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May 10, 2019

Why I'm Never Cutting My Son's Hair

As you can imagine, being a single mom does not come with a manual. My first obstacle? I didnt know that my son, Aiden would be born with massive amounts of hair. But, I should have known something was going on while I was pregnant with himI always had the worlds worst heartburn. Apparently its an old wives tale (an older woman actually told me this!) that tons of heartburn while pregnant equates to a hairy baby. I personally dont take things like this too seriously, but it was truemy son was definitely born with tons of hair.

I didnt really notice his hair until the loads of drugs running through my system wore off after his birth (thanks C-Section!). Once I got over the whole I grew this whole human life inside of me for nine months and here he is alive, healthy, and cuteand, now I am a mom and the world is great! moment, is when it hit me. I distinctly remember his hair: jet black and bone-straight, which felt, well, super weird considering both of his parents are African-American. Even though my hair is dyed blonde (and I wear it straightened), my natural texture is very curly. Why didnt his hair look just like mineor his dads for that matter. My mom assured me that it would curl up in a few days. I felt temporarily relieved.


But, Aidens hair did not curl up within his first week of life. In fact, it would take close to a full year for any curls at all to form in his hair. During bathtime, I would constantly brush his hairwhich he seemed to like. I also secretly thought that maybe if I brushed his hair enough, curls would form. No such luck, but at least I enjoyed it! Also, I never used any product on it during his first year of life. Baby shampoo, water, and a good brushing session was all it took to make it lay down.

Then, a few days before his first birthday, I noticed that he had a few curls springing up in the back. Excited, I remember brushing them and, by the next day, there were more until he finally had an entire head of curly hair. After that, his curls grew thicker, so I started using a bit more product in his hair to keep it looking well-groomed.

At the time, we lived in Manhattan and everywhere we went, people not only commented on his cuteness, but his hair: they wanted to know all about it. One of the recurring questions was How did you get his hair to grow like that at such a young age? Jokingly, I typically responded that I ate a lot of queso when I was pregnant with him. By the time Aiden was three, we relocated to Dallas, Texas. Side note, Im originally from Texas and made the Manhattan exodus in order to get more FREE.99 help with my child from my family because the #singlemomstruggle can be real. I have three brothers (one older and two younger) and, the first thing they wanted to know when they saw us after our move was when I planned on cutting Aidens hair.


Growing up as the only girl in the family, I never personally went to the barber shop, but my stepdad took my brothers for haircuts at least once a week. I remember asking my mom if I could go, but she told me that barbershops were for boys and men, not girls. My brothers always seemed excited to go, so I assumed that it was a fun place for guys to be. You see, in the African-American community, hair is a big deal and getting it styled (whether youre a male or a female) can sometimes be an all-day affair. I have so many memories of going to the salon with my mom or aunt. Still, I always enjoyed the camaraderie of talking with other girls and eavesdropping on the other women gossiping (and complaining about their husbands).

I personally never set foot in a barber shop, but what I could tell when passing its clear, glass door, is that it is the male equivalent of the beauty shop. Like a hair salon, it is a bonding place for menand most dads take pride in bringing their sons there. As you can imagine once Aiden turned of age, I felt a bit conflicted about taking him. Would it be weird for a single mom to bring her son to the barbershop? Would I make other men feel uncomfortable sitting there waiting for my son? Would they give me strange looks and continuously clear their throats kind of like they do when I peruse the boys underwear aisle at Wal-Mart?!

Turns out, I made myself anxious prematurelyAiden told me he didnt want to cut his hair anyways. To my relief, we have bypassed his first barbershop experience completely. I can honestly say that Aidens curls are just as much a part of him as the rest of his body. He has told me that he loves his hair and, as a result he never gives me any trouble about washing or styling it.

In fact, I daresay weve created a ritual together, not just a simple haircare routine. Deep down inside the thought of Aiden cutting his hair makes me emotional because a haircut might end one of our best bonding moments. Yes, we have entire haircare process dedicated to his curls, but its our special thing we do together. Aiden told me that he loves getting his hair washed (honestly, I cant blame him since its also one of my favorite activities, too!) and detangling session.

At least 30 minutes or so before washing his hair, Ill apply a hair oil and pull it into a man (boy?!) bun. This makes detangling it later much easier and always leaves his curls super soft. I wash his hair with a moisturizing shampoo that contains ingredients such as shea butter since his curls can get dry, plus use a deep conditioner at least once a week. Then, every day, I detangle his curls using my fingers followed by a leave-in conditioner.

Im also pretty sure that his awesome curls are one of the many reasons he was able to nab a kid modeling contract here in Dallas with top modeling agency Kim Dawson. He is confident in his hair, and as long as Im able to take care of it, I see no real reason for him to cut it unless he asks me to do it (which I will cry about but hey, its his hair!) But, for right now, Im not worried about taking him to the barber shop anytime soon.




Janell Hickman