“Mommy, what’s that?” my nearly-5-year-old daughter asks, pointing to the flatiron I’m using to quickly straighten the rumpled collar of a dress she insists on wearing. “It’s a flatiron.” I respond, handing her the now-presentable frock. “Is it just a little iron for my dresses? Why was it with your hair brushes?” As I unplug the mechanism, I realize that she has no recollection of me ever using it. No memory of me searing my curls straight daily. Good!
I explain that a flatiron is a tool people use to straighten their hair. She asks why I have one since I don’t straighten my hair.
“I used to straighten my hair a lot when you were little. Then, when you were not even two-years-old, you began pulling your curls straight while looking in the mirror and saying you wanted straight hair instead of curls. I knew I needed to stop straightening my hair. I wanted you to appreciate your curls because they’re beautiful just the way they are.” “I like my curls,” she says, coiling her golden ringlets around her fingers, “I don’t want straight hair.” I smiled. “Good,” I said, “I’m glad you’re happy with your beautiful hair just the way it is. If, when you’re older, you want to play with flatirons and curling irons to change your hair for fun, that’s fine. I just don’t want you to feel you need to do it.”
“I know,” she replied, “I like my hair just the way it is.” Three years of not using any hot hair tools beyond a diffusser has proven fruitful. Mission accomplished!