Out of the Mouths of Nappy Babes, “There’s no such thing as good or bad hair”

My niece gets it. Thank God she gets it. I’ve been having these side conversations with her about the concept of self-acceptance and how that relates to loving our nappy hair the way it grows out of heads. So just a few minutes ago, I was playing with my moms twists. She stopped pressing her hair several years ago and now wears her hair completely natural. This is NOT at all by choice. She has chronic lung disease and is on oxygen. Her hair is thinning. So with that, she grudgingly stopped pressing her hair — and as a nappy, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

 Well tonight, I was playing with her silvery twists. Her hair is soooooo long and sooooo soft. They feel like silk. So me and my sister were commenting on how soft her hair was. And then she said it…again.

“Yeah, it’s like she has good hair.”

Me: Bug eyes.

My niece from the dining room where she’s doing her homework. “Mom, stop saying that. There’s no such thing as good and bad hair.”

My mom: “Oh shut up.”

My sister: “I’m not going to argue with a 12-year-old. That’s good. Whatever you want to believe.”

Me: Total silence.

My mom: “Well that is true but… (gets interrupted by my niece)

My Niece talking to my sister: “Cause you know what I’m saying is true.”

My sister: “Whatever you want to think…it’s ok.”

I fix my moms twists back like she had them and then gravitate back out to the dining room. Had to tell my niece to give it up cause you’re dealing with a very deeply ingrained attitude about the notion of good and bad hair. Told her her mom might NEVER understand that there’s no such thing. 

My niece, wide-eyed with conviction and inoncense all wrapped into one then said, “I was just stating a fact.” 

Can’t tell ya how proud of her I am when it comes to this business of nappy hair and self acceptance. She just totally gets it, and that’s good.

4 Responses to “Out of the Mouths of Nappy Babes, “There’s no such thing as good or bad hair””
  1. Ms-GG says:

    awww… that’s so sweet….I remember the first time I ever heard the term “good hair” in reference to my friend’s hair….it never sat right with me….glad she is able to see the light despite your sister’s beliefs…

  2. nappyme says:

    Yeah…she’s really opinionated. A lot like me at that age. Just don’t remember being so blatant about it. But whereas my mom would never have tolerated that kind of back talk to her when we were that age, my sister does. The funny thing is…she can quite often be on point, even if to me it might come out as being disrepectful or arguementative. But since my sis usually lets her speak her mind I gotta give her major kudos for holding her own in favor of the naps!

  3. floeva says:

    First let me start off by saying I love your website, second, I love your neice and I don’t really know her. She kept it real. I have a daughter who’s a teenager, freshman in highschool, and she and maybe 2 other girls wear their hair in their natural state. Every now and then she’ll come home telling me that some girl came up to her and said, “gurl you gotalotof hurrr….you should get a perm, because it will be so pretty.” She’ll respond by saying I Love my hair just the way it is and I refuse to put some caustic chemical in my just to please you or anybody else and since God made me this way I feel blessed to have all this hurr. She is so strong and so positive. I was afraid that with her being the minority, so to speak, that this would affect her self esteem and it hasn’t one bit.
    Thanks for the story


  4. nappyme says:

    Flo, you’re so welcome. Gotta teach these youngin’s how to love and appreciate their naps. I was in Sally one evening and saw a little girl with bursting personality and the longest, thickest nappiest plaits. It was like talking to a little Raven Symone. And her hair was just to die for. I couldn’t help myself and started talking to her mom and complimenting her daughter on how pretty her hair was. That’s when she informed me that she was headed to Hollywood for an audition for a new TV show and she was looking for something to straighten her daughters hair with. I was mortified.

    Had to think quick. Remember Keisha Knight-Pulliam? Little Rudy from the Cosby show? She was natural. They never straightened her hair. You don’t have to straighten her hair for her to get the role. I read once where he prefered the kids to have their hair natural…not straight. His wife has natural hair. Please don’t straighen her hair.

    She really thought about that in earnest. I could tell she was seriously considering NOT straightening her little girl’s head for the audition. At one point I bent over and said to her, if someone tries to put a perm in your hair, you cover it up and tell them NO chemicals on my naps.

    She looked up at me and did it. “No chemicals on my naps.” It was the cutest thing. Her mom seemed to get a kick out of that too! 🙂 As her mom and me continued to talk, she periodically would cover her head and repeat it again…”No chemicals on my naps.” Too funny. Hopefully I planted a nappy seed that day. I sure hope so. And I hope she gets the part. It would be so neat to see someone from my home town on TV.

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