By Ayoka of Nappy Sexy Fly

bday
My daughter has a whole lot of nappy hair as you can see. Her hair is below waist length stretched. She is 5 years old and of course has never had her hair straightened. She knows she’s beautiful because we always tell her that she is sooooooo beautiful. She knows nothing of self loathing. She loves her skin and hair and everything about herself because we adore her and tell her so all the time. We live in a predominantly white community so she interacts with them on the regular but has no issues. She attracts love and kindness like a magnet because this is what she experiences all the time in her home. This is her foundation. It’s all in how you treat your children. It’s all in the messages you send them. A child should not feel insecure, ugly or unwanted. Our job as parents is to make sure they know they are perfect and precious. Their lives even when we are not around will reflect the love we planted in their souls.

As for her hair, there is no way on earth her hair would ever be as healthy or achieve this length with a relaxer. I have older twin daughter’s who’s hair was as long as this. Their father begged me for years to relax it because he couldn’t do it on their visits so I gave in eventually and let him take them to have it done. I knew what would happen but he didn’t believe me when I told him. Their hair was super long and healthy to start then it began to break off. It eventually broke off to chin length in a year’s time even though they had their hair done professionally and kept it up. Needless to say, they are both transitioning now and never want to see another relaxer as long as they live. Now when I send them to their father for visits, their hair is in braids. They know how healthy their hair was prior to the relaxer and how badly it damaged their hair. Relaxers hold no mystique for them. They will not be begging me to perm it for prom. Nappy hair is fragile not strong and chemicals break it down to the point that it is even more fragile and prone to breakage.

My youngest daughter is by my husband. We both agreed no chemical would ever touch her hair. Her hair got this long by treating it the way nappy hair needs to be treated. Very little manipulation. I put her braids in and don’t take them down for weeks at a time. I wash her hair in the braids. When its time to redo, I take it one braid at a time making sure to moisturize and oil to prevent breakage. I separate and smooth with my fingers and very gently comb the ends with a wide tooth comb and re-braid. She usually has anywhere from 8 to 12 braids. It takes about 2 hours to do her hair because I don’t yank and snatch through it like it needs to be punished. The keys to healthy naps are moisture, low manipulation and a gentle patient touch. That’s pretty much it. Her hair is also never blow dried, in fact no heat is used on her hair.

For all those who use hair typing, we are both 4b in other words nappy. Her father is a pure blooded Ghanaian (Ghana, West Africa, blackest Africa, home of the purest naps and deepest melanin endowed gorgeous dark skin where the majority of us can trace our roots because it is from there that the majority of our ancestors departed) πŸ™‚ I am an African-American with no recent interruption of my African bloodline, in other words not mixed. Yes, true African naps can achieve length if so desired if you honor God’s blessing by nurturing and loving them and caring enough to learn about how to take care of them instead of trying to murder them with toxic chemicals.

As long as I am in charge, my daughter will never feel the burn of chemicals or the heat of a straightening tool. She will always know and not question the power and truth of her own God given beauty just as she knows it at the impressionable age of 5.

Naturally I was amazed by this story, so I asked Ayoka to share her daughter’s regimen. She sent this in her reply e-mail

“People can mistake a well managed head of 4b hair for 3 type hair. I get that a lot and I educate people so they aren’t mistaken and know that their hair can do all the stuff my daughter’s and my hair does. I think when people understand all the options they have with their hair and that it’s really not that difficult to manage, then we will see more of us letting go of the relaxers because relaxed hair isn’t nearly as versatile, healthy and in my opinion, beautiful on us as our own hair texture.”

AYOKA’S DAUGHTER’S REGIMEN

1. Very low manipulation. This is the most important thing I must emphasize for type 4 hair. 4b hair is the most fragile and if you’re breaking it off while you’re trying to grow it, you’ll never see length. I’m able to avoid a lot of manipulation because I keep it stretched never letting it bunch up, tangle up or shrink.

2. Keep it stretched. This is especially important for me because she has a lot of hair and I can’t afford the situations that will surely jump off, if I allow all that hair to shrink and wrap around each other. The detangle would be enormous. The way I keep her hair in a stretched state is by keeping it moisturized, oiled and in box braids, this way it is never really tangled to the point where I have to go at it like a mad woman. I am able to detangle her hair for the most part using my fingers. I use a wide tooth comb to help and a soft brush down the length of it to smooth it out when I style it. The most important thing is to never snatch though it. Be gentle and work your way from the bottom when detangling.

3. I never wash it all loose. That would be an epic undertaking. I always keep her hair separated. I take her braids down one at a time (I do this in our bath tub) wash, condition, rinse and sloppily twist or braid that section and continue on to the next until I’m done and ready to style. I mostly co-wash and ACV rinse prior to co-washing when it’s really dirty. When washing I do not ever scrub the hair against it self like you see in commercials this will create tangle and knots. I wet the section thoroughly and pull the conditioner gently down her hair shaft and rinse downward, loosening and separating any tangles as I go using a wide tooth comb from the ends upward if necessary.

