For years my mother did my hair, she would sit me in front of her and have all my toys laid out in front of me as a distraction.
If I did not have toys she would give me all of my little bubble clips to play with. I never understood it then like I do now, all I remember are all the colors of the little marble looking things and that if I pulled them apart too much they would pop back and hit me on my hands or legs somewhere. Those things while a lot of fun, were very painful.
I had every color under the sun, my mom probably knew I liked playing with them because that was the only time I was allowed to just make a mess of them all over the bed.
As I got older, sitting between my mothers legs became less about the bubbles as we called them and more about her and about me. Mommy and me time was often spent with her asking me questions and me wanting the conversation to end when it got to the questions I did not feel like answering.
Over all I loved it though because we would talk, I had her attention and it was great. I saw the above picture online this week and even though Zoe Kravitze and Willow Smith are celebrities they shared a unique black girl moment. I call it a black girl moment because that is what I have traditionally experienced as a black girl.
When I would visit my cousins, just like my mom did, one of us would always be between somebody’s legs getting our hair done.
It could be braids, a roller set, press and curl… anything. It doesn’t have to be your mom or cousin either, it could be an aunt, sister or a College roommate, the point is, the practice is common and is so normal in our culture that we often do not stop to think about how special it is.
If we all were to think about every time we sat between the legs of someone we loved and allowed them to do something to our hair, what did it mean for you? Here are 6 reasons we think that this tradition is the coolest ever!
1. It is a moment to reconnect
I told you my story about my mother and I, well it was the same with a cousin, aunt or friend. At that moment you and her or him can have a conversation that is sometimes so special you never want it to end.
This is true of fathers and son’s as well. Fathers who typically cut their son’s hair use that moment in time as an opportunity to connect with their child and find out what they are up to.
Those moments are necessary, they keep relationships in tact and encourage the sort of intimacy that only happens when you take the time to just stop and talk.
Dionne's TwistedLife says
Well, idk abt tradition. We did it because of height or no chairs. Wtf?
Sarah Walters says
Its tradition. There is a awesome 6 min video called History of Black Hair and you can really see the traditions passed on through many generations. I love it.
Greene Kenya says
I always like that and I do my own braids
Carmella McCoy says
I be wanting to sit these clients down on the floor too lol
Morgan Stroud says
I do see it as a tradition but since you mentioned it, Dionne’s, I have to tell this story. There was this mom that was preparing Easter dinner. Her daughter asked her why she cut the bottom of the ham off? She said tradition & because her mom did it. She asked her mom & her mom replied, “I don’t know that’s what my mom did.” So next she asked her Grandmother and she replied…………because her oven wasn’t big enough to fit the whole ham in. LOL Most traditions, good & bad, come by accident.
Tolindra Marie Collins says
It’s never that deep. Lol
Naima Watson says
Sometimes it’s very sentimental to some people. I remember being a little girl and my grandmother doing my hair and during the time she used to tell me stories about her younger days and it was a bonding moment for us. Now that I’m an adult and she’s gone on to the Lord, there are some days where I wish I could go back in time to live in those moments all over again.
unless you’re extremely tender-headed and being between someone’s legs to do your hair means yelling, screaming, crying, and running away from the comb lol
Sarah Walters says
It is tradition and tradition has turned into culture.
Hannah Okorafor says
It’s definitely NOT a African-American tradition, they’re not the only black folk in the globe who does this *sigh*
It’s not that deep…they won’t always um the most pleasant experiences 😉
Me like the chair
Sarah Walters says
The article didn’t say that its origin was with the African american community but that we uphold a lot of traditions. It was apart of African culture before the European slave trade and is something that we have continued through out generations both black Americans and others around the world. Its something we do with out thinking about it. It’s culture.
Leotta Michelle Davis says
^^ Took the words right out of my mouth!!
Bisi Okusami Sonuga says
Yes, I’m of west African descent and born in England. Growing up in England, I remember all my relatives doing hair in turns. and it was known that you sit on the floor, just like Willow and Ms Kravitz to do the hair. I got to live in my native country in West African and it was the norm to sit on the floor while the local hairdresser plaits your hair. When you go into the interior rural villages, that’s how it’s done. Now, I’m not saying it’s a cultural thing but, it’s a habit that became part of tradition. When I was young and mum wants to do our hair, it was the norm to get out all the tools and sit on the floor; head on her lap or whichever way that she directs your head.
Anastacia Stephens says
I’m remember does days
Rachael Kay says
Rachael Kay says
I agree. It wasn’t ever pleasant and I truly aimed to break that tradition. It was very traumatic for me personally.
Devera Smith Robinson says
It is a tradition; that’s how my mom did my hair and that’s how I did my daughter’s hair. My daughter is now 22 (also natural) and I sink wash her hair, deep condition it and detangle it and she sits on the floor while I twist or braid her hair. She loves when I take care of her hair and still falls asleep, head rolling all over the place, like she used to when she was a little girl.
Marlene Blyden says
This is a good tradition. For me, I was usually the one doing other’s hair. My treat used to be going to the hairdresser.
Gloria Burns says
Mim mom did my all the girls hair like that, and my sisters and my older sisters didy hair like that. I was the girl in the neighborhood that braid the corn rows and the afro blow outs. Then braid my sons hair, and did their high tops. And was getting paid to do it. Taught myself how to sew weaves and glue in tracs, and put crochet hair, and braid exstenions. Skilz that I still.can do and have people drive up from another city for me to do.their hair, I.am an old school og. Press and curl.hair because my mon taught me that. cut and color , relax and condition. Old school women. it is something truely that has been.passed down from generation to generation. It is part of our culture, roots, and heritage.
Jo Norfolk says
Lisa Thomas says
If it wasn’t my mother I was,never with sitting between any other woman’s legs I didn’t need my nappy hair done that bad and back then natural was really in
Lameka Tillman says
Johnna Williams Nash says
I use to hate it bc my mom’s leg hairs was prickly lol
Jazmine Turman says
it won’t lol