Young children with kinky hair could feel that they are not beautiful; particularly when they see more images of people with straight hair who are acknowledged for their beauty.
When our children see fewer images of girls with kinky hair, it could lead to the perception that curlier, coiler, kinkier hair is less than desirable. What’s worse: children sometimes receive negative feedback about their natural hair from those who do not understand or appreciate natural beauty. There are steps that you can take to help a child feel confident with his or her natural hair.
1. Show the child examples of people with natural hair. We often view celebrities, models, actors and actresses as beautiful. The people that you choose to point out to your children should portray positive images of people with kinky and curly hair. Hairstyle magazines, natural hair websites, or videos in which positive people are showing off natural styles can help children appreciate the beauty of natural hair.
2. Tell your child that she is beautiful and compliment her. You might think that your child feels that your opinion does not matter, but you’d be surprised at how much your child values your viewpoint. Be careful of what you say to your child, too. Don’t use words with a negative connotation to describe kinky, curly hair in particular. Teach your children that the word “kinky” is not bad or derogatory. Kinky hair is a description of hair texture; just like straight, curly, or wavy.
3. Take special care of your child’s hair. Treat your child’s hair as though it is one of their most precious features. It does no good to tell your child that she has beautiful hair and then talk trash about it or treat it roughly while you comb, braid, or twist it. Kinky, curly hair is fragile, and you need to set a good example as to how your child should care for it. Your child should not feel afraid to have her hair combed. Listen when your child says that her hair is being pulled too tightly or it hurts when it is combed. Treat tender-heads with patience and care.
4. Teach your child about her hair. Show your child a movie or documentary that tells the story of black hair. If your child is old enough, she can read about the history of natural kinky, curly hair. Tell her why you believe she should wear her hair in natural styles. Explain some of the reasons why some people tend to shy away from natural hair. Talking to your child about her hair could teach her a lesson in diversity and acceptance.