I received a question on the BrownBoyGenius Facebook page from a mom in Germany asking about resources for boys with kinky/curly hair. While books, YouTube vids, and blog advice abounds for women and girls with natural hair, resources for boys are extremely hard to find.
Here’s the question:
I am the mother of a Black boy here in Germany and part of a group of parents of Afro/German/Black children, seeking to educate ourselves and empower our children. We are looking for books for boys about hair and/or hair related issues. We know of quite a lot of these books for girls, but none for boys.
Can you help us out? Do you have suggestions, know of such books?
Sadly, I didn’t know of any books off hand, and a pretty exhaustive search on Amazon and Google yielded few results as well.
This may be for two reasons:
- Most people rely on haircuts for boys because it’s super low maintenance
- Some people view haircare & styling as a “girl thing.”
But those of us with sons with afros, locs, or kinky/curly hair know boys need just as much help styling–and loving–their hair too.
Back when I was pregnant and found out Le Kid was going to be a boy I was a little disappointed. Like many women, I wanted a daughter. The only upside, I thought at the time, was that I wouldn’t have to worry about his hair.
Then….I had a big ol’ baby with a whole lot of hair.
As he grew, so did his hair…
So, while I was initially relieved that I wouldn’t have to deal with hair because I was having a boy, I soon found out I was completely wrong.
Over the years Le Kid’s gotten a few haircuts, grown out his ‘fro over and over again, and now I trim it down every couple of months, wash it weekly, try to detangle it (he hates that), and keep it moisturized. Even though he has A LOT of hair, it’s still pretty low maintenance, too. Score!
In terms of taking care of a little boys with kinky/curly hair, I’d approach it just like you would a girl’s hair–keep it clean, moisturized, and fairly neat.
If you can cornrow, great (I can’t). If you want to try more adventurous styles, cool (I don’t). But as your son gets older, listen to what he wants to do with his hair and go with that.
In terms of images affirming boys with natural hair, Instagram is a great place to look. There are several natural-haired (and stylish!) boys on the ‘gram.
Here are a few:
While there certainly aren’t a lot of books about boys and hair (ehem, perhaps we’ll tackle that when we launch BBG Books), I found a pair of books–Chocolate Me and Bippity Bop Barbershop–about boys loving the skin (and hair) their in.
Like we wrote about a while ago, boys struggle with body image and hair issues just like girls. Unfortunately, parents have to get a little more creative when it comes to affirming the way they look.
Following helpful parenting sites, cool Instagram accounts, and reading books with characters who look like your son can help your BrownBoyGenius build healthy self-esteem that will serve him well in the future.
What are your thoughts on boys and natural hair? Do you have any books or resources you enjoy? Please share them in the comments section below!