Having A Daughter Changes Everything

A little over a year ago I had a conversation with a friend about his daughter and her hair. She was 3 years old with a thick, healthy, curly afro. On multiple occasions, he had watched her pretending that instead of the curls on her head, she had a long, straight tresses flowing down her back. He was worried that she was beginning to hate her hair…to think of it as not being as beautiful as other types of hair. With great passion, I told him that he needed to nip this in the bud, to constantly tell his little girl that she was perfect and beautiful from top to bottom. I told him that he had to encourage her to love her curls.

A few days later I went to the salon for my routine chemical relaxer and when asked what style I wanted, I told her “The usual. Bone-straight”. Me. Mother of one daughter with a head full of kinks and curls.

And so it bothered me month after month, until 4 months ago, in a spur-of-the-moment decision, I instructed my hairdresser to cut all of my hair off. She was flabbergasted. So flabbergasted infact, that she flat out refused. In the end, we compromised and she agreed to cut all but a few inches. When she was done, I took one look at myself, had a massive panic attack and told her to cover it up with cornrows IMMEDIATELY.

For the first few weeks, I didn’t tell anybody that I had cut my hair. I was too shocked and confused by my own spontaneity. I still felt strongly about why I did it but was not ready to deal with the reality of it being…well…done. Eventually, I came out of the closet with my news but was still not ready to unveil my natural hair. I was content to continue hiding under the cover of cornrows and braids until a little encouragement from a couple of curlfriends also on the natural hair journey (@misswretched and @nanciemwai) made me change my mind.

So this is my coming out party.

Before I had a baby, I never thought seriously about going natural. I respected all the ladies that did it but quite honestly, it just never mattered that much to me. And then I had Ella. And she changed everything.

21 Comments on Having A Daughter Changes Everything

  1. Iquira kenya
    February 29, 2012 at 9:05 am (6 years ago)

    You look beautiful! Wonder why you did not chop it off earlier 😉

  2. Amanda
    February 29, 2012 at 9:09 am (6 years ago)

    Love it! Why didn’t you do this sooner? :p

  3. Fanne Mwambi
    February 29, 2012 at 9:49 am (6 years ago)

    that was really brave. the only time I’ll go natural is when am in my 40s and wondering what crazy thing to do next …then al probably make dreadlocks and dye them white …;)

  4. Linda
    February 29, 2012 at 9:56 am (6 years ago)

    Shiko, I am running late to my appointment, but saw you had a new post and I was more than tempted to read it through as fast as possible, and so I did …… It looks beautiful and we lead by example thats for sure, YAY for your hair.

    By the way I demand you write more : D because I enjoy reading from you.

  5. Pearl
    February 29, 2012 at 11:52 am (6 years ago)

    Shiko!! Georguos does nto even cut it!! You look spectacular! Loving the new dooo! <3 <3 <3 Keep rocking it with confidence. Love and hugs from your fellow curlfriend and curlista. 😀

  6. Carol
    February 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm (6 years ago)

    You look great! Glad your daughter inspired you to go natural.

  7. Love Love Looove!!!!
    February 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm (6 years ago)

    THIS >>> And then I had Ella. And she changed everything.

    The above statement makes me look forward to motherhood!

    Thankyou for your blog Shiko and you look absolutely Stunning! Stunning
    !! STUNNING!!!!


  8. Maxine
    February 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm (6 years ago)

    YAY! I’m excited for you! It will excite you and frustrate you but you will learn to love and appreciate this hair which at first I thought had nothing to do with who the person is but it sure does! Here’s hoping your journey teaches you amazing things like it’s done me 🙂

  9. petr
    February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm (6 years ago)

    way to go shiko! i think it looks great!

  10. KahindoMateene
    February 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm (6 years ago)

    Luv it, u look as beautiful as ever. Natural hair rocks!!

  11. greencalabash
    February 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm (6 years ago)

    You guys are THE BEST! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  12. SheCyclesNairobi
    March 1, 2012 at 12:59 am (6 years ago)

    You look fabulous girl! I have been natural for 10 years now. I plan to go short soon in preparation for a new start. Cycle helmet hair is starting to get to me. 🙂

  13. Enelesi
    March 1, 2012 at 1:45 am (6 years ago)

    Wow, how long do you plan to stay natural? I recently relaxed my hair in January after 4 years of having it natural. I was trying to grow it out ,got a friend with natural hair down her back. Well I think its great that you have done this for Ella. The only problem I found with being natural was the abuse I was getting from various hairdressers who did not want to deal with natural hair.

    • Sue
      March 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm (6 years ago)

      Most hairdressers don’t know how to deal with natural hair. You are better off doing most things yourself. Maybe just go to the salon if you want it braided. If you are lucky though, you might find a hairdresser who listens–you can specify how you want certain things done, that will definitely save you some of the work.

  14. misswretched
    March 1, 2012 at 3:59 am (6 years ago)

    You look gorgeous and I LOVE this length on you! This journey is so fun with you and Ella with me 🙂

  15. danielle
    March 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm (6 years ago)

    love your new look! and esp the motivation and meaning behind it!! 🙂

  16. Phyllis
    March 2, 2012 at 5:43 am (6 years ago)

    The fro look on you…..simply stunning! And this journey with us is awesome. Before we can let our little ones feel really pretty natural we have to find it in ourselves so. May be you should advise your friend to ask his wife to go in a fro. Then its easier to say ‘I wanna be like ma’am’ #just saying#

  17. awuraamma
    March 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm (6 years ago)

    wow Shiko! this is definitely a good look 🙂

  18. John Oihoma Eigege
    March 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm (6 years ago)

    Shiko…you look beautiful girl. I’m a fan!

  19. Sue
    March 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm (6 years ago)

    Your story is just lovely and the cut suits you as well! This is the real you and as your daughter grows you will be setting a great example for her! I wish more girls & women would follow suit and stop with the relaxers. The idea behind it is a very flawed image of beauty.I think the greatest obstacle is in the mind. My advice to you is to be patient and learn as you go along. I’ve had my hair natural my whole life, although I would always blow-dry really straight all the time…lol! Don’t get discouraged.It can be done.

    Blogs are helpful in terms of getting info but it doesn’t have to be complicated. My mind boggles when I see some of the “regimens” people put together.

    I had to re-learn alot of things when I came to the U.S., experiment and learn what your hair likes. Your products don’t have to be pricey either, I use shampoos and conditioners like Suave or Aussie. One tip though, if you use oils, go with 100% pure ones i.e no other addditives. I discovered it’s more cost-effective to buy from the grocery aisles. My favorites are coconut and jojoba. I’m not always able to get the latter in the store though. I’ve also used apricot kernel oil and I’ve heard good things about grapeseed oil. Raw shea butter is also great but if you prefer something easier L’Occitane has a nice creamy shea butter but it costs more.
    I’d recommend The Natural Haven blog, great info minus the hype. If you must buy some oils online, try Mountain Rose Herbs.

    All the best!

  20. Barbzy
    September 28, 2015 at 5:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Loving this!


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