Ever wonder how little girls feel about natural hair? In this video I chat with my 9 year old daughter about her natural hair. It's pretty interesting to hear things from a child's perspective.
I hope you enjoy!
Marquetta: Hey it’s Marquetta Breslin and today I have a special guest with me to do a live Q&A. I get a lot of questions about children’s hair and when to let children do their own hair and about children being unhappy with their hair. I decided to bring in this special guest. The special guest is my daughter and we’re just going to have a candid conversation so you can understand a perspective that children are coming from and then I also want to talk to you a little bit about our roles as adults when it comes to children and their hair.
First, I am just going to load her up with questions and I just really want you do pay attention and listen to her answers because this is … she feels the way a lot of little girls feel or have felt about their hair. I’m going to let her introduce herself to you and then I’ll get right to the questions. Young lady, can you please introduce yourself to everyone.
Nya: Hello everyone, I’m Nya. I’m nine years old and I’m an aspiring makeup artist.
Marquetta: Well Nya, nine years old. Let’s talk a little bit about your hair. Let’s think back to before you cut your hair. Can you tell everybody how you first felt about your curls and how you felt about your hair?
Nya: I didn’t not like my curls because everyone in my class has straight hair and like I want that hair really bad, but now that I know that people pay to get my kind of hair I’m like I have really blessed hair.
Marquetta: That’s right, that’s awesome, awesome answer. It took me a very long time to explain that to her and to instill that in her that it’s important to love yourself the way God made you and love your hair and your hair texture. I had to even learn that myself. Let’s get to the next question. Now I’m hearing that you love your texture and you love your hair, how do your friends feel about your hair? You just always play with their hair and oh, mom I want my hair straight so bad but now what do they do?
Nya: They play with my hair. They braid it. They twist it. They do a lot of things with my hair.
Marquetta: Right and so … but you’ve learned to really love your hair and love your texture so what is it that you like about your hair?
Nya: I like that it has a lot of curls. I can straighten my hair, I can wave it, I can use so many products that will help my hair be better hair like moisturize it and stuff.
Marquetta: Let’s talk a little bit about products. I taught Nya how to co-wash her hair, how to shampoo her hair and how to use layer products to get the look that you see here. Nya can now style her own hair. It’s low maintenance with it cut like this so I don’t have to do too much with it.
Nya can you talk a little bit about there may be a little girl out there who wants to start doing their own hair so can you share your regimen? By regimen I mean what you go through when you do your hair. If it’s a night and you want to just do a quick shampoo and condition or in the mornings when you get ready to style your hair. Can you talk to some of the little girls out there who are wanting to do that as well?
Nya: How I wash my hair is I first put the shampoo in my hand then I rub it in. I start from the top because eventually it will … when you rinse it out it will come to your ends. Then I do the same with the conditioner but I leave it in for a couple more seconds then I rinse it out then my hairs so soft. Then after I get out of the shower I dry and put some moisturizer on.
Marquetta: What about if we’re going to go somewhere? If we’re going somewhere how do you style your hair before we leave? What do you do? What’s your process for that? What do you do first and then what product? What’s your favorite product to use for moisture and can you talk about that a little bit?
Marquetta: What does that do? It kind of sets everything in place and holds …
Nya: Yeah, it kind of drys it, not dries it out but holds it in the curl.
Marquetta: As you can see we experiment a lot with products right?
Marquetta: What I do with her is I want her to get into the habit of not being a product junky like her mother but getting into the habit of trying different products and seeing what works for her. What I do is if I go into … because a lot of the curl products that they have out now are available at Target or at Sally’s and they’re good products. They’re not professional product but they’re good products for at home use or for your daughters in between salon visits. My personal favorite product line for her to use is Ouidad. That is a professional line. Ouidad is only available in stores.
However, what we do is I’ll buy sample bottles and say hey, Nya you should give this a try. What she likes to do is say, “Mom, how do I use this?” I say, “Well Nya, you’ve got to read the directions.” I make her read the directions and learn how to use these things. Then she may come back and say, “Well, can I use this and this?” I tell her you have to read the directions and see what each one is used for and then try to layer them together and see if you like it. Sometimes you like it and sometimes she doesn’t because when you don’t like it your hair gets what?
