‘Hair Tales’ Plus 5 Children’s Books to Read to Your Kids That Celebrate Their Kinks and Coils

Oprah Winfrey’s hair journey started with her grandmother braiding her hair on a back porch. “She was proud of my hair,” she exclaims The Hair Tales. “I was a girl who had very thick hair, so my identity was my thick hair.”

Winfrey executive produced the new docuseries along with Tracee Ellis Ross and Michaela Angela Davis, which sets out to show how Black women have maintained their hair as it dives into the billion-dollar business of Black haircare, respectability politics and the concept of “good hair .” It also rejoices in the reclaiming of natural textures and the inventive ways women of color always find to make our hair sing.

As host, Ross sits down with actresses and producers Issa Rae and her EBONY March 2022 co-cover star Marsai Martin, United States representative Ayanna Pressley, musician CHIKA, performer Chloe Bailey and Winfrey herself. Each episode’s guest shares her most intimate hair moments with humor, grace and a few tears. The series also weaves in stories from cultural leaders, talented hairstylists and other phenomenal women about the tribulations and more importantly, the triumph of Black hair throughout the decades.

A love for kinks, coils and curls can be cultivated at a young age. Here are five creative and colorful children’s books about Black hair you can share with your kids so they respect and cherish every strand.

Broccoli Hair by Kristen Scott

Broccoli Hair (13th & Joan), Kristen Scott, $17, amazon.com. Image: courtesy of Amazon.

Basketball Wives alum Kristen Scott’s new book, Broccoli Hair, was inspired by her older daughter Kenzi, who uses the title to describe her own lovely locks. Scott says her book is the story of a little girl waking up in all her glory, wearing her crown of hair with pride and affirming her self-worth. It’s truly a celebration of self-love for Black women of all ages.

Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron

Nappy Hair (Dragonfly Books), Carolina Herron, $7 amazon.com. Image: courtesy of Amazon.

One of the first children’s picture books to address our tresses, Nappy Hair is based on the experiences of its author, educator Carolivia Herron. Its heroine, Brenda, has willful and intentional naps, but she’s not ashamed, she’s strong and proud. Her beautiful mane of kinks came directly from the Almighty himself. This lush-coloured, call-and-response tale still makes an impact from when it was first published in 1998.

Hair Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry

Hair Like Mine (G Publishing), LaTashia M. Perry, $11, amazon.com. Image: courtesy of Amazon.

A young girl, who is frustrated with her curly and frizzy mane, sets out to find out if anyone has “hair like mine.” But as Mother says, no two people are alike, even twins. The young girl realizes that everyone has different hair, features, frames and toes, and each person can be celebrated for their uniqueness. This lightly poetic tale is the first book in the Kids Like Mine Series.

Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe

cool cuts book cover
Cool Cuts (Doubleday Books for Young Readers), Metal Renee Roe, $11, amazon.com. Image: courtesy of Amazon.

Author Mechal Renee Roe, illustrator of Vice President Kamala Harris’ Ssuper Heroes Are Everywhere, gives young Black boys the ultimate picture book full of hip Black hairstyles where they can see a positive reflection of themselves. The ‘fro-hawk, mini-twists, crisp cornrows, afros and more each get their own uplifting message that promotes self-esteem and self-love for Black boys of every age.

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Hair Love book cover
Hair Love (Penguin Young Readers Group), Matthew A. Cherry, $9, amazon.com. Image: courtesy of Amazon.

The beloved Academy Award-winning short film is also a book! Little Zuri needs her hair done for a special occasion. With mom away, it’s up to Daddy to make it happen. Her coils may curl and furl every which way, but Daddy’s determined to make his daughter and her hair a happy pair. Former NFL wide receiver-turned-director and writer Matthew A. Cherry breaks stereotypes in this delightful tale of a father and daughter hair-bonding experience.

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