Really Shea Moisture? 🤦🏾♀️ In my Charlemagne voice, “I give you Donkey 🐎 of the day!” (More like a lifetime because I’m sure you just lost a lot of customers!)
If you are not familiar with the recent events with the Shea Moisture brand, read a magazine, go on YouTube, social media etc…)
The recent coverage surrounding this well known brand led me to thinking about another topic since I had previously used their line on my son’s hair…
BOYS WITH HAIR IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY!
African American boys (and maybe even in other cultures) are known to get their first hair cut at the age of one 1️⃣. Before then, babies heads are really sensitive and not ready for the harsh reality of chemicals and clippers! For us, I think it also symbolizes the act of a little boy entering toddlerhood. At one years old, they are usually walking and beginning to talk. That first haircut has them looking like a “big boy”…It’s like a right of passage from being a baby!
You see, this transformation never happened for my son. He was born with a head full of hair and as months passed, his lucious locks turned into the cutest curly fro!
I loved his little Afro and a huge part of me was reminded of my late southern born daddy who sported an Afro until the late 90’s! (No I’m not kidding- maybe even into 2000 🤦🏾♀️)
Washing my son’s hair was easy as it got washed in the bathtub 🛀. His Afro was still manageable at this point- just a simple wash and condition and he was good to go!
As time went on, the fro got bigger and bigger so I began to twist it to keep his head cool (We live in Florida ☀️) I am the furthest thing from a hair dresser but I would put in single braids while he was sleeping. At this age, he was not disciplined enough to sit between my legs to get his hair done (Another staple in the African American community)
To define his look a little I attempted to get him his first “shape up”. I thought he was the cutest thing ever but another barber advised me not to do it again until he was about three 3️⃣or four 4️⃣ years old. He explained that his hair line still needed time to grow and would get pushed back with continued shape ups.
Washes began to become a struggle as well 😩Since his hair was so long, it began to get tangled so I had to condition and comb it out. He began going to a hairdresser who neatly did cornrows. He HATED the wash, but he did sit for the blow dry and braiding without much fuss (on my lap of course) I made it a point for him not to go too often because I didn’t want the heat of blow drying it straight to cause him to lose his natural curls. I also felt the price was a little steep for a two year old (approx $40-$55) but I guess I can’t complain given the screams she had to deal with and his hair came out amazing every time!
Hairstyles by @naomimonroe at All Jazzed up Orlando, FL
As his hair was in the middle of his back at only two years old, and I didn’t think it was fair for him to have to go through tough washes, I thought it was definitely time for a haircut! I researched a few styles that I thought he would look so handsome with! I prepped him by reading books about the barber shop, (Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley) however when it was time for his cut, he was even MORE hysterical than when getting his hair washed and braided. He screamed “I don’t want a haircut!” He ended up getting an edge/tapered cut which I DID NOT like! They had my baby looking like a grown ass man- sideburns shaped up and all!
As of last week, I attempted a new method and washed, conditioned, and untangled his hair in four sections. It took much longer ⏲ but this was the first in a long time where there were absolutely NO tears 🙌🏾
I was previously in a Facebook group called “Moms of black sons” and when I posted a pic of him, some ignorant person commented “Are you raising an androgynous child?” I was pissed 😡 What does his hair have to do with how he is being raised? What about the characteristics of being loving, caring, understanding and optimistic? Besides, my son CLEARLY knows that he is a boy! I don’t remember my comment word for word, but it was something to the effect of “his hair does not define him…” Of course I am no longer a part of that group!
So talk to me, how do you feel about boys having hair? Is it time for a cut? Any tips on making this process run a little smoother?