How to Teach your Daughters about Natural Hair Texture

One would have thought that being natural I wouldn’t have to teach my daughter how to love her natural hair texture. I just figure them seeing how it is styled, washed and protected, that my little girls would automatically get that she is beautiful and highly favoured for embracing her own natural textures.

That statement doesn’t ring true for me at all, I have 3 daughters, all with different natural hair texture and with me having natural hair for some 18 plus years. Do my daughters love their natural hair? Not at all, they do not yet see the beauty in having such woolly textures, they are more caught up with being a Disney Princess like Elsa and Anna. (ba-ham bug to the movie industry)

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How does a mother teach her daughter/s and son/s to accept and appreciate the natural state of black women’s hair? Not needing to wear wigs all the time or straightening their own curly textures, or having our son/s finding natural hair unattractive in black women

I always thought by wearing my own natural hair would be enough; I thought leading by example would do the trick for my kids, right? I figured if they saw my hair natural it would be just normal to accept how they look and not identify with a model with straight hair, because girls identify beauty in their mothers first, right?

The Story

I can remember that moment I heard my 2-year-old, Sway, saying she didn’t think she was beautiful. I was carrying her in my arms one Sunday evening at one of our usual weekend spots for our family, Devon House in Kingston Jamaica, we go there on the weekend for ice cream, outside play and for them to socialise with other kids their age. As we were leaving the ice cream section to head to the park she saw an Indian baby girl, also in her mom’s arms. Sway looked at the little girl and smiled and then whispered to me how beautiful the little girl was with her waist-length shiny black hair. I asked her don’t you think you’re beautiful and she said flatly,

“no mommy, I’m not, she is soooo beautiful. She has long hair and mine isn’t like that”

My daughters showing off their Natural Hair texture
Imani, Sway and Suhri in Emancipation Park, Kingston Jamaica

My heart broke. It was devastated, ok maybe not quite devastated but you know what I mean, to think she was only two and already having beauty conscious issues.

I was beside myself with sorrow, as was like, how did I miss this, how did I not see that Sway wasn’t identifying herself as being beautiful. Boy, I went all “black power” mom like and discarded all the pale skinny dolls and went hunting for Princess Tiana and any other dark-skinned dolls I could find.I just thought if they were surrounded by ethnic beauty my girls would just appreciate their own beauty.

The differences in their Natural Hair texture is not visible to the eye
Above: Suhri’Sana’a Below: Sarai’Sway

The Solution

After that comment, my days were filled with reinforcing mantras of how gorgeous they looked, how much their natural hair texture was beautiful. I made it a weekend thing to comb through Pinterest, with my daughters, and find hairstyles they would like to wear. I showed them how to twist and encourage them to play in each others hair (that was another life lesson learnt which involved scissors and one cutting someone else’s here….ugh). With external factors like kids TV programs, games, books, influences from other kids and parents; the struggle for each family who has daughters to raise them in ways to accept their weight, height, hair, quirks and flaws is really difficult. Why? Because there is just a handful of people to reinforce the knowledge you want to impart on your kids but there are much more factors working against your ideals.

teaching my daughters about Natural Hair texture has to be fun for them

In Closing about Natural Hair Texture

Wow….It’s not been easy and it’s ongoing, but for now, I incorporate their father and every family member to reinforce our ideals. They still have pale dolls but I monitor their play and what they watch. We, Hubby and I, allow more play dates with other kids and limit iPad time. We consistently speak positively about their beauty their fashion choices, we are their first stop for positivity and upliftment about their natural hair and ethnic diversity. We Still have bumps but we believe that by teenagers when the real pressure start they will be strong accepting women

My Advice

Stick it out, gather knowledge, speak to other moms, speak to your child/children sometimes it’s easy to solve an issue with beauty by just hearing how they perceive things.

If you are newly natural or having issues with caring for your natural hair, visit the BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY “HAIR” section of the blog. If you have questions send me an email bawnnatural@gmail.com or send me a DM on IG @BawnNatural

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9 Comments

  1. Man, this one touched me.
    Your daughters are really beautiful and I pray for strength as you continue to show them and help them see and understand how beautiful they are. I’m sure and I hope with time they’ll catch on.

    When I learned my sister was pregnant for her second child, I was torn as to what gender I want the baby to be – not like I have a choice or a say or doing in it, but we all almost automatically wish for one gender. I’ll love the baby nonetheless. I secretly wanted it to be a girl just because her first child is a boy. But then, I wished for a boy, simply because I didn’t think/ still don’t think I’m mentally ready to have beauty conversations with a niece yet. But on the bright side, I think I’m doing well with my baby cousins. They all have natural hair now because they want to be like “Aunty Ngovou with the round hair.”
    Hats off to you mothers doing it already.

    1. LOL @ not like I have a choice or a say or doing in it… no you don’t, but remember you have to raise the boy to appreciate the Black woman like she auth to be, not the Beyonce and Rihanna type but the Erykah Badu, India Arie type

      1. Indeed! The responsibility of raising a boy to appreciate that beauty is no less, he needs to see his coloured sisters as beautiful as any other woman out there.

          1. I agree. Like you, I hope myself, and other family members will be the first and main source of positivity and self love both boys would ever come across.

  2. We have to continuously set the example for children about self love and I couldn’t agree with you more on that. I think you’re on the right path with instilling self love in your beautiful daughters. I myself have a beautiful daughter whom with the help of my family is being taught daily to love and appreciate everything about herself. Love this post . Thanks for sharing.

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