As a woman who has worn her hair chemically straightened on and off since the age of 10, I had mixed feelings when my oldest daughter (age 9) asked me when she could go to the beauty shop to get her hair “permed.” On the one hand, I was pleased to see her taking an interest in her appearance. This is my child who wears everything she eats on her shirt, thinks nothing to put on a pair of pants from the hamper, and might forget to wipe her mouth after a meal, if not reminded. “She’s growing up!” I thought to myself. On the other hand, I was a little saddened that the “natural” thing for her to aspire to was straightened hair.

When the subject of visiting the beauty shop came up with my middle daughter, who at the time of this writing is seven years old, I was pleasantly surprised at her request for locks. Not quite sure if she understood that locks were more or less “permanent,” I explained to her that were she to get them, she would not be able to go back and forth between them and her favorite hairstyle, afro-puffs. Being the contemplative child that she is, she told me she would think about it and get back to me. She asked if in the meantime she could wear twists to see if she’d like locks. So one Saturday morning after our ritual washing and deep conditioning session, I twisted her hair. She loved her twists, for both the look and the fact that they’re temporary.

With a friend’s wedding coming up in which I was a bride’s maid, my oldest daughter a hostess, my son an usher, and my middle and youngest daughters flower girls, I decided the perfect time for a trip to the beauty shop had presented itself.  When I informed my mother of our plans to visit the shop, she warned me that I better take pictures or risk losing her good favor. Being the obedient daughter that I am, I obeyed.

Despite all the build-up that led to my daughters’ first visit to the beauty shop, the visit itself did not disappoint. I patronize a salon run by a lovely woman named Ann, who along with her team of stylists have created a heavenly refuge for sisters and brothers to come for a little, well-earned pampering. Ann is a Christian, who lives out her faith through her business. The shop is very clean and friendly.  No crass conversations or use of “blue” language pollute the atmosphere. In fact, contemporary gospel or ol’ school R&B usually make up the background music .  From the bowl to the final curl, Miss Glo and Miss April took care of my daughters’ beauty needs and succeeded in making them both feel like royalty. As far as the style – I opted for a compromise. I let the girls get their hair pressed, not relaxed…I think I’ll let them make that decision when they’re older. And we agreed on a style that incorporated flat twists and Shirley Temple Curls. We were all very pleased with the end result.

At the end of the visit, both girls’ got the point of going. They had fun hanging out together with mom, being pampered and getting pretty. It was a privilege to be able to share something so “grown up” with them that was “just for us girls.”

Of course upon leaving the shop, or “salon” as my oldest daughter insists we call it, both girls wanted to know when they’d be returning. I’ve gone and started something, y’all. I hope you enjoy the pictures!