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NEGATIVE HAIR MESSAGES you have recieved

that_1_grrrl

New Member
Oh, I forgot about my aunt. Whenever I used to tell her I was going to grow my hair long, she would always say, "Long hair doesn't run in our family." She's CONVINCED that long hair is genetic.
 

mahogany_horizons

Active Member
Growing up
I always felt like my hair never measured up. I remember in middle school this group of girls walking behind me asked why I had all those little hairs on my shoulder and if my hair was falling out. I didn't know what to say.

But my dad is really negative when it comes to black women's hair in general.
As far as being natural, he just looks at me, shakes his head and laughs when he sees my hair sometimes.
For him a woman's hair needs to be pin straight, there is no room for anything else.
He's told me how I'll never have a professional career if I don't fix it, that I look crazy, all kinds of ridiculous things. After my BC he hinted that I looked like a lesbian (god forbid a woman have short hair).

LADY I AM SORRY YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THESE THINGS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HAIR. I know my father likes "neat" hair as well. When one says "neat" he means STRAIGHT AS A PIN. And that's a shame. our natural texture is beautiful.

There are tons of professional women with neat hair that is not necessarily relaxed, some that is natural! And it looks great.

As for those little heifers in school, undoubtedly they were just jealous of you. Girls can be catty and mean and I hate that!
 

mahogany_horizons

Active Member
I got negative comments from my mother about my hair when I was a child. She loved that it was thick and long but at the same time she always complained on maintainance days that it was TOO thick to manage and that washing, and braiding it was too much work. That's why she pressed it regularly; I hated getting pressed because she was always manage to burn me somehow and I hated the smell of burning hair. Then when I was 6 or 7 she relaxed it, without telling my dad first; he flipped out on her for that one. She really didn't take care of it after the relaxer and my hair just started breaking, I don't think it's ever been as long or healthy since.


I am sorry that your hair was the victim of neglect after relaxing. I think a lot of our mothers do this because it's easier, and quicker, but then they forget about all the TLC that they showed our virgin hair, and thus our hair does not do as well.

My hair was BUTT LENGTH before my mother relaxed me and it broke to what would have been on a child "bra strap length". That is the only time she ever broke my hair off. Because it was still long I wasn't too tramatiazed, but it wasn't as thick. And i remember her combing through the hair and just ripping out the tangles, I mean with sheer force of abandon LOL.

But that TLC was the reason my hair was butt length in the beginning when I had virgin hair, and i never have had hair even approaching that long since......only bsl, apl, or sl, depending on what was going on at the tiem. I am here to prove I can get that butt length hair back that I had as a child.

I also hope that I can achieve thickness.

Relaxing the hair can make it thinner, weaker, and i think it's something that a parent should not do until the child is old enough to make a concious decison, not asking a 6 year old whether they want a relaxer, when the alternative is a hot pressing comb and scalp burns, of course they will say yes, not even realizing they are trading one set of scalp burns for another.

thanks for sharing your story.

I appreciate it.

M.
 

mahogany_horizons

Active Member
I haven't had any negative hair messages but honey I could see the funny look on my mom face when I tried to grow locs. She never said nothing though, I know what she was thinking

LOL LOL LOL LOL Yes, as an adult, my mother would NEVER say anything about my hair even if she didn't like it LOL...but I can tell by how she looks at it with her eyes LOL. i don't think she thought my braid out was presentable. Oh well, I am retaining all the length that I get this go round by doing styles lke this lol!
 

mahogany_horizons

Active Member
My mother relaxed my hair by at least the age of 4. She may have relaxed it before then, but that is the earliest I can remember. My mother has said negative things about my hair, made worse because she never knew how to braid, or press, or do anything else that all the other black girls' mothers knew how to do. It made me feel bad as a child that my hair was never done like other girls, even though I always had a lot of it.
In general, my mother is color-struck and seems to believe that black is a synonym for limited, handicapped, etc... Naturally, she is one of those people who think that all white women's hair is real, and she will stare at a black woman with real long hair like she stole it.
When I was in grade school my father said something about mixed (he meant 2a-3b type) hair being "the kind everyone wants, anyway." I have very thick 4a. My father has always been faux-afrocentric, and seemed kind of embarrassed after he let that slip.
On the positive side, hair stylists (West indian ones, but never dominicans) have said some very nice things about my hair that have helped me to think positively, and I have never forgotten them.


