I didn’t start my natural hair journey alone, my toddler came along for the ride. I tried different products and washed our hair every two weeks hoping for remarkable results. Together we faced hair failures and successes. Would you believe my mini-me cheered me on when I did a good job on her twist- outs? Similarly, she would let me know when I missed the mark. Although, I’ve never regretted my choice to wear natural hair, and all hair care or styling mistakes were a necessary guide on our journey.
And once a week wash days were a part of the journey. Boy, those days were discouraging because my daughter complained non-stop, shrieking when a spray of water touched her face. She was so dramatic….’deep sigh and eye roll’. In fact, thinking of those days makes me crave a bottle of Moscato! Yes, the whole damn bottle. I’m unapologetic, those wash days were stressful!
Afterward, I always styled her hair in cornrows after cleansing with Silk Elements By Pure Oils Moisturizing Detangling Shampoo and OGX Coconut Water Conditioner. This regular hairstyle is a time saver as we only need to grab a headband or ribbon tie that matches her outfit of the day.
One day, my daughter begged me to take her braids out. I asked her why and she exclaimed her classmate’s hair is more attractive. You guessed it, my daughter is the only black child in her class. In fact, I caught her wearing leggings on her head to imitate long European hair. The images flashed through my mind as she glanced up with a questioning eye. I struggled to find the words that a five-year-old could understand. So, I squatted and looked my daughter in the eyes and said, ” Your hair is special and beautiful.”
As you can see while growing up, I didn’t have in-depth discussions on natural hair. Most African-American adolescents in my neighborhood wore cornrows, chemical relaxers, braids or used a pressing comb to straighten our hair. I remember the burning, smoky aroma of the comb stinking up the kitchen and the scorch marks on my ears and forehead, Ouch!
For most of my life, I’ve viewed my hair as insignificant until I opened my eyes to the natural hair movement. I watched video after video and read as many articles as I could find from YouTube Queen’s: Naptural85, Embrace Natural Beauty, and Mahogany Curls. I couldn’t absorb information fast enough. They showed me the highs and lows of natural hair care. Above all, they taught me that Afro-textured hair will flourish with unabashed passion.
So, I dedicate wash days to teaching my mini-me how to cherish her natural hair. It may not be naturally straight or hang to her butt, but I’ll show her how water shimmers in the coils like sparkling stars at night. I’ll show her how those abundant coils lay on her shoulders. Then I’ll whip her hair into a curly do or afro puff or braid out that showcases the versatility and uniqueness of her hair. But, on days when she’s rocking her cornrows, I’ll teach my daughter that cornrows have deep origins in our African-American heritage, and she should wear them with pride!
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