No matter what type of hair your daughter has, chances are at some point in her life she’s going to want to change it. Here’s how to teach her to love it!
This post is created in partnership with Dove Hair. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
How I Talk to My Daughter About Hair Confidence
For African-American women, hair is a big part of our identity. Controlling our hair is controlling our life.
My hair is coarse/thick, dry, with a medium curl pattern. My daughter’s hair is soft/thick, normal, with a tight curl pattern. You would think that would cause discord between us, but it’s actually brought us closer as we learn more about the things we have in common as we celebrate our differences.
We live in a neighborhood that is not very diverse. My daughter is the only little girl that looks like her. Her skin color is different and her hair is definitely different.
When you are the only one who looks a certain way or have hair that is different than everyone else around you, it is easy to see yourself as the odd ball. However, I talk to her everyday about how she is beautiful, her traits are beautiful, and her hair is beautiful.
If she doesn’t hear these messages from me, her dad, her big brother, and other family members, it is not likely that she will hear this from others in the community.
When everyone else’s hair is straight and doesn’t appear to pose maintenance challenges, it is easy to wish you had hair like theirs.
I want to even out the exposure to make natural hair seem just as normal as straight hair.
That’s why we have hair rituals and maintenance routines to ensure that styling and caring for her hair is as easy as possible. I don’t want her to have childhood memories of hair that are negative or unpleasant.
We go to the beauty salon to get her hair done so that it is styled by an experienced and trained professional who can care for, maintain, and style her hair effortlessly.
Again, my aim is to create an enjoyable and positive dialogue and set of memories around her hair.
We often twist, twist out, or braid her hair to make it easier to maintain during the school year. These styles last a couple of weeks, which make getting ready for school, participating in extra-curricular activities, and life in general easier.
Since I’ve had such a steep learning curve with learning about maintaining natural hair, this makes life easier for both of us. She enjoys not having to sit still to get her hair done every other day, too.
My Personal Hair Journey
As a little girl, I didn’t wear my hair natural. My mom put a relaxer in it to make it straight and easier to style. I continued to maintain these routines as a teen, in high school, and as an adult.
So, when I decided to keep my daughter’s hair natural, I had to talk to friends who went natural, watch videos on YouTube, and read blog posts to learn how to care for natural hair. It is very different from maintaining my relaxed hair.
Natural hair requires a lot of care including shampooing, deep conditioning, leave-in treatments, daily styling, and daily conditioning. I don’t use the same chemicals in her hair that I might use in my own.
I relax and sometimes color my hair. I normally prefer to wear my hair very short, so I have always been willing to take more risks with my hair, since it is cut every 4-6 weeks, removing any damage that might have been done.
Since having kids, I have taken advantage of how my hair grows during pregnancy and started wearing my hair in longer styles. Although I have dry skin (and therefore a dry scalp), I have always loved the thickness and body of my hair.
Why I Love My Daughter’s Hair
Naturally curly hair is beautiful, especially when it behaves. It can also be a challenge to manage, condition, and style. Although my daughter is only seven, I have learned a lot to help me in this journey.
My daughter (Miss K) has naturally curly hair. It’s beautiful. It’s different. It’s her.
Natural hair needs to be moisturized and curly hair can get tangled on hair accessories.
When conditioning, I’ve read that I should look for products to put moisture back into her hair to prevent tangles and dryness.
Why I Want Her to Love Her Hair
I don’t want my African-American daughter to think that only long hair or only straight hair is pretty. My job is to promote pro-natural happiness with the hair she was born with.
Media depictions and lifestyles in the African-American community can sometimes be contradictory to this.
I was SO excited to learn that Dove™ Hair is committed to broadening the definition of beautiful hair and ensuring that hair is a source of confidence, not anxiety for both women and girls.
In this campaign I am proud to participate in, we are empowering mothers to be a leader in their daughter’s hair confidence by teaching them how to love their hair.
There is a narrow depiction of what “beautiful hair” is traditionally thought to look like and earlier this year, Dove™ Hair found that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way. For many, these pressures begin at an early age.
As a mother, you can make a difference and help ensure she grows up feeling confident. Celebrate the beauty of your daughter’s hair today–so she loves her hair tomorrow.
I challenge you to encourage other moms to share their personal stories on how they guide their children to embrace their natural hair-type.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dove™.