4. Moisture is key for type 4 hair because as we all know it’s drier than a dessert. My daughters hair likes heavy products. So any thick leave-in or moisturizer is where I start on her damp washed hair. I coat each section with a leave in or moisturizer (not picky just has to be thick) and then seal with olive oil and shea always gently pulling the product down the hair shaft. This is heavy but for her dry hair it smooths it out and helps it to stretch to the max without heat. I spray her scalp and braids with pure Aloe Vera juice mixed with olive oil. I redo her hair no more than every two weeks. If she’s rocking 8 or more braids that can be styled different ways, I’ll leave it up for up to a month, cleaning her scalp with a wet rag and cleaning her braids from top to bottom with a wet rag, sometimes I’ll wash her hair while in the braids if it gets to dirty. Yes it gets fuzzy when I do this but sometimes I’m lazy and sometimes she doesn’t feel like getting it done lol. If she’s got her 5 braid situation going on, I will of course take her hair wraps off each braid and tie her hair up at night and use some product to brush and smooth it in the morning and put her hair bands (non-elastic and using very little tension). She looks fresh like that for 2 weeks.

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For more of Ayoka, check out her blog HERE.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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178 Comments on "Mom grows out daughter’s kinky natural hair to waist length"

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AMarie

@TMS

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Marcus Garvey quote! There are some days when I just want to tell the nay-sayers “nope, God didn’t make any mistakes with me!”

@Ayoka

Your daughter’s hair is beautiful πŸ˜€ I plan to do the same with my daughters- no perms, tex-laxers or anything- just love, care and a little moisturizer πŸ™‚

TMS

@Ayoka’s 1/10/10 comments:

Well said!

May God continue to bless you and your family.

Peace & Blessings,
TMS

” God made us his perfect creation. He made no mistake when he made us black with kinky hair.”-Marcus Garvey

Black Married Momma

Amen. Amen! Amen.

NappySexyFly
To anyone it may concern: This is Ayoka. Just wanted all my African sisters to know I love the continent and we are all sisters. Our mother is black and nappy and beautiful. This is something I wanted to express to Africans in the diaspora (American Africans etc) who think a certain way about the Africans they came from (the West Africans with the “tough nigerian hair”). We in the diaspora have been told lies about our mother which has caused us to want to distance ourselves from her. I am trying to show the truth about our African mother.… Read more »
Nikki
@ Ms. Wright, I didn’t find the line, “Our job as parents is to make sure they know they are perfect and precious.” to be scary at all. I don’t think her daughter will be devastated when someone later points out her “imperfections” at all, on the contrary, I think she’ll be confident enough to brush the negativity off and believe in herself, because her parents have instilled self confidence and self love in her. I thought this article was so touching, because I wish that I’d been raised to feel this way about myself. My father wasn’t around and… Read more »
Sherri

What a blessing to read about Ayoka and her daughters! Ayoka, thank you for affirming your daughters and not being ashamed to say so! I have always believed good parents protect their children as a mother bear would protect her cubs. Your daughters are blessed to know you love them as God created them and they don’t need to be concerned about others’ opinions. Keep up the good work!

Ms. Bar B
Simply perfection!! I almost wanted to cry I could relate so much. Relate in the way that, as a child, my hair was just like this… until I got my first perm. Just like her twins, my long hair was destroyed! And just like with her little girl, I wasn’t about to let that happen to my daughter. As a result, my daughter’s hair is nearly the same length as her daughter’s hair is. I even blogged about it after going through a combing out session (adopting the title of your wonderful blog, lol): http://comfortingplace.blogspot.com/2010/01/lil-black-girl-with-long-hair.html Thank you so much for… Read more »
Gem
I am re-posting this on my blog. This makes me so happy, I can’t even tell you! I also did not take her comments in a negative way. As someone with type 3 hair I often get side-eyes and side-mouths when I try to extol the virtues of natural hair to black women I know. We have all heard the “my hair is too nappy” speech. I think it’s wonderful that this woman is raising her type-4 hair daughter to be natural. It all starts with the children. I think we NEED to see more type 4 reach this length… Read more »
cc
I loved this article. It is truly nice to see a mother who cares enough about her daughter to have enough patience to do her hair with love, and to let her know that she is BEAUTIFUL the way god made her. I read some of the comments, and I was surprised that someone could get offended by the fact that the mother lets her daughter know that she is perfect just the way she is. I think that’s our responsiblity as parents. Especially as black women we face so much pressure to conform. We are constantly faced with images… Read more »
Sasha

Beautiful little girl…beautiful mom! I’m more disturbed that people will find negativity in even the most positive situations.

