There are many adjectives that can be used to describe my daughter’s hair: curly, twisty, kinky, coily, afro, poofy, big, natural, 4C and nappy just to name a few. Some I embrace and use regularly with pride and some I stay away from because of the negative connotations that they carry.
A little background: My daughter is black and she is also adopted. In the crazy, stressful world of adoption somehow the stars aligned and we brought home our perfect baby. But this is not an adoption story; it is a story about her hair and my education about her hair.
In the first few months of bonding with my beautiful baby girl, I slowly began to realize that I knew little about her hair and how to take care of it properly. In a panic I began looking for local resources to help me. An online search revealed only two salons that specialized in African American hair in the Burlington area. I called both and peppered them with questions and began to gain understanding of what my daughter’s hair needed. Moisture, moisture, moisture! I started experimenting with natural oils, organic conditioners, Shea butter and many other products and potions. I also learned that unlike my hair, her hair did not need to be washed every day and that the more I messed with it, the more damage I could cause. I began to understand that her hair is extremely fragile and that by learning to do protective styles I could shield her hair from drying and breakage which would encourage healthy growth. I turned to the Internet and books to learn as much as I could about black hair. My education included learning about hair texture, hair type, different regimens and styles for babies and kids. The natural hair movement was just starting at this point and even online resources were not easily found.
Nearly four years have passed and although I am still no expert, my daughter has a full head of healthy naturally curly hair. I have learned how to moisturize, wash and style her hair and have used blogs and You Tube to learn styling techniques such as braiding, flat twists, Bantu knots, yarn extensions, puffs, braid outs, and twist outs. And I am determined to master the cornrow one of these days!
As time has passed we have made the time we spend on her hair an important bonding experience for the two us. She has always been amazingly patient with me, even as a baby, allowing me to condition, oil and detangle her hair with little complaint. As she has gotten older and our routine has become more streamlined, we both look forward to hair day. For her hair day means a long bath, a movie and lots of snacks and for me it means that I get to proudly take care of and style my daughter’s natural hair and help her love, embrace and take care of her beautiful naturally curly hair.
[…] so, without my hair, I go out into the world. I interact with people and a funny thing happens. My lack of hair […]
I love it! What a great time spent with your sweet girl. 🙂
So great! The research and time commitment to this communicates such love and care. It sounds like a special bonding time on hair day, love it!
What a beautiful and touching story about your bonding time with her! You make it so much fun for her; your love as a mother is the greatest love she can ever receive!!! God bless you and your family so much!
Thank you Jessica. 6 years in and we still love our “hair days”. xo