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!
when you start caring for their hair in other words immediately they must learn things like this early on
Yea my mom didn't really teach me about my hair. When I got in middle school was whenever i started doing my hair. & boy did it break off like crazy! It was ridiculous. But I've been through it all. My hair has been a trial and error. Ive had bad color, bad relaxers, bad stylists, bad cuts, everything. Ive had to chop off most of my hair due to the fact that i had a bad relaxer and color put in. Then one day I just decided to take charge of my hair, I started doing my research and everything else. My hair has been really healthy for the past 4 years. And just this past December, I decided to stop putting relaxers in my hair. My sister is currently 12, and starting to do her own hair, and boy did I teach her about her hair. I am constantly getting on her about her hair, but she's in that oh well tomboy stage now. lol
My babies are still little (3 and 5) but they know their oils.
I have started my daughter early. She is 6years old and has asked before to make her hair look like the girls on the relaxer boxes. I tell her about the chemicals and the danger of it all and then she changes her mind, not to mention the help the awesome styles I hook up for her. I often think if my mother did not put a relaxer in my hair when I was 5 then hair things would have been different for me, now.
After finally going back to my natural hair 20 yrs after my 1st relaxer I'm trying to stop my daughter from ruining her natural hair. She is 14 and flat irons it almost daily. Her hair doesn't curl in most spots anymore. Now she is asking for a relaxer and extentions! Arrrrgggh! I thought once she saw my hair after being natural for 22 months now she would embrace her beautiful curls too. Crossing my fingers that she will come around one day but in the meantime.. Relaxers are off limits!!!
Your post brought back so many memories. My mom was style-challenged but every Saturday morning, I was at the local salon (beauty shop) getting my hair cornrowed or threaded. Now, that I am a mom to 7 and 3 year old girls, I always make sure I learnt how to style their hair and I now do my friends' daughters hair. I love doing it.
My 3 year old can two strand twists. I have always had positive conversions about their hair to them… regarding caring, and maintenance. I do the same when doing my friends' daughters hair. It is NEVER too early to start the "conversation"
Well maybe I was just lucky, but I don't remember ALLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAA these hair issues when I was younger, and I'm not even 30 yet.
Some of these "issues" aren't about hair and some folks could really benefit from therapy.
My 11 year old twists her own hair. I only get involved if she wants cornrows added somewhere. I make the spritz concoctions, and she goes to it! I even heard her telling one of her girlfriends that natural hair is the thing to do. Hahaha, that was too cute. I started as early as I could, I realized the more she learned about her hair the more she loved her hair and didn't try to compare it or conform it to others.
When my little one was 9 I started teaching her how to wash, section and detangle her own hair. I have also spoken to her about the dangers of chemical relaxers, heat damage and tight braids. She usually wears twists or braids and get a blow out/flat iron style 2-3 times a year. I also let her rock her 'fro or do a twist out one week every month. When she wears her hair out I give her a little pep talk because I want her to be aware of the "haters" of natural hair. So far she seems pretty confident about her looks.
My mama didn't/doesnt know a thing about a kink or a kank,especially with her having fine, thin, type 2 hair and with 1 boy and 4 GILRS that was no easy feat but she tried…we always had long hair until we started taking care of it ourselves lol. Or she'd have someone else braid it with beads(for free)…atleast now i have the knowledge for my future child(<–maybe)
My lil lady is 7 & she loves watching me style my natural hair. We've had many conversations about moisturizing, washing, conditioning, protective styles & everything else concerning our natural hair. She has very thick wavy hair & I love trying new styles on her just as much as she loves showing them off. She has promised to never cut, perm or use heat on her hair. Considering I also hv a 9 mo old baby girl teaching my 7 yr old this early will be very beneficial in helping care for her lil sis hair when she's older….it's my "win, win" situation…lol.