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Lina Lina Bobina, or Why I’m Done With Relaxers

I haven’t had a relaxer since August and I’m mad cranky about it.  Gaaaahhh!  I’m seconds from slapping strangers on the street.  Six inches of super-curly new growth, a foot and a half of straight, relaxed hair — what am I meant to do with this ball of confusion?  Whyyy do women do this?  I mean, of course I get the reasons — and whether is about embracing your God-given natural texture, finally rejecting the white Western beauty ideal, or harboring a need to look like Tracee Ellis Ross — they’re all valid.  And yet, I was one of the last relaxed black women I knew.  I always loved my sisters’ and girlfriend’s sexy coils and curls, but transitioning seemed like such a pain in the ass (do you “big chop” off the relaxer and deal with one inch of curls?  Do you still try to wear it long and straight, even though your roots are puffier than Newt Gingrich?).  Life is hard enough, girl.  I was happy with my thrice-yearly relaxers and weekly blowouts.  My straight hair was easy; I never worried about it unless I was somewhere near the Equator.  And no Bikram yoga, obvs.  But then I gave birth to a black/Dominican/Panamanian girl with hair like this:

Last summer. Glorious.

She’s only three years old, but we’re already having these conversations:

Bobina:  You have long hair like Rapunzel.  I don’t have any hair.

Me:  You have stunningly beautiful curls, Bobina.  And guess what?  Mommy has curls too (note: I have no idea what my natural hair texture is, I come from the “relaxer at puberty” era).  I just, um, straighten them…which is silly because curls are so beautiful.  (bad, bad, bad, #hypocrite, terrible, I suck…)

Bobina, looking skeptical:  You siwwy.  You don’t have curls, me and Daddy have curls and he’s a boy. I don’t like curls.

And my heart breaks.  Already?  Already?  Never mind the fact that two of her best friends — Isla, a bi-racial beauty with massive, blonde-streaked ringlets; and Mica, also “bla-tina,” with jet black spirals — have curls.  And that I buy her curly-haired dolls and books with curly-haired heroines and Auntie Lauren has hair just like her.  None of it matters; every little girl wants to look like her mommy.  I still want my mom’s awesome auburn feathered moment:

One night, Bobina wasn’t feeling well and got in bed with me.  I had my hair up in a bun and she said, in a panicky voice, “I can’t see your hair mommy, I can’t see your hair!”  So I took it down, and she spread it on her shoulder and stroked it till she fell asleep — but not before murmuring “So soft; my hair’s not soft.”  I was devastated.  That was seven months ago, and I haven’t gone near a relaxer since then.  I haven’t admitted this before, but it’s not about the politics as they relate to me.  I felt pretty damn empowered and no less down with my chemically straightened ‘do.  It’s about Lina feeling gorgeous.  I want to show her that curls are fab, the thing, a part of Williams Girl fierceness.  The nerve of me, trying to convince her that her texture is pretty when I beat my own into submission!  It’s my job to do everything I can to help her feel strong, whole and confident, and as black and brown women know, hair hate is a soul-killer.  And if she wants to blow out it sometimes or relax it when she gets older (um like eighteen), I’m all for it.  But she’ll know her curls are awesome!  And in the meantime, I’ll look like Tracee Ellis Ross 🙂

The Queen, "getting weady." She thinks "getting ready" means putting one's face on! And doesn't it?

By the way, mommies with curly girls, I’ve finally perfected Bobina’s curl cocktail:

I shampoo Bobina once every week-and-a-half-ish with Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream ($23).  It’s suds-free, so it’s totally non-drying.  Anthony Dickey of Hair Rules Salon is adamant about suds-free shampoos for natural hair.  Anything else, and you’re stripping the moisture from hair that’s already naturally dehydrated.

