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Curly Nikki

Teaching Our Sons to Love Our Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202127 Comments
Teaching Our Sons to Love Our Natural Hair
by Wendy15

I was about to do a braid out on my hair a couple of days ago and my 4 year old son came by and wanted to “help” which usually turns into a big mess whether it’s in the kitchen or cleaning up. Yes, if he helps clean up… God help you… I hesitated before I said no though. It occurred to me that this was one of those “teachable moments”. We focus a lot on teaching little girls to love their natural hair. But what about little boys. They will grow into men who love natural kinky curly hair and have daughters with kinky hair.

He said “Mommy can I help you?” I asked him “Do you like mommy’s hair?” He said “Yes”. I said “Mommy has kinky curly hair, do you think it’s beautiful?”. He said “Yes”. That might have just been his distracted answer as he was combing through it at the time. So I kept talking. “I love my hair, kinky curly hair is very beautiful”. He stopped combing, seemingly un-distracted now and says “Mommy I like your kinky curly hair, it’s pretty”. I thanked him for helping me and made a big deal of what a good job he did. It was a bit tangled by the time he was done as his little hands didn’t have the technique, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I plan to have him help me more to teach him how to handle natural hair. When he grows up and gets married maybe he’ll be the one teaching his little daughter or son about what I taught him.

Side note. I also have 16 year old who has watched me go natural. He asked me why girls put weaves in their hair. I told him that women have lots of options with their hair and weaves are one option. Apparently he sees a lot of girls as school with weaves and he’s not too fond of it. He says some of them are badly done. I’m sure he has other opinions about hair, but I’m taking these opportunities to try teach my boys about the hair that grows out of the head of women, not so much to skew their opinion towards natural hair, but to teach them that natural hair is beautiful in its natural state which is different from what I learned when I got my first perm at age 7.

What are your thoughts about this topic?

27 Comments

  • Netta Dee says:

    My 20 year old son proudly steps around town with his girlfriend who I's natural. He said he hates weaves, a lot of makeup, and women who can't get active with him, hence relaxed hair will sweat out and prevent someone from having a BALL.

  • Lynessa Williams says:

    I think it is great that you are teaching your sons to love natural hair. It is true that women often grow up with insecurities about their natural hair. But it is also true, and often ignored that men too have skewed ideas about what makes a woman's hair beautiful. I can't tell you how many men I know that have turned their nose up at a head wrap for bed, smh. I jokingly said headscarves are the #1 cause of interracial relationships, but it probably isn't so much of a joke. #sadtruth.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hate to burst some bubbles in here, but although teaching your sons about natural hair and its beauty is great, eventually many of them will become brainwashed by the proliferation of ideal, Eurocentric beauty.

    I know enough guys with natural hair mamas (who are also quite Afrocentric and exude blackness with pride)…unfortunately most of these guys want girls with long, straight hair. The only difference is that they end up feeling guilty because they know their mothers taught them better.

    My point is…don't be disappointed if a few years from now they come home with a girl w/ a perm, or shun natural haired girls…hopefully they'll grow out of it and learn to resist…

  • Anonymous says:

    Awesome. My son is going to know what is what when it comes to my hair because I will never hide it from him. I refuse to let him leave home unaccustomed to the kind of hair that grows out of our heads, especially as a Black woman.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ anon 1:33 I fail to see what dating outside of your race has to do with the original topic.

    My nephew is 14 and he loves playing in my hair, he's also white and we live in a small town without much diversity. My nevvy is always one to speak his mind and one day he came home from school and said that he wished there were more black girls in town because the white ones were "shallow, limp, and annoying" lol the only black women he's met are me, my younger sister, and my mother so he thinks all black women are as cool as us.

