Looking back on my youth and teenage years, I would like to think that any feelings I may, or may not have had about the texture of my hair – was not a direct correlation to my measure of self-esteem, degree of happiness, or personal self-worth. However, when I think about the damage I did to my hair and scalp whilst straightening them with chemical relaxers, I’m prompted to ask, “What made me want to alter the texture of my natural hair?” The short answer to that question lay within the, “European Standards of Beauty”, and the fact that people of color all over the world have been whitewashed by that idea.
“My objective as a Black father is to ensure that my daughters will never ever come to the false conclusion that straight blonde hair equates to true beauty, and that their hair texture does not.”
Corporate entities also have a lot to answer for with regard to how notions of beauty are portrayed commercially. Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll, and Disney movie portrayals of fairy tales, blonde haired princesses and magic, both contribute to the white privilege narrative and ultimately the self-image of all children. “The Effects of European Standards of Beauty on Black Women” is a subject that is well documented, so we won’t have that debate here.
The purpose of this post is to celebrate natural hair. To put things in perspective, my origin is African-American (Type 4C hair), and wifey is Lebanese of Arabic decent (Type 3B hair). Our daughters Bayanne and Bodeen are hair types 3C and 4A respectively. Because of the potential for my daughter’s hair to dry out, and dread up, and because I have more experience with black hair in general, the management of my daughter’s hair has proudly fallen to me. That being the case, I’ve decided that my daughters,who are three and four years old at the time of this post, will be natural sisters in the truest sense. Which means, no heat, no hot combs, no relaxers, no straighteners, and no perms will violate my daughters natural curls for as long as I can prevent it.
I’m from Brooklyn, New York, but I live in Australia. The problem with that is, there are very few sisters here that I can get positive hair care advice from. So, I’ve turned to YouTube to learn how my African-American natural sisters care for their hair. I want to give a shout out to a few of my favourite natural hair YouTube Channels, “My Natural Sisters“, “Mahogany Curls“, and “Naptural85“. Thank you beautiful girls for serving as shining examples of natural black beauty, and for your dedication in producing hours and hours of video content that contributes immensely to the Natural Hair Movement.
To manage my daughter’s hair, I apply a deep conditioning treatment every six weeks. My treatment consists of Eggs, Mayonnaise, Avocado, Jojoba Oil, Natural Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, and Vitamin E Oil. I found that the conditioning mix revitalised, re-hydrated, and moisturised my daughter’s hair – whilst adding a beautiful shine. I also make a Shea Butter styling cream, a recipe I got from Mahogany Curls, that is fantastic. Other products I use include items from the As I Am range, including Coconut Co-Wash, Leave-In Conditioner, Double Butter Cream, and the Curling Jelly. For now, our daughters’ hair, and self-esteem are two things we can say are being well-managed. With all the Disney movies they watch and Barbie dolls they own I don’t know how long it’ll be before we get questions about Black, Blonde, and Beauty. I want to thank all the fabulous sisters and Natural Hair commentators on YouTube for their advice and great hair tips. My objective as a Black father is to ensure that my daughters will never ever come to the false conclusion that straight blonde hair equates to true beauty, and their hair texture does not.0