Every four days or so (every other day in the summer), I wash her hair with Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner.  Wen is magical.  It’s a rich, seriously hydrating conditioner that also manages to cleanse hair, so you can skip shampoo altogether.  I part her hair into four sections, comb a palm-full through each section, and let her splash around (“I swim like muhh-maid!”) for fifteen minutes while it absorbs…then rinse.  I also use it to shave my legs.  Wen rocks!

Once I’ve rinsed out the Wen, I apply good ole Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk ($18) through each of the sections, towel-blot and air dry.  Hair Milk is everything — it’s lightweight, so it doesn’t weigh down her ringlets, it defines her curls and kills frizz like nobody’s business, and it smells like Spring.

When I put the Bean’s hair in ponytails, I smooth it out with a few spritzes of water and a dab of Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme ($32).  This lightweight, cupcakey-scented moisturizer instantly smooths flyaways and hydrates her curls, leaving them looking springier than ever.  Loooove this stuff.


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  1. March 19, 2012 3:40 pm 

    Girl, this is so moving. Natural hair is freedom and you won’t have to worry about Bikram, the beach, or sweating it out. Rock the curls girl. It’s worth it.

    • Deni
      March 20, 2012 4:02 am 

      Kids do what we do not what we say. We have to walk the talk if we want them to believe us.

  2. March 19, 2012 3:56 pm 

    You are awesome my cousin!!!! I have been chemically free for more than 2 years now, & I LOVE WEN!! Still trying to get my ringlets back tho…seems my hair is getting straighter with age…I can’t wait to see ur curls again!!

    • Kianie
      March 19, 2012 6:23 pm 

      OMG! I thought it was just me. My hair has relaxed itself so much in the past five years, I went from tight coils to ringlets to waves. 🙁

  3. Nia
    March 19, 2012 4:05 pm 

    I love this! I will have been 100% natural for a year in July and I wish I had done it sooner. I also have a little girl and I feel like less of a hypocrite now when I tell her to love her hair.

  4. March 19, 2012 4:11 pm 

    Though my baby girl is still in utero, I think about this very topic and the conversations we will have. A friend recommended the book “I Love My Hair” by Natasha Tarpley. If you haven’t already, check it out.

  5. March 19, 2012 4:24 pm 

    What a wonderful post! I will certainly share it. As a co-producer of a documentary on this subject “In Our Heads About Our Hair,” I’m particularly happy to see this. In fact, a woman in our film expresses some of the same sentiments. Don’t beat yourself up — your daughter is a lucky girl!

  6. March 19, 2012 4:43 pm 

    Thank you for sharing. I also came from the relaxer at puberty age, and decided to go natural in october 2010. My hair is not growing as fast as I would like but I do not desire the creamy crack at all. I love my curls. Thanks for providing product information, as I am a product junky and have not tried any of these but will do so.

  7. March 19, 2012 4:55 pm 

    Oh, such a great post! It’s great that you want to show Lina how proud she should be of her curly hair. Like you, I’ve had my hair relaxed since I was a kid then forcibly went natural after sudden breakage sent me into a major panic causing me to go natural back in 09! I did the chop then wore a weave (a whole new experience) for 6months. I still haven’t mastered how to smoothly navigate this natural thing but I heat straighten cuz my curls are tight in some areas & a wavy in others, real headache. I’ve been stalking KisforKinky’s blog for awhile now to help me thru the madness so thanks for the product referrals cuz I need allll the help I can get!

    • AngelsonEarth
      March 19, 2012 6:43 pm 

      I’m with you, although I use Wen and Hair milk regularly and I love the product I have not braved the natual look all yet. I hot comb the roots and still have relaxer on the ends. I have some waves some curls and some other? sweating is killing me, where do I get style ideas?

    • Curlygirl
      March 19, 2012 8:49 pm 

      You can get lots of style ideas from youtube. Look up natural hair styles. It gives styles, product reviews and everything in between. Im a hairstylist, whos been relaxed since puberty as well, but i went natural in 09 with the big chop. im a product junkie, of course, but am totally loving the natural journey. My daughter is now in transition as well. Its a beautiful thing!

