“Mommy, I want long, straight hair like Sophia*!” my four year requested. “Why do you want hair like Sophia’s?” I asked. “So I can shake my head and my hair can go side to side just like hers,” she responded. Trying to reassure her that her hair is just fine, I told her, “Honey, everyone has different types of hair you know. Some people have straight hair, some people have curly hair, some people have long hair and some people have short hair.” She quickly retorted, “Yes, but Emma* has long, straight hair too, and so does Rylie*. Why can’t I have long, straight hair too like them? Can you make my hair just like theirs when you wash it tomorrow?” I thought to myself, “Wow, what a request!” Then I told her, I’ll tell you what, we’re going to find a really cool hairstyle just for you, and you’ll have some of your hair down so you can fling it side to side too.
I recall when I was younger wishing for long, straight hair and being so excited when Easter or Christmas came along because it meant I would get my hair pressed and straightened. I also recall my hair breaking off quite badly as a result of straightening it too much either by relaxer or by flat iron as a teenager and young adult. But now that I’m older I’ve come to embrace the versatility of my hair. I can wear it in its natural state: curly, braided, twisted or just in a ponytail, which is great since I exercise a lot. If I desire, I can flat iron it straight and still have it be healthy. One way is not necessarily better than the other, but the choice should lie with the individual and what she is most comfortable with. I never want Quinn to feel like her natural hair is not good enough and that she must conform by wearing her hair straight.
Has your young daughter or even son had some hair woes? Wanted it long, short, straight, curly, maybe a different color? How do you address it?
All the best,
*Names changed to protect children