What words would you use to describe your child’s hair texture? As you ponder that question think about which descriptive words you will use and consider if those words are positive and uplifting to your child. Thick. Curly. Kinky. Nappy. Coily. Some of these words are accepted and some are rejected. 4a. 3c. 2b. are commonly used abbreviations for a hair typing system that was developed by Oprah’s stylist Andre Walker. This hair typing system has been around for many years and is now frequently used to gauge a persons level of hair thickness and curliness with a spectrum of 1-4 with the letters a, b, and c being subsets. Some like the “hair typing” system, some find it divisive. Regardless of the system or description that you use to describe your child’s hair, you should always be making sure that you are teaching your child to love what they have.
Too many times I see or hear people attempting change the texture of their child’s natural hair. They have gotten away from relaxers but are now seeking products to produce different textures. Slathering the hair with products to get a wave or a curl that may or may not be within reach for your child’s natural hair is a waste of time and may also affect your child’s self esteem. Our babies with thicker more tightly coiled hair are just as beautiful as our babies with more fine hair. What is the point of allowing your child to wear their hair natural if you are going to do everything in your power to change it or diminish it by complaining about it? I can’t tell you how many times I am approached about my child’s hair. People say things like, “I love your daughter’s hair. What can I do to get my child’s hair to look like hers?” (With their child standing right there!) This makes me cringe! Not only have you belittled your child, but you have embarrassed us all. When you see a style that you like, please 1st consider if it is something that is possible for your child. Secondly, please consider how you approach and discuss the style. Instead of saying, “How can I get my child’s hair like hers…,” you could say, “I like that style, how did you do it? I would like to try it on my child.” Approaching it this way makes your child feel good about your intentions. If we are going to affect the next generation and instill self love and esteem in them then we are going to have to stop projecting our archaic “good hair” “bad hair” beliefs on them and start fresh. Here are just 3 ways that can help you get started on your road to accepting your child’s hair texture!
1. Help your child develop their own unique styles and let them show off!
2. Compliment your child’s hair often!
3. Let go of your own inhibitions!
BMWK — How do you feel about your child’s hair texture? Do you accept it?