  8. March 19, 2012 5:54 pm 

    LMAO @ Bla-tina! LUV THAT! I swear our lives are so similar. Divorced mommies with bla-tina daughters! My daughter also hated her curls for a while and wanted a relaxer so bad. She is slowly but surely embracing her curls….I, however, am having a hard time letting go of that liquid crack! 🙁

    • twilliams
      March 19, 2012 5:57 pm 

      You have a blatina, too?! What’s her father’s ethnicity?

  9. martha
    March 19, 2012 6:18 pm 

    This was so helpful and inspiring. I’m Puerto Rican with crazy curly hair that frizzes, but I love my hair. People always compliment my hair, but I’ve always had problems with my hair drying out and I been looking for hair products to moisture my hair. i live in Florida as well, so you can guess what i go through lol. Thanks or pointing out some products. I’m going to try them!

  10. Mamita
    March 19, 2012 6:19 pm 

    I was going thru the same thing with my 7 year old (she wanted a relaxer because all her friends had straight hair), telling her how beautiful her curls are and how natural is better than chemicals bla bla bla and she said but I want my hair to be straight and beautiful like yours……needless to say I did a one year transition and then big chopped. Now she doesn’t bring it up anymore….she was the reason i “went” natural too….great article

  11. Casey
    March 19, 2012 6:24 pm 

    Wow! My daughter and I were talking about this recently. She is biracial and I’ve always let her hair just be curly and beautiful. She entered middle school and all of her friends it seems have relaxers. I let her get her hair blown out and flat ironed and now she’s addicted. But just that with no chemicals has changed the texture of her hair and I am so disappointed. Now she wants her curls back and they don’t look the same. Hopefully with time and TLC her hair will be curly and beautiful again:) Thank you for the post.

  12. Tammi
    March 19, 2012 6:24 pm 

    Thank you for blogging about this topic. I grew up thinking I had “bad” hair because my mom had to use a ton of afro sheen to comb it. She also relaxed my hair starting at age 5 or 6. In a Dominican family, curly hair equals pelo malo. Whenever I would blow out my hair, my family would all say, “See? Your hair looks nice like that! Not all crazy the way you like to wear it!” It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned to appreciate my curly hair. Then when having curly hair became all the rage, those same family members would say, “How you get your hair like that?” UGH!!!!

  13. shiningstarr71
    March 19, 2012 6:25 pm 

    I’ve been done with relaxers for a while (been sisterlocked since 5/10), but your message about your little girl wanting hair like mommmy’s resonates very loudly with me. My baby girl is also three, and I do everything in my power to make sure she is confident in herself, including her appearance. Love the article, and keep rocking the Traci Ellis Ross!!

  14. monniej
    March 19, 2012 6:26 pm 

    oh, miss tia, i had tears in my eyes as i was reading this. i’ve been following you on essence and elsewhere for a while and never dreamed that you’d be on this journey! i applaud you and pray your transition is positive! may it lead you and baby lina down the wonderful road of self discovery and happiness! it took me 3.5years to transition completely without the bc! you can do it! 🙂

  15. Kashe
    March 19, 2012 6:29 pm 

    I went natural for the same reason, my daughter was self hating and I couldnt stand it. Her father makes her feel like her natural hair is bad and her classmates (all Cubanas)with their long black silky hair makes it even tougher! So I had to kill the hypocrite in me and show her that big, curly hair is beautiful! Thanks for the product tips, i’ve been on the search for the right products for her and I!

  16. DEB
    March 19, 2012 6:31 pm 

    I loved your article! I have been onaturalle for 8 yrs. First braids, then i rocked the FRO! NOW I HAVE LOCS! i’m so happy with my choice. My mom thought i should get relaxed at a very late age 21! for me worst mistake of my life. i love your little girls curls just beautiful right along with her smile!

