World Afro Day: I will be letting my curls flow free alongside our little one

This week is World Afro Day and I am excited! Before now I hadn’t actually heard of it but I am ready to embrace it.

Since becoming a parent I have been on my own hair journey where I am relearning and becoming reacquainted with black culture.

I’m learning about protective styles and I’ve recently had the ‘big chop’ and felt liberated!

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Since having the big chop I’ve had people ask why I now have waist long braids, or choose to wear wigs and weaves but this is all a part of black culture.

Our beautiful crowns are adaptable art work, that allow us to express ourselves through different styles.

Most black women will have been on their own hair journeys usually starting at school age.

For me, until recently I had always struggled with my hair being in its natural state.

During my primary school years I was one of four black children and was often nicknamed “Minnie Mouse” when my hair was in two big puffs.

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I’d worry about swimming lessons which meant my hair would be wet inevitably ending up in hours of detangling.

As I got older and started secondary school I was further from home and began to see different ethnicities around me and in turn the multitude of hair styles that I had never seen before.

I was fascinated with my best friend at the time, from twists, cornrows and crotchet braids, she was always switching it up.

I’d stare at the older girls who would spend breaktimes in the bathroom mirrors, slicking down each others edges making sure there wasn’t a hair out of place wondering why I didn’t have the tools to do this!

I remember the first time I came home with straight hair. I’d spent the afternoon at my friends with blow dryers, straighteners, an actual iron and hot oil to achieve my desired look.

My mum couldn’t stop staring at it and from there the obsession with straight hair began.

I would spend hours straightening my hair for years until after university I discovered weaves!

Once I discovered weaves I spent hundreds of pounds on different hair, feeling ultra glam with long, thick waves, I was like a new person!

It wasn’t until pregnancy when I was exhausted and in constant pain where I realised low maintenance wash and go’s were the way forward.

Since giving birth I’ve found an amazing online community who inspire me to experiment with my hair, from hair wraps, to braids, wigs to twist outs. I’m still learning the proper way to care for and maintain healthy hair.

One thing I am adamant about is that our daughter will love her curls and it is an ongoing battle.

From her changing hair texture, finding the right tools and perfecting our wash routine, we’re yet to have that magical bonding moment.

I realised I needed some advice. I recently met with Kammy Wallace @crownedbykammy_ an Afro hair stylist from Bristol, who has worked with the award winning BBC program ‘JoJo and Gran Gran, Paris Fashion Week and the BAFTA’s no less.

BristolLive has a new parenting writer

Caprice Jerome, BristolLive's new parenting writer

Caprice Fox is BristolLive’s new parenting writer. She lives in Fishponds with her wife, daughter and their labradoodle Rosie. She is a part time primary school teacher who is usually found in the kitchen cooking for her family, frantically picking up dog poo in the garden or trying to get a bit of piece and quiet by escaping to Lidl!

We spoke about learning how to take care of children’s hair and the emotional significance of encouraging them to love their curls.

Here are Kammy’s top five tips for looking after curly and Afro hair;

1. Remember that Afro hair needs moisture. Using a detangling spray and moisturiser followed by a conditioner can help with this.

2. Always take small sections of hair and brush from the bottom. Work your way up gently using a detangling comb or brush.

3. Protective styles are your friend! A protective style retains moisture as well as saving you some time in the morning. Braids, twists and cornrows are great styles.

4. Invest in a bonnet or silk pillow cases. This retains moisture and will help keep a protective style neat and tidy for longer.

5. Always speak positively about your children’s hair and create a hair routine with your child. Wash day doesn’t need to be stressful, make it fun! You can get them involved with books or dolls, anything that has a positive representation of themselves.

Have you got any advice for caring for curly and Afro hair? Let us know in the comments below.

I know that this World Afro day I will be letting my curls flow free alongside our little one.

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