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Black Dad Upset After White Wife Straightens Their Mixed-Race Daughter’s Hair Without Asking Him

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Hair. To many… It’s everything.

It can be a big part of what helps define a person.

So why and when people choose to make drastic hair changes is a major life topic.

And it can be a minefield for parents with opposite thoughts.

Case in point…

Redditor isabellaj8383 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for straightening my daughters hair?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Now I 25 F[emale] am white and my husband 26 M[ale] is black and our kids 7 F, 4 M, and I am currently pregnant with a third kid, any way, of course, they are all mixed race with curls (this is important to the story).”

“We have done everything to make my daughter let’s call her Alana, feel secure with her beautiful natural hair.”

“It took a while but she loves it so much and her curls are the most beautiful thing ever.”

“Anyway, she asked me to straighten her hair for the first time because she wanted to see what it would look like.”

“I was hesitant but I told her I would only do it this once as I don’t want her hair to fall out.”

“I straightened it for her I thought her natural hair looked better but she seemed very happy with it.”

“My husband came home from the gym a little after we finished.”

“He was pissed that her hair was straightened.”

“He said to Alana that it looked beautiful.”

“But he then went upstairs and told us he felt annoyed that I didn’t ask him first.”

“I’m not going to sit here and lie, I genuinely thought he wouldn’t mind.”

“I know that this is a pretty mild situation on this subreddit but I do want to know.”

“We aren’t fighting or anything. I just want to know.”

“Last thing sorry for bad grammar I’m dyslexic and not very good at this.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“Assuming you used heat protection spray and hair straighteners, not a chemical relaxer, what you have done is reversible by washing her hair.”

“It’s like putting makeup on (admittedly with a few more racial connotations).”

“It seems like your husband may feel like your daughter’s hair was being altered to make her more white-passing, which is an emotive subject.”

“While there may be some underlying systemic racism driving your daughter’s request you did it specifically because she asked you to.”

“It sounds like the two of you need to sit down with your daughter and have a talk about the reasons that her hair is different.”

“And the bigger picture surrounding racism and coily hair so that she can be aware of it when making her own decisions.”

“Basically, it’s important to respect your daughter’s bodily autonomy while giving her the tools to make educated decisions.”  ~ Obsidian-Winter

OP answered…

“I did use a really good heat protection spray.”

“And I would never relax her hair.”

“I had a chat with him and he did feel like that which of course is valid.”

“We definitely will talk to her about it.”

Reddit continued...

“This comment right here is a big reason why you’re fine.”

“First of all, she asked for it.”

“Secondly and this is a big one you didn’t put a relaxer in it.”

“I told my fiancée that I’ll let our future kids do just about anything to their hair except put a relaxer in it.”

“Relaxers were created because white people thought our hair was disgusting and nappy.”

“So I’m very much against them and any white person who pressures a black or mixed person (especially a child) to get one.”

“The fact that you properly straightened it with a heated hair straightener means that what you did is super temporary and totally okay.”

“Continue to have talks with both him and her to ensure everyone is in a good place.”

“Systematic racism runs deep and I mean DEEP.”  ~ TotheWestIGo

“I’ve seen even brown people (in my Asian country) wanting slick straight hair, and using chemical relaxers for that.”

“A lot of people are now embracing their natural wavy/curly hair, but it’s still common to hear how straight hair is the standard of beauty.”

“Anyway, I’ve seen so many people ruin their hair with chemical straightening.”

“Not just the long-term damage, but even short-term how it looks.”

“Especially when it grows out, and the roots are curly/wavy with the ends poker straight.”

“I had this friend who used to “fix” that with more straightening.”

“A couple years later, her hair was fried and really brittle.”

“I really hope we can turn around the Eurocentric standards of beauty.” ~ Ok-Bridge-1045

“It may also help to have a paternal aunt, grandmother, older cousin or female black friend join in on the conversation.”

“There is such a long history that goes along with black women’s hair that you will probably get the best perspective on from another black woman.”

“FYI, I think this is a NAH situation.”

“Teach your daughter about all of the great options she has for her hair that are protective of her natural texture rather than damaging.”

“And if you haven’t already, learn how to do those styles for her.”

“There are tons of black stylists who will show you how to best care for your daughter’s specific hair type.”  ~ Aggressive_Pass845

“This comment. NTA you’re Just trying your best.”

“Also I’d set clear boundaries with your husband about what is expected with your daughter’s overall hair and appearance.”

“She’s getting older and will become more opinionated about her appearance, as all kids do.”

“Like she may someday want to relax her hair and that’s a discussion you may need to have.”

“You guys need to be on the same page about that.”

“And make sure she understands the racial aspect while not making her feel resentful of it… if that makes sense.”

“Like women of all races change up the hair to look different than it would naturally, but for women of color theirs is a lot of connotation there.”

“I think you have to make her feel like she has the right to change her hair just as much as a white woman would.”

“But also let her know she doesn’t have to change her hair to look like a white woman.”

“I don’t know if that makes any sense.” ~ sleepykoalaaaa

“NTA! But understand that this is REALLY sensitive to some P[erson] O[f] C[olor] because a lot of us have horrible hair trauma.”

“There’s the history of people with curly hair being pressured to straighten it to ‘look presentable.'”

“Just talk it over with your husband and daughter and make sure everyone is on the same page.”

“And, whatever you do, do NOT relax that hair ever.”

“Edited to add: please also use heat protection.”  ~ paiglicious

“NAH. White parents of black/mixed kids have a responsibility to learn how to properly care for natural hair, but it sounds like you’ve done that.”

“It was her decision to try straitened hair, not something you forced.”

“It’s is always possible that one parent may not approve of a change in hair for a young child.”

“Just because of that it would have been nice if you’d run it by him for his opinion.”

“However, you each have equal say in this and not thinking he would care is normal.”

“Neither of you is being a terrible person here.”

“It’s just a disagreement/conflict.” ~ LadyCass79

“NAH – you allowed your daughter bodily autonomy in a safe temporary way.”

“Your husband rightfully recognizes the racial implications.”

“The only suggestion I have is some communication between you and him.”

“And then as a united front explain things to your girl in an age-appropriate manner.”

“Both of you are coming from a place of love for your child.” ~ TiredofCOVIDIOTs

“The kid comes from two cultures.”

“But her hair is not naturally straight.”

“So wanting to alter her natural hair to be straight can be seen as saying that one is better than the other.”

“Black women were forced to straighten or chemically alter their hair because their natural hair was seen as ‘messy’ or ‘unprofessional.'”

“That’s where the origin of black women straightening their hair came from.”

“Even today, you don’t see any other race alter their hair as drastically or frequently as black women.”

“And that’s because kinky hair is still not as acceptable as straight hair.”

“So the implications are that the kid straightening her hair may be because she is trying to fit in with the status quo.”

“That’s probably what her dad is worried about.”

“He just needs to have a conversation with his wife and daughter about why she wants to straighten her hair and make sure it’s not coming from a place of resentment for her natural hair.”

“If it’s not, I see no reason why daughter shouldn’t be able to straighten her hair every once in awhile.”  ~ Greedy_Educator3593

Sounds like Reddit agrees that you’re doing all the right things, OP.

Most importantly you care and take this matter seriously so that Alana knows she’s beautiful no matter what.

Maybe a calm sit down with the husband would be good, too.

Good luck.