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Dealing with a Natural Teen

I loved putting my Megan’s hair in Afro puffs when she was little.  She was Natural and everyone loved her hair.  We were living in humid-ass New Orleans and I was relaxed.  I didn’t have a clue on how to do her hair!  I knew she didn’t need a perm but I was using pink oil moisturizer in her hair and brushing it.  Yea, I was that clueless!

When she started first grade she wanted her hair like all the other girls in her class.  Straight, long, shiny and RELAXED.  I caved and got her hair relaxed.  Everyone from my family to friends were mad at me but I felt this was something she wanted and it was her hair.  I had a hard time working with it anyway because I didn’t know what to do with it.  To me it was a win/win.

By third grade she was DONE!  She hated the dryer, she hated the salon, and she hated getting the perm.  She wanted out and I was fine with that also.  We were still in Louisiana but I was trying to get away from perms myself.  I didn’t think there was anything else for me to do if I didn’t want a perm other than wearing my hair in box braids so that’s what I did most of the time.  I wasn’t Natural but when I was wearing braids I didn’t get my hair relaxed in between taking them out and putting them back in again.  Anyway….we went to the salon for the last time for Megan and she cut the perm out of her hair.  My baby had a mini fro! 

Her hair grew and we moved to Colorado.  I stopped relaxing my hair and the rest is history.  She’s been Natural since third grade and her hair is beautiful but now we’re dealing with a 16 year old.  The sweet daughter I had has turned into a moody, wanting to have her own mind teen who wants to straighten her hair, put tracks in it as well as highlights.  She won’t wear a satin bonnet and I have to threaten her to even do a deep conditioning and let’s not mention how little she detangles her hair…..I need a nerve pill!!

We’re fighting.  We’re yelling.  We’re not seeing eye to eye on what she should do with her hair but I remember telling her no more perms for her as long as I’m in charge.  She’s in charge at 18 so I told her she can burn it all off if she wants but right now she’s staying Natural with limited heat.  If it were up to her she would be wearing her hair flat ironed about 6 or 7 times a year.  I’m not down with that and hence…the fighting.  What happened to the little girl above with the cute ass puffs??

Oh, here she is.  Beautiful, smart, talented, and crazy!  OK, not crazy but just a teen giving her mother hell.  She’s Natural and she’s gonna leave the nest in a few years.  Just like I did and probably every other daughter did after their mother no longer ran the show, she’ll be damn near bald before she realizes she needs to take care of her hair and all those bad hair habits have got to go. 

I guess it’s a ‘right of passge’, but now I’m on the other side seeing just how nutty I must have looked to my mother when I thought I knew what the heck was best for myself.  I didn’t have a friggin clue but all my mistakes have become well deserved experiences that shaped me into the woman I am today.  She’ll be fine and I know that but it doesn’t scare me any less knowing what she will inevitably go through to become a well-adjusted young woman.   

This is my life with a Natural teen.  It’s a wild ride but it’s full of love.   You’ll experience it one day and when you do remember you will survive.  You really don’t have a choice!!


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