Mommies and Natural Hair

  • hair + beauty
  • June 5, 2012
  • Ashley

Ladies, mother’s day is this weekend, and we would love to know how your decision to go natural or stay natural has been influenced by your mom. The reason I ask is, because in traveling across the country, I’ve met so many woman who’s feelings about their natural tresses have been/continue to be shaped by their mother’s opinion on the subject. Several weeks ago, I met a woman in her late 30s/early 40s and when I complimented her on her long beautiful twists, she was extremely grateful, to the point of becoming emotional. She told me she had been natural for five years and was seriously considering going back to a relaxer, because her mom continued to berate her decision to not wear her hair straight. As a physician, her mom felt her natural hair was unprofessional and completely disagreed with her decision to wear her hair in twists. This past weekend here in Chicago, one woman also revealed that her mom was initially opposed to the idea of her going natural, because she was scared that it would stand in the way of her getting married. I could go on and on, as I have stories for days – My mom says my hair is too nappy to go natural, My mom hates my locs, My mom thinks I look like a man. On the flip side, I have talk to many mothers about this issue and generally all they really want is the best for their daughter– to see her do well, be happy, and as one mother said, just “look cute”. Although a number of mommies are not feeling their daughter’s do, I have met my fair share of mothers who are 100% in favor of their daughter’s decision to wear their hair natural, as well as, mother daughter duos who are taking the plunge together. On a personal level, it’s enlightening to hear these stories as they contribute to my research. This topic is also a sensitive issue for me, because my mom is not here to critique, praise, or feel ambivalent towards my hair. If I had to guess, she probably would have hated it at first, but definitely came around to seeing how it fits my personality and the impact TGIN is having on changing the standard of beauty for black women, across the country and around the world. I just want to highlight this issue for all of those reading this, particularly for women with children (even those who are natural), because you never know the extent to which your words impact your daughter’s or son’s feelings about their physical appearance, intelligence, and abilities. Remember, you are your daughter’s mirror, and in most cases, what you say can and will have a major impact on your offspring long after the words are spoken. So choose your words carefully and try to sow positive seeds of encouragement. But again, I would love to hear from you. Is mom feeling your natural hair or is she dying to hogtie you to a mattress and slap a perm in your head?]]>

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