Can You Teach Your Kids To Love Natural Hair If You Are Relaxed?

Little curly haired girl with flowers in hairSome feel it is an attempt to segregate your hair from yourself, in an effort to disassociate yourself from the image of an eighteenth century black slave; wild, unkempt, nappy-headed. Some question the message that the act of relaxing your hair sends to the daughters of mothers who get a perm.

For the most part, psychologists believe that much of what black people do in terms of how we live our lives and view ourselves, are shaped by the culture of slavery that dictated what beauty is. The truth is that while many of us celebrate freedom of expression, we seem to be captives of these ideals which say that straight hair is beautiful and black hair in all its natural glory is not.

Since the boom of the natural hair movement in 2009, many women have been embracing the concept that our hair is beautiful and versatile. While it is the case that many cannot seem to divorce their relaxers, they have hair crushes and are willing to grow their children without subjecting them to a life of relaxers.

As it is with many other things, it may be possible for mothers to teach their kids how to love natural hair even though they themselves are relaxed; the operative word here is possible, but how probable is it?

While some mothers have indicated their desire to protect their young daughters from the harsh chemicals in the products they themselves opt to continue relaxing their hair. It may be argued that these mothers are sending mixed signals to the little ones, for they may wonder “How is it that mommy tells me my hair is beautiful when mommy doesn’t even wear her hair like mine?”

While the child may not voice these musings, it may very well represent a contradiction to her. Some little girls cannot wait for the day when they will be old enough to get their hair just like mommy’s. This, of course, is assuming that the mothers have actually grown to love natural textures and want to dedicate time to ensuring that their daughters know that their hair is not inferior to their Caucasian or Asian counterparts.


Originally posted 2013-08-30 15:00:30.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

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Comments

  1. Deondra Davis
    Deondra Davis

    I say yes, when I was a child I liked my natural hair and my mother permed hers, I actually got upset when she permed mine

  2. Alexis Cooper
    Alexis Cooper

    I think it creates a conflict in a child. “Kind of like that do as I say, not as I do” statement. I don’t think that a child can be taught to value something that isn’t valued by the teacher. If natural hair is to be loved, children will figure out and ask questions as to why their mother’s hair isn’t. ESPECIALLY, because there is still a partially negativee societal message about natural hair that that child will know about by default of being in the world.

  3. Sharon Emile-Amazigo
    Sharon Emile-Amazigo

    Smoking, drinking, sex, staying out late and doing other adult things are acceptable for adults not for children. Yes we need to live by example but a large part of bring up children is do as I say not as I do. I am relaxed my three girls are naturals no issue here.

  4. Monique Wilson
    Monique Wilson

    I think so if your not getting a touch up every month and stretching applications then yes…. but if when you see even half a kink you are using a relaxer then I can see conflict…..

  5. Nomthunzi Bucwa
    Nomthunzi Bucwa

    Yes, the same way a lighter skinned mother cn teach her kids that their darker complexion is just as beautiful. When we learn to appreciate our differences instead of being afraid of them, our children will do the same.

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