As a little girl growing up on the Lower East Side in New York City, it seemed as if every business was Hispanic-owned—from bodegas to the hair salons. Going to el salon was a once-a-week ritual for my sisters and I. I was not born with pelo bueno—the straight, shiny, silky type. Mine is frizzy, thick and super curly.
Every time I went to my local Dominican hair salon, I walked out with pelo-so-bueno. To this day, I still get my weekly blowouts, but I always said that if I have a daughter, I would never make her feel like her curly hair isn't perfecta. So far, I haven't had the occasion to have the curly hair talk with my kids, because I have two little boys.
Hudson, my three year old, inherited my thick curly pelo, hairline greñas and all! By the time he was one-year-old, we let his hair grow into quite the curly 'do, and didn't bother with haircuts. The first few times we trimmed Hudson's locks, we did it ourselves—old-school style! As Hudson got older, we decided we would try a kid's hair salon, so we settled on one suggested by several mommies in my network.
Upon walking in, we realize this salon is amazing, and nothing like the old LES salon I went to. There were children's books as far as the eye can see, toys, and DVDs to distract the kiddies while they get pampered and styled. While at the salon, the stylist presented my husband and I with a lookbook of kiddie cuts, but there was not one style that resembled Hudson's hair. My husband and I were shocked! Here we are in Brooklyn, and there was not one picture of a curly-haired child! My husband kindly told the stylist that the lookbook didn't have a child with Hudson's type of hair, but she assured us that we would be happy with the haircut nonetheless. It's safe to say we were both a bit skeptical and I walked her through the cut, rizo by rizo.
The good news? Hudson walked out of the salon with a clean crop that still preserved his beautiful curls. Hudson told everyone he saw that he just had his first big-boy haircut. He was so proud of his accomplishment, the same type of pride I will always encourage he has about his wooly head of curly hair, even if it can't be found in a typical lookbook.
How do you celebrate your child's unique features?
Do you want to hear more from Latina mom, Yesenia Almonte? Find out what Yesenia and her hubby think about other adults disciplining their kids.
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Photo via Yesenia Almonte