When Is Your Baby’s Hair Going To Change?
When I was pregnant with both of my daughters, I had heartburn most hours of the day — straight-up torture. With my first, I could eat a piece of dry toast, turn to the side and feel a wave of acid rising from the pits of my stomach. It wasn’t normal. I was convinced. Family members insisted, “Ooh wee! That baby’s gonna have a headful of hair!” I groaned, living in the moment, as I was the one suffering with each morsel consumed. When she was born, I saw that maybe that was some truth to the myth, my little girl emerged from the womb plump and rosy-cheeked with thick, curly, dark brown hair.
“That baby looks Spanish,” her father quipped a few days after. I rolled my eyes at him, “Ma says I had hair like that as a newborn too.” In the following days, houseguests came through to poke and prod at our first daughter in amazement. She was born light-skinned, with little slits for eyes and all that hair sitting atop her head like a winter hat. She hated when I washed and combed through it. She still does nine years later, which I find hilarious.
I was still relaxing my hair then but I’d decided years before having kids that chemical straightening would be their choice once they got to high school. As for me, I read up on natural hair care and vowed to keep mineral oil and other no-no’s out of my baby’s scalp. Her hair kept that texture until she was closer to one-year-old, which is the norm I believe.
She’d browned up, closer to her natural skin tone, which pleased her dad most of all because he liked to half-joke that when they were out together alone, running errands, people tended to stare “like I kidnapped her or something.” Her hair had begun to kink-up which pleased me most of all because I could start with my haircare regimen for her and stick to it since it was unlikely that my baby’s hair texture was going to change again anytime soon.
My own mother was all about adding waxy hair grease to my baby’s head and pulling her hair up from the roots to make her more “presentable.” To who though? It was the Blue Ivy Treatment, from my own family. By the time our little girl was two-years-old, it seemed everyone in the world had a tip or a suggestion about what I should be doing to and using on her hair. It was like I had an entire comment section in my face at family gatherings. I was Bey and she was Blue. And all I wanted to do was holler, “Don’t y’all have your own damn kids?”
It didn’t happen the same way with our second daughter. She was a chunky one too out of the womb, darker, with a headful of hair but her’s was bone straight. It was amazing. They looked alike but the details were so different. Down to the difference in hair textures, even as newborns.
She’s four-years-old now and while her hair has curled up a little, it’s been years of her dad asking innocently, “When is her hair gonna change?” The little one takes her hair from her grandfather who has a soft, loose curl. Who can ever tell with Black kids? We’re all so mixed up in our heritage but I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that she’s so dark-skinned that makes most people doing her hair, raise an eyebrow. Others, without a filter, will ask if I relax her hair. “Why your first baby — the brown-skinned one — got kinkier hair?” I usually act like I don’t hear the question. I just take care of my little girls and the hair that grows out of their respective heads, accordingly.