My daughter told my sister that she wanted to wear her hair down.  In the black community what that means is that you do not have to wear your hair in plaits or braids but simply curled or straightened and hanging down around your neck.  This is a symbol that you are growing up and that you are becoming a big girl.  This is a symbol of some responsibility for the one who wants to wear their hair down and it is also a symbol that you are now going into another dimension of girl-ness.  It is a step up and it is one that is met with a lot of oohs and aahs by family members who see the hair hanging down for the first time.

My sister approached me about my daughters hushed wish to wear her hair down.  My daughter knew that if she asked her aunt, my sister, to ask me there was a better chance that it would happen.  Smart little girl.  I was of course none too happy.  The reason is simple. What wearing her hair down to me means that not only am I going to have more work to do to comb and style her hair;  this one simple act of  her hair hanging down straightened or curled, is an outward symbol that my little girl recognizes that she is becoming a bigger little girl and that means that things are getting ready to change around this here house.

My sister was excited.  She reminded me about when we were younger and how we were allowed to wear our hair down by our mother on special occasions.  My sister, my daughters aunt,  said that she would wash her hair, condition it, put her under the hair dryer, curl it and style it.  She was more excited than I was.  For my sister this was  an experience that she would give my daughter, her niece, that will be one of the firsts that she is sharing with her niece that has nothing to do with me. 

My daughter was beautiful on Christmas morning.  Her hair reminded me of Shirley Temples all curly and bouncy.  I loved Shirley Temple movies as a litle girl I watched every move a million times. My daughter loved her hair and my sister was elated.  The first 9 years of my daughters life are behind her – and me.  Thanks my sister for the beginning of things to come.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”


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