Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to affirm your little one’s beauty – including their natural hair. Braids, locs, afros, ponytails, or twists. No matter the style, children should understand that kinky, curly, and coily hair is amazingly unique. Speak life into your children every day by making them feel good about the hair and the skin that they were born with. And, in addition to simply telling them how magnificent they are, reading with children can also help to build confidence and show appreciation for natural hair.
It’s important for children to see themselves in the media, especially books. These mirrors show young children that they are seen in the world and that they matter. If you are looking for children’s books that foster an appreciation of natural hair, start here.
I Love My Hair by Natasha Tarpley – A lyrical celebration of natural hairstyles like cornrows, puffs, and beads click-clacking in the wind. There’s even a board book version of this classic text for the littlest babies.
Natasha Tarpley’s Bippity Bop Barbershop – In the companion to “I Love My Hair,” Miles makes his first visit to the barbershop. Although he is first afraid to try a new hairstyle, with the help of his father, Miles bravely completes this rite of passage.
Author Crystal Swain Bates has three titles for young readers that are all about appreciating natural hair: Big Hair Don’t Care, Naturally Me, and I’m a Pretty Princess.
Hair Love by Matthew Cherry is the picture book that turned into an Oscar-winning short film. Zuri’s hair is big, beautiful, and wild. But it’s up to Daddy to help give Zuri a style to remember.
Nancy Redd’s Bedtime Bonnet – A vibrant picture book that reflects nightly Black hair care practices. A multigenerational family wraps their precious natural hairstyles for bedtime.
Happy to be Nappy – an adorable board book for the littlest naturalistas in your life. Author bell hooks and illustrator Chris Raschka uplift and affirm with this poem for natural hair.
Sharee Miller is an author/illustrator who has several books on the market about natural hair. Don't Touch My Hair and Princess Hair are just two books in her extensive catalogue of natural-hair loving protagonists.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes. A trip to the barbershop changes the way a young Black boy feels about the world.
Emi’s Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair by Tina Olajide. 7-year-old Emi has big hair, a big imagination, and an even bigger personality. Come learn about natural hair techniques and tips.
Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson. There’s not much illustration in this early middle grade book, but the written scenes include the book’s main character, Ryan, loving on her afro puffs and getting a pressing comb from grandma.
In Hair Like Mine by Latasha M. Perry, the narrator hates her hair. She goes on a mission to find someone with hair like hers, only to discover that her hair is what makes her special.
Mechal Renee Roe’s Happy Hair. A rhythmic celebration for little girls and their natural hair. Look for Cool Cuts, the companion for little boys’ hair appreciation, too.
Kechi’s Hair Goes Every Which Way by Tola Okogwu. Kechi loves that her hair is big, free, and loud. But since mummy’s away, can daddy meet the challenge of styling Kechi’s hair? Okogwu also has another hair title Daddy, Do My Hair? Beth’s Twists.
Penny and the Magic Puff Balls by Alonda Williams. Follow Penny in a series of adventures. She learns that her puffs are truly magical!
Wild, Wild Hair by Nikki Grimes. Nikki Grimes is an OG children’s book author who has been inspiring Black children since the 90s. In this book, Tisa hates Mondays because that’s when she has to get her hair done. Although getting her big hair styled is quite the chore, she can’t help but adore the outcome.
Color My Fro: A Natural Hair Coloring Book For Big Hair Lovers of All Ages. Get in this gorgeous coloring book and color with your kiddos! A therapeutic and positive way for children, and adults alike, to appreciate the versatility of natural hair.
I Am Enough by Grace Byers. Actor and activist Grace Byers pens this ode to loving who you are and being kind to one another. Although not strictly about hair, this book inspires self-love from the inside out.