For some teens, the desire to be seen as a young lady and not as a little girl comes with thoughts of doing something different. They wonder, “What life will be like without ponytails and bangs.” Mothers know this because they too may remember what it felt like to want to do something creative and expressive. Sometimes a new hair style is just the thing.

Culturally speaking, while mothers may have responsibility over how their daughters wear their hair, fathers often chime in when his little angel asks for the big chop. If mothers don’ want to see daughters grow up to fast, rest assured that daddy’s “no” has more to do with his issues, than her hair.

Parents do not want to lose the little girl image that they have known since the pink blanket was placed under the bottom of their baby girl.

“What’s different about your daughter in these pictures?” The question was posed by the photography salesman when my daughter and I went to look at her senior high proofs. I paused. She certainly looked older, and darn it if that wasn’t attributed to her “bout to go off to college” hair style and make-up. The salesman was onto something. These pictures had a different flair than her junior class and middle school pictures.

2014-Short-hairstyles-black-womenI saw confidence displayed in all the pictures. Cap and gown, casual, and dress-up she seemed more mature. Along with an attitude in the pics that proclaimed, being ready for the next steps in life. Yes, I purchased way more than I had planned. But, I couldn’t resist she looked different and I liked it.

I imagine that is what parents fear while hoping that a big chop doesn’t mean that their little girl is gone forever. It doesn’t, it does mean that she is ready to take on the world on her terms controlling what she can. Her appearance and how she is viewed. Whether she cuts it at 16 or 60, letting go of tresses that one has had since birth means stepping into a new arena. Trust the process and that she will make good decisions. Feeling better about herself and speaking up for what she wants are steps in the right direction.

Help her choose a style that won’t be excruciatingly hard to maintain. Take her to a consultation and let her get ask questions of the stylist. Find out how much it will cost not just for the big chop but for regular maintenance. If she has an understanding of what it takes to keep a styled cut fresh then she can take responsibility for upkeep at home.

Hair is a large part of that in Black culture and she is finding her way. Help her out by listening and trying to reach a happy medium.
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