I really thought this wasn’t something I’d have to write, but after weeks of asking strangers to get their hands out of my kid’s hair and in having to explain repeatedly to the people who tell me how pretty my daughter’s hair would be if I’d just let it be “out” instead of in the culturally appropriate and healthy twists she typically rocks, I felt the need to write a little bit.
If you Don’t Understand Her Hair, it’s Not On Us
I’m a white mom raising a black daughter. It is so important to me that her hair be culturally appropriate and above all, healthy. I wrote a bit about doing my daughter’s hair in this article for Adoption.com in September. More and more people have said ignorant things in the past year about her hair. I really don’t think it’s my position or job to If you don’t like how it’s styled, that’s your choice. If you’re not a woman of color, please don’t give out advice. Honestly, if my daughter’s hair is free, it gets tangly and too dry. We do protective styles because not only does she love them, but because that’s what’s healthy and best for her hair. She’s four years old and she can do little to care for it on her own other than to wear her bonnet at night. If you don’t understand this, I suggest you do some research before addressing a child in public about her hair.
Her Hair Isn’t Like Yours or Mine
Sure, my hair is curly, but we have totally different needs. I’ve had a few people (guys, if you know me, it’s probably not you—this has been happening lately with strangers…seriously crazy to me) say we have similar hair and it must be easy to share products. Um, no. Her hair is solid 4c and mine is 3a (if you want to know more about curl patterns, click here!) I know you’re trying to draw similarities between the two of us, but we know we’re different and in our house, we embrace this. It takes time to do her hair and she and I love bonding while we do new hair styles and this is something I take seriously.
POC Help me—and Help me a Lot
I do not do this without help. I have women of color in my life who help me. Since I’ve been doing her hair, I’ve gotten help from them with styling tips, the products to use, and what is age appropriate for her style wise. I rely on these women for help and am so, so grateful. They guide me through this process. Additionally, I’ve been blessed by Gabby Bows. These are the clips we use in my daughter’s hair, but the company is so. much. more. There is an awesome Facebook forum for hair tips and my daughter (and I) are so inspired by Gabby and her mom! (Read more about Gabby here!) I can’t even begin to explain how inspiring it is to me that other women take time out of their busy schedules to ensure that my little lady looks good. This community is everything to us.
Seriously, Hands OFF the Hair
Honestly, would you want strangers touching your hair? I find when my daughter’s hair is in puffs or when it looks shiny and fresh, I have to tell people to keep their hands off. (Again, a lot of this is from strangers!) Don’t get why you can’t touch a person’s hair? I’ll refer you to some of my favorite texts on the topic:
If you have questions, I’m happy to do my best to answer, or find someone who can!