Home Hair Curl-tural Nuances: The Silent Politics of How to Part Hair

Curl-tural Nuances: The Silent Politics of How to Part Hair

by victoriavadenking
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Victoria Vaden teaches how to part hair, showing several toddler hair styles of her curly hair kids

Let’s be honest: a majority of us were not blessed with the magical ability to create straight lines on paper…

Let alone on a wiggling toddler’s head with curls springing up like it’s their own little party.

So, when it comes to learning how to part hair for our curly hair kids, the pressure is REAL.

I’m talking heart rate rising, sweat dripping, breathing into a paper bag kind of real.

You see, parting is not just about aesthetic perfection.

It’s a testament to our competency as caregivers, especially in the black and mixed hair community.

Let’s dive head-first into the chaotic world of creating a perfectly straight line on your child’s head and why it’s kind of a big deal.

This post is all about how to part hair for your curly hair kids.

Victoria Vaden's daughter with mixed hair shown with parted toddler hairstyles playing by a fountain.
I may have hated all things girly growing up, but I have SO much fun trying new hairstyles for my daughters.
biracial hair

The Straight Line Obsession: It’s Not Just Geometry.

As humans, we have this inexplicable obsession with straight lines.

Seriously, have you ever tried drawing a straight line freehand?

It’s ridiculously hard, and I’d even argue that it’s the universe’s way of keeping us humble.

But in the world of curly hair, it’s not just about perfection—it’s deeper than that.

You probably don’t know about that unwritten curly code, do you?

The one that judges your parting skills as the ultimate test of parenthood?

Yeah, it’s a thing.

A crooked part in your kid’s hair can be viewed as a sign that you don’t know what you’re doing.

There’s this unspoken belief that if you can’t part curly hair, you might as well hang your “parent of a curly-haired child” badge in shame.

Trust me, it’s just not the kind of mom group you want to join.

curly hair kids
My daughter’s hair never stayed in a holder, so crooked parts were inevitable for me.

It’s More than Just Looks: The Science Behind It.

The issue with crooked parts isn’t just about having a bad hair day.

Oh no, it’s much deeper than that.

It’s a testament to hair health.

Incorrect parting is like wearing shoes two sizes too small; it’s bound to cause problems.

In the hair world, that problem is hair tension.

Think of it like pulling a rubber band too tight – eventually, it’s going to snap.

Similarly, if curly hair is constantly tugged in the wrong direction, it’s going to break.

And that breakage?

It’s like a silent cry for help from those precious tresses.

And let’s get real for a moment.

mixed race hair

Beyond hair health, it’s also about presentation.

Remember that time you wore mismatched socks to work, thinking no one would notice?

But then, of course, it was the day they asked you to remove your shoes at the doctor’s office.

Yeah, we’ve all been there.

Sending your child to school with a crooked part in their hair is like sending them off with a neon sign that says:

“Mom’s still on her first coffee” or “Mom gave up halfway through.”

We’re all human; we make mistakes.

But let’s not make our kids’ scalps the battleground of our early morning blunders.

For their hair’s sake, and their social standing in the kindergarten hierarchy.

Trust me, no one wants to be crowned “queen of uneven hair parts.”

It’s just not a thing.

curly hair kids

Parted Ways: The Culture Behind Every Hair Line

Hair, especially in the black and mixed hair community, has deep-rooted societal implications.

Let’s face it, hair is never just hair.

It’s an expression of identity, a nod to our ancestry, and a canvas upon which societal norms and prejudices are painted.

For many in the black and mixed-race communities, hair has been an arena of both pride and contention.

And it’s intertwined with complex histories of racial, social, and aesthetic judgments.

Think about it: from the sheen of a freshly pressed mane in the early 20th century to the embracing of afros during the civil rights movement, our hair tells a story of resistance, pride, assimilation, and revolution.

And today?

Today, it’s about the celebration of natural beauty, the reclaiming of traditional practices, and the push against Eurocentric ideals of what defines ‘beautiful’ hair.

When I part my daughter’s hair, I’m not just making a straight line.

I’m navigating through intricate intersections of history, cultural identity, and a deeply personal journey of self-acceptance.

I’m challenging the lingering gazes of those who might think her curls are “too wild” or “unruly”.

I’m whispering to her, through every stroke of the comb, that her hair is beautiful just as it is.

