grab the machine for earrings and hand you the phone to call your husband. My hairs stood on edge, my first instinct would be to "run" right out of there. It's easy to stlye natural hair actually with some conditioner and a large tooth comb. I frequently use conditioner to cowash her hair or a sulfate free shampoo. Next add more conditioner and detangle in sections using a large tooth comb. You can add moisturizer and style with braids, twists, or form puffs, and allow the hair to air dry.

  • Niki says:

    So because her follicles don't stand at attention (i.e. aren't bone straight) the 'expert' said your only option is to CUT IT? fu-cryingoutloud. Hell to the know. Girl, wash it, moisturize it when it's wet and all will be well in the world.

    I have never heard such…

  • KC says:

    I think you absolutely made the right decision. I could never let a stylist talk me into/out of something that makes me uncomfortable. I would not have let that man cut my child's hair (nor pierce her ears) either. Not at three years old. Trim, yes. Cut–oh no. I had my daughter's ears pierced by my FIL (a pediatrican) at about 3 or 4 months old.

    I agree with all who say you need a GOOD detangler (Kinky Curly Knot Today is one). You could put her hair in a few big braids or twists until she gets older, just to keep it detangled. My mom did this for me for years. Two or three (sometimes four) sections, twisted or braided up (and wrapped with a scarf at night) lasted all week.

  • Happy walker says:

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  • Anonymous says:

    I love this idiot's comment of "He's so tired of black women thinking of their hair as the enemy" –Yet here he is wanting to cut off Ava's gorgeous coils because HE'S LAZY & TRIFLING. Pisses me off actually, he had no right to try and take advantage of you. Thank goodness you are a smart mommy!

  • Dolores says:

    A helpful tip while detangling is to adjust your expectations. You probably should not expect your daughter's hair to be thoroughly detangled. If her hair is anything like mine, it will tangle back up less than 10 seconds after it's detangled when it's wet. So I think the goal should be to remove shed hairs and major knots – not completely detangle the hair. Also, I think you should spend the bulk of the time you allot for haircare to gentle detangling.

    The styling should be very simple, because she is a little girl. A few pigtails or a couple of french braids are fine. Intricate patterns with cornrows, tiny twists and braids are better for children who have a grown-up's level of patience (yeah, right. exactly) and parents who are talented with hair. Also, I would avoid stylists at all costs, and do her hair yourself. Practice makes perfect.

  • Anonymous says:

    Your daughter is beautiful!!!She's adorable!!!Her will grow and change over time. You have such an opportunity to teach your daughter that what grows naturally out of her head is uniquely hers and beautiful just because its hers. This guy is a joke that is not even funny. A bad joke. Whatever to that dude and his freaky ear piercing advice. Weirdo. What if SHE wants long hair one day but is taught that because what's natural to her is "too hard to manage" She always has to wear her hair short? Talk about identity crisis in the making. Detangling and patience is what's needed and that's all. She will learn to be just as delicate with her hair as she will become with putting makeup on and picking out a cute outfit one day.

  • Anonymous says:

    Pisses me off to no extent that Mr. Greg felt that way about Afro textured hair. Karen went seeking help, an efficient way to NEATLY maintain baby girl's hair, and he took the easy way out.

    Shame on you Mr. Greg!

    Shame on those who feel the best way to keep 4b/c Afro textured hair neat is to cut it off. Sounds like the punch line of a racist joke.

    Makes me mad…

    Mom, go with your "gut instinct" and you'll never be wrong!

    All the best!

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    Are you serious? Mr. Greg needs to get a life. I am glad you did not let him bamboozle you and definetely DO NOT go back. Your daughter has a beautiful head of hair (as Mr. Greg admitted). So why cut it off? Mr. Greg is trying to get a confirmed repear customer. If he cuts it off, more than likely you will continue to return for trims, maintenance and what not. I am not trying to be harsh but if you were black would Mr. Greg have made the same suggestion? What a jerk!

  • dk says:

    gosh she's a sweetie. your daughter is gorgeous! congrats and kudos to you for going the adoption route. she's lovely and you sound like a loving, nurturing mom!

  • Nikki Aimee says:

    So glad you found the courage to speak up for Ava and for yourself. Mother knows best. 😉 Continue to trust your intuition to protect beautiful little Ava. Sure Mr. Greg was trying to help with his suggestions (I guess) BUT it's not what you wanted for your daughter and that it what's most important.

