Having no children of my own, I almost felt my input in this subject was unwarranted. The reason it keeps resurfacing in my life is because of the sheer number of mothers that approach me asking for tips on managing their daughter's kinky hair. Many of these mothers are not women of color, or have hair textures completely different than that of their daughter. One evening while enjoying a night out with my husband, I was approached by one of these mothers. She started out praising my hair and said "Can I ask you a personal question?" My answer, after pausing cautiously was "Sure, you can ask, but I can't promise you an answer..." She then asked me about my hair maintenance program, products I use and how I achieve my curls. This led to a very nice discussion in which I found out that, although her hair is naturally straight, her daughter's texture is similar to mine. Things took a turn, however, when she confessed to personally putting in her young daughter's hair weave because she is "the only black student at her school and I want her to feel good about herself and her hair." This pleasant, friendly woman had no idea how offensive this comment was. I could see how lost she seemed, desperate to help her daughter feel better about herself. Ironically, earlier that day, I was going to close down the "I love my daughter's hair" IG account and move on to another project. Instead, I went to bed that night feeling more determined than ever to do my part in helping ALL mothers navigate and help their daughters love the hair they've been born with. For this, I thank that mother and hope she finds out how to better manage her daughter's Natural hair.
This brings me to finding Lauren Casper's blog post. I have been inspired by this mother's attitude toward her daughter's Natural hair. She begins her post by explaining how important doing her daughter's Natural hair is for bonding time between mother and daughter. She makes it a point to get comfortable (watching a movie they both enjoy, having yummy snacks, etc.) since this is what she calls her "weekly hair sessions" with her young black daughter. She says: "As the white mother of a beautiful black daughter, hair care has been a steep learning curve for me. I want my daughter to love her hair and be proud of the springy black curls that cover her head. I want to be able to care for and style her hair in a way that shows I understand that her hair is different and I celebrate her unique beauty." This is in steep contrast to the mother that approached me that night, clueless and lost as to what is necessary to help her daughter love her hair. Bravo Lauren, for making sure your daughter has the tools she needs to grow into a well rounded young woman who'll inevitably love herself and her hair because mom put in the time to make that happen. As a daughter who was taught to love her hair, I know where that confidence came from. My mother put in the same time and effort and I will be forever grateful for it. No matter what background, hair texture or color your daughter is, we all can take a page from Lauren’s book of support and learn how to help our children love their hair. To read more about Lauren and her adorable daughter visit her blog at: http://www.laurencasper.com/blog/ or go directly to the article: http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/bonding-with-my-daughter-through-caring-for-her-hair