Last week, the featured photo was posted on FaceBook by Natural Goodys. It instantly brought a smile to my face and a flood of memories of “black girls’ daily” hair ritual. In my family, my aunt was in charge of doing my cousin, sister and my hair. Being responsible for combing the daughters’ hair was not a chore, but an honor. Being chosen meant that you were the most skilled at detangling, brushing, parting and creating the prettiest styles. The chosen woman was responsible for our coveted “outside image.” She was responsible for making us presentable for school, church or whatever event where we would be seen and possibly evaluated. This title role is equivalent to “maker of the Thanksgiving Turkey” only the best cook in the family gets that charge.
Today, many American mothers are outsourcing the job of doing their daughter’s hair to hairstylists. As we were creating www.Hair1on1.com mothers (African American and non- African American alike) were open about how frustrated they are with not being able easily style their own daughter’s wavy, curly or kinky hair. Both the African American and non – American mother’s felt that they didn’t have the tools to manage their daughters’ hair, thus they are a bound to the salon.
For those African American mothers who grew up experiencing the “black girl’s daily hair ritual” their frustration is not simply with the amount of money they spent at the hair salon. The frustration and sadness these mothers express is of a sense of loss of tradition. These mothers remember sitting on the floor in between their mothers, aunts, and grandmothers legs. These mothers remember being squeezed still by fleshy thighs as they wiggled from the pull and tug of their hair being detangled. They remembered the feeling of loving fingers massaging the pain away. They mourn the time they have missed with their own daughters, the bond over hair woes and victories. They know that just like the recipes they never learned from their grandmothers, they are missing an opportunity to pass on a cultural tradition; the art of doing hair.
We know that the practice of going to the hair salon will never fade; Black women have a profound unbreakable bond with the “the hair shop.” One of our goals in creating www.Hair1on1.com is to give parents the recipes for managing their own daughter’s hair. Through our series of lessons title Our Daughter’s Hair we want to rekindle the lost art of doing hair by giving parents the tools to “do hair” themselves. There is a time to go to the salon, I am a former salon owner and Sharron currently owns a salon, we encourage those appointments. However, we know that there is something sacred about the time mothers spend doing their own daughters’ hair. We want to give you that time back.
We look forward to helping you make it a great hair day!