The Perks of Raising 3 Daughters With Natural Hair
I used to be terrified of having 3 daughters, and to be honest in some ways I still have my moments.
One thing I had never been good at was maintaining my natural hair. Growing up with a mom who braided hair, my hair was always protected with beautiful braids. I didn’t have to do much, every couple of weeks my mother would take my hair out and do some beautiful protective style and I would be good to go. The perk of having a mother who specialized in braiding meant that I never had to pay for a hairstyle or learn how to manage my natural hair on my own. It was a gift that kept on giving…until, I got married and moved away from home.
Even that wasn’t too much of a transition, as hard as it was to have to get used to having other people do my hair, I have always been very resourceful. So when reality hit about the cost of actually paying for someone to braid my hair I realized maybe I could no longer get my favorite braids every 2 to 3 weeks like I did with my mom available to help at any time. I utilized my favorite platform, and not only learned how to braid hair, but actually sharing tutorials.
2 Daughters in, however, I realized one beautiful fact!
Black hair comes in all sorts of patterns and textures. Just because my sisters and I shared the same texture hair does not mean that all sisters do. My beautiful girls had completely different textures of hair, which meant that what works for one does not work for the other. Actually it never does. I had to find new ways to understand not only their hair but in turn my own. It has been extremely challenging, and it still is to this day. We have experienced hair emergencies like nobody’s business as my girls have allowed me to learn on the fly but there have been so many more benefits to this experience. We have also learned to love our hair and to find new things to love about it everyday.
The Versatility of Black Hair
Is there anything more versatile than the crown of a black woman?
I think not!
Like all little girls, my little ladies love to play with dolls and to run around imagining that they have long locks. It used to drive me crazy with my oldest girl used to walk around with shirts on her head saying that she was Rapunzel. It made me feel as if she did not like her own hair. We now know that we are just as capable of growing long luscious locks. It may take a little more time but we are working on it together, but in the meantime we can braid our hair to the length that we choose.
The great thing about our hair is that the protective styles we love, like braids, are so much fun to play with. One day we can rock a bob, the next cornrows, and a few weeks down the line braids to our hips. And let’s not even get started with crochet braids.
One thing we never forget though, is that with each protective style, the goal is to keep our own beautiful locks healthy and strong so that we can continue to see that growth and retention.
Self love and acceptance can be so hard on young black girls today. Raising 3 daughters with natural hair has given me the opportunity to educate myself and my girls about the things that make us special. My mother always use to tell me that as a woman, your hair is important. Taking care of your hair allows everything else to trickle down. It allows you to hold your head up proudly.
We have the opportunity to educate ourselves about our hair and to make healthier decisions about what goes in our hair and how that impacts our body. It matters today and the natural hair movement means that as black women we can make healthier choices for ourselves and our daughters.
Promoting Self-Love and Confidence
Yes, knowing the versatility of black hairstyles and the ability to change it up depending on our moods is awesome but understanding our crown means loving our crown. Black hair can be so misunderstood, even from within our community. The European standard of beauty has been at the forefront for so long that we are in love with Hollywood choice to feature women that look like us on a larger scale. There is however, still more work to be done.
It starts at home, however. Wash and style days are big deals in our home. Yes, due in part to the fact that they are hectic days for me with 3 girls to work on. Which is why we choose to make it an experience.
Each girl chooses the style that she wants. I have started teaching my oldest how to wash and condition her own hair, and she loves practicing on her sisters as well. It is an experience that they share in overtime, and even though it is exhausting for me, they learn to have fun with their hair and in turn love their hair rather than be intimidated by it.
What are some of the ways that you tackle challenges as a parent, and you have any tips for raising naturalistas?