Often times I hear that the reason that chemically straightened hair is such a norm amongst black women is because their hair was chemically straightened as a child. Once that idea is planted in a child’s brain that one thing is superior over the other, it is hard to shake it as an adult. When that child then grows up to have her own daughter, it is only natural to pass down what she knows; which, for the chemically straightened women, is 1. straight is better 2. kinky is ugly 3. kinky hair is hard to manage. As a young girl with kinky hair, the future of how she views her hair is shaped by the hot comb burns and the pop of Blue Magic ‘grease’ on the back of her neck. The only remedy for to break the cycle is to nurture a child’s natural hair texture so that when it comes time for her to do it herself, she will see the value in her kinks rather than the hassle. Here are 5 tips that will help young girls have healthy hair and associate their natural kinks with their own beauty.
1. Keep it moisturized: Just like an adults hair, a child’s hair needs to be moisturized to stay healthy. Making sure that your daughter’s hair is always moisturized with quality moisturizers is key to manageability and health.
2. Be gentle: If a girl associates having kinky hair with rough hour-long combing sessions, it will be almost impossible for her to have an appreciation for her hair. While it is essential to keep her hair detangled, be sure to be gentle, use a wide toothed comb, and keep a spray bottle of water near by.
3. Don’t ever ostracize: Many times I hear women telling their girls that their hair can’t grow, blow in the wind, or fly by with a swing of the head like the ‘white girls’ hair. By making your daughter feel as though her hair is inferior to someone elses, especially the masses, is a sure-fire way to make her dislike her natural texture. She should know that her hair is special and beautiful. While it may never look like some her classmates hair, it is just as beautiful. I love apples and oranges though they are nothing alike.
4. Use more natural based products: During the early years, a child is still developing all over including with her hair. Therefore, you want to use gentle products that aren’t too strong but still get the job done.
5. Steer clear of too many protective styles: Protective styles are great. However, you do want to show your daughter how amazing her natural kinks are when they are blowing in the wind. By seeing her hair out of protective braids and twists, a little girl will have a great appreciation for her hair. She won’t feel like it only looks ok when it is in braids or ponytails. Of course you want to start this at an age appropriate time. Probably when they are out of that “I think I should cut a chunk of my hair with my safety scissors” phase.