Every day I style my daughter, Princess’s hair and I admire her beautiful curls.
“Do you want a ponytail, braids, or curls?” I ask.
“Curls,” she usually responds.
Princess rarely wants to wear her hair any other way. I always tell her to love her curls and she clearly does. But I know there will come a day when she may want to experiment with straightening her mane.
The thought of her changing the natural texture of her locks worries me. It’s become her signature look. It’s a sign of her mixed heritage. One might say that her appearance shouldn’t define who she is, and I agree with that. I know that I may be coming off as a complete hypocrite because I used to relax my hair. However if I understood why I wanted to change my look growing up, maybe I wouldn’t have done it in the first place. My natural curls are a part of who I am. My daughter’s natural curls are a part of who she is too.
I cut off my relaxed ends over a year and a half ago. I do wear a straight wig at work, while my natural hair is tucked away underneath a stocking cap. But when I’m home, I rock a braid out or curly wig.
As my daughter gets older, will she want to change her hair? I hope not. Each day I tell her,
“Your hair is beautiful. Don’t ever change it.” I wish I received those words of encouragement growing up. Years of adding chemicals have taken a toll on my hair, and it’s hard to just go to work with my natural coarse texture.
The career path I’ve chosen relies heavily on appearance. Straight hair is the preferred way. However, as my natural hair gets longer, I’m hoping to defy convention and try more natural options on-air.
I’d like to think that the world would change when Princess gets old enough to join the work force. This may or may not be an issue. But you never know. I’m not being a pessimist. I’m just keeping it real. People aren’t always willing to accept change. Straight hair is normally associated with being more professional in my line of work and many other arenas as well.
Whether trying to fit in with a group of friends or trying to get a job, I hope my daughter doesn’t fall into the trap of straightening her hair just to please others. I know that ultimately it will be her decision. But, I pray that she continues to embrace her naturally curly locks.