As a young African-American girl, I would be lying if I told you that my hair was not a major point of struggle in my life. I went to a majority white elementary school and hated the fact that no matter what I did, my hair could never resemble the fine, straight hair that my classmates had. I wore my hair in braids nearly every single day, with the exception of maybe picture day, when I got to have my hair straightened by a hot comb and could finally feel like I somewhat fit in with the other girls.
There is a narrow depiction of what “beautiful hair” is traditionally thought to look like and earlier this year, Dove Hair found that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way. For many, these pressures begin at an early age.
As a mother, you can make a difference and help ensure she grows up feeling confident. Celebrate the beauty of your daughter’s hair today–so she loves her hair tomorrow. Dove Hair is committed to broadening the definition of beautiful hair and ensuring that hair is a source of confidence, not anxiety for both women and girls. Here are just 5 things you can do to teach your daughters to love and embrace their hair.
1. Be the example
Yes, this is in order of importance! Our girls look to us for cues. We show them what confidence and pride looks like. We show them how to love themselves when we show them how we love ourselves. Dove Hair believes a positive role model can greatly impact a girl’s confidence. In fact, a recent Dove study found that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mother.
2. Monitor their circle of influence
This is equally as important as my first point. Just as much as they are paying attention to the things we say and do, they are also paying attention to the words and behaviors of their loved ones. I’ve always been really careful to try to keep my daughters away from people who, even unknowingly, could ultimately hurt their confidence and self esteem. ,Albeit, it gets a little harder to do this as they get older and are around kids in school, but as long as you can control it, be sure to keep them around people who will continue to reinforce these messages.
3. Watch your words
Just being totally frank, to this day, I totally cringe when I hear words and phrases like “good hair,” “nappy,” or “kinky” when describing the deep coils of African-American hair. I describe my children’s hair as “thick” and “full” and am completely determined to keep those unpleasant words from their vocabularies.
4. Embrace the diversity
Curly, straight, thick, fine—whatever the texture or style, teach your girls to embrace the uniqueness and diversity of their hair. I tell my girls often how much I love the fact that for the most part, my hair gives me the freedom to wear it in a number of different hairstyles. Likewise, I can appreciate the diversity of other styles and textures other than mine – each of which come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. By embracing the diversity of hair, they learn that our hair is just part of what makes us all unique and special, rather than the common misconception that there is one style or texture or color better than another.
5. Equip them with the tools they need to properly care for their hair
Last but not least, make sure your daughters have the products, tools and information they need to help them achieve their hair goals. Growing up, there were very few hair products for natural (un-relaxed) hair. In fact, it was only within the past 10 years or so that I began seeing an influx of natural hair care products that were crucial in helping to change the perception that curly or coiled hair would be unmanageable in its natural state.
As a mother, you can make a difference and help ensure she grows up feeling confident. Celebrate the beauty of your daughter’s hair today–so she loves her hair tomorrow. Tell her why you love her hair and inspire her to do the same by creating and sharing a custom #LoveYourHair animated message HERE.
I’m thrilled to be working with Dove Hair to encourage mothers to share a #LoveYourHair selfie to pass along hair confidence to their daughters. Join @Dove’s mission and inspire a young girl in your life to love her hair. Create and share your custom animated message via this link: http://bit.ly/2hfkgyN.
I look forward to seeing your beautiful messages and photos!