Mother-Daughter Tress Tales

ESSENCE spoke to mothers and daughters about what they've learned from each other about embracing their natural hair. See how these women have honored their kinks, coils and curls from one generation to the next.

Nicole Marie Melton Feb, 13, 2013

1 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“There is something that is so special about the connection made between mothers and daughters and our hair. I remember the pride I took in walking out of our home, as a child, with the familiar coconut smell of a freshly oiled scalp and impeccably neat sectioned ponytails. I also remember that special look of achievement on my mother’s face. Now that I’m a mom, I feel that same strong connection to my little loc’d baby and hope that she’s feeling the same pride in her connection to me and her naturally beautiful hair.” -Jhacole, mom of Jhoa

2 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“Honestly, my mom didn’t teach me about natural hair, I taught my mother. I would teach my daughters that natural beauty is loving who you are and not trying to be someone else. Basically, love yourself because God made you the way He saw you. “ -Angélique, mother of Kay'Lynn & Hayley

3 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

"I'm teaching my daughter, Kayla, that her natural hair is a symbol of her heritage, uniqueness and strength. We have been blessed with God's vision of beauty and to go against that would be man's vision and quite often man's vision is shallow and distorted. Not at all what God intended." -Marquita, mother of Kayla

4 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“In the past, I’ve worn extensions and I always felt disconnected because deep down inside I wanted to really wear my natural hair. It took several years of confidence-building to make the transition — even though I saw it all around me, on television and even my own daughter wore her hair natural. Now, when I look in the mirror I feel naturally beautiful, empowered and proud. I am my hair and I hope to see my granddaughters embrace their natural beauty, too.” -Beverly, mom of Ashley

5 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

"I'm teaching my daughters to love their natural beauty, inside and out. I use the time we spend taking care of her hair to remind them of how beautiful they are. Leading by example is very important to me." -Patrice, mom of Paiten & Kelis

6 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I will continue to instill in my daughter that she is smart and beautiful. I want her to remember that her beauty is determined by her attitude.” – Charlotte, mom of Ryleigh

7 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“My daughter and I both agreed that her chemically treated hair was not where we wanted it to be. The best decision we could make was to stop relaxing her hair, which is beneficial to both her hair and her health. What I’ve learned from being natural is that I am a natural beauty.” -Shamika, mom of Brittanie

8 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I want my daughter to stay natural because I want her to know that being natural may inspire others in many ways. We should all learn to feel encouraged by ourselves, by freeing our inner beauty.” -Cierra, mom of Na'Chelle

9 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“My mother had eight daughters and she always stressed that the key to healthy skin and hair started with what we put inside our bodies, first and foremost. Making choices to wear hair in its natural state and embracing that is honoring what my mother taught me about beauty and self-acceptance. I wanted to pass those same beliefs on to my own daughters so that they know they are naturally beautiful.” –Tammie, mom of Raven

10 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I will tell Zaire to embrace her natural beauty and experiment with her hair; wear it long, short, blown out, straight, red, black, whatever! Have fun and never let anyone define or limit your options.” -Zawadi, mom of Zaire

11 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I strive to teach my daughters to love their bare essentials without embellishment. I tell them that their hair and body are a beautiful gift from God and they don’t have to augment themselves to conform to society or anyone.” –Voletta, mom of Haven & Paislē

12 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“There is nothing more beautiful than natural beauty. I'm 41 years old and choose to not wear makeup. Embracing my natural hair is something I've always wanted to do but didn't have the courage until 2005 when I met Tamika Fletcher, owner of Natural Resources Salon. It’s an outward reflection of the confidence I carry. I will instill in my 3-year-old daughter that God made her perfect, exactly the way she is and choosing to be natural is choosing to shout to the world that she is a beautiful, confident and a strong Black woman.” –LaFaith, mom of Nalani

13 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“Our natural beauty is what makes us beautiful inside and out, so embrace and love yourself. I love my daughter having natural hair because it’s very convenient. Her styles last two weeks for school and I don't have to deal with the worries of combing it every day, which allows it to grow and become strong, healthy hair!” -Kimberly, mom of Alexandria

14 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“My mother taught me that taking care of your hair by shampooing and conditioning it on a regular basis would keep it healthy. In addition to combing and brushing it daily, I wore my hair natural until I was 11, when I relaxed it for the first time. But we kept the routine and my hair stayed healthy. I wore the relaxer for 35 years and finally set myself free two years ago. I have been enjoying my wavy curly hair, but I also can enjoy it straight without relaxing it. Natural is great. My mother’s hair is natural and so is my daughter’s and we love it.” –Paulette, daughter of Carol

15 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I’ve been natural for nearly 13 years now and my daughters have never had chemicals in their hair. I’m pretty proud of that. I never wanted their hair to prevent them from participating in or enjoying any activity, whether it be swimming, running or playing in the rain. I’ve taught them that their hair is beautiful and that it belongs to them, not society. I’ve told them their hair doesn’t define them, it’s simply an extension of who they are as beautiful young women. I’m proud of that as well.” – Charmetria, mom of Laylah and Brooklyn

16 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“What I learned from my mother is to love myself inside and out because beauty is only skin deep. Natural beauty is flawless and that’s something that can’t be bought.” -Autumn, daughter of Torcher

17 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“Growing up, my mom wasn’t the best with hair. I would either get burned with the curling iron or she would start doing my hair and never finish. So, I learned how to do my own hair. Now, I am a stylist so I teach her how to take care of her hair and I show my little sisters how to style their hair as well.” -Hannjah, daughter of Ruth

18 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I had been wearing my hair natural for about six years when I decided that I no longer wanted any harsh chemicals in my hair. I love being able to just wash my hair and go. My daughter decided to go natural a few years after I did and she no longer has the breakage she used to have and her hair has grown a lot.” -Denise, mom of MacKenzie

19 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I am instilling in my daughter to love her natural state of beauty from the inside out. Acknowledging who she is from within made the transition to natural hair much easier. My daughter has taught me the importance of healthy hair habits for washing, moisturizing and protecting with styles that cause less tension on her hair. I have passed on to her what my mother and grandmother also told me growing up: 'Don’t let people play in your hair.'” -Cha-Tina, mom of Dejai

20 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“My goal for Calise is that she knows how to take care of her hair in its natural state. When I went natural, the most challenging part of staying natural was that I had no idea how to work with my hair. I’m sure she will go through her own hair saga but I hope that I’ve set the foundation that makes her comfortable to stay natural.” -Felicia, mom of Calise

21 of 21 Point and Click Photography; Hair by Natural Resources Salon

“I want my daughter to stay natural because her hair is healthier and stronger than it’s ever been. Being an athlete, keeping her hair in protective styles is low maintenance and she enjoys the versatility. Everyone’s hair texture is different, so you should wear styles that complement your unique personality and lifestyle. There’s beauty in diversity.” –Natalie, mom of Kayla

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