mother and daughter

I Am The Mother Of A Girl And I Cannot Style Her Hair To Save My Life

By  | 

From my previous posts, you might have guessed that I am pretty girly and heavily into fashion and beauty. I love make-up, shopping, spa treatments and getting my hair done. Somehow, I also have no idea how to do hair. Like, at all. It is mystifying to me that I have survived 32 years on this planet as a very feminine person without mastering even a French braid, but it’s true. Now, I am the mother of a girl and I cannot style her hair to save my life.

I have always felt somewhat clueless and stumbly about doing my own hair as well as others. I remember being the scourge of 5th grade sleepovers because whoever was in front of me in the Braid Chain knew they were getting a piece-of-shit braid that would fall out within 15 minutes while the other girls created beautiful styles that held all night. I went through several phases of BAD hair styles up to and including the world’s most ill-advised spiral perm complete with Dolly Parton bangs. I never quite knew what to do with it and finally figured out my best trick sometime in college- the straightening iron. That has become my signature look and I hadn’t thought about hair styles in years until I had my own daughter. Naturally, she was born with a full head of dark hair, just like mine.

As a baby, it was easy. Her hair was adorable without doing anything to it and we got compliments all the time. As it grew longer, I attempted a few different styles but most often, it was the classic Pebbles ponytail on top of her little head. Or, The Geyser, as my husband called it.


My daughter with her stylin hair-do.

My daughter with The Geyser- circa 2008

This style got us through to maybe age two and then, her hair was so long I had to figure something else out. For the next few years, we hobbled along using a lot of barrettes and did some boring pony tails. She gaveth no shits and all was fine but now, she is school aged and painfully aware of my lack of skills. I blame summer camp. The counselors make her look like Katniss Everdeen with these insanely elaborate braid situations that cause my brain to hurt. She loves them so much and begs me to leave the braids in for the next day because she knows I could never replicate it. Every morning before school, she asks me to do “something pretty” to her hair and I always manage to disappoint with my lame creations. It ends with me throwing up my hands in frustration and doing yet another boring pony tail.

I feel at this point that I have exhausted my options for learning. I have watched YouTube tutorials on doing hair, I have asked for help from women I know who are great at it and still, I can’t do much more than a pony tail or single braid. My daughter seems so bummed out by it and I wish I weren’t so inept but I think I just need to accept that this is not my thing as a mom. Sadly, we are now at a point where she does a better French braid than I do and she practices on me all the time- they look so good now I can even leave the house afterward. I wish I could do the same for her but I think that the key to being a good parent is knowing your strengths and weaknesses. I may not do hair, but I will go to her baseball games and cheer my fool head off, read and explain The Witches to her, and paint her toe nails whenever she asks. I hope she knows that I am only doing my best and when she sees pictures of herself at six years old with boring hair she will remember all the good things instead.