I TEARED UP WHEN I READ YOUR STORY. At least in fact my mom did know how to style my hair. I can imagine that felt ackward. Having a color struck parent can be painful. Your father's comment cut me to the quick. I never had things said to me directly like that, though I have heard recent things from my mother lately such as when showing her some pics from the hair board, of women darker than me (I AM NOT BEING CLASSIST OR COLORIST, PLEASE HEAR ME OUT HERE, i ALSO REALIZE that people far darker than me can be biracial or mixed with another race, and be very dark, I don't care about skin color!!), and said, well perhaps they are mixed, you sure they aren't half white or indian, and I'm like what the heck, good hair care is good hair care, even someone with the most afro textured hair can grow hair down to their butt if they care for it correctly!! And it bothered me, because it implied that the EXTREMLY BUTT LENGTH long hair was not something I could have because I was all black, though I had this length hair as a child, a little black child, and it's like she doesn't remember, but i've seen the pictures!! I should scan them and show them to you! I wish I were never relaxed So it hurts the same way but on another level!! I'm sure your father's comment hurt you too as a little girl! I just hated feeling like my curly hair was wild and unmanageble.

MOST OF ALL I AM SOOOO HAPPY THAT YOU HAD THE POSITIVE MESSAGE GIVEN TO YOU BY WEST INDIANS REGARDING YOUR HAIR! DON'T EVER FORGET THOSE THINGS! YOUR HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL!
 
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mahogany_horizons

Active Member
I'm sorry that your parents were uninformed OP. My mother, the angel that she is, never made me feel "some kinda way" about my hair. BUT....now that I've joined LHCF....she DOES make comments.... "You are obsessed with your hair"/"You need to trim that", et. al.

It's all about education. I cannot blame my parents for they did what they knew was best and I believe that the knowledge we learn on LHCF is really revolutionary and new. So, I am just grateful that we are here now and have this info to grow from.

My hair is longer now than it ever was my entire life....I've had some setbacks....I'm currently about an inch shy of BSL...but I've been BSL because of LHCF (I cut 3 inches off to rid myself of thin ends). So, we just do better when we know better and send blessings to our parents for they knew not what they did. :bighug:

THANKS FOR THIS. I completely agree. In fact, this is why i said in the beginning that all parents do the best that they can for their children. And they raised me well. i have a successful life. And my mother always worked hard and still does, to care for my hair to the best of her ability (she relaxes me every 12 weeks). I love my parents dearly. Thanks for the hug!! :D
 

mahogany_horizons

Active Member
-my mother used to RIP through my wet hair with a comb because 'that was just dead/sheding hair anyway'. :ohwell: why could I feel it coming out of my scalp then?

-the typical 'you just cant grow your hair'

- the typical 'only people that know how to do hair are stylists. . . . you should go to a salon' but I get there and all of the stylists are bald and/or damaged too. . . I wouldn't let a woman with no fingers do my nails or a doctor with no experience do my surgery or a dentist with bad teeth do my hair. . . why would I let a random who knows NOTHING about me, my hair or my hair regime be in control of my hair from $60+ every 2 weeks? when the shampoo was $10, the conditioner was $8, and the comb was $2. . . and when I walk out it is CUTE but not healthy. [/rant] :grin:

-my mother still sends those messages now tho. . . all of that 'obsessed with your hair' and 'why don't u just go to the salon' and 'when are you going to get a touch up'. . . if monthly touch ups, weekly salon visits, etc WORKED wouldn't everyone have hair to their buttocks? :grin: it OBVIOUSLY doesn't work. . . when I think about much hair would be on my uniform shirt in the morning.:wallbash:


THANK YOU FOR THIS...AND YOUR LAST PARAGRAPH WAS GOLD!! LHCF is gold....and hopefully we can pass these nuggets on to our younguns!
 

mahogany_horizons

Active Member
Hmm. I don't think I got too many bad messages. The only reason I got a relaxer in the first place was, at 8, I wanted a hairstyle that required a relaxer. Before that, my grandmother sent me to a beauty school to have my hair braided every two weeks. I had really cute hairstyles then.

I used to hear jokes about combs breaking in my hair and the such, but it was more of a joke then something to make me feel bad. She would complain, but we laughed about it, ya know?

But, I also heard the good hair vs. bad hair ish. It was more of a "Look at so-and-so, she has that good hair" then a "You have bad hair" thing.

When I went from public school to Catholic school, people would ask me if my relaxed hair was a wig because it never moved. I also got made fun of because I used to wear my hair the same way all the time (I really liked that hairstyle).

I always wanted curly hair, I do remember that. I went to a mostly Latin school. I would see all these girls with long, straight hair or long, curly hair. I felt that if I had long, curly hair, I would look more Latina. I mean, I was really self-conscious back then because I didn't know many Black Latinas. I felt that I didn't look Latina.

But thank God, I can wash my hands of all of that. I'm natural now. I have my curly hair, lol. My grandmother was cool with me going natural. Some family members acted like I was crazy when I went natural, but I have a family that prefers to talk behind people's back, so if they still have issues about it, I don't know.

