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.