Hair hate is a real thing.
I recently received an email from a distraught grandmother who had just taken custody of her 4-year-old grand-daughter with naturally kinky curls.
She confided to me that she hated her grand-baby's natural hair because she herself had straightened hair, which she preferred.
The little girl's grandmother asked me if her grand-daughter was too young to have her hair chemically straightened?
If the chemical straightening might be premature she would just go ahead and cut the little girls hair as short as possible. That would minimize the appearance of her grand-child's kinky curls.
I have to confess I felt incredibly sad when I first read this question presented to me. Not because I was in any way judging the person who wrote it. It was because of my own experiences growing up with hair hate.
The grandmother probably just doesn't truly understand the long term issues she is creating for her little grand-baby.
As a Life Coach I cringed inside because so many of my clients struggle with a variety of lifetime emotional issues which started over negative words about their hair or bodies.
My own mother was disappointed when I was born. While she was unhappy I had wavy and curly hair, she was even more annoyed that I was a girl.
Yes, I always knew my mother didn’t particularly like me or want to deal with me. She never hid that information from me or anyone else.
I grew up not only hating my own hair as a reflection of my mother's judgements, but also with self-hatred for disappointing my mom who wanted a son, not a daughter.
Luckily after many years of therapy with great therapists plus tons of working on my self-esteem I learned to love my hair and the person underneath it all.
One of the most important things I learned while doing therapy for many years was to never judge anyone else in any way. I need to mind my own business and live my life the way I see fit.
How many parents accidentally create similar hair or self hate in their children with the language they use? Whether it is accidental of not, we all grow up defining ourselves by the stories we tell ourselves based on everything around us and the way we experience it.
The unconscious/subconscious mind is like a hidden tape recorder that records everything from the moment of birth until 8-years-old.
I think maybe sometimes parents forget how impressionable little children may be and how sensitive they are to their parent’s feelings about them, expressed out loud or not.
Personally, I feel that teaching a child they are absolutely beautiful in every way, including their hair, would be a wonderful way to give them the gift of self-love and self-esteem.
How can parents help encourage their kids to have hair love from the beginning? They can start by looking at the language they themselves use when they talk to their kids about their hair.
Tell your daughters & children important words like the ones below:
1. Tell them how much you love your own hair.2. Tell them all the time how much you love their hair which is part of who they are as special and unique human beings.
3. Tell them their hair is uniquely beautiful due to its gorgeous coils, curls, spirals, ringlets, waves or straight strands.4. Tell them to always be proud of who they are.
5. If they use bad words to describe their hair or bodies, gently correct them and tell them how beautiful they are, inside and out.
That’s the amazing thing about kids. They can sense when their parents are disappointed with them for whatever reason. Even at a very young age.
If a parent makes a big deal about their child’s curly hair in such a way as to make the child feel bad for having hair that they inherited they may hate their hair forever. Please remember that children inherit their hair from their parents gene pool.
Avoid using the following words which may create hair hate rather than hair love:
Help them identify with the beauty and wonder of having similar hair. Without any negative comparisons or judgements.
As a result of my own life lessons with my own hair, I would never judge a mother or father for how they feel about their child’s hair or overall appearance.
Part of what makes people beautiful is their own true uniqueness.
Curly hair is just as gorgeous as wavy hair, straight hair, or coily hair.
Before I would worry about my child’s hair type or texture, I would worry I was showing them my absolute unconditional love/
I would want to make sure I was letting them know they were perfect, just the way they were, curls and all.
Hair hair is a real thing, but as parents if we can teach our children their bodies and hair are beautiful we can create hair love.
We are not only giving our children the best gift possible, but we are changing the world to be a , more loving place for all.
Best wishes to all.
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