Marquetta: Yes and she … Do you like puffy hair?
Marquetta: She doesn’t like big hair. I love big hair but she doesn’t. She likes everything to be nice and tight and neat. Do you like that I taught you how to do your own hair or would you prefer for mom to do it?
Nya: I like how you taught me how to do my own hair.
Marquetta: Well, that’s awesome and what would you say … what advice would you like to give to other little girls who want to do their own hair? Can you say something to help encourage them to do their own hair themselves?
Nya: Yes you can try out so many products that’ll help your hair. Maybe it doesn’t do anything to your hair and maybe it holds the shine and it gives it shine, it gives it moisture, it gives it both. Yeah, you can use so many products to style your own different hair.
Marquetta: What would you say is important to read the directions on the product?
Nya: Yes, even though you don’t like to.
Marquetta: Right, exactly. Let’s talk a little bit about your decision to cut your hair. You’ve cut your hair twice. You’re first hair cut was …
Nya: A bob.
Marquetta: Yes and did you like your haircut?
Marquetta: Your second haircut was what?
Marquetta: All right so a lot of … I got a lot of questions about your decision because Dad and I let you make the decision to cut your hair. We were involved but I was a little bit more reluctant then dad was but what made you, after being … now a days in society all the celebrities, the Beyonces, the … name somebody with long hair. Somebody that you watch on one of your shows on Disney channel?
Nya: Um …
Marquetta: You can’t think of anybody either! The girl from Good Luck Charlie, she has long …
Nya: Bridget Mendler.
Marquetta: There you go, there you go so all these celebrities and the people that they watch on … China Anne Mcclain.
Marquetta: She has long hair so seeing these celebrities with long hair all the time and you really don’t see any youth or child celebrities with short hair. What made you go against the grain and say, “I want to cut my hair”?
Nya: Well there’s this … YouTuber that I love to watch. Her name is Candy Johnson and she had a pixie cut and I was like I wonder what my hair would look like if I had that cut. I was like my hair … I have a different hair texture then her. I was like it wouldn’t look so good because it would be puffy and her hair … and I was like well it can’t look exactly like that so I looked it up on Google and there’s a lot of different curly hair styles like the short pixie cut. This actually isn’t a pixie cut I don’t know what it’s called.
Marquetta: It’s an asymmetrical cut. We’ll just call it that.
Nya: Yeah, and I was like I should style my own because they didn’t have what I have right now. They didn’t have this exact haircut but I saw a picture and I was like I want it like that. We styled it our own different ways.
Marquetta: Right and I think it’s really cool for you to be nine years old and to go against the grain and say “You know what? Everybody I know has long hair, I want short hair.” I think that is really cool and that was a big girl decision and that’s why dad and I let you do it. It’s just hair and what does hair do?
Marquetta: There you go, it’s just hair and it grows back. How do you feel about your haircut now?
Nya: Well I feel pretty confident about it because a lot of people have long hair and I’m a nine year old who has short hair. Everybody wants long hair like Rapunzel.
Marquetta: Do you like your short haircut?
Marquetta: Let’s see, what else can we ask about your short hair? Are you going to keep it short or are you going to grow it back?
Nya: I don’t know yet. I miss my long hair but I like this haircut. I don’t know what to do.
Marquetta: What would you say to … if there’s another little girl out there who has asked her parents and she’s nine years old and she says mom and dad I really want to get my hair cut what would you say to that little girl that really wants to get her hair cut? What advice would you give to her?
Nya: Just go ask. Just go for it. It’s so fun. I asked her, we did it and it was so fun.
Marquetta: After I cried. That was actually a question before I actually decided because I was really on the fence. I told her because I thought my husband would say no so I said, “Go ask dad, if dad says you can get it cut then we’ll cut it.” I was not expecting her to come back and dad say, “Oh, okay.” Really? I don’t want to do this and before I cut her hair I cried but I asked the question on my Facebook fan page, “Would you let your nine year old do this?” There was a cut of a young lady who had a beautiful cut. It wasn’t styled like this but it was a little bit more … it was straighter on the sides and was a little more curly and I don’t think it was quite this long.