  17. Maria
    March 19, 2012 6:32 pm 

    I completely understand your feelings and this post. I am Latina and have the opportunity of straightening my hair as well as wear it curly. My daughter being of mix race Latina and Black doesn’t. She wanted her hair straight like mommy so I had a curl smoother done on her and I dry it straight for her. Granted ease for me as it won’t tangle or break. Well Mommy got a haircut and loves the added fun of wearing it curly. guess what now she wants her hair curly! So I decided for the 3 months of summer to try to grow it out and hope for her fab curls to come back out. I loved it too.

  18. Kia
    March 19, 2012 6:32 pm 

    I had such issues with hair as a child. My Dad had to sit me down and tell me my hair would NEVER be like Cindy Brady’s. I stopped perming my hair when I became pregnant and never went back because I wanted her to know that the texture God gave her was beautiful.

    Now she is this beautiful brown 5 year old child with coils that reach to her bottom. She stills wants to wear her hair straight like her friends. I blew it out once but had to sit her down. “Baby, your hair will never look like iCarly’s.”

  19. kim
    March 19, 2012 6:35 pm 

    My daughter is going on 7 and is Hispanic and African American and had the same questions as your princess. I have been relaxer free for three years it is total freedom I do have a management issue due to the fact that my hair much like my daughters is ultra thick and.strong I was given my first relaxer at about 7 and would not recommend it ….in explaining that o want to commend you on your willingness to help your daughter embrace herself

  20. Simone Pratt
    March 19, 2012 6:36 pm 

    Yup… that is why I am natural and I have two boys! I want them to LOVE how God created us 🙂 AND I want them to love women in all their natural glory because their Mommy does too 🙂

  21. Kay Bey
    March 19, 2012 6:36 pm 

    I am soooo glad to read your story. I went natural when I was a teenager and heard some of the most hurtful comments from my elders. Stuff like I do not know why beautiful girls want to mess up their hair by wearing it natural ect… It takes courage to be yourself these days! Thanks for sharing your story! God bless you!!!

  22. March 19, 2012 6:40 pm 

    This is my second time being natural. The first time I decided not to get a perm but have heat (blow dryer) applied to mine and my daughter’s hair for one year. Big mistake! Now I trying to find a product that won’t leave our hair dry. I have not done the big chop but just working with medium length hair which is a mixture of curls and straight hair. Thank you for sharing your story because last night I was so frustrated with not being able to comb my daughter’s hair that I told my husband she was going back to the heat to get it straightened. My husband is so opposed to this! Because of your story I will find some way to make her hair manageable so she can love her hair and we both won’t be frustrated. It’s just so hard finding products that work when you have so many choices. I have wasted too much money on products that just doesn’t work for me or her. If anyone has any advice, please help.

    • T
      March 20, 2012 12:29 am 

      Try Marguerite’s Magic by Carol’s Daughter.

  23. Danni
    March 19, 2012 6:43 pm 

    Ahh, this was story was great. I started transitioning 2 years ago (by force since I was working in Korea with no one to provide a blowout or heaven forbid a relaxer). Then I fell in love. Now I am expecting our bla-tina baby girl in June and I am happy I will be able to share that with her.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing the hair tips!

    PS–love that you used blatina. We have been saying that since college! Blatina love! We, similiar to you, are black (Jamaican)/Panamanian.

  24. Chantell Monique
    March 19, 2012 6:47 pm 

    This story almost brought me to tears. I haven’t had a relaxer for almost a year now and I never knew it would be such an emotional transition. Many times, I am just mad at myself for even starting this process but then I remember why I’m doing it. I have two goddaughters, they’re 9 and 7 and I’m always telling them how beautiful their hair is but I have a weave in every time they see me or a fresh perm. And no matter how much I admire their hair, they always like mine better. I felt like a hypocrite so I decided to set an example. It’s been tough at times, but I’m glad I did it because they’re worth it. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

  25. Lia Pendarvis
    March 19, 2012 6:52 pm 

    I so love this post. I have been toying with the idea of going natural for years, but I had no clue where to start. I adore the natural styles I see on so many women, but I have no clue what my hair will do without a relaxer (I’ve had one since I was ten). I do not nor have i ever hated my hair, but my grandmother was more open to me going to the pool with a perm than without. Now that I have a daughter, I will not encourage her to perm her hair, but how can i discourage her while continuing to perm my own. So now I’m on the hunt for how to transition to natural for both of us.

