Straightening my daughter’s hair revealed societies views on long hair has embedded itself in her young mind. There are two lessons I learned from allowing my daughter to wear her natural hair straight. The first thing I learned is she’s easy to please and quite funny! You see, I caved in and bought one of those electric brushes to straighten hair. It’s not the Revlon brush that people are promoting across YouTube, but a comparable tool I bought on Amazon.
Let’s talk about why I like the brush. First, it’s lightweight and easy to handle. I like the compact size of the brush head, it’s a perfect fit for my daughter’s thick hair and a small head. The bristles glided through her strands without effort. Another plus is the brush withstood the many products I put in her hair. I experienced none of the traditional smoking or burning fumes either.
Since this story isn’t a product review, let’s get back to the main point. I can‘t stop laughing as I watch my 7-year-old spin around in circles. Her smile as big as the Grand Canyon, she shouts at the top of her lungs, “Mama, thank you… thank you, I love it!” Her face is full of happiness as she keeps running her hands through her hair and shaking her head from side-to-side. Then she turns sideways to do a quick length check.
I stand here wondering if I’ve made a mistake straightening her hair. Why would she challenge her beauty because her hair is straight? She’s still the same person. But, she can hardly pay attention since she’s too busy tossing her head from side-to-side. Quickly, she turns and asks, “Is my hair dirty?” I don’t understand the question and peer at her with a confused look. Then I realize her hair keeps brushing against the bathroom door so she assumes it’s dirty. Laughing out loud I convince her that her hair is clean. O, Lord… what have I created?
So as I’m watching her jump up and down, in walks her dad. He stares at her with a slight smile on his face while she looks up to ask him if she is more pretty with straight hair. Kudos to him because he tells her she is pretty with blown-out hair and her naturally curly hair. In return, she shines her love-filled smile in his direction. I don’t know if her dad realized it, but at that moment something wonderful happened with his words. He planted a seed of confidence in her mind that we will continue to cultivate as she matures into a young lady.
However, the second thing I learned is my daughter might be too inexperienced to handle society’s imagery of long hair. It’s not surprising her first reaction is to question her appearance when she’s always inundated with illusions of long hair fairytale characters or Barbie dolls. Although, I’ve worked hard to fill her head with images of natural hair, and buy textured hair dolls, and speak words such as your hair is beautiful curly or straight, there is still work to do to dispel the skewed views in her young mind.
My intention was to do something nice for her and the smile on her face was worth it, but I’ll save straightening her hair for special occasions. This lesson taught me that society has a way of embedding its views in the youngest minds, and I must continue to be the loudest voice that my daughter hears. Check out ” An Easy Natural Hair Lesson To Teach Your Daughter” for another hair lesson I’m teaching my little one.
Do you think as parents we should wait to straighten our little girl’s hair until a specific age? How do your girls behave when you take their hair from curly to straight?
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