Mom grows out daughter’s kinky natural hair to waist length

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By Ayoka of Nappy Sexy Fly

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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) :) 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.

***
For more of Ayoka, check out her blog HERE.

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media and black beauty enthusiast. When I'm not here, I'm moderating a Facebook group for black mothers called Black Moms Connect.

 

163 thoughts on “Mom grows out daughter’s kinky natural hair to waist length

  1. I have been natural for a little more than 5 years and my transition was extremely smooth. I am half Ghanaian and my hair is actually very curly. But the essence of Blackness is beautiful variety so we shouldn’t get so Hung up on texture and skin color I’m excited that I will one day have the opportunity to have little beautiful black natural haired children.

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    • i feel that nappy is such a negative word, especially to describe our hair. i know i hate it when other people call my hair nappy (ive got that 4b hair, and it tends to look like a giant tumbleweed when i just let it air dry after wetting) it feels like you just called me ugly or something. it hurts my heart, and gets me a little angry.

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    • Thank you!!! Oh my gosh, that word makes me cringe! I almost stopped reading the article. Like do you have no understanding of where that word comes from? And don’t hit me with that “context” crap…

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  2. She is absolutely ADORABLE! I too wanted to tear up with this article, cause I too had mid back length 4b/c hair until it was permed at 4 yrs old…..after that it was weaves/glues, more perms…then lace front wigs then NO HAIRLINE = (

    I’m in early 20′s and have been for 6 months natural and I’m loving every minute of it, my future children will be all natural as well.

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  3. Pingback: Baby Hair: How Ayoka Grew Her Daughter’s Kinky Natural Hair to Waist Length | Baby & Blog

  4. love your tips and your daughter hair is very beautiful she is very beautiful and I love how you tell her that she is
    but our hair is KINKY not NAPPY
    NAPPY is a slave term it was what slave masters used to describe our beautiful hair they though was ugly
    and now we use it like it’s no big deal well it is
    and we are all beautiful

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  5. Nappy? I hate that word. Why would you write an article referring to your daughter’s hair as nappy? It’s kinky. Kinky! Nappy is such a slave word. I can’t believe you!

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  6. What a great inspiring story! I have been natural for aprox 3 yrs. I just turned 49 in Sept. I read your story last yr and was greatly inspired! I thought if braiding helps her hair to grow, then I’ll give it a try. I’v been braiding it once a week, keep it moisturized. My hair has grown pass
    wavy and curly! I use no heat or any chemical

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  7. I just wanted to commend you on the wonderful job you are doing taking care of your daughter’s hair. It is absolutely beautiful and looks really healthy. I have 2 teen daughters whose hair have been natural all their lives and now have long healthy and beautiful hair. Like you I’ve learned to take care of their hair without the chemical and they are so happy for that. I really think regardless of texture we can all have that beautiful healthy hair with proper care. Braiding, cornrow, twist are good for growing out hair.

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  8. I’m actually full blooded Ghanian from both sides of my family as well. I had the same problem with a relaxer. After i began transitioning about a year ago, i felt uncomfortable to walk around in public with my hair length, because of how much hair was shedding. I went off to doing box braids after another. I learned that after all many years of relaxing, my hairline was messed up, and i developed some type of ringworm on the sides of my hair which also caused my hairline to mess up

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  9. I know some folks feel that nappy gives off a negative connotation. But quite honestly I don’t. My hair kinky, nappy, coily, however you chose to refer to it. It is what it is. BUT IT IS MINE.

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  10. So adorable! I can’t believe people are getting offended because she called HER and HER daughters nappy.She is probably comfortable with the word which is why she uses it. Like how many times do u hear the word n*gga nowadays the connotation of the word is obviously changing just like the word nappy! Future generations are probably gonna use the word with a positive connotation to describe their beautiful hair.

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  11. Beautiful daughter! I also am natural and take great care of my hair and live in a predominantly white community but everyone loves my hair and asks to touch it! Oh and I’m full Ghanaian! I love my hair and it’s amazing to see other little girls loving their hair too!

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  12. I remember I did this to my hair for two years and I managed to retain all my length. This is a good regimen. Low manipulation and keeping it moisturised.

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  13. OMG, can’t we ever have an article on this site where people actually appreciate the information provided in the article vs. finding something to criticize? Why are we as Black women our own worst enemy? Instead of uplifting & encouraging one another, some Black women are ALWAYS looking for things to critique & ways to tear other Black women down. If the author didn’t appreciate natural hair, she wouldn’t encourage it in her children; take the time to care for their hair; nor take the time to write & post an article to help others care for their own natural hair. We’re not clones. We don’t have to think the same way or use the exact same words to describe something. Some Black women are always spouting diversity & acceptance, but can’t appreciate the fact that some people think differently & have different ways of expressing themselves. YOUR way is not the right way for everyone; it’s just the way that’s right for YOU. And other people are entitled to live, talk, act, & behave in a way that’s right for THEM. Give it a rest already! If you don’t agree with something written in a particular article, click away & keep it moving, but you don’t have to post your negative comments EVERY SINGLE TIME you read something not to your liking. In fact, challenge yourself to show a kinder, gentler, more compassionate, & more mature attitude by finding something positive to say or not saying anything at all. There’s an old quote: “If you can’t be positive, then at least be quiet.” Some women on this site should practice that!

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  14. Wow. Beautiful daughter and I’m glad you love her and take good care of her and her hair! :)

    I think I’m going to try this for my hair because you clearly know how to take care of African hair.

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  15. I saw this article a few weeks ago, showed your beautiful daughter to my daughters and now they want me to help them grow their hair. I must admit that I have been very bad at managing their hair and mine. As a result of this, however, I decided that I was going to put more effort into managing thier hair. I am already seeing the results. I have been natural for almost 6 years and have always kept my hair short…mainly because I am too lazy to be bothered with it. I have also decided to grow mine as well. Thanks for inspiring us!!

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  16. My daughters hair has been like this since she was born I put very little work into assisting it with growing it just does it naturally. I’ve had people ask me what I do to get it thick and long and when I say nothing I get stared at like I’m lying. I’ve had people ask if her hair was weave. All you have to do is very little and keep chemicals out of it. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturze. Also finding the right products not all products are for all natural hair types trail and error :)

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