My Kids Didn’t Love Their Curls…Until This Happened
It was 1994 and my tenth birthday was only days away. It was hard to fall asleep at night – in anticipation of the day when I would finally hit the double digits. I also couldn’t get my mind off my birthday gift. My mom had promised to take me in for a “banana hair straightening” treatment.
My tenth birthday meant so much to me – it also marked my first decade of living with thin, fluffy, curly hair. The years leading up to my experimental hair treatment had been filled with many “ouchs”, some tears and the occasional headache caused the by tight, gelled ponytails that had become my signature hairstyle in school.
As I sat in a private home for hours, with my hair lathered in a product that smelled equal parts chemical and banana-ey, the excitement was palpable. I stared into my mom’s eyes with anticipation and appreciation. It was finally time to get rid of my curls and I couldn’t wait.
Fast-forward twenty-something years later, and I look back to those times with a tinge of sadness. I have two daughters who were blessed with bouncy, wild curls. They too, have had moments of frustration at their hair. If you have curly tresses you know what I’m talking about. When you put your hair up in a tidy pony only catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror a few minutes later – with a cloud of frizz all over your head? When you go to sleep with gorgeous ringlets only to wake up with a mass of disheveled curls?
So, the day I heard from my 9-year-old that she didn’t “want curly hair anymore”, I knew it was time to visit Jonathan Torch’s Curly Hair Institute.
Walking into the salon with my daughters put a big smile on my face and filled me with pride. The place smelled delicious, the air was brimming with the sound of chatter and hair dryers, and everywhere you looked you found a stylist or client with curly hair. We had walked into a room with more than a dozen people with whom we shared something special. It was nothing short of inspiring.
I also noticed a beautiful look in my daughters’ eyes. They often make remarks about being the only ones among their friends with curls. As we were greeted by Jonathan, I knew they felt like they belonged.
Both my 9-year-old and 6-year-old had their hair cut and styled by Jonathan and his talented team. I cannot begin to describe how much knowledge and insight into the physics and chemistry of curly hair I got during my time there. A curly-haired person myself, I had never learned how to properly brush and style curls –I always thought a little bit of mousse was all it took to get my girls’ hair ready. Not only did I get an incredible education, but so did my daughters’. They listened intently as Jonathan showed them in which direction to brush and how to apply their amazing Kinder Curls curly product line for kids. He is passionate about curls, and it is contagious.
As the girls flipped their wet hair down and crunched the Kinder Curls’ Super Curls styler into it, they learned how to make squeaky “curl music”. They’ve been making “curl music” at home ever since.
By the end of our visit to The Curly Hair Institute, the expression on my daughters’ faces was priceless. As they looked in the mirror, my oldest said to me: “I never thought I could love my hair this much”. I teared up.
As a mom, my biggest wish for my children is for them to master self-acceptance and to be kind to themselves. I want them to look in the mirror and see inner and outer beauty reflected. It took years for my daughters to build a negative narrative around their gorgeous hair. It only took two hours for them to finally understand that their uniqueness is not a challenge but a blessing- to be celebrated, embraced and of course, flaunted.
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