And it doesn’t need to fit into a boxed standard of beauty.

But here’s the kicker: it sometimes feels like while I’m parting her hair, I’m battling decades of beauty standards and societal expectations.

Each strand carries with it the weight of ancestral stories, of shared experiences, of passed-down traditions.

And all this happens before breakfast.

No pressure, right?

how to part hair

My Childhood Regrets of the Straight & Narrow

Growing up as an African-American woman with a head full of curls that, more often than not, found themselves under the straightening magic of relaxers, I was a bit of an oddball in the curly hair journey.

I can hear your assumptions through the screen: a grown woman should technically be a pro at her own hair game, even when starting from scratch.

But realistically, from baby steps to tangles, it was like learning to walk in the world of hair all over again.

My childhood curls spent so much time being introduced to relaxers that, by adulthood, I was as naive as any non-African American parent trying to decipher the Rosetta Stone that is mixed hair.

What’s more stereotypically expected of an African-American woman than mastering her curly hair?

And yet, here I was, utterly clueless.

YouTube became my classroom (way before ‘going natural’ started trending) and my mid-back length hair journey, a public document.

From fumbling with products to trying out hair growth methods, I hit the record button and dove headfirst into the world of curls, sharing the ups and downs.

Those videos? (Yep, my channel is still live.)

A testament to my triumphs, trials, and, yes, the occasional hair tragedy.

Now, about those…let’s call them “creative” parts.

Zigzags that seemed to have a mind of their own and lines that would make Picasso tilt his head in wonder?

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and the comments).

It was like my scalp’s way of rebelling against the societal straight-line obsession.

But here’s a nugget of wisdom: Perfect is overrated.

mixed hair
Done is better than perfect…sometimes straight parts are unrealistic when you have an active toddler.

Life’s too fleeting to agonize over the straightness of a hair part.

Especially on those frantic mornings when the clock’s ticking down to preschool drop-off and that stubborn curl refuses to play nice.

So, if you find yourself in such a predicament, own it!

Give it a haute couture name like “Trendy Tousled Part” or “Rebellious Runway Ridge” and make it the talk of the town. Remember, every line tells a story.

And yours?

It’s a bestseller.

Tips for Parting Curly Hair (Because We All Need Them!):

  • Preparation is Key: Always dampen the hair. Curly hair can be more manageable when it’s wet. Plus, it’s less likely to spring back into its party mode.
  • Edge/Styling Gel: It’s not just for edges. A touch of gel can help you define that part and get both sides to lay flat. This one is my favorite, but any edge gel will work.
  • Use a Rat-tail Comb: The pointy end can help you navigate through the curls and create a neater part. But if your child is like mine and runs away at the sight of any hair tool, your fingers will do just fine.
  • Practice on Play-Doh: Okay, I’m half-joking. But seriously, if you can part Play-Doh, you can part hair. It’s a rite of passage.
how to part hair
Going through bouts of postpartum, I cut my hair off for the last time and have been natural (again) since 2020.

The Heartfelt Pep Talk for Parents.

Moms, dads, guardians of curly-haired angels: you’re doing great.

Whether your part is as straight as a ruler or as wobbly as my attempt at yoga, remember this: it’s the love and care that matters.

Your child won’t remember the crooked parts or the perfect braids.

They’ll remember the gentle hands that tried, the kisses, the laughter, and the times you made them feel beautiful—healthy curls, wonky parts, and all.

This post is all about how to part hair for your curly hair kids.

To all my fellow parents navigating the curly jungle: take a breath, have a chuckle.

And remember, the journey of parting curly hair is filled with learning, growth, and lots of gel.

Ever wondered if the curly madness continues beyond the blog?

Oh, it does!

Spiral down the rabbit hole with me on Instagram @VictoriaVadenKing.

Witness the curl-tastrophes, the whirlwind victories, and the moments when my comb goes MIA (spoiler: it’s often).

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victoria vaden

a diaper duties mom blog


victoria vaden king

Victoria Vaden

Original YouTuber when ‘viral’ was just a flu symptom. My English degree qualified me to tell stories (the good kind). So, I'm sharing the not-so-normal reality of motherhood and marriage.

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DYEM is for the not-so-perfect, spit-up-stained, smile-through-anything moms out there looking for sanity. Motherhood is messy and full of mistakes. You'll find plenty of that here.

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