We recently posted an article on NaturallyCurly about what to do when your daughter asks you to straighten her hair. It’s a controversial topic, and probably one of the subjects that people have the most disagreement about on our site.
"I think it's a matter not wanting to risk damaging their hair from too much heat," said one mother. "At least that is my reason for not straightening my daughter's hair. Plus, she is six, and isn't very capable of caring for her own hair completely just yet. The option to straighten her hair will come later when she is a bit older."
Another responded: " I think there comes a point when you are being overprotective if you do not even allow your daughter an occasional flat ironing considering that her straight haired peers who don't even need flat irons really do it every morning."
On the one hand, one of the main reasons we started NaturallyCurly.com was to create a sense of curl pride. We wanted people to feel good about having curly, coily or wavy hair rather than fight it to conform to a narrow straight-haired standard of beauty. We wanted to help young girls feel proud of their ringlets rather than spending their childhood longing for something they don’t have. I would argue that we’ve made major progress on this front.
But on the other hand, sometimes a little girl just wants a change. She wants to know what it’s like to have a ponytail that swishes. She may want to see how long her hair really is without the twists and turns.
So in the article – as we do on our site – we talk about the healthy ways to get a straighter look for your child. And we talk about how to reinforce that she’s beautiful whether her hair is curly or straight.
We never want to return to the days when a young girl’s hair was chemically straightened from an early age as a matter of course. There’s a difference between forcing a child to wear her hair certain way to be accepted, and allowing her to explore options. Why should we as parents discourage that?