My Multiracial Daughter Thinks Straight Hair is Better

What should I do?

Helen Hensell
3 min readJul 4, 2022
The author’s daughter. Photo credit: the author’s personal photo gallery.

Recently, my six-year-old daughter came to me and said that she wants straight hair.

Immediately, this raised a red flag.

I asked her why.

She said that nearly all of the girls in her kindergarten class have straight hair. She also said that she thinks that my straight hair is beautiful and she wants her hair to look like mine.

When she said that, I was quick to tell her that her hair is beautiful too. I told her that everyone has different kinds of hair and they are all beautiful. I even told her that many would love to have her naturally wavy textured hair.

But still, I could tell that she remained unconvinced.

And why should she believe me when we still live in a world in which many people embrace straight hair as a beauty standard? Everywhere we turn, we see people with straight hair. Whether it is at school or public places, the number of people with straight hair greatly outnumber those with wavy, curly, or textured hair.

When you see mixed-race famous people like Kamala Harris or Meagan Markle choosing straight hair instead of their natural one, you subconsciously start thinking that straight hair must be the ideal.

Of course, I understand that straight hair is easier to take care of. Some people might want straight hair because they like it and that is okay.

But I never once see someone with straight hair intentionally curling their hair because they like it. It is as if curly or textured hair is somehow bad.

It is in the terminology we use. We see straight hair and use words like smooth, luscious, beautiful, silky, and soft.

And we see wavy or curly hair and we used words like tangled, messy, bushy, and big.

For decades, people have referred to textured hair as “bad hair” or “nappy hair.” And people, even African Americans, have referred to “white” hair as “good hair.”

We need to change this. There is no such thing as good or bad hair. All types of hair are good. All types of hair are beautiful and soft and smooth.



Helen Hensell

she/her I am a writer, blogger, social media specialist, mom, survivor. Follow me for more