Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

Learning to accept and love themselves as they are is a journey for kids—and it can be a beautiful journey that each child experiences in their own unique way. Whether it’s curls, coils, waves, straight locks, or no locks, embracing their natural hair is a celebration of identity and self-love. Meanwhile, choosing, changing, or styling their hair can also be a form of self-expression and joy. And parents can affirm all of this hair love through picture books that reflect the joy and pride to be found in every strand. 

This post shares some carefully selected hair love picture books that explore all types of hair and ‘dos to help kids accept themselves. These books will delight your children, while helping build and reinforce a positive self-image. Let’s dive into these vibrant stories that encourage little readers to love and embrace their wonderful natural or chosen hair.

Hair Love

Written by Matthew A. Cherry, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

This is a heartwarming tale filled with humor, showcasing a black father and his daughter navigating her hair care with love and laughter. This story, beautifully illustrated and adapted into an Academy Award-winning short film, celebrates the beauty of natural hair and the bonds formed through everyday moments. Cherry’s narrative, vibrant and touching, encourages both children and parents to embrace their unique traits with joy.


I Don’t Want Curly Hair

Written and illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

Lauren Ellen Anderson’s book explores the challenges and adventures of a little girl who desperately wants to change her curly hair, only to at last discover the beauty and uniqueness as she embraces her natural curls. This tale is a great reminder of self-acceptance and the joy to be found in learning to love our own distinctive features.


Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Written by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Gordon C. James

Crown burst onto the scene in 2017 as a vibrant celebration of a young black boy’s transformative barbershop experience. Crown received a Newbery Honor for author Derrick Barnes, a Caldecott Honor for illustrator Gordon C. James, and Coretta Scott King Awards for both. The book is an energetic homage to the fresh haircut that boosts confidence and embraces cultural pride, capturing the community spirit of the barbershop. It’s a fun, uplifting read that highlights the joy and swagger a great cut can bring.


My Fade is Fresh

Written by Shauntay Grant, Illustrated by Kitt Thomas

When you’re a kid, sometimes it feels like no one is listening to you. In My Fade is Fresh, a little girl goes to get a fade. But everyone there keeps trying to convince her of other ways to style her hair. She stands her ground, makes her voice heard, and ends up with the hairstyle that makes her feel, well, fresh! The illustrations pop and the rhyming language takes you away. Snag a copy of this book today!


The Good Hair Day

Written by Christian Trimmer, Illustrated by J Yang

Noah dreams of having long, beautiful, wavy hair for his birthday. This charming story explores self-expression and the joy of embracing who you truly are, with Noah ultimately getting the hair he wishes for. Noah’s parents buy him a fabulous purple wig—but that’s not all. They also show him how to wear and care for a wig. It’s a fantastic read for kids, encouraging them to express themselves with confidence and pride, as well as illustrating how parents can be hands-on in this expression.


My Rainbow

Written by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal, Illustrated by Art Twink

Written by a mother and daughter duo, My Rainbow is a story about Trinity, a black autistic trans girl, and her desire to have long hair to feel more like a girl. Her mother decides to create a beautiful rainbow wig for her daughter that’s just as unique as Trinity. This book is layered with identities and shows how much love and support family members can give one another. It’s a very special read.


Laxmi’s Mooch

Written by Shelly Anand, Illustrations by Nabi H. Ali

I cannot recommend this picture book enough! It’s a fun and lively story about a young girl named Laxmi who learns to rock her body hair with pride. After her classmates tease her about her upper lip hair (mooch), her parents help her see the beauty in her unique features. Laxmi shows her schoolmates that everyone has their own mooch and just how you can make it your own. This spirited tale is all about embracing what makes you different and loving yourself just the way you are.


Bedtime Bonnet

Written by Nancy Redd, Illustrated by Nneka Myers

Chosen by the American Library Association Black Caucus as a “Best of the Best” children’s book for 2020, Bedtime Bonnet is a picture book that tells the story of a young girl and her family’s bedtime routine, which includes everyone putting on their bonnets, durags, and scarves to protect their hair while they sleep. The book celebrates the cultural practice of hair care in black families and highlights the importance of these routines in maintaining healthy hair. With vibrant illustrations and a heartwarming narrative, Bedtime Bonnet is a wonderful and relatable read for children, emphasizing the beauty of family traditions and self-care.


Only a Trenza Away

A Tale of Trust and Strength

Written by Nadine Fonseca, Illustrated by Camilla Carrosinne

Only A Trenza Away is a sweet story about the bond between Xiomara and her papá. Papá and Xia connect through a nightly routine of him braiding her hair. While Xia is getting her trenzas done, she goes on imaginary adventures with her papá, including a thrilling journey through the jungle! This nightly ritual teaches Xia important virtues like patience and strength, all beautifully illustrated to capture the tenderness of their bond.


We Are Little Feminists: Hair

Written by Brook Sitgraves Turner and Archaa Shrivastav

Part of the Little Feminist Book Club series, this is a board book that uses photographs submitted by readers to showcase all different types of hair. From locs to hijab-covered heads to bald heads, and even body hair, this book celebrates every and any type of hair you can think of. It’s sweet, celebratory, and inclusive. Your littlest ones will start learning to love their own hair right off the bat with this book.


Hair Twins

Written by Raakhee Mirchandani, Illustrated by Holly Hatam

Fathers and daughters can have a lot in common. In Hair Twins, a Sikh father and his daughter connect through their shared hair care rituals. The book celebrates cultural pride and the connection their long hair symbolizes. With engaging illustrations and a sweet, playful narrative, this story highlights the joyful bond they find in something both simple and meaningful—their hair.