My mom and my siblings are natural. Although, both my older sister and younger sister want to get relaxers. I'm trying to convince my little sister not to. I told her I'd teach her how to do any hairstyle she wants on her natural hair, so she won't have to straighten it. She goes to a mostly White school, so I think she sees White girls with hairstyles she wants to try.


THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR STORY TOO! I APPRECIATE IT. I hope you can convince your little sister to wait a little while before you get a relaxer. I'm also glad you were given a choice as a child. Sounds like your parents have healthy attitudes about hair!
 

SelfStyled

Well-Known Member
Growing up my cousin(honestly more like a sister) had what was described as "good hair" by the rest of the family, we are 6 months apart and were inseparable. I rep 4a/b all day, even as a little girl. Every where we went she was singled out for how pretty she was, how nice her hair was, blah, blah. No one- Ever- and I do mean Ever said anything about my hair. It was like maybe my hair was invisible, maybe I was invisible. I dunno - I do remember even back then that it felt.....unsettling to me.

When you know better you do better though- in the words of Oprah. I have raised my children that all hair is good and have affirmed their hair as beautiful from day one. One is 4b like me and 2 are 3b's. Yesterday I was taking my 13 y.o. daughter to a basketball game and we were talking about how gorgeous one of the players hair is on her team. This girls hair is APL and healthy and relaxed, when she runs her hair swishes, it really is mesmerizing. My daughter commented that, "Oh they must have good hair in her family-uhm let me rephrase that, they must have healthy hair in their family, cause there is no such thing as "good hair". She went on to say that she hates the term good hair and that it reminds her of me and my cousin when we were little.

I let her out of the car to go park, and silently thanked the heavens that this bright child is mine.
 

mahogany_horizons

Active Member
Growing up my cousin(honestly more like a sister) had what was described as "good hair" by the rest of the family, we are 6 months apart and were inseparable. I rep 4a/b all day, even as a little girl. Every where we went she was singled out for how pretty she was, how nice her hair was, blah, blah. No one- Ever- and I do mean Ever said anything about my hair. It was like maybe my hair was invisible, maybe I was invisible. I dunno - I do remember even back then that it felt.....unsettling to me.

When you know better you do better though- in the words of Oprah. I have raised my children that all hair is good and have affirmed their hair as beautiful from day one. One is 4b like me and 2 are 3b's. Yesterday I was taking my 13 y.o. daughter to a basketball game and we were talking about how gorgeous one of the players hair is on her team. This girls hair is APL and healthy and relaxed, when she runs her hair swishes, it really is mesmerizing. My daughter commented that, "Oh they must have good hair in her family-uhm let me rephrase that, they must have healthy hair in their family, cause there is no such thing as "good hair". She went on to say that she hates the term good hair and that it reminds her of me and my cousin when we were little.

I let her out of the car to go park, and silently thanked the heavens that this bright child is mine.


THIS IS MY FAVORITE STORY IN THE THEAD!!! OH HOW I LOVE THIS STORY. IT TOO HAS ME TEARING UP AT THE LAPTOP...there is sooooooooo much feeling and emotion involved in hair. I AM SOOOO HAPPY THAT YOU HAVE IMPARTED SUCH POSITIVE VALUES TO YOUR DAUGHTER. I am so happy that you learned from your feelings as a youth!! I hope that If I have little ones I do half as well as you did with hair messages!!

You should be proud of yourself, AND your daughter!
 

SelfStyled

Well-Known Member
Thank you mahogany for starting this thread. You are so right- there is so much emotion involved with our hair. I thank God for LHCF and to be able to be surrounded with like minded women- because I do not have that IRL at all. I promise you that when you have little ones you will impart postive hair messages to them from the get go. I concur with your sentiment its not that our parents did not love us as children, I just don't think they really understood how "deep" hair is for us.

My daughter completes me- she really is a little me. My husband calls her my mini me, lol. I am just so thankful because she "gets" it.
 

Lei*Lei

New Member
I was never told anything negative about my hair. The most people (ie hairdressers) would say was it was so thick. I didn't even know what nappy meant until i was like in 6th grade! I remember, when girls would get into an argument they always threw aroud "ya nappy head".
 
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mahogany_horizons

Active Member
Thank you mahogany for starting this thread. You are so right- there is so much emotion involved with our hair. I thank God for LHCF and to be able to be surrounded with like minded women- because I do not have that IRL at all. I promise you that when you have little ones you will impart postive hair messages to them from the get go. I concur with your sentiment its not that our parents did not love us as children, I just don't think they really understood how "deep" hair is for us.