This was a very encouraging post for 4a/b beauties! Thank you! πŸ™‚

CO

She is such a cutie! Thanks for sharing.

Apartmentlife

Beautiful little girl! I hope she continues to have a great experience as she grows up.

@Bee, I don’t think she meant it that way. I think she’s just saying that according to society, her husband is the representation of true black.

Ms. Wright
Her hair is gorgeous and I’m glad she’s teaching her daughter to love herself. However, “Our job as parents is to make sure they know they are perfect and precious.” This line makes me nervous. All I can imagine is this little girl growing up and being devastated when some other girl (or a maybe a guy) calls her on her “imperfections.” Or even worse, judging other children like her as imperfect because they’re different. I’ll give the mother credit, I’m sure she’s taken the precautions necessary to make sure her child isn’t that type of person, but not all… Read more »
Joli
hmmmm I don’t know about this statement. Although I love her commitment to natural hair and her daughter’s love, it seems like another person with 4type hair who likes to dismiss 3type hair. Look, I know there are always comments about different types of hair, but come on… when she was talking about how she is “pure African” it made it almost sound like having different cultures was “unpure”. Oh well, I don’t feel like causing any negative energy, but I wish one day all types of kinky textures can accept each other without having to make speeches about how… Read more »
Nikki

GO MOM!!!!! Her daughter is beautiful!!! Mama is beautiful too! Beautiful hair. πŸ˜€

MissyD
This little girl is so adorable!!! She is too precious. But I really like this article. Recently a friend of mine just realized that I’m natural (when we first met I had a weave on and then he went overseas for a few months). He asked me all sorts of offensive questions like do I shave, do I bathe in juices? Then he remarked about Angelina Jolie’s daughter and her “nappy” hair as if it were a plague. So I’m going to send him this article to read and hope that he reads the more of the blog. I can’t… Read more »
Monique

Props to Ayoka for knowing how to properly handle natural hair. Her daughter’s hair is beautiful. KUDOS for teaching her to love herself as she is!!!

I hope we see more of this in the black community as knowledge AND acceptance of natural hair spreads.

mellowyel

aww, she’s gorgeous! and WOW WOW WOW such beautiful hair! i think she one-upped Princess Tiana in that last pic, lol. inspiring

Yardyspice

Her hair is so beautiful! Kudos to you mom.

Yoshi3329

That great, though, I didn’t have to see princess tiana, can’t stand that movie.

dajewel

this is a great article!!! am loving the frankness in the article!! my hair is a 4, and i have had people mistake it for 3 because i keep it so moisturized, etc. i also have to co-sign with her with washing the hair in twists: it makes a world of a difference. i pretty much co-wash/shampoo and dc when my hair is in twists, gently untwist, detangle with my fingers (i haven’t used a come since the middle of last year) and retwist.

revolution grl

what a beautiful, beautiful little girl and mom too! this post made me smile so much πŸ™‚

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[…] Β Any suggestions? Β I’ve just come across a great post on http://bglhonline.com/ about how a mother grew her type 4 child’s hair down to her waist, simple regime and emphasis on LOW MAINTENANCE, so I’ll have to adapt that by learning how to […]

vonnie

wow, her hair is so beautiful and that sounds like such a great regime to adapt. I need to get on something like that, I like to play in my curls too much πŸ™ That is a problem that i know creates tangles, but it’s so soft and fun. I’ll be sure to adapt something like she does, twist or braid it up and let it thrive. Great post, thanks for finding and sharing her story! The mom sounds like a great parent, teaching her gorgeous daughter great self worth and esteem. BRAVO!!

http://socialitedreams.wordpress.com

tryinottotexlax

This is probably the most heart-warming and inspiring story I’ve read on BGLH. Gorgeous AND smart? Yes please!

Jane Ug-Lbc

She’s beautiful!!!!!

bee

wow, great article. however, one statement in here rubbed me the wrong way, “Ghana, West Africa, blackest Africa, home of the purest naps and deepest melanin endowed gorgeous dark skin”, so if you’re not from west africa, you’re not authentically black??

afrofeelin

Oh my god!! the daughter and the mother have beautiful hair !! I wish I could have hair like this ^.^

afrofeelin

OH my god !!! The daughter and the mother have beautiful hair. I wish I could have hair like this ^.^

Michelle

ok, her with priness tiana is the most adorable picture EVER!! that is the cutest thing i have seen in a while. what a lucky little girl to have such a great set of parents with their stuff really together.

Kay

This is the perfect response to Ms Union’s blog. Absolutely gorgeous.

*It is your duty as a black woman to smile at and compliment every little black girl you pass in the street.*

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