“Your hair looks pretty mommy,” my daughter said as she played with my long straight strands. “I want straight hair.”
She had already gotten her hair straightened for a couple “special occasions,” and just like that, she was bitten by the same bug that bit me decades earlier.
Somewhere along the way, I too learned that straight hair was what made me beautiful. The problem was, I didn’t have naturally straight hair.
“Your hair is beautiful,” I told her. Yet, I knew my wild child. She plays hard and runs free. I myself had forgone many adventures to avoid ruining my hairstyle, and I hated that her hair was sometimes a barrier to the freedom that is synonymous with childhood. “Maybe when you’re older,” I said.
But I also wanted her to love her hair. My heart ached when she received numerous compliments when her hair had been straightened, very few when her hair was styled in twists and practically none when her twists were undone and her hair free. People even made negative comments about both of my daughters’ hair in their presence.
And I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve likely sent the message that I perceived our hair to be unmanageable rather than unquestionably beautiful. I’ve thought about what I was teaching them when I’d groan over a Saturday morning spent washing and combing hair or passed on a family beach trip simply to avoid frizz.
Continue reading Why I Finally Stopped Straightening My Hair at mom.me.