I have twin eight year old girls. To the majority of our friends, and even most of the children on the school playground, they are identical. Since they came to us three years of age, we have rarely dressed them the same. Instead, we have helped and nurtured them develop their own sense of style. Both my girls wear their hair fabulously naturally, but they have their own distinct hair style preferences.
My daughters are Ethiopian, and culturally, cornrows are a preferred protective hairstyle. Living in Canada, we have access to thousands of style inspirations for multiple cultures, so we have tried dozens of different styles.
One of my daughters is quite preppy... She often wears simple outfits and prefers functional clothes. Her face is a little longer, and she looks fantastic with styles pulled up and to the back of her head.
My other daughter, is a little more eclectic and her style. Sometimes she is Bohemian, sometimes she is funky, but she is always impeccably accessorized. This is the girl that can pull off a fro-hawk with confidence, and has an inate cool that I could only dream of pulling off.
How have been cultivated their personal styles? Our daughters share a closet, but they don't have double of almost anything. We start our shopping at the secondhand store, and fill in with the off-season sale racks.
For hair inspiration, we scroll through images of their favorite natural hair fashion icons, like Alicia Keys, Willow Smith and many others. My daughters also found it helpful, in the first few years, to look through pictures of their previous styles. According to my youngest, she could see what she thought looked nice on her, and then would selectively pick those style.
When we are doing a multi-week style, I ask them to describe what they would like, and also tell me how they want to look. Then I tailor their style to fit other practicalities, like where their part was last time (avoid!) if they are biking or swimming, and who will be caring for their hair in the next few weeks.
Hopefully these tips will help you cultivate your own child's sense of natural hair styling. Remember, hair is supposed to be self expression, and fun. Enjoy nurturing you child to develop their own expression of self.