  • Anonymous says:

    loved it!
    We gotta "undo" the cinderella-syndrome they've been BRAINWASHED with since the fairytales and cartoons and commercials from the cradle!!!!!! *my son DOES NOT date outside his race!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post! Definitely something to consider if I had a son one day. ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    This a great post…As a mommy to three sons aged 11, 4, and 2 I can appreciate reading about another little man who loves his mommy's hair. My 4 year old son always wants to help me do my hair, or wants to know how I am going to wear it next, or he wants to help me organize my product closet (YES! a closet). My kids are my greatest critics, they will let me know right away, if my hair isn't right! I am in process of growing their hair out now. My oldest son has grown his hair out since June and is now officially on his Loc journey. The younger two will be twisted up hopefully by the Spring.

    Thank You Again.
    But thank you for posting.

  • Anonymous says:

    My 13 yr old twin boys are so familiar with my hair regimine they could probably do it themselves lol. They know when mom's busy "doing her hair". As I was braiding it one day, my son was watching me and said, "Mom, I love that you have natural hair and only use natural stuff like shea butter." As middle schoolers, they are used to girls wearing make-up and weaves (yes, middle school).

  • Anonymous says:

    I have two sons 10 and 12. They have seen it all when it comes to my hair Relaxed, natural relaxed again, weaved, braided, wigs and now natural again. I haven't talked to much about my hair to them but I have talked to them about their's especially my younger son. He has a tough time at first loving his hair. it is tightly coiled and shrinks a lot,a lot like mine, where his bother's and father's hair is loose curls. on their own they tell me my hair is beautiful well their word is awesome. My oldest said he would like to date a girl thats confident enough to wear natural hair. I do feel it is important to teach our boys to love natural hair not to discard someone because they choose to wear their hair natural, but I also teach them to like who they like, to look on the inside. But we all know what catchs a persons fancy first is appearance, so if they perceive natural hair as ugly they may miss out on a beautiful person on the inside because there stuck on straight.

  • Anonymous says:

    @anonymous "December 27, 2011 5:34 PM". Interesting perspective. I don't believe that Wendy15 wants her boys to "conform" to what she thinks. From what she mentioned it looks like she's attempting to ensure that they have their own opinion, but that in addition to that they appreciate the natural hair and grows out of her head and theirs. In many cases kids end up growing up and doing whatever they want anyway. If what their parents taught them makes sense then they adopt those behaviors or thoughts whether they are right or wrong. There are many negative comments about kinky hair and that needs to stop. It's lovely to think that true beauty has nothing to do with hair, skin, color etc. However, unfortunately, certain cultures have had to deal with the backlash of that perceived un-truth. There are still remnants of self loathing that stem from historical events wherein people were made to think their hair, skin, and color were not appreciated or good enough. So my question is, what's wrong with teaching the kids to appreciate who they are and what they have. When they leave the nest they will go out into the world knowing lots of things….if one teeny tiny aspect of their wealth of knowledge causes them to love their hair and not accept negative things to be said to them about their hair, then….what's the issue?

  • Jolene says:

    I am Caucasian and blessed with two African American boys. My 7 yr old has locs that I do myself and my 8 yr old is growing his hair out (he's curious as to what his natural curl pattern is…) we've always had his hair shaved.

    We talk about the beauty of natural hair all the time…we go over the ingredients in products and what it does to their hair and why it isn't always the best choice.

    I'm doing my best to encourage my boys to always support their future wives and children if they choose natural hair.

  • naturallyappealing says:

    This article reminded me of my youngest son who is 7 yrs old. Just the other day I was rubbing coconut oil in his hair and he looked up at me and asked if he was natural too. It was so cute!! I did not realize that he watches what I put on my hair and associated coconut oil with being natural. I big chopped back in Sept of this yr and I believe that since I have started my hair journey all my boys (I have a total of 4) have learned and gained a new appreciation for natural hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    yes, awesome the way you handled that!! and therein probably lies the problem that so many black men have with natural hair.

    i really think unconsciously they have taken in that our hair is not "good" the way it is. and thus we have all these discussions and interview with "our" men and natural hair.

