6 Reasons to stop straightening your daughter's hair

If you look at pictures of me when I was a little girl you'd think I was born with naturally straight hair. That's because for every special occasion worth taking a picture for, mami would blow out my hair straight. So even though I wore my hair curly most of the time, you'd never know based on my photo albums. This is where my battle against curls and my obsession with $20 Dominican blowouts began!

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Sit down and talk to a curly girl about her hair and chances are she has a lot to say. Not only does it require much more tender love and care than straight strands, but for most of us it takes years to finally embrace our texture. Why? Well because we're told from a young age that we look prettier and polished when our hair is straightened. Just look at this photo of my sister and I (I'm on the left) pictured below. My hair was always straightened for holidays, birthdays, picture day--you name it!

This is why so many of us resort to blowouts, keratin treatments, Japanese straighteners and even relaxers. Worst part is, these things eventually take a toll on our hair leading to breakage and damage. I've had to cut my hair short twice already from all the straightening.

I love seeing so many women these days embracing their natural hair, but I'm still seeing far too many little girls walking around with straightened hair. Take it from someone who's been there, it effects them a lot more negatively than you'd think. Here are 5 reasons why you need to stop straightening your daughter's curly hair--starting now!

It can damage their hair: Just like their skin, kid's hair tends to be a lot more fragile than ours. So blow-drying, flat-ironing or chemically straightening their strands at such a young age can cause serious damage and even breakage. It might even prevent it from growing. Don't even get me started on relaxers and Brazilian Keratin treatments. Anything that alters the structure of her natural hair isn't good for her hair--period!

It's more work: I can't tell you how many moms (especially Latinas) I know that claim that they straighten their daughter's hair because it's less maintenance. But what they fail to understand is that it's actually a lot harder to manage and maintain curly hair straight. Embracing your kid's rizos takes less time, less money and less hair salon appointments. All you have to do is look for good products, wash style and go. How is that high maintenance?

It doesn't need to be wet: When I was little my mother never used to let me wear my hair curly during the winter. She would complain that walking around with wet hair in cold weather would get me sick. But who says curly hair has to always be wet? These days I dry my curls using a diffuser attachment. Not only does it dry my hair, but it prevents frizz and boosts volume.

It's not drying: I remember hearing growing up that wearing your hair curly a lot would dry it out. That's such BS! If anything it's the opposite, constant heat-styling could lead to dry, damaged hair. To keep your daughter's curls soft and nourished, make sure to apply a leave-in conditioner before styling. I also recommend doing a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week. It restores hair every single time.

Images via Corbis Images, Johanna Ferreira

Topics: curly hair  hair