I got mixed reviews. I would say most of the people were like no, it’s too grown and then you had some that were stylist it was like hey, I let my kids do whatever they want to do with their hair. I thought long and hard about it because it did look … that particular style did look like it was a bit much for a nine year old but I thought long and hard about it and I said, “I can create something that works for a nine year old but that could also work if I put this haircut on my mother.” This is what I came up with and I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome and I think as long as you have a little girl that is mature and that is able to care for her hair for herself because that was a big thing with me.
If I’m going to cut your hair we all know that short hair is … for her it’s a little bit more low maintenance then it would be for someone who’s wearing a relaxer and has short hair. That’s high maintenance but for her I wanted to make sure she was able to care for her hair for herself. I taught her how to do that first with her bob and then when I saw that she could do it with that I said, “Well, she’ll probably do really well with the short haircut.” I just did it. I didn’t care … although I did ask what other people would do I did not care what other people said. I didn’t … I just did it.
I felt that she was mature enough and that she was old enough to take care of it and she has done an amazing job. It has been cut like this since …
Nya: I think Halloween.
Marquetta: I think so, I think we did it right after Halloween and it looks great. I think you wear it very well. I want you Nya to look right in that camera and I want you to say to the little girl who doesn’t like her hair or who is having issues with wanting straight hair all the time. I want you to encourage her to love her hair and love herself the way God made her. Share with her how you felt and some things that she can do to feel better about herself and her hair.
Nya: Well, I’ve been through with you … been through I wanted my hair straight but you have to love your hair the way you have it. You can try many different products that you can change your hair the way you want it like many want it more curly, there are products out there that can do that. Yeah, you have to love your hair, love what you do to it and that’s all I have to say.
Marquetta: Have fun with it right?
Nya: Yeah, have fun.
Marquetta: Yeah, you have fun with it. Moms this is my turn to talk now. I’m just going to encourage you to … it’s important for us to be able to talk candidly about hair because I felt in the beginning when I was talking to Nya when she really was not happy with her hair. I felt that I was being hypocritical when I was telling her love yourself, love your hair, love your hair the way God gave it to you yet I was wearing weaves, I was wearing braids. I was doing everything under the sun to my hair and to her it’s like why are you telling me to love my hair if you don’t ever wear yours?
I think she even said that to me once. “Mom, why are you always cover up your hair but you tell me that I should wear my hair?” I had to take a step back and practice what I preach. I started to … I went natural. I started wearing my natural hair and I started to really embrace the hair and the texture that God gave me and I began to really fall in love with my hair. My natural hair, my natural texture all over again. Yeah, my hair is braided now; I go to the gym a lot so it’s a lot easier.
This is a maintenance thing for me. I’ve talked to you about that before and I’ve explained to you that a lot of times if my hair’s braided or weaved up it’s for … it’s because I need to be able to do things quickly and I can’t do that with natural hair. Those of us that are natural know especially with my texture which is a very kinky texture, it’s high maintenance. I need to be able to get up and go. I need to be able to wrap up my hair up real quick and come down here and film a quick video for you. It’s a maintenance thing for me but at the end of the day as mothers and fathers it is very important for us to teach our daughters to love their hair the way it is. That is so important.
That is one of the most important things that you can do for your daughter and that you can teach your daughter because that is going to instill early confidence in them and you want them to be comfortable in their own skin. Being comfortable in your own skin is so important from that small age. I remember seeing little girls at Nya’s school that would come to school hair uncombed, standing up all over top of their head looking … and you could see the embarrassment in the way they carried themselves and these are children.
If we start early on telling them how beautiful their hair is and how beautiful they look on a daily basis you will be absolutely amazed at what that does for a child and what that does for their confidence. That was my little lesson in mother/daughter talks about hair. It’s very important especially now that hair is considered an accessory even for, remember your American Girl dolls, how they had those extensions and stuff? I wrote an email or a blog about that. I was really blown away by that. Hair is an accessory now not just for African American woman anymore for everybody.
Let’s just teach our daughters to love themselves and be comfortable in their own skin and try new products. She loves some products; I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but try new products and just have fun with hair. It’s just hair. It’s going to grow back right? Yes so I will end it here. Give me a hug that was great. I’m very proud of you and I will see you on the next Q&A.