The busy mother of two talks heritage, hair and embracing your culture
Siobhán McAuley is a luxury travel and lifestyle content creator and mother to her two adorable sons, Mason and Micaiah. To find out more about her family life and fabulous adventures, follow her on Instagram @they.wanderlust
We caught up with the Dyson ambassador ahead of Mother’s Day to talk all things motherhood, hair pride and self love.
“To me, being a mother is one of the most complex, challenging, yet incredibly special gifts and honours in life. It begins the moment you feel life growing inside of you, and I believe it has no end. On a day to day level, being a mother means being tired, sometimes grumpy and never left alone, and then, in one funny, loving or meaningful moment your little human just warms your heart and soul in a way nothing else ever has. It’s powerful!”
“As an individual of third generation mixed race, I spent a lot of my childhood searching for answers to help me understand who I was, as I never felt like I belonged. Then when I became a mother to fourth generation mixed race babies, second-generation mixed-race Irish, I promised myself that I would make sure I instilled the value of fully embracing their heritage rather than growing up searching for answers.
By the time Mason (my first born) was 10 months old he had already met and visited his Sri Lankan family, his Zimbabwean family (both in Zimbabwe and in Capetown), some family that live in Paris, New York and of course his Irish family. It has been slower for Micaiah given he was born in the pandemic so he has only managed to meet his African and Irish family, and some family from Paris.
The only way to help a child understand a culture, is to allow them to experience it and see it for themselves, no book or programme could ever educate you the same way travel does.”
“Growing up in Ireland, I regrettably straightened my hair with every possible heat device. I just wanted to ‘fit in’. But, ever since becoming a mother, my opinion of hiding my true identity has completely shifted because my children both have Afro hair. I know how important it is to show/teach them to embrace their natural beauty and heritage and to reassure them that they are beautiful no matter what others say, or how ‘the rest’ look.
‘Hair pride’ is one of the ways I encourage my boys to be embrace their heritage, as it’s a distinct feature that’s signifies where they are from. Mason has a thick textured Afro, while Micaiah has a soft tight curl typical of curly Sri Lankan hair, but also common in mixed black children.
Mason is very proud of his hair, and is aware of the colour of his skin for which he loves and appreciates. He also understands that everyone is beautiful in their own way regardless of where they are from or how they look. I definitely think travel has been a big aid in this part of his cultural education. He has met so many different people from all walks of life which has enabled him to have compassion and a deeper appreciation of humans. Micaiah is not yet two, but a similar path is in place for him too.”
“Regrettably it did involve a lot of “growing up” to fully understand the “true value” of my natural hair type. I wonder some days how I’m not bald from what I put my hair through-particularly in my teen years!
But, yes now I am proud to say I take very good of hair and have a proper routine/ hair ritual: I get fortnightly hair treatments, and regular hair cuts in Dylan Bradshaw’s hair salon.
I also only ever use Dyson haircare tools to style my hair. They are cleverly engineered to style your hair efficiently with low heat. I love how incredibly powerful and versatile their products are too: like the Supersonic hairdryer which dries mine and the boys hair in 15 mins (an absolute live saver for busy mom lifestyle, and prevents hair damage from not having to use it for long periods – it’s amazing!).
It comes with fantastic attachments like the fly-away attachment (which is amazing for taming frizzy hair like mine, and hiding all the fly away hairs that I gained thanks to my babies), and the wide tooth comb attachment which is a dream for working through Mason’s Afro hair. We style his hair using it once a week.
I use the Corrale to style my hair with a gentle wave for events, particularly when I’m tight for time as I just pop it in my handbag and style in the car ( it’s cordless). When I’m not pushed for time I love to style my hair using the Airwrap multi-styler!”
Dyson technology not only helps to style hair, but is designed to retain colour, moisture, shine and smoothness. To find out more about the incredible range of home and haircare products available from Dyson, visit dyson.ie. For a limited time only, this Mother’s Day, all Dyson hair care products in limited edition The Vinca Blue and Rose colourway purchases, have a complimentary paddle brush and comb worth €49.