Mama’s Always On Stage: Teaching Our Daughters to Care for Their Own Hair

By Shanti of A Curl’s Best Friend

After so many years of fussing, coaxing, fighting, bribing, and taking full responsibility of your daughter’s hair there comes a time when enough is enough. The responsibility falls on them. But how is the torch passed? Is it in haste and a sigh of relief as we shove a comb and brush into their hands or do we hand over the the comb and brush with confidence that they have the knowledge to maintain the same standard of care that we gave? Let’s shoot for the latter ladies. Here are some tips to help lay down the foundation for them to follow when the responsibility is all theirs (or at least return to after going wayward).

Create a Consistent Regimen

Starting at a young age, create a specific and consistent hair regimen for your daughter(s). For example, make every Sunday “Pamper Day” where you wash, condition, deep condition and style her hair. Pop in a movie (or 2) and enjoy each other’s company. This creates a ritual which your daughter will come to expect. She may not look forward to it but she will expect it. Most importantly she will also be learning the basic steps to her hair care. She will instinctually know after washing follows a half hour conditioning treatment etc.

Explain the “3 Ps” – Process, Products and Purpose
Keep your daughter engaged by explaining everything that you do and apply to her hair and the reasoning behind it. For example, “Lets wash your hair now. Mommy bought this special kind of shampoo that has no sulfates in it. Sulfates are too tough on your hair and dry it out so we buy this kind which is better for your hair”. With everything that you do explain it to your daughter until she can explain it back to you annoyed that you (1) would insult her intelligence with such basic questions ( (2) she is tired of hearing the same repeated things every time she gets her hair done. “Ugggh mom I know how to moisturize my hair! I put a leave-in conditioner on it first then the oil. I know that already!”

Allow Her to Practice
While you are still responsible for her hair it is good for her to take initiative even if she doesn’t volunteer herself. Explain before hand that today she is going to wash and moisturize her hair by herself. In this way, you can watch to make sure that she has a good sense of what to do and tweak her technique. I will never forget how I learned to corn row. In the sixth grade my best-friend bought in a mannequin head and we took turns practicing braiding. She had mastered the skill before I did so she would stand over my shoulder and bark out instructions. I learned in a day. Think about doing the same for your daughter. She will take great interest and pride in her mannequin’s hair. She will soon run up to you showing you all the hairstyles she achieved on her dolls head with corn rows, ponytails, buns, twists, braids, barrettes, and bows. These skills will translate into her own hair care.

Celebrate Her Initiation
Once you both feel comfortable with her taking the reigns in her own hands make it a celebration! A step towards being a independent, knowledgeable young lady! Make it a treat on pamper day by including her best friends or her having pizza or cake. Do something to acknowledge the accomplishment you both have made. Share with her how very proud of her you are and you know she will treat her hair gently, patiently and rock it with her head held high.

I hope this helps all the mothers out there. If we are patient and diligent about passing on proper hair care I believe that it will solidify and be passed on to the generations after us. Imagine how beautiful that would be! A next generation proud, chemical free and knowledgeable about their hair.