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Curly Nikki

Teaching Our Daughters to Care for Their Hair

By January 27th, 202110 Comments

Teaching Our Daughters to Care for Their Hair

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.

10 Comments

  • monchichi012 says:

    Good article! Going through the same thing with my 12 year old. I had to learned how to care for my curly hair through trial & error (& this is after going natural for the last 8 years) & I'm hoping to help her avoid all that. She wants to do it herself but its hard to get her to understand how she has to take care of it.

  • Julie says:

    Very inspirational, lol, gives me hope that one day I will be done! At what age is this typically done?

  • B-Curlie says:

    Great post! I'm working on helping my step-daughter realize that she is beautiful inside and out, this includes her hair. At nine years old they are starting to become self-aware and I want her to know that she is amazing and that she doesn't need to relax her hair to be fabulous. Thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    This was very helpful. I cam to the site looking just for this today, very timely. My daughter just asked me this morning if I was going to go online to find out how to keep her hair straight. She's naturally curly and while she wants straight hair from time to time, my main concern is healthy hair, so thanks a bunches for the blog! I <3 Curly Nikki!!! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    also, one of the reasons little girls beg their moms to straighten their hair is because of the kids on the playground. Give girlie some fighting words, if you will, when the kids call her 'nappy headed' or say she needs to get her hair 'done' ie straightened. she can say 'why? so I can have bald spots in my head like you? Nope'. #shutitdown. Sorry lets be real 'turning the other cheek' never really worked. People mistake it for weakness and keep bullying you.

  • Sophie says:

    It helps to lead by example too! If your mom knows how to do her hair and doesn't make it seem like a huge hassle, daughters will pick up on that. If a mom's hair is very different from her daughter's, it can still work because setting up designated time for her own hair (kind of like the author said) will make it something a daughter can sort of "train" in while she and her mom can still do it side by side. My mom is natural, but she doesn't treat her hair well, and as a result it hasn't been past chin length. As I've been trying to figure out my hair and trying to grow it out, it's been tough because she thinks our hair can't grow and I failed a lot (which led to some tension because my hair didn't always come out looking quite right!) before I found some helpful advice online!

  • ATWC says:

    hang in there! she may go astray but have faith that she will return to what your taught her eventually. i guess that applies to parenthood period. lord know a hard head makes a soft butt!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    i'm going through this right now with my 13 year old. I've been talking her through the washing process. However, I still can't get her to put her bonnet on every night. she does sleep on a satin pillowcase though. I wonder how long before she cares about her hair? She wants to look cute but doesn't want to put in the work. She thinks straight hair will be easier but i couldn't get her to wrap it every night so back to natural we went. I'm trying to hang in there. sigh

  • Keisha says:

    I wish my mom would have taught me how to care, love, & protect my hair. I remember asking her to help me a lot when i was young, but she would not help me and insisted that i will make my hair fall out.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very good article, this is sooo crucial and i must say without effort i have been doing this. My 2 year old daughter is aware of her hair and will say when she likes her hair,mine or other people.

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