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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Styling Thoughts

Ive been planning on asking you all how you feel about hair styling.  Not just to find out if you like braids or twists etc, but how you actually feel about what message you are sending your child when you do their hair. For me, I always go on and on about a style I like, and if I'm having a hard time getting C's hair to do what I want, I try not to make any negative comments.  I admit, I do find myself thinking negative things, but I try not to let them out because I want my daughter to feel good about her hair.  If you are constantly making negative comments, your daughter will probably resent her hair for it.
I have been styling C's hair for years now, since she was old enough to have it styled.  When she was just 2 I would keep it simple, just 2 little ponytail puffs in the front, or even a headband.  As she got more hair, I had more and more choices, and I just kept trying new things.  When C was in pre school (at age 3) her pre school teacher actually told me that I was making her feel superior to the other kids because she had her hair done everyday.  C has never been the only biracial child in her class, even in pre school, but she is the only one with hair as curly as hers.  Now (and actually since kindergarten) C is the only one in her class who, by the looks of it, is natural!
I have had, and continue to have, several people tell me that by doing my daughters hair I'm making her 'stuck up' and she is going to be full of herself when she is older. Some of these people have been C's preschool teachers and my family!  I personally see nothing wrong with doing your child's hair, even the most extravagant styles.  I feel that if you are able to do it, why not?

With that, I decided I should add something to my last post, 'Straight Hair'.  First of all, I wanted to thank you all for your comments!  I also wanted to add that I didn't mean to imply that just because a mother doesn't know how to do hair (or just doesn't want to one day or so) does not mean that I think they are all lazy.  I know several people who cant even do a simple braid, but they do still brush their daughters hair and can even make it look pretty just in a plain old ponytail. I also know of several mothers who don't do their children's hair because they actually are lazy- too lazy to learn and too lazy to put in the effort at all.  I know that there are special situations where a child may not be able to tolerate their hair being done also.  I was simply trying to get peoples point of view, just to find out what you all think of when you see a child- or even an adult!- with unkempt hair.  Like I said, you can tell if its laziness or inexperience and I hope I didn't offend anyone! :)I myself have gone several days without touching C's hair, and I have even taken her out in public with her hair not even brushed!  She doesn't like it and I don't like to take her out like that, but things do happen that sometimes out rank hair styling.  That is understandable.  I wanted to make it clear to everyone that I am not here to judge anyone by saying someone is lazy or a bad mother if they don't do their child's hair, and even if they don't take the time to at least try and do something to care for it.  However, I do feel that if you have a child- regardless of race- you have the responsibility to care for every part of that child, and that includes hair.  Even a child with a sensitive scalp deserve to have their hair taken care of just as the rest of their body.  The way I look at it is this... You wouldn't send your kid out to school or in public with a dirty face, or dirty clothes, so why would you send them out with their hair sticking up all over the place, all matted together?  The hair is one of the first things people notice about you (for me it is the VERY first thing I notice) so there should be some effort put into it, I think. I feel that having nice looking hair is especially important for a child who is AA or biracial.  There is already enough for them to worry about, just because they might look different from the other kids- even if they aren't the only AA or biracial child in the class.  I know that for my daughter being the ONLY one in her class with curly hair can be hard at times.  She wants to have her hair straight and just wear it down like the other girls do.  That is one big reason I put so much time and effort into my daughters hair.  If a child's hair looks good, they feel good and that's all there is to it.  I mean, wouldn't you feel good about yourself if you got compliments on your hair everyday? Especially if those compliments came from people who have completely different hair than you and who have hair that you would like to have?  I know it would make me feel good!

Honestly, I feel that everyone has the ability to care for hair and even to do simple styles... I just cant see myself letting my daughters hair go and sending her to school without having at least brushed her hair.
So now I ask you...
Do you think styling your daughters hair is putting too much emphasis on her looks?
Do you think by doing your daughters hair you're telling her she has to have her hair done in order to look 'pretty' or be appreciated? And lastly, do you ever feel guilty about doing your child's hair for any reason?