  26. Marcia
    March 19, 2012 7:11 pm 

    She is sooo cute man!!! Great post! Good luck with the transitioning, maybe just op for the BC since you have 6inches now! Either way I am sure your hair is gorgeous!

  27. Kemc1580
    March 19, 2012 7:30 pm 

    What a btfl mix…I’m Panamanian myself I decided to go natural back in 2003 and don’t regret it. I have two boys (hopefully God will bless me with a daughter soon). My fiance is african american with btfl curls as well…so I have two boys with just beyond bftl curls. Keep up the good work…she’ll thank you in the near future!!!

  28. Ramona
    March 19, 2012 7:33 pm 

    OMG!!! Thank you for this.. As a mother of three bla-tinas.. 16, 10, and 4… With three different hair textures, I needed this. My oldest has the LaLa(my mom)hair.. Perfect curls and will never need a relaxer type. The second has very very thick hair which mats at the root with tight curl. The third has a tight curl that drys, which makes it hard to comb (with the fact she hates getting her hair done). So I will definately be trying these products. I want to keep them natural but not dry and managable.. TY!! 🙂

    • TGooch
      March 19, 2012 7:52 pm 

      Hi Ramona
      Sounds like my girls. Have u found any products that actually work?

    • Ramona
      March 21, 2012 3:03 am 

      @Tgooch.. no I haven’t i have been stalking ebay to get these products.. lol i hope they work!!

  29. TGooch
    March 19, 2012 7:51 pm 

    I have 3 curly girls and trying every product to find the right one so that will love their natural beauty. I on the other hand have been perm free for 3 years but still have not managed to go curly…blow dry and flat iron so far…yet there is still hope..
    Thanks for the awesome post…beautiful pics!

  30. Kimmi Troy
    March 19, 2012 8:26 pm 

    I love this post and am in awe in how much I can relate. My daughter Jessa is biracial, you may have seen pics of her curly hair on my FB page! She’s about to turn five but last summer she told me she didn’t like her curly hair because she wanted to look like mommy. I told her my hair is really curly, but I straighten it. This conversation left me heartbroken as well. I have spent soooo much time trying to research the best products to use on her hair without it looking like a frizzball. My a-ha moment was when I thought to myself “I’m spending so much time trying to do what’s best for her and getting her to love her curls and just basically getting to know her hair, why am I not doing this for myself?” So, my last relaxer was September 30, I researched, I even wore a weave for 3 month in the winter time. My thoughts at the time were “if I can’t grow long hair, I might as well buy it.” But, I teach Zumba 4 nights a week, and maintaining two sets of hair and was just too much. So, my hairdresser showed me a few curls that came out of my weave at the base of my neck and showed me what my hair could do with the right products. I big chopped at the end of January, wore a wig or a bandanna while teaching for about a month because I just wasn’t comfortable. I’m now okay with it. I have never gotten so many complements on my hair before now. It doesn’t take any less time to do, but it sure makes shopping for big earring fun. 🙂 BTW, on Jessa’s hair, I do the curly girl method. Sulfate free/Silicone free. I tried this on my hair, but it needs the silicone. I have great success with Kinky Curly shampoo and knot today leave in for Jessa’s hair and I use the Giovonni deep cond as my leave in and Kinky curly custard. Sorry for the novel I just wrote, but I was inspired! Glad you are back!

