Were you that little girl who spent endless time sitting between your mother’s knees getting your hair done? The tugging and pulling and the occasional wake up call with the comb when you wouldn’t keep still? Despite the flashbacks, your hair was nice, healthy, and thick! On the flip side, were you that girl whose hair always looked a mess because mommy didn’t know what to do with it? You made it through by the skin of your teeth. In either case, one vowing to NEVER put your own child through this (when you grow up) was very natural. For those whose mother or auntie was a professional hairdresser and your hair was always on point, you were the envy of the other little girls.
Then you got to that stage where you ‘thought’ you could do your hair yourself. Trying to pull off celebrity hairstyles or styles you saw that clearly was not your hair type. Messing up your ends and hairline. You begged for a home perm or Jheri-curl. You didn’t know how to maintain it or treat it to a deep condition. Your hair withstood endless frying with the curling iron!! All mom’s hard work with you between her knees, down the drain. Your poor hair…and scalp…and mom was forced to watch.
Well…some of us now have little girls!! Eh-hem (clear throat). Have you stayed true to your vow? Better yet, do you take the time to show (healthy) pride in her hair as well as yours, so she can follow your lead? She may ask, “Mommy why do you do that to my hair?” These are precious moments to educate the little lady in your life about why you do what you do for her. My guess is that if she gains an understanding of HAIRCARE early, her experimenting stage (teen years) may be less painful to watch. She may make more educated and sensible choices and may even consider your advice. Of course no guarantee, but you may have a better chance.
When should you start to impart HAIRCARE wisdom to your little girls?
When do little girls start to play mommy with their dolls? You don’t have to teach them that because they’re emulating YOU! Haha! It starts with YOU momma! Include and welcome their interest when you take care of yourself. When she sneaks into your bathroom to watch you do your hair, start that conversation. Answer her questions and encourage her enthusiasm just like every other area in her life and keep building. It seems to be working for me so far. My daughter who sometimes gets her hair blown straight, asked for an Afro puff the other day…by choice! She thought it was beautiful and I was thrilled that she could see the beauty in both styles at such a young age. The power of change is at your fingertips and you can jumpstart a new cycle.
Side Note: Some of us have not yet acknowledged that it probably wasn’t easy for our mothers either. They tried their best with what they knew and now we can all laugh at the pictures, stories and do better at the same time. Go (if you can) tell your mothers thank you!