  1. Wow great post! I agree with you. to answer your questions I feel like styling my daughter's hair does not put too much emphasis on her looks or tells her that in order to be viewed as pretty she has to have her hair done. I think just the opposite, teaching her to appreciate her natural hair texture, embrace and learn how to properly care for it as well. I feel like I am teaching her that beauty comes in all forms, and you don't have to have chemically relaxed, flat ironed, or weaved hair to be pretty. I hope that makes sense :)

  2. you must stop it now with your awesomeness!

    i think that was weird that her teacher said that.. weird and stupid. to me, fixing your kids hair is equal to giving them a bath. ya know? so because i bathe my children everyday that's going to make them feel like they are better? i think not.

    hair time is quality time. i don't always style A's hair just for looks, i do it for her hair. less tangles, less time she has to sit and get it done.

    you or i or any other mom who does thier kids hair shouldn't be made to feel guilty, because like you said, everyone has the ability to learn. it's not your fault or prob just because another parent doesn't.

  3. I wasn't offended at all by your question. I used to dread hair styling and so did my oldest daughter. I never used a detangler or a good moisturizer so it wasn't fun. Now that I only detangle with conditioner or a detangler and have been using moisturizing products hair time is a little better. My youngest daughter sits so good for styles but my oldest daughter doesn't want to sit for more than 5 minutes.
    I can't believe her teacher would say that!! There might be some truth to it, BUT any child can have their hair styled daily, it's up to the mom to put the effort into doing their child's hair. I think straight haired little girls with long hair feel superior anyways. My daughter cries she wants long straight hair, but she is stuck with very tightly curled short hair. It will be harder for her to love herself as she is, because of her hair, so if doing her hair cute everyday makes her feel better about herself and her hair, then I don't care how the teacher feels about me doing her hair, I'm doing it for my daughter not anyone else!! Kids are SOOO mean now a days, it's sad.

  4. Oh, I wasn't offended in the least about your last post, nor did I think you were being judgmental. =) I think any sensible mom would agree that if you can do your child's hair, you need to do it--even if it's just simple styling (a ponytail or pigtails) and general hair hygiene (keeping hair clean, well-moisturized, etc.). How sad that some mothers aren't even willing to do that much! =(

    But I just thought I'd mention those exceptional circumstances where hair care is incredibly difficult (and not simply maternal laziness), because I never even considered those kinds of issues until I was personally confronted with them. Thankfully, those situations are more the exception than the rule.

    As for people telling you that you're making your child stuck-up by giving her cute hairstyles, wow--that's crazy! It seems that their disapproval is more a reflection of their own issues (e.g., maybe they secretly feel guilty for not spending as much time on their children's hair) than a legitimate critique.

    Along the same lines, although my daughter is in a class with many other curly-haired girls, my daughter's styles are often the most elaborate. I've wondered at times if I should just stick to simple styles because that's what most everyone else is doing.

    However, my daughter gets LOTS of positive attention--from classmates, teachers, and staff--about her hairstyles, and she relishes it. Yes, the hairstyles make her stand out, but in a way that builds her confidence and contributes to her self-esteem. And if spending a couple hours a week doing hair helps my daughter feel better about herself, why the heck wouldn't I do it? Like you said, "if you are able to do it, why not?" =)

  5. I agree with everyone; the idea that styling your child's hair is putting too much emphasis on looks is silly. My daughter usually also has the most elaborate hairstyles in her class also, but even if I only have time for ponytails, I always make sure they are done well. She loves to get compliments on her hair; it makes her feel good. BUT, we also tell her that she is always beautiful, no matter what. To me, it's just good grooming to have your hair looking neat every day, regardless of whether or not it is fancy. My daughter knows that this is part of getting dressed every day, and I don't feel guilty about making her have her hair fixed. If she is not in the mood to sit for anything fancy, then I do some simple ponytails or french braids. Whether or not we like it or choose to admit it, personal appearance and grooming is our first impression of people. Teaching our kids the importance of this will help them in the future. And, if I have time and my daughter and I enjoy doing fun hairstyles, then I see nothing wrong with that!

  6. Im glad eveyone seems to feel the same way as I do about styling hair!
    My daughter is also used to having her hair done everyday, even if its just having it moisturized everyday. I tell my daughter (and my son) that they are beautiful/handsome everyday, no matter how their hair looks. I also make sure they know that while looks are important (because they should always look their best and like they are well taken care of), that looks are not everything! My kids both do great in school and C has been on the honor roll with perfect attendance and more awards since kindergarten! :) So she is not pre occupied with looks. I just like to spend time on my daughter so when people look at her, they know that someone cares and spends a lot of time on her. The biggest reason I take so much time on C's hair is because its FUN for me! Sometimes I do her hair even when we arent going anywhere! Thank you all for agreeing with me and not getting offended by what I said! :) My family seems to think everything I do is a waste of time so its nice to have people who feel the way I do about hair!


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