  • Anonymous says:


    DO NOT CUT UR DAUGHTERS HAIR. if she wants it short at sixteen then thats her choice. IF that pic is her, we have the same hair, n if u style it while its wet n moisturized, i promise it will never be a problem. DO HER HAIR URSELF. LEARN TO BRAID N TWIST(if u can't already). try the kiddie styles on this website. or get urself some kinky curly custard n a spray bottle of water n let her hair be open n free. shes young n she will cry if u cut her hair short right now. just because her hair is kinky doesnt mean it cant be long or will be a problem if its long. that man greg is a lazy asshole. He doesnt have long kinky hair so excuse my french but (what the f&^% does he know). This man sounds like he needs to be deprogramed….. plz dont take someones advice just because there black. It looks like ur doing an amazing job with ur daughter already. It may take time but as long as she is happy its worth it. the best things in life take a lil work. God bless

  • Platinumballer says:

    Please don't listen to Mr. Greg. You are doing a great job sicne you have obviously taken the time to learn about how to care for your daughter's hair. I don't know where you are located but you just need to find a different natural salon, preferably with women stylist that cater to children. Women (not all) have more patience for children and understand girls better. Mr. Greg as hard as he tries can never understand life as a young, black girl. I commend you for standing your ground! best wishes and keep up the good work!

  • oneordinaryday says:

    I had a stylist ask me if my daughter would sit still at 3 years old to have her hair straightened!!!! I was stunned. Then mad! I love her natural curls and have worked hard at learning how to help her hair stay healthy. So glad you didn't let him cut her hair! Do you have any friends who could help you learn to style her yourself?

  • kathryn says:

    First off I think you are doing a great job with her hair because the man said it was healthy himself.Don't cut her hair though especially since she is young, let her decide when she's older although long hair doesn't equal beauty but still. You should just go the cornrow and twists route. Does she go to school with other black girls see how their hair is done, maybe you could ask for their moms to cornrow it or suggest someone who does.

  • Anonymous says:

    This sort of thing blows my mind..First, When I was a child, I had my ears pierced (against my fathers wishes) Between 4 and 6, My ear lobes swollen up to the size of cherry tomatoes. Had to have them surgically removed. With that experience i would never pierce my child's ears until she/he was much older, We're talking double digits. What's sketchy is that he had a ear piercing kit. Nope, red flag. His comments about hair her type not meant to be long is a BS statement. If it wasn't meant to be, It wouldn't. Right? Red flag! Im glad you didn't go through with any of the madness he was suggesting! and Shame on him!

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok…here's my 2 cents. I don't think it's wrong if the stylist would have given this mother the "Option" to cut her daughters hair. But to state that cutting her hair is her "best and only opition" for her natural hair is RIDICULOUS!This was a clear cut case of a stylist COPPING OUT! LESS IS MORE TYPE OF THING. Many a styling will try this…especially with natural hair! I would go to someone else who will take the time to address what you would like done to her hair and have a better understanding of how to deal with her hair.

    Secondly…busting out with a piercing kit! Was this man even licenced to do piercing's? Seems like he's making up for not doing chemical treatments! lol either way he was TIRED for trying that move!

  • Anonymous says:

    despite what the stylist wants, YOU are in charge. In the story you seemed confused as to what to do. My thing is if u wanted braids for ur little girl then u tell the stylist thats what he or she needs to do. point. blank. period. dont be wishy washy because that will cause frustration and waste time.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey watch your self with your daughter's hair. My mother cut and relaxed my long natural hair when I was six because the experience of doing my hair was traumatic for me and my mother. Now, I have thin, breaking hair, I will probably never have that thick (easily matting) hair again. I am just left with the matting. Don't let someone who you are paying tell you how your daughter's hair should be done. If you and your daughter want long hair understand there will be work involved. Then, after you have realized that and are willing to do what it takes to maintain it, find a stylist with the same attitiude. Stick to what you and your daughter like don't get all philisophical about about it. After all, it is just hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    to the person above Anon 11:59 I'm reading your post in disbelief, with all respect you can't be serious when you say kinky hair is not designed to grow long! I mean you're on Curly Nikki so my guess is that you've seen the countless amount of pictures of the natural women who have hair that is APL and the countless others that have waist length natural hair. If your daughters hair is healthy and growing, then I see no purpose in cutting it, if it has been healthy maintained thus far. I would say keep it simple for a young child find a stylist that can do protective styles appropriate for a young child, like two strand twists, or flat twists, french braids (which last a long time).
    -Shanna 🙂

