I’ll be the first to admit I am horrible at doing my hair and much worse when it comes to doing my daughter’s hair. It’s just one of those talents that I just didn’t inherit.
Growing up I tried everything with my hair, yes even those crazy jheri curls back in the day. I’m pretty sure I burned or tossed out any pictures during that stage of my life, so don’t bother looking. To this day I don’t know why my mom every let me do it. I’ve gone through so many stages growing up trying to figure out what worked best for me and my hair. I’ve had hair mishaps that could only be repairs by scissors. In the end what wound up working best was getting a relaxer every six weeks and just wearing my hair straight.
When I had my daughter everything changed. At three years old she was already asking me to make her hair straight like her friends. She would ask me to make it long, or put it up in one pony tail like all the other girls in school. Explaining that I couldn’t was a challenge. Explaining to her that I couldn’t even make it look like Mommy’s was a bigger challenge.
A few months later I made the mistake, and I’ll explain later why I think it was a mistake, to get her hair relaxed, just along the edges to make it easier for me to maintain. Her reaction to her new hair “freedom” was a little shocking. She shook and flipped her hair all day long. She was so excited that her hair was just like all of her friends.
That is when I realized, I just conformed and set the tone that her hair was not okay the way it was. Not only that I also created a maintenance problem, after two visits I realized I would need to keep this up going forward. Did I mention she’s only four years old. That is a lot of hours sitting in the salon chair. I haven’t gone back, even though I really want to. I’m not sure what I should do at this point. What I do know is that I’m not good at doing hair.
When growing up I would always compare my hair to what I saw in magazines, wishing I could get mine that way. I love the confidence woman portray when they go “natural” and I love how smooth a woman’s hair looks after they add extensions. My hair is just blah, but at the end of the day my hair doesn’t really make me, me.
India Arie said it best in her song with Akon, “I am not my hair.”
I am not my hair
I am not my skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
I want my daughter to know that her hair doesn’t determine her integrity, her actions do. I want her to be confident with her decisions and wear her hair however she likes. Until then I will do my best to improve my hair styling skills.