From the Desk of Licensed Psychologist Dr. Amy Winter

Dr. Amy Winter says: According to Redbook, 65 percent of women have curly hair. Genetics determines whether your locks will be straight or curly. Hair has always been linked to a woman’s beauty. For centuries women have been styling, coloring and cutting their hair to enhance and compliment their appearance.

Today, girls of all ages are bombarded with images of models with silky sleek long straight hair, or perfectly textured sultry curls. Girls as young as five-years-old are getting their hair blown out for school plays and assemblies, in order to “look pretty”. Keratin treatments, which is the application of strong chemicals to eliminate curls and frizz, are being applied more and more to younger girls. The hair market is flooded with products from flat irons and serums, all in the hope of getting rid of curls and having perfectly straight hair.

Young girls see curly hair as unattractive and unruly; therefore, they are not as “pretty” as their peers. For example, in an advertisement campaign by Unilever, they interviewed girls as young as six who did not think that they were beautiful because of their curly hair. These self-evaluations can negatively influence a young curly girl’s self-image and self-esteem. Girls need to be taught that their curls should be celebrated and not banished from existence! Books that contain role models and characters that they can identify with is an important part of that process.

Positive images and experience of girls and their curly hair should be available to help girls accept and love all parts of themselves.

Amy Winter, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

Atara Twersky, Author of Curlee Girlee is a TODAY Show Style Icon. Her mission is to teach girls to embrace the beautiful curls they have with power and confidence. Join us as together we change the “coarse” of curly hair. Don’t forget to check out our recent article on What to Do or Say if Your Daughter is Showing Signs of Hating Her Curly Hair.

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