One day my eldest daughter came home upset because the kids at school were laughing at her claiming she had fake hair. Actually, she had braids but I can imagine how uncomfortable she must have felt with everyone giggling around her.
She always preferred to have her hair braided during school holidays because she couldn’t deal with the questions about her hair being short one day and long the next day.
Anyway, I explained to my daughter that she could consider her protective style as just braids instead of fake hair.
In my own opinion, I do not consider braids to be fake hair because in this case one is not pretending that their hair is long, the hair is simply braided.
Braiding has been around for many years and it’s a style which people of afro origin have always done. When I braid my hair I am not imitating another race but it’s an Afrocentric thing.
Therefore rather than get into a back and forth about whether the hair is real or not I told my daughter simply tell them the truth that she has braids and if they are still skeptical they can do their own research on what braids are.
I did give her one more option she could choose not to volunteer any information because at the end of the day, her hair is her business and she doesn’t owe anyone any explanations.
Even we grown-ups struggle with talking about our hair to other people. However, I think most of the time we have problems because of our own insecurities with our own hair and our own hair practices.
It is hard to explain some traditional hairstyles because other people do not quite understand it and people of other races tend to be fascinated with our hair rather than treating it as normal.
At the end of the day, I want to teach my little girl that she does not have to defend her God given hair or her traditional hair practices but to be proud of it all.
What strategies have you used to groom your little girls in accepting that their hair and hair practices?