This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dove™. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
As I began writing this post, I looked up and noticed Tatiana biting her nails and peeling the skin off of her fingers. Biting her nails is something that is completely normal for her but peeling her skin is something new. Once I saw her doing this, I immediately asked her why she was peeling her skin. Her answer shocked me. She told me that she didn’t like the color of her skin and that she wanted to have lighter skin. Never in a million years would I think that Tatiana, at just 5 years old, would be uncomfortable with the skin that she’s in.
Her answer prompted me to question myself as a mama and whether or not I had somehow caused this insecurity. After she told me that we had a long conversation about how her brown skin is just as beautiful as all of the other skin colors. We continued to talk about lots of things and then she asked me about her hair. She wondered why her hair is different than the other girls in her class.
This was an easier topic to tackle than the color of her skin. As a kid and teen, hair is something that I struggled with a lot. Growing up society labeled natural hair as something that wasn’t beautiful but lately that has been something that is changing so quickly. I thought that if my hair wasn’t bone straight then it wasn’t beautiful. At just 14 years my natural, kinky hair went away with my first relaxer. I didn’t want to sit still for hours while my sister combed my hair. It was boring and it hurt to get it detangled. It just wasn’t fun. I wasn’t truly happy with my hair until I did “the big chop” at 18 just after graduating high school.
After doing the big chop I was able to experiment with my hair and learn about how to care for it myself. That experience prepped me for having a daughter with natural hair. Did you know that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way? These 6 tips have helped me to encourage Tatiana how to love her hair.
1. Make a routine.
There’s nothing better than a routine to help you get in the groove. Once Tatiana’s curl pattern really started to kick in I noticed that she started not to like washing or getting her hair styled. She would always complain about how long it took and how boring it was (I was the same exact way as a kid). Once we set a routine things got a little easier. Every Sunday we set aside some time to wash and style her hair for the week ahead. Her hair gets washed during her bath time so that she can play while I’m washing it. It takes longer to do it this way but it allows her to associate washing her hair with a fun experience like playing with her bath toys. After her hair is all washed and clean, we put on a movie while I style her hair.
2. Give her freedom.
Kids love making their own choices and this is one choice that I’m more than happy to let Tatiana make. Accessories like hair ties, bows, and clips are something that your daughter can choose as well. By giving her the freedom to choose how she wants her hair styled for the week it gives her confidence and lets her know that her hair is something that is in her control.
3. Teach her.
Teach your little one everything about her hair. If her hair is curly, teach her about her curl pattern and what products are best for her hair. One of the things that I found to be most helpful with Tatiana is not only teaching her about her hair but teaching her about my hair as well. We talk about what curl patterns we both have and why different products work. I allow her to brush my hair and style it how she thinks is best from time to time. I don’t put stress on it needing to be perfect because I want her to have fun when it comes to her hair and not be afraid to embrace it.
4. Show her positive images.
The most important positive image of all will be you! However – books, magazines, the TV, and the internet will be your best friends. The next time you notice someone with hair similar to your little one point it out. The more she sees images of girls with her hair type the more it’ll reinforce the notion that natural hair is beautiful.
5. Compliment her.
I can’t say this one enough. This tip goes for pretty much everything in your daughter’s life. If she’s struggling with something, compliment her on it. Tell her how much you love her hair style or the way it smells. Pretty soon she’ll grow to love her hair if it’s something that she struggles with.
As a proud mama, it’s my responsibility to make a difference and help ensure Tatiana grows up feeling confident. That’s why I teamed up with Dove™ to inspire Tatiana & young girls to love their hair. You can join in on the fun here.
How do you guide your daughter to love her hair?