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Are Baby Length Checks the Wave of the Natural Hair Future?

Avatar • Jun 24, 2016

I was 21 years old when I went natural. To say it was a struggle is an understatement. It was a crash course in things I’d never done before: Deep conditioning! Daily moisturizing! Sealing?! It took me 6 years, an additional mini-chop and lots of tears before I finally got some footing and started consistently retaining length. Now I’m a mother and my kids have the benefit of my knowledge. We do weekly deep conditions and one co-wash during the week. Hair spritzes and coconut oil scalp massages are part of our routine. My son and daughter will never have to agonize over whether their hair can/will grow. My son has hit back-length twice — and he’s about to be 4.

My story is not atypical. Many of us who entered the natural hair movement in our late teens and 20s are mothers now. And our kids benefit from our skill and knowledge. We know our way around a kink and a coil. Retaining length ain’t a thang. And this might explain a growing phenomenon — the baby length check.

Natural mamas are proud to show just how well their babies’ hair is sprouting. Check it out:

Some might call this overzealous. But as a mother I get it. No, I’ve never done a length check on my own children, but after a lifetime of hearing the questionable ‘black kids can’t grow hair unless they’re mixed’, I’m not mad at mamas for having a victorious, ‘in yo face!’ moment.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on baby length checks?

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TWA4now
TWA4now
4 years ago

I think it’s great! It shows the world our children CAN grow long.hair too!

Mka
Mka
4 years ago

I tried doing my niece’s hair once…Tackling the tangles and bits of fluff that only a toddler can accumulate plus her handling her good-natured squirmings was not something that I had planned for. These Mamas are rightfully proud of their babies well cared for hair.

Chevanne
4 years ago
Reply to  Mka

The lint! Their hair is like a magnet!

S. Williams
S. Williams
4 years ago

hmm, I think it’s great to an extent. black or white women can be very obsessive over length in and of itself (bald-healded scally wag ring a bell)? I would use it as a tool to check on hair health and overall quality/hair practices that you’re employing. however, be mindful of teaching your daughters that length is everything. it can go south very quickly if the conversation is always about how long it is over how healthy it is

LBell
LBell
4 years ago
Reply to  S. Williams

EXACTLY. Thank you. Too many black folks are still stuck in that “good/bad hair” mindset, which extends to length as well as texture. Also, we don’t have to “prove” anything to anybody…and if these mamas don’t get that, hopefully their daughters will when and if they become mamas as adults.

Chevanne
4 years ago
Reply to  S. Williams

Everyone else gets to enjoy long hair. I knew girls throughout my education who wore their hair mid back or longer and hadn’t known anything else. Let us celebrate. We NEED to celebrate to know what is possible and what is *actually* normal.

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago

The last paragraph says it all:

Some might call this overzealous. But as a mother I get it. No, I’ve never done a length check on my own children, but after a lifetime of hearing the questionable ‘black kids can’t grow hair unless they’re mixed’, I’m not mad at mamas for having a victorious, ‘in yo face!’ moment.”

Affirmation leads to normalization. I applaud these women because they are debunking myths about black natural hair, one inch at a time.

more
more
4 years ago

hmmm idk if they should do this. Some little black girls have very short hair and it might make it into a competition

Ericca Brock
4 years ago

I feel bad for these kids. they are being taught that their appearance is all that matters and their hair is what makes them beautiful, not being a whole person.

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