When I found out our third child was a girl and not the boy we (I) so badly wanted, I cried. I was so happy to be pregnant and grateful to have another child to care for but, unfortunately, all I could think of was the future. We would eventually have 3 weddings to pay for, 4 menstrual cycles happening each month in our house and 4 heads of hair to tame, including mine. It sounds silly but those were my actual thoughts. (Let’s just blame it on the extra hormones.) Today, having three daughters means I have three opportunities to shape fearless, intelligent, motivated, resilient, confident and self-loving women. This is why I’m partnering with Dove™ Hair, to help mothers encourage their daughters to have self-love through the #LoveYourHair campaign.
Mom, Love Your Hair
Over the last 5 years of caring for and styling my daughters’ hair my desire to wear my natural hair grew. Even one of their books about girls with curly got me to thinking, “Why do I not wear what God gave me?”. 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. If I want my daughters to love themselves, including embracing their hair and body, they need an example of that and I should be that example. This note from my (then 4 year old) daughter shows me she is watching:
My Natural Hair
As brown girls, our hair is quite unique. The many textures of hair that people of color have are vast, beautiful and versatile, allowing us to do just about anything to our hair. Besides dreadlocks, I don’t think there is a style my hair hasn’t been in, (i.e. twists, braids, beads, afros, pressed, with extensions, etc.). In September of 2015 I began my transition from having chemically relaxed hair to my natural state, chemical-free hair. In May of 2016 I had my “big chop”, which means I cut off any part of my hair that had been chemically straightened by a relaxer. Now, after 24 years of chemically-straightened hair, I finally fully embrace my kinky and coily mane.
Help Her Love Her Hair
My oldest daughters are curious 4 and 5 year olds and are complete girly girls. They have already expressed dislike for particular hairstyles and a desire to have long hair like a popular fairy tale character. These conversations typically lead to us taking long looks in the mirror, me assuring them their hair is gorgeous just the way it is, curly and kinky, and them picking out hair bows and headbands to adorn their crowns, which always puts a smile on their faces.
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. I only want to see my children thrive and not be caught up in superficial things such as having the perfect hair, face or body. Teaching children about self-love has to start early and now. Here is how I’m teaching my daughters.
Care for Your Hair
My daughters’ weekly hair “wash day” includes cleansing, conditioning, and styling their hair into styles that will last several days. Wash day sessions can last up to 2 1/2 hours per child which sometimes takes its toll on us all, however, I am instilling the importance of caring for and maintaining their hair. Self-love includes self-care.
Don’t Allow Society to Tell You What Pretty Is
Young children are extremely impressionable so exposing my daughters to images and people of many ethnicities, sizes, and hair textures is a priority in our home. We make sure they see these things in the books they read, the toys they play with, and the shows they watch on T.V.
Mommy Loves Your Hair
My hair was chemically straightened when I was in the first grade. I had no say in whether I wanted it done or not. I have vowed not to make such permanent or semi-permanent cosmetic decisions for my daughters. When they are adults, they will have freedom to do what they please. Until then, I will only continue to embrace and care for their hair.
As a mother, you too can make a difference and help ensure your daughter grows up feeling confident, always loving her hair.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dove™.