  • Nia says:

    I'd like to play devils advocate for a second, just because I can see the benefits of keeping very tightly coiled hair at a mid-short length. I recently cut my "down my back somewhere" hair back up to my neck after almost 10 years of going back and forth over my schedule and regiment unhappily for years. Yes my hair was long and looked great (I hit my "growth goals"!), but I didn't want to spend so much of my hard-to-come-by free time on my hair, nor my hard earned money coating 18" of hair with slippy products. And I'm an adult. I totally see the mom's point about her daughter not really caring at her age, plus she claims the baby is tender-headed, which means its likely that many a tear has been shed. It also sounds like she has a lot to learn still to care for her adopted daughter's hair herself (neat box braids and cornrows can last 2 weeks, not a few days. And many of us with kinky hair or coily kids learn to braid and twist right along with the very best stylists), and meanwhile her baby is being subjected to the learning process.

    I had a friend with a two year old boy who had a head of gorgeous kinky coiled hair that was past his shoulders- and the poor boy cried every time he had to have it done, every week or two, often going a while past the matting stage to delay the inevitable. She finally convinced his dad to let a barber cut the boys hair down. His hair is no longer an issue and the 2 year old could care less how he looks or that he has "pretty hair".

    The stylist wisely picked up on the possible danger that her daughter will develop a negative connotation to having her hair done, or taking lots of time weekly to have something done to her hair that she doesn't like, or is told is pretty. A lot of emphasis on her looks already. BUT…

    After the mom expressed and projected her concerns about feminine ideals the dude was totally OFF BASE by suggesting she pierce her ears. As a stylist, he should have recommended a million ways to do the baby's hair painlessly, in less time and in flattering styles. SHOW HER how to do better box braids, and cornrows and twists. THAT is his job. Do her hair and make suggestions about her hair. The two adults just turned this 3 year old's beautiful head of hair into a stage for politics, gender bias, race bias etc… And this 3 year old just wanted her lollipop.

    I totally get the frustration the mom felt as she realized this. It sounds like she is a bit tired of her current hair routine with her daughter so aside from getting better at braiding and styling herself, a cut sounds like a good idea for now. Bringing her to a professional for braids could be an option like she originally thought- but in doing so she exposes her baby to more drama that it really warrants. Maybe when the little girl gets a bit older and can see and appreciate herself with different styles and develops her own positive, un-burdensome self image she can look into ways to growing it out tear free. (afterall mommy's comb glides straight through her own hair) Until then I think we can all remember that feeling of being a burden, and having difficult hair being instilled in us at a young age. Any actions to alleviate that unnecessary projection should be welcomed. We don't have to prove our hair can grow- it does. And cutting is allowed.

  • Anonymous says:

    WAIT whyyyyyyyyy did this hair stylist have a ear piercing kit on hand? This is what we call a RED FLAG moment. Also you do seem to love your daughter very much. But in order to make the best decisions for you both you need to be more confident. This man should have never even taken two steps to get his gun. You can trust your motherly instincts over your child. Be confident in yourself. screw the race issue. Your first instinct of wtf was right!! This man was clearly crazy and you knew it deep down inside. There are many very well meaning clueless people in the world.

  • Anonymous says:

    The TRUTH is kinky hair is NOT designed to grow long. I know it CAN grow long but it really is not designed to do so especially if you plan on wearing it in it's natural state. What is the point of growing super long hair when it will just end up shrinking above your shoulders. The man has a point it is pointless to grow your hair long if you just plan to rock an afro because it makes no difference.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous 11:13, you said "I'm not sure why black women today are so flummoxed by the process of doing their own girl's natural hair. When did you all forget how to do this?"

    It's pretty clear to me from the post (and even clearer if you click the link at the bottom) that the author is not black; she's the white adoptive mother of a little black girl. It's also clear that she is perfectly willing to take on the task of doing her daughter's hair herself—she says so right in the fourth paragraph.

    As for your last paragraph, I agree with you, and I'm sure that the original poster would as well.