  31. Amy
    March 19, 2012 8:39 pm 

    I stumbled across this article when Carol’s Daughter shared it on their fb page. Great read…my daughter is almost three and sounds as sassy as yours. My hair is silky straight black that doesn’t know how to curl (I’m caucasian Italian), and my husband is West Indian with coarse, dry kinky hair. Our daughter has gorgeous curls with blonde highlights (no idea where the blonde came from!). I didn’t have a clue how to take care of her hair, but I will not be that white mommy who doesn’t know how to care for her own child’s hair! Her hair is so different from both of ours..so my family never stops making adoring comments on how beautiful her curls are (drawing even more attention to how it is ‘different’ from theirs) and my husbands family has offered me products and advice for hair much different than Nica’s. A friend (my savior!) of mine recently introduced me to Carol’s daughter products, specifically hair milk. I was weary b/c we have a closet full of products I’ve tried once and then it sits on the shelf. We’ve been using hair milk for 3 monthes now and I am such a believer…I shout it from the mountain tops and tell everyone with similar stories to try it, too. I recently ordered and starting using some of Carol’s Daughter’s other product, like their spray detangler. Nica will not let me braid or put her hair in ponytails lately…she’s just so in love with her curls! (I think I’ve created a diva-monster!)

  32. sonibajan
    March 19, 2012 9:15 pm 

    Wonderful story. I am still with the perms. Can’t see myself going natural. I’m still in the “too much work” phase. But kudos for you.

  33. LisaJK
    March 19, 2012 9:18 pm 

    I have three daughters, 8, 5 and 2 with totally different hair textures. I’m Indian and African, my husband is African. Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk works great but lends to massive shrinkage. I had initially texturized my older daughter’s hair and had to cut her hair (that was down to the middle of her back) back to her natural state once she joined the swim team. Her hair started to break off and was completely unmanageable. I have since had to develop our own hair products that are 100% natural essential oils base, to protect, moisturize and tame their natural hair.

  34. Deidra
    March 19, 2012 10:12 pm 

    I recently embarked on the transition journey. I, too, wanted to be a role model for my daughter. I’ve always had “good hair” – long and thick but my mother relaxed my hair when I was 8 because she was tired of combing through it. I want my daughter to love her own hair and not give up on it b/c it takes a little extra work. I got my last relaxer in October and I’ve been doing rod sets to protect my hair and hide the line of demarcation. I don’t like short hair so no big chop for me.
    My hairdresser says it should take about 2 years to grow out 🙁

  35. Allie
    March 19, 2012 11:51 pm 

    I have had locs for the last 6 years and my hair is beautiful. My daughter who is Black and Jewish has this wonderful curliness that she loves with all her heart. I am proud of her when she says Mommy I want my hair to be out and curly today it shows who I am. Thank you for that wonderful article, its makes everything that I say to her worthwhile.
    I use all so many of Carol’s Daughter’s products that she can recite them all from memory. Natural hair Rocks!

  36. Misha
    March 20, 2012 12:51 am 

    I love this post !! I have been natural for 3 years and it was the best thing I have ever did. I try to convert as many people as I can on a daily basis.. LOL! I applaud you for being a role model for your baby.

  37. Valaria Bullock
    March 20, 2012 12:53 am 

    But…even if your hair doesn’t look like Tracee Ellis Ross’, you will still be beautiful!

  38. Mom Of 6
    March 20, 2012 1:09 am 

    Love this post. I am trying to find the perfect recipe for my daughters. Thanks for the product referrals.

  39. Shannon
    March 20, 2012 1:42 am 

    This is the Texas cuz! I have been relaxer free since 13 and have just learned to love them. I have found my Annie curls get more compliments than my flat ironed do’s. I say if you’ve got it…rock it!