My daughter completes me- she really is a little me. My husband calls her my mini me, lol. I am just so thankful because she "gets" it.

hey thank you for your contribution mama. I now have friends who have healthy attitudes of hair and self! BUT my friends and family who are back at home do not, and it is sad. But people like you are waging the battle, one educated child at a time!!

yeah, hair is so deep, and your daughter will be free from so much baggage that some of us face!
 

melissa-bee

Well-Known Member
Hmm. When i was an infant (probably 4 or 5 and my mum was detangling my hair i told her i wished i was white so my hair wouldn't hurt. Then she something along that i shouldn't think like that and i should be proud of my hair. When i was in primary school my main hair style was single braids and the kids used to call me Medusa. But it was probably more in a jokey way. But other than that i haven't really had any serious negative comments about my hair.
 

Vashti

New Member
I never received negative messages about my hair in my home growing up but other people outside my immediate family were another story.

Kids at school would call me Kunta Kente, nappy head, booty head, ugly-butt- "insert-derogatory-word-for-black-hair-here) and all kinds of other names I've forgotten. Kids can be very creative and very cruel. :ohwell:

But I survived it! :)
 

MonPetite

New Member
I, a few uncles and my father like natural hair. Everyone else in my family finds it disgusting...or only acceptable if you're the "right color" AND have the "right texture".

Sigh.

I used to relax as a literal apology to society for my hair. The message I received growing up was that it was something to be ashamed of and hidden.

Even "good" (curly) hair needed to be straightened. It was only "good" because it straightened more easily.

Ugh.

I'm glad I no longer have that mindset.

I'm neither pro-natural or anti-relaxer.

I am pro-self-acceptance and anti-self-hate.

As an aside: I chose not play with Barbie dolls. It was something I did on my own, one afternoon, while playing alone. I gathered them up in my hands and took a hard look at them. I scrutinized everything about them, every millimeter. I realized they looked nothing like me (I had the black ones but, the hair texture and tone did not reflect me). I realized something about that hurt me. Unfortunately, I couldn't articulate why as an eight-year-old. Thus, I put them in the very back of my closet and didn't look at them again until I dug them out to throw them away when I was older.
 

Zaz

Well-Known Member
I never got any negative feedback from my mother although she did perm my hair by the time I was 6. I was always told I had good hair, not because of my texture but because I've always had very thick hair.

The only times I heard negative comments were from my American cousins and aunts (I'm Haitian). I once read my cousin's diary when she came to visit and was shocked to read that she described seeing a lot of scary dark skinned people but that 'they' weren't all bad!?!?

Most (if not all) negative comments and sentiments I've gotten were from Americans. I didn't realise this whole 'good hair' thing was such a hot issue till the hair boards actually.
 
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kami02

New Member
I didn't have negative comments from my family growing up, but I think its because I had a lot more hair than many of the other women in my family. But I definitely had a love/hate relationship with my hair. My sister always said I had "curly" hair when I was little up until the time they started pressing my hair. So as a child, I didn't understand why my hair turned "nappy" while my cousin's hair stayed curly - she's 3a or b and I'm 4a/b. I even asked her mom if she used some type of special grease to make it stay that way, lol. I would however be terribly embarrassed on wash days because I would have this crazy afro and my family would always tease me.
 

Southernbella.

Well-Known Member
I don't remember a lot of overt negative messages. My hair was always thick and long, so people were actually pretty positive about it.

What I do remember is that I've been relaxed since I can remember (my mom says 2 years old). I remember my mom or sister putting the relaxer in, saying stuff like, "make sure you work it in real good with the back of the comb to get all the naps out", and "get all the way back in the kitchen because it's real rough back there", and "ugh, this mess is so thick!"

I also remember them standing over me, washing the relaxer out, saying, "Oooooh, look how straight it got! It's so silky and pretty!" I KNOW I internalized that, which is why I always thought if my hair wasn't bone straight after a relaxer, something was terrible wrong. I also thought bone straight was what my hair was SUPPOSED to look like, and everything that happened between perms (newgrowth) was something bad that was happening to my hair.
 

julzinha

Well-Known Member
Growing up I really didn't like my hair because getting it done was always really painful and I never thought I could have long hair. Then I googled growing long black hair and found this site and now I think my hair is beautiful and EVERY tip i have to doing my hair I learned from this site and only this site. Now I am in charge of my hair care except for putting the braid extensions in everything else I do for myself. Now doing my hair is no longer painful because I know how to properly detangle, but I really wish my sisters would come to this site and learn some things because my older sister is all about weaves now and she would drop $400 on a weave, when she could truly grow her hair put the length of the weave which is about BSL or MBL and never have to pay that much again. And my younger sister has had bad relaxers and uses heat like it is nothing we have had to cut off all her hair about 2 or 3 times and she is 14. But they are skeptics we have never seen black women with our texture hair (4a/b) with long hair so they don't believe it is possible, so I keep telling myself just work on getting to BSL so they will have proof and finally listen to me when I say that long hair is not an anomaly for black people
 
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