  • Ally says:

    Oh my…Well, there are a few things going on here that need to be addressed. First, you are a great mom. Ignore people (any of them, black, white, or zebra-striped) who try to make you think otherwise. 🙂 Secondly, it seems that the stylist did in fact want an easy way out. The nature of coily, kinky hair is to tangle. Such is life. A good conditioner, a strong wide-tooth comb, a protective style, and a lot of patience are really all you need. And no, long hair does not equal beauty, but then again, neither does short hair. Beauty comes in many styles, and I believe as long as you reinforce that to your baby, she'll be fine. Find someone to cornrow it once a week; that way it will stay stylish, tangle-free, and her scalp will get some air. Thank you for being her voice and advocate, and getting her out of a situation where someone clearly was not thinking of her best interest. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Um, how about you just do your own kid's hair? What is so hard about that? If you've been doing it up until this point, why not keep doing it? My mom always did my hair and she couldn't cornrow or french braid. Just pig tails and buns. Look at the Obama girls. They have nice healthy hair and their mom clearly isn't into anything too elaborate. And I have always had a lot of healthy, long hair too. It's not that hard to comb your own hair.

    I'm not sure why black women today are so flummoxed by the process of doing their own girl's natural hair. When did you all forget how to do this?

    I think that hairdressers always hated doing my hair b/c of the volume/length. It was/is a HUGE job. And so yes, at a certain point, they'd cut it to cut down on their work. I don't mind cutting, but doing it b/c you are lazy isn't a good reason. I think that his excuse is based on the fact that he doesn't want to be bothered, and I'd say the remedy to difficult or lazy service people is to not use their services and keep your money and comb your own daughter's hair.

  • jmh says:

    Oh my goodness!!!!!!!! This is the same man I took my daughter to!!! And he told me the same thing!!! She has a round face, so I either need to chop her hair off or grow it longer. And little African-American girls have basically 2 hair style choices: short or sister locs. Ummmm, NO!!!! So not true. He was gentle but very very narrow minded!!! And we will Not be returning even for a great trim.

  • Queenofthe4s says:

    All you need is a detangling conditioner, detangling tool, and patience.

    I suggest Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner, a Denman brand brush, and a pleasant distraction while styling.

  • CurlyInTheA says:

    Wow, just WOW! SMH over here. I applaud the author for her honesty. I think the question needs to be asked: Why do we think little girls aren't pretty with short hair? That anything else than long ponytails are the norm? Think about it. Don't we all in some way obsess over length? Why would we expect that it wouldn't apply to our children as well? They internalize those messages. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that a mother DARE not cut her black child's hair — not even for bangs(cue the rolled up bang that many of us sported back in the day, lol). The only exception was made when the hair was damaged from a perm or chemical treatment — and chopping it off was the last resort. Heck, I'm I'm honest, we don't even like to see bald babies; we ooh and ahh when babies have a headful of hair! But … on to your beautiful baby girl, I'm glad you walked out of that salon. I don't care if he specializes in natural hair, he has no idea what he's talking about. Our hair is curly, coily, kinky, all of that. Yes, we have mad shrinkage and, until it's stretched or blow dried, you won't know the true lengths. She's a beautiful child. Keep her in her puffs and keep it moving! The only thing you "may" have to consider later, is styling options when she gets older and outgrows puffs. But, as this forum shows, there are so many options for tightly curled/coily hair — twists, braidouts, combing out with conditioner, that I'm sure you'll have even more styling options when that time comes.

  • Tabitha says:

    I am baffled that he suggested to you to cut her hair. Honestly, why would anyone cut a little girl's healthy growing hair? That's just nuts to me and no this is not the norm in the black community, that is to cut a healthy head of beautiful hair on a child. I think at this point, protective styling in the form of twists or braids is the best option. In this way, there is little to no manipulation to her hair and you want have to worry with styling her daily (too much manipulation and this leads to breakage). I must reiterate that you should not comb afro-textured natural hair when dry. Rather, it should only be combed and detangled when her hair is wet and with conditioner in it (always) and in sections. My favorite is Giovanni's Tea Tree Triple Treat 'Invigorating Conditioner'…it just seems to work the tangles out of my hair on its own. She and he her hair is beautiful as it and it was given to her by the Creator. That said, it is perfect and made to suit her. Don't let anyone take away part (her hair) of that beauty.

