I will admit that in my dreamy pre-adoption world I was excited at the prospect of creating beautiful hairstyles for Beza when she came home. Heck, I even practiced cornrows on Natalie’s weird Barbie makeup head. I read books about how often to shampoo and what products to use. I spent hours looking at online galleries of braiding designs and bought lots of cute snaps and ballies.
(It bears noting that part of this dreaminess was due to the fact that Natalie NEVER wanted me to do anything with her hair so I was feeling deprived of mommy-daughter hair time.)
During that process I got schooled in the whole “good hair, bad hair issue” that seems to permeate black culture … this notion that somehow curly or kinky hair=bad and straight hair=good. All the books I was reading promoted “natural hair” and not using chemical straighteners on hair because of all the damage it does. To be honest, I somehow thought that because she came from Ethiopia where ethnic hair was in the majority, that we might escape this issue – at least for awhile.
But we’re there… after like 2 months. She’s been really great about her hair sessions – sitting still while I did some twists, humoring me with trying this product and that product. Then she said she wanted straight hair. I compromised with saying maybe we could flat iron it. So I did some research on and, albiet a bit begrudgingly, I flat ironed her hair. While she seemed quite content with the results I was WAY less than happy.
Because her hair is kinky it didn’t really get bone straight. So in the end she kind of has this “poof” of mostly straight hair. If she shrugs her shoulders, her hair bends up…and stays there. If she sits with her head against the car seat, it flattens…and stays there. Last weekend she was playing outside on a slightly windy day and when she came in she looked like she’d been attacked by a pack of wild animals.
This is what we get with the flat iron:
Is there a trick out there that I’m missing? She can recount stories of having her hair straightened with a pressing comb and then sitting under a hooded dryer for hours but I don’t have the equipment nor am I spending the money to have it done in a salon.
Personally, I love her hair just natural and curly.
I’ve been very intentional about saying how much I love her hair and making doing her hair fun (usually while watching a movie).
This morning we had another hair struggle. She’s had her hair down and curly for a few days which means we have to, at a minimum, spray it to get it “unsquished” (where she sleeps on it, it is FLAT). Then I’ve discovered that the Herbal Essence Twisted Curl products work really great on her hair (and don’t cost a fortune). I had been using the conditioner for a couple weeks and this weekend tried the gel. As soon as she saw me grab the gel she let out one of her dramatic sighs and a “Mooooom, I don’t want that” and immediately the tears started. I asked her why and through tears she tried to tell me that it makes her hair “frizzy” (that was actually my word because she couldn’t figure out what word to use).
Despite my explanation that the opposite was true, that it actually makes her curls look nice and NOT frizzy, she was not happy. There’s been quite a bit of it lately – whining when she has to wash it, complaining when I tell her we need to wet it in the morning, griping when I tell her we need to put conditioner in it.
This morning (after the tears) she was reading Ephesians 5 for her daily Bible reading. We have the kids choose one verse from the passage and then journal about what it means to them. She and Luke often need some help understanding the passage and so Mark and I will talk it through with them. She called me over and read me the verse she picked…
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph 5:19-20
I just had to smile a bit at that one. Does “everything” include your hair?