  40. BreenaB
    March 20, 2012 2:01 am 

    OMG!!! I am doing the same thing for my daughters! ages 6 and 7. we are African American AKA Black and I’ve had a perm all my life. if not a perm a weave, though shorter han my hair, its still not my hair. my daughters attend a predominantly Caucasian AKA White school and hardly anyone “looks like” them. My daughters enjoy wearing her “hair down” which is an afro. is style was requesed by my oldest and followed by my second. I am learning from them to embrace my God given curls although, its soooo much Easier to handle a perm.

    I could go on and on, but I wont. Just wanted to take out the time to let you know I really appreciate this blog. My friend forwarded the link to me because she knows this is an everyday battle with me. especially in this rain! LOL

  41. March 20, 2012 2:19 am 

    My husband is from Jamaica, and I am Dominican. My son has curls just like your little angel. What I find works the best for him is using Aubrey GPB on his curls. It’s 100% natural. I leave it in for like 5 minutes, and then detangle it, and his curls look so beautiful after.

  42. Michele
    March 20, 2012 6:31 am 

    This was a sweet story. I have a relaxer & I have no plans to ever go natural. My hair is crazy thick & nappy. My hair in its natural state is more Esther Rolle than Tracee Ellis Ross. My grade of hair will never morph into soft, naturally curly ringlets. Tia you & your daughter have a different grade of hair that can be worn in its natural state. I do not want to sport a tightly coiled TWA. I prefer my hair in a bob, straightened & trust it with my hair stylist of 12 years. Hair is a personal choice. Relaxed or natural should never be an issue. Keeping the hair healthy is top priority.

    • Nicole
      March 20, 2012 5:48 pm 

      Agreed! It’s a personal choice. I’ve been relaxed over 20 yrs and have no plans to go natural. My natural texture isn’t bad but I prefer super straight low maintenance hair. I support mother’s who do what is in the best interest of their children. I can’t say that if my hair caused a problem for my daughter that I wouldn’t do the same. I applaud you, Tia.

  43. Simone Pratt
    March 20, 2012 1:24 pm 

    Read this again – I LOVE that you are growing your hair out… breaks my heart when little beautiful girls don’t see it. We are their examples and standards so I love this!

  44. Mary Ellen
    March 20, 2012 1:56 pm 

    Beautiful words, one and all. What a momma you are and always will be. Alice Walker and Anne Lamott have written powerful and funny essays on hair. But none more moving than yours!

  45. Mia
    March 20, 2012 2:44 pm 

    I am trying to let the relaxer go and am feeling just like you wrote! Thanks for this article. My hair and scalp are very picky but I started using Wen and it is magic! No itchy, scratchy! Now, if I can only relax while my does it’s curly thing…Wish me luck!

  46. M.Williamson
    March 20, 2012 5:29 pm 

    WOW!! I can’t get over how MUCH Brownie looks like your mom!!!! She has her EXACT face in the caramel version:-)

  47. Gracie
    March 20, 2012 5:44 pm 

    Tia, loved this. Lina is gorgeous and so are her curls! I want to though, respond to Michelle’s comments above about hair grades. I am dark-skinned African woman born and raised in Jersey (both parents are Kenyan) with kinky hair that I wear natural. Though I haven’t worn a relaxer in many years, I hid my natural hair with braids and extensions for years. I only dealt with my natural hair the few hours between braiding appointments. I have just started wearing hair “out” for the world to see in the last few months. All over the natural hair blogo-twitter-sphere, I hear women who look like me with hair like mine say the same thing – but my hair is not like that, it’s nappy! it’s not wavy/curly cute. I had the same fear, somehow my kind of natural hair was not “good” enough to be seen. I had enough reinforcement as a child with my mom coming at my head with a metal pick like an axe murderer, complaining about how nappy it was. well – I soon learned, everything i thought about my hair was absolutely wrong. my hair is incredibly soft and manageable. tight curls does not mean “hard” hair. that hard feeling i remembered as a child was simply because it was not cared for and moisturized properly. and my curls, though not long and loose – with a simple mix of coconut oil, avocado oil, water (and a little kinky curly custard of course) are incredibly soft and defined. now, i don’t want to judge, and if you enjoy the aesthetic of straight hair go for it. I have a really simple regime, coconut oil, avocado oil, simple cornrow ‘braid outs’. i absolutely love it. i’ve come to believe, none of us has that crazy, nappy “Ceelie” hair we’ve been made to fear. with proper moisture and care- straight up hair from the motherland like mine looks and feel fantastic (if i saw so myself). if you love your look, by all means keep it up, but don’t be afraid of your own hair. amongst all of us, there is an incredible diversity in texture – in fact, i have 3 full-blooded sisters and we have 3 different textures – there is room for all of us.

