I’ve been struggling to come out of my shell and blog explicitly about my life as a stepmother. It was difficult to pluck up the courage to say what I wanted to say, because I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. Being a stepmother is part of who I am and I can’t exclude it from my blog any longer. So here’s my first entry for Stepmom Sunday and it’s a topic that has been a bone of contention in our family for many years. I hope it can help other moms in my position.
My stepdaughter’s hair is completely different to mine, there’s no denying it. She has the most beautiful thick coils of hair, which is a combination of her father and mother’s hair. My son has a coarser type of hair than mine as well, which needs less maintenance than his sister’s simply because he is a boy.
When Mr and I started dating I felt a bit out of my depths with styling my stepdaughter’s hair. She immediately noticed the difference between my hair and hers and asked me one morning why my hair stays straight all the time. I told her that my hair is like that and that her curly hair is special and beautiful too.
There’s been a lot of flip flopping with my stepdaughter’s hair over the years; initially her mother dictated how her hair should be done. This would range from only natural hairstyles to straightening with a hair iron, which was revoked for about a year and I grew tired of all of it to be honest. I understood that it was her daughter and she had a certain image that she wanted to portray regarding her daughter’s hair, but I would never knowingly and intentionally damage my stepdaughter’s hair. That’s when we started to create our own routine, which had a few natural products and lots of heat protection product.
We started deep conditioning with avocado and egg yolks, which made her hair lustrous and strong. I also used olive and coconut oil on her hair as a daily moisturiser. When she wanted her hair straightened for school or ballet recitals we used Tresemme Keratin Smooth heat protection spray. The Tangle Tamer is our best friend and flexirods make the most wonderful heat free curls.
Hair styled with flexirods and holding creme.
My stepdaughter has undergone many hair changes in the years we’ve been a family. Her hair has been as long as half way down her back to as short as a few centimetres. Reinforcing her love for her natural hair is top of mind for her parents and still is now. My view is that she should be able to do her hair in any way that she desires and that’s how I’ve done her hair over the years. If she wanted it straight, curly, mohawked, half up half down, short, long; she’d choose and I’d do it. I try to teach her that her hair is beautiful in ALL styles, but it isn’t her hair that matters; it’s what’s inside her head that counts.
Doing her hair was a way for us to bond. We’ve had so many deep and meaningful conversations with a comb in my hand and a handful of pins and pompoms in hers. We didn’t have much time together these holidays, but we took some time to try out a variety of hairstyles and she says she misses it. I miss it too. Her hair has brought us closer in an unexpected way.
Here’s my advice for stepmothers in a similar position:
- Talk to your partner about his hair expectations early on so that there is no confusion on your part.
- Use resources like Pinterest or YouTube to research hairstyle ideas and haircare routines.
- Ask the BM for advice on how to do your stepdaughter’s hair, if you can. We aren’t close like that, but if you have a more open relationship you may be able to learn a few things.
- Accessorize – Bobby pins, clips and headbands are your best friend. They are a great way for your child to express herself too.
- Know your limits – I know that I can’t braid hair to save my life, but there are plenty of hairstyles that I love to do.
- Practice, practice, practice- Don’t be afraid to try new hairstyles. Everyone has bad hair days and don’t beat yourself up about those days. Tomorrow will be better.
- Don’t give up – You may not end up with a perfect hairstyle every time, but don’t give up too soon. Keep trying and you’ll get it right.
- Put your foot down – Don’t be afraid to say how you feel regarding your stepchild’s hair. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but you are a member of the family too and your opinion counts.
- It’s not a hair competition – The way I style my stepdaughter’s hair and the way her mom styles her hair is completely different, but both ways make beautiful results. A happy child that’s taken care of is all that counts.
Have you experienced something similar or do you have any curly hair tips to share? Let me know by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you.
Love and Blessings,