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julie anizoba and her children
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICHIROMEOANDME

Since embarking on your natural hair journey, how has your perception of beauty altered and influenced how you care for your children’s hair?

I've been natural all my life. Growing up in Germany there wasn't much information concerning hair care. A friend and I were the only black/mixed kids around for a very long time, so our hair was never a topic. We had black curls, all the other kids didn't. I never made that hair-beauty connection. If your hair is well maintained, it's beautiful. If you feel comfortable with it, it's beautiful. So the only influence that I notice is that I taught myself how to take care of my kid's hair, so it's healthy.

What do you want your children to think of their natural hair?

That it is just hair. I don't want them to become overly attached to it or to how other people think it should look like. They are not defined by their afros. Their personality would still be the same if they had dreadlocs and they would still be beautiful if they were rocking TWA's.

How do your children influence you to embrace your natural hair?

They make it really hard to love my own hair because I'm  very jealous haha. Look at Grace's afro! It's perfection, low maintenance, hardly ever tangles, and it's not as thirsty as mine...I could go on about this forever. Seriously though, I love our hair! It makes us special without even trying and that's always a good thing.

Do you think teaching your children how to properly care for their hair has an impact on how they perceive their hair?

My kids grow up being different from everybody around them. They're still pretty exotic here in Germany, so I'm not sure if this question will ever come up. But if it does, I would explain to them that everybody's hair is different, so why should they be an exception? There're people who are blond, brunette, bald, wavy curls, etc. I would tell them that they are part of this diversity.

Do you think having natural hair yourself plays a role in how they perceives their natural hair?

Of course! I'm their mother. It doesn't matter what I do, it'll have an impact on them. If I were constantly agonizing about how my hair is low density and prone to frizz they would start to look for faults in their own. I don't want any of this. We embrace bad hair days just as much as we embrace any other day. There's nothing wrong with our hair and I always make sure they know that. However, one day they might curse their hair. I mean, I'm doing all the work for now. To them, wash day is movie day, ha! They're going to miss this once it's just wash day.

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