Curly Genes: Meet Two Moms Who Embrace Their Kids' Curls
If you inherited your curly hair genes from Mom, there’s a chance the two of you approach your hair in very different ways. Attitudes about natural curls have changed over generations, and today more advanced products, resources, and inspiration exist for curly hair than ever before (hey, those awkward old photos might not have been so awkward if YouTube tutorials had existed back in the day).
Meanwhile, mothers like Vanessa Bell of De Su Mama and Shay of The Prince and The P are doing their best to make sure the next generation grows up loving their hair. These moms of curly kids don’t have just one head of curls to care for, but a whole family’s worth. We caught up with them to find out how they do it.
Vanessa Bell, multiracial mom and blogger at DeSuMama.com Children: Alina, 6, and Sebastian, 4 Curl types: “Mine is a classic curl, while the kids both have tight curls.”
What was growing up with curly hair like for you? It was hard! I grew up in beach town, USA, well before J.Lo and Beyoncé were around, and with a mom that didn't know how to manage my curly tresses. She did the best she could with the limited resources available to her back then, but I knew that when I became a mother, I would do my best to ensure my children maintained healthy curls that they were proud of.
Has the way curls are perceived changed since you were a child? Absolutely! The natural hair care revolution has upended the notion that women's hair has to be altered to be beautiful. Sure, one day my little girl will explore various hairstyles and I would never deny her that, but ensuring a foundation of self-love at an early age has been very important to my parenting as a multiracial mother.
How do you embrace your kids’ curls? I embrace my kids' curls in a number of ways. Our mixed curly hair routine for kids is the foundation for healthy curly hair. In addition to actually caring for their curls, I make sure to offer hair diversity in their lives through the books we read, our friends and family, etc.
Lastly, I am super mindful of the words I use in relation to their hair. They know how much mama loves curly hair! I never call their curls bad or hard to manage, or approach haircare with a negative attitude. Yes, maintaining curly hair takes work, but the payoff of healthy, curly hair far exceeds the effort!
Shay, influencer and “mompreneur” at The Prince and The P Children: P, 4, and MJ, 6 Curl Types: “I have a kinkier hair texture, but my kids have a mix of tight and classic curls.”
What was growing up with curly hair like for you? Growing up with natural hair was challenging because my hair was very thick. There were not any natural hair resources available like there are now, and having hair of a kinkier texture was always viewed as being negative. Natural hair product education was non-existent, so my mother was left feeling frustrated with my hair. As a result, it caused me to view my hair as a burden and it was easier to straighten and chemically process it, rather than embrace it.
How do you embrace your kids’ curls? I embrace my kids’ curls through praise and curly hair education. It is important to me that they love their hair, so I constantly tell them how beautiful and amazing it is. I never speak negatively about their curls or allow myself to show any frustration when I'm doing their hair. I make it a point to teach them about the products I'm using and why I am using them, as well letting them help me add their conditioner and styling products in anticipation of them one day managing their curls by themselves.
What’s one piece of advice you hope to impart to your kids? I hope my kids will always know that God made them beautiful and unique. I want them to draw strength from their differences and embrace themselves from hair to toe. I want them to always feel confident in the skin they are in, and hair and body positivity is a big part of that!