  • hairscapades says:

    I really loved how you handled the conversation with your older son … because I do think the point is appreciating that beauty can come in many shapes and forms and, ultimately that is the lesson to be taught and learned.

    Shelli

  • Gnatural says:

    This sounds like my nephew!!! If he doesn't like my hair he says uhhggg really hard and turns his nose up. I laugh at him and tell him my hair is awesome and he laughs harder. He does however like to play in my hair and tell me how good it smells. I let him be the judge of what is pretty or not but I do think having boys help with your hair will help them appreciate a natural if they see one out and about.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ugggh. Don' think it's such a good idea to ask your kids if mommy' s hair ( or insert outfut or something else) is beautiful. A bit heavy handed for my taste. And what if they say no? Does a lesson on the virtues of natiral hair follow? What is the real lesson, that your opinion ought to confirm to that of your parents? Kids really do really learn by example and i think the real lesson is that true beauty has nothing to do with your hair,looks, or complexion.

  • Trice (BreatheFashion3c) says:

    I have one child, a daughter, and I thank God for her! If I had a boy, he would be way more hair savvy than socially acceptable! Now I will say that my littler brother who is 12, does keep a close eye on my hair. He knows my wash days, and what styles I like lol…poor things sees me with a plastic cap and/or hair therapy wrap on more than he sees my actual strands!

  • Anonymous says:

    Aw, that is so nice! I guess since I have a 2 yr old grandson now, I'll have to try that. (I've been natural for 1 yr & 4 months now but I was relaxed when my son (1981) and later my daughter (1997) were born.

  • SamIam says:

    Great article! I let my little nephew play in hair all the time, and I ALWAYS tell him how great his hair is too!

  • Pecancurls says:

    Great post Wendy15. Kids are very observant and pick up on our feelings and attitudes about things and later carry those into their adult lives. I am a new natural, my sister does it all —weaves, wigs, wild cuts, etc and my other sister has had locs for years. My two boys see different "hair" so nothing is a shock for them. The other day my 10 year old (looking at the lap top over my shoulder) says "Mom, you spend a lot of time on that web site." I happened to be on the CN page. So busted getting my daily fix! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Whenever my 4 year old boy shows interest in helping me "fix" my hair, I always let him. I believe that not only will this help him to appreciate a woman's natural hair and respect her when he's older, but he will also be able to help with his daughter's hair (should he have any) when the time comes.

    Of course, it's a nightmare when I catch him playing with my hair oils, grease and body lotions caked down on his hair, face and body.

  • Anonymous says:

    Whenever my 4 year old boy shows interest in helping me "fix" my hair, I always let him. I believe that not only will this help him to appreciate a woman's natural hair and respect her when he's older, but he will also be able to help with his daughter's hair (should he have any) when the time comes.

  • Jeannette says:

    Thank YOU Wendy15 and all like you :). I think it sooo important to teach our young fellas about hair in it's natural state and how beautiful it is. I think that's why many boys dislike natural hair because no one in their family wore natural hair. I think that teaching their Son's to love their hair no matter how it's styled ie relaxed, weaved or natural that it's beautiful no matter what :). Again, thank you.

  • Whitney says:

    I love this article! It's important to teach children to love their hair because it is a reflection of themselves. Their are so many messages out there that straight hair is what beauty represents. I've recently gone natural and I love the new freedom I have with my hair. It's liberating! 🙂

  • Nettie says:

    I am in total agreement with this. I have two daughters and two sons. I want them all to love their hair, each others and what they see on the heads of other brown people they interact with.

    They are in a fortunate position as they have watched me grow back my hair after the big chop to see it look like theirs and their sisters'. They also have my sister around who changes her hair often with everything from color to weave to wig. They love her and they love me so, to them, some women just wear their hair different and that's okay.

  • Natural_fienD says:

    Love it!! Very wise to educate your sons about natural hair!! I will do the same when I have a little boy. Good Job Mom!!

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