I was raised in an era where kids would get popped in the head with a comb or brush, if they didn’t sit still.
I was also raised in a time where parents were quick to relax their children’s hair for “better manageability.”
I’m thankful my mother did not fall for the hype. And I’m super grateful threats and violence weren’t commonplace in our home.
My mother was super gentle and took her time with my coils.
I remember hair time being so relaxing, I often fell asleep in between her legs.
I remember the cool tail of the comb as she gently drew lines to section my hair. I remember her repeatedly asking me “am I braiding too tight?” because she was mindful of my scalp.
I remember feeling chills as she drizzled oil in between my fresh parts. I remember how good it felt to have my hair follicles massaged as she gently maneuvered her way through my head.
When I reached adolescence and started asking her for a relaxer, she was reluctant.
It wasn’t until adulthood after visiting hair stylists and a barber, that I appreciated how cautious my mother was about allowing others (even those labeled as professionals) to touch my crown. They were super rough and could care less about my scalp.
But our scalps are the very home where our curls are formed. Even Madame CJ Walker, understood that a healthy head of hair started with a super relaxed and loved scalp.
When I realized no one was better at caring for my hair than me (or my mom), I began doing my own.
As a teen, I bought $1.99 packages of kankelon hair and would spend hours in front of the mirror braiding, learning and caring for my scalp.
I am super grateful my mother allowed me to creatively explore my own crown.
It built my love and confidence in doing my own hair. I was always proud of my results after long hours of hard work and cramped arms.
It gave me the tools I needed to get to know my own head more intimately. It allowed me to be patient with myself.
As a heavy-handed person, it reminded me to lighten up, even when doing my own hair.
And now as a mother of three girls, it definitely set the foundation for how I tenderly care for our girls’ curls.
Thank you so much mom for honoring my crown as a child.
Who did your hair when you were growing up? Do you have fond childhood memories of getting your hair done? What are you most thankful for?
Until next time...
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