This Is Ella’s Hair

This is Ella’s hair.

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My goal as her mom has always been to take care of it myself, with no outside help, and when she was a toddler, I could! Tiny matutas were perfectly fine. Loose mini ponytails were good for a week.

Now that she’s older, she cares a lot more about how her hair looks. She likes pink braids plaited into her hair, she must have purple beads, she wants to look “like a princess”.

 

This is Ella’s hair.

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We started with baby oil when she first sprouted her teeny weeny baby afro. Then we graduated to Pink Lotion. Now, we’re in a coconut oil, Shea Butter, organic-everything phase.

I’m constantly second guessing myself as I try and find the perfect product recipe for her hair. Should I condition it every week with shea butter or just spritz leave-in conditioner daily? Does coconut oil really keep her hair moisturized? If I start African threading and stop blow drying altogether, will her hair grow longer?

More importantly, will I ever do her beautiful hair justice?

 

This is Ella’s hair.

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I want so badly for her to love it, like I love it.

I grew up hating my hair, hating all the physical pain it put me through and hating those torture chambers that my mom called “saloons”.

For her, I pay more for a kids’ salon. There, I know she’ll play happily with toys while getting showered with colorful stickers by doting hairdressers. I pay more so she never associates her beautiful black hair with pain, like I did.

 

This is Ella’s hair.

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It forever changed the relationship that I have with my own hair.

Ella’s hair made me question what I considered “beautiful” about black hair.

This thick, curly, slightly brown hair of Ella’s is absolutely beautiful to me.

What I want more than anything, is for it to be beautiful to her too.

 

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