  48. awhit
    March 20, 2012 8:39 pm 

    You are one of the best mothers I know and this is essential when raising a little girl!The hair issue is touchy and loaded with other issues that I choose not to voice here …. Just wanted to shout you out as a great mom! 🙂

    Kiss Lina for me.

  49. Angelica Golden
    March 21, 2012 6:12 am 

    Such a sweet sacrifice for your little one. You’re a great mommy to do that for her.

    I stopped relaxing years ago…it’s a process (no pun intended) but you can do it!!

  50. March 21, 2012 6:05 pm 

    I’m 100% natural now, but I transitioned for 15 months… it was a biotch but totally worth it. I celebrate my 1-year anniversary in June. And I must say, Tia, I’m crushing on Bobina’s curly ringletts. So darn cute!

  51. March 21, 2012 7:07 pm 

    What a beautiful blog, Tia!! I was really moved by the words of your daughter and how she felt about her… especially while looking at her picture and feeling myself smile at her natural glow and amazingness!!! Her words speak to how many of us feel deep down… words we never articulate but struggle to overcome daily through our clothes, hair, etc… but we like your baby girl, are nothing but amazingness!!! Thank you for being so transparent, and giving us a peek into your life!! God bless you and your family!!

  52. Sheri
    March 22, 2012 12:12 pm 

    Good for you! Congratuations on becoming enlightened in a society where people move through life mindlessly for the most part. Most importantly, congratulations for setting the pace for your daughter’s self-confidence which will set the framework for her entire life.

  53. March 23, 2012 1:39 am 

    This is EXACTLY why I went natural! I did not want my daughters to be forced to have relaxed hair and have to go through the struggle of the “transition” if they decided to one day go natural. I figured, I would allow them to make the decision if they wanted to be natural or relaxed and IF they made the decision to relax their hair, it would be much easier for them to do that than to go natural. I also did not want to be a hypocrite..how could I tell them they could not get a relaxer when I was relaxing mine every 6-8 weeks. lol

  54. K. Calandra
    March 30, 2012 5:29 am 

    This is an awesome post. I’ve been transitioning for 6 months so I feel your pain. I made the decision to transition for myself as well as my future daughters. I also can’t remember what my natural texture is and I wanted to find out. Today was a great hair day. But there are days when I just want to cut it all off or grab a relaxer. I hold strong though.

  55. Rachel
    April 10, 2012 10:32 pm 

    this is beautiful. Transitioning is a pain in the behind (I did it twice). You’ll keep wanting to do it though, knowing that your daughter’s self-confidence will be soaring in the end.

  56. Karen
    April 18, 2012 3:28 pm 

    Wow, Tia! I never thought an article about hair could touch my heart so much. But you’re right…hair is emotional for women of color (obviously even for pint size little ones). So, I applaud your decision. l haven’t quite fallen in love with my own natural kinkier curl pattern enough to kick my a semi-regular texturizer habit. But this was truly inspiring and a fabulous statement about mommy-love and beauty!

  57. April 22, 2012 8:46 pm 

    See? Black women raise the kids and BW raise the kids with healthy or dysfunctional attitudes towards their hair and this BW is doing the right thing by her child and I thank her for writing about it!