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    Kudos to you for not making an impulse decision and also consulting the hubsters! I think this man is CRAZY!!!! I totally agree with the ladies above, and my thing is this: why wouldn't he at a minimum suggest sister locs, since that what he specializes in???? Also, if I had received advice that my daughter's hair was so coily that it would just continue to break off, then guess what??? We'd just constantly be in a cycle of growth and breakage, but I wouldn't just cut her hair. Like you said, that's her choice to make when's she's older.

  • Anonymous says:

    You sound like a loving, caring mother who is teaching her daughter to love herself in all her beauty. I encourage you not to be intimidated by "experts" or by other black women's real or imagined criticism of how you style your daughter's hair. If you've done your research, and it sounds like you have, and have developed relationships with other black moms who are supportive and knowledgable about black haircare, then you are ahead of the game. You will always be your daughter's best advocate. I'm sure the stylist meant well, but he was way too overbearing. I've NEVER heard of a black stylist who suggested that a black girl, regardless of hair texture, "should" have short hair. Short hair is beautiful, but not mandatory.

  • Amazon80 says:

    It sounds like you’re in a tough place and I commend you for having the courage to say “HELP”. I don’t know a natural black girl whose hair does not curl in on its self. Isn’t that the root of all our problems? I get terrible knots if my hair is not taken care of properly but I’ve managed to grow my hair to armpit length. Not sure why the stylist thinks the only solution is cutting her hair. Or how he’s fit to tell you she has to pierce her ears. Although I don’t believe beauty is tied up with the length of our hair, going very short for any women can be nerve racking (black, white or otherwise). We can’t all be Pocahontas but you still want to feel like a girl. Just my opinion.
    If you are willing to do the work there are lots of ways to keep here hair stretched and therefore have fewer tangles. Braid-outs, twist-outs, knots, cornrows work best for me. But the key is to detangle while wet and conditioned. And there is no such thing as too much conditioner. It’s all gravy form there. Good luck. Oh…and yes she is beautiful 

  • Anonymous says:

    That is some of the craziest mess I have ever heard. No, she does not need her hair cut. She just needs a different salon. That man is insane. I would start looking around and asking (no offense) black mothers for hair advice. If you like the way their daughter's hair looks, letting the mom know can be the opening. I have done that myself and I am a black mother. I would also look around for some other natural hair salons. Since many natural salons charge a lot, I would stay the entire time, watch, ask plenty of questions and take notes, if necessary. That way, you can learn to do most of it yourself.

  • Anonymous says:

    My daughter also has long tightly coiled hair. We would both cry when ever I tried to do her hair so I decided to take her to a "professional." The stylist said, "Oh, her hair is so thick. We need to thin it out." Before I knew it, the stylist grabbed a pair of thinning scissors and cut my baby girl's hair. I was outraged and left the salon after the lady did two or three cuts. Since then, YouTube has become my hair consultant for my daughters hair. Like Natty Bo said, using a good conditioner with a lot of slip makes a world of difference. I only comb my daughter's hair when it is wet and loaded with conditioner. After I comb it, I use a good moisturizer and braid her hair until the next time we wash it. No tears!

  • Natty Bo says:

    Don't cut her hair. It sounds like that stylist doesn't want to take the time to do her hair and is subliminally trying to look down on her hair pattern. Curly hair gets tangled so I have no idea what this man is talking about. I know it's great that he doesn't use chemicals but he's still a stylist and most of them want to do minimal work for maximum money. Your daughter's pattern sounds like mine;it loves to dread up. Just get a tangle teaser and a thick conditioner and she'll be fine.

  • b. says:

    Wow…just wow…

    My mom pierced my ears when I was six. She asked me and I told her yes. I know some moms who pierce when the child is an infant. All told, this should happen (IMO) when your daughter and you are both ready (unless she's an adult, then of course it's her call).

    I cannot FOR THE LIFE OF ME figure out how and/or WHY the stylist thought that your daughter MUST have short hair. That makes no sense. What planet is he on? There are women left, right, and center with long tightly coiled (dare I say nappy?) hair. He's flat out wrong on that one.


    Your daughter and any other woman with a flattering short haircut is still beautiful. Long hair doesn't equate with beauty. Please (and I say this imploringly) come to terms with that. Your little lady doesn't HAVE to have short hair, but her beauty is NOT wrapped up in the length of it. Full stop.

    Thanks for listening, and I wish you ALLLLLL the best.

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