Thursday, August 4, 2011

I do my daughter's hair.

I have been enjoying reading a lot lately about natural hair care, and some other products that are available. Mostly I've been hanging out on Beads, Braids, and Beyond's website and facebook page. It's been encouraging and I've learned a few new styles that I've been trying out on my little bug's hair.

I really love doing my daughter's hair. I think it is beautiful, and would gladly trade my straight hair for her kinky curls. I don't want her hair to be straight. I don't need it to be smooth. I love it just the way it is. And honestly, I am really good at doing her hair. I know how to braid, cornrow, twist, flat twist, and do fun designs with cornrows and parts.

But over and over this same scenario plays out. Abigail and I will be out somewhere together. A black woman will approach us and go on and on about how cute Abigail's hair looks. I smile and tell Abigail to say thank you. Sometimes that is the whole conversation. But without fail if the statement is followed with the question, 'who does her hair for you?' I get ready to defend. Almost every time I respond with 'me' I get a statement about her hair being dry, her edges being rough, and am then recommended some product (grease) to use on her hair.

If my daughter's hair was dry this might feel like someone trying to help me out. The problem is I have black friends, and even her birth mom, who tell me how great her hair always looks, how healthy, soft, shiny, and on and on. Every time I've been told that it's dry I have gone back and asked the same friend to please tell me the truth if it really is dry. Every time she tells me it's not dry and they are just being haters.

Do you know how frustrating it is to spend hours upon hours doing your child's hair (sometimes four or five hours for one style) just to have someone shoot it down because you are white and can't possibly know how to take care of a black child's hair. Or to have those same people tell you that you should start straightening it or perming (i.e. chemically straighten) it so it's easier to deal with?

I had come to a place where I didn't know if there were any black people out there who even liked their own hair, or natural hair in general. And in came the blog I mentioned above, as well as the facebook page. There are TONS of moms who love their children's natural hair, are growing their processed hair out and letting it go back to natural, and who have natural hair themselves. I feel like I have a place where I can ask questions to people who appreciate natural hair (and hair care products) as much as I do. I mean why would I want to change this little girl's awesome hair?

So here's a big thank you to Beads, Braids, and Beyond to renewing my love for my daughter's hair and letting me know that I'm not alone.

Staying natural,


  1. Thank you so much Andrea. I really appreciate it. It's unfortunate that you are receiving these back-handed compliments. You are doing a great job and you know it so try to ignore all the negativity. I know it hurts to hear things like that though, I made a post about something similar a year or so ago. Before you know it, everyone will be asking you for advice. ;) Thanks again. -Nik

  2. Wow. Well, you know that old saying, "Let your haters be your motivators." ;)

    And you already know I think Abigail is adorbs.

    P.S. I have been thinking about the question you posed a few posts back about raising a child of color. When I feel like my thoughts are coherent enough, I'll leave a comment.

  3. You know, I think it's a generational thing. And not just from older people (though that's who I usually get it from) but even from younger people who've been taught to do hair the way her momma did her hair and the way her mom's mom did her hair... and so on. When I had my daughter who had the biggest beautifulest curly afro in the world, I'd always put it in ponytails or braids because I had this innate feeling that if her hair was out in a fro it wasn't "done." And I wasn't gonna have my daughter out without her hair being "done." I think that was fueled by other's opinions and little snide comments. Don't let it get you down. Time's are a-changin' some people are just slower to change than others :)