Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hair. Hair? Hair!

Lily and all her beautiful curls on wash day.

Here is my hair routine: Every morning I pull it back in a sloppy ponytail.  I try to remember to brush it and pull it back into a neat ponytail before I leave the house. The End.

So, you can imagine that when we learned we would be raising an African daughter, her hair was something of an issue. I was determined to "do" Lily's hair. I didn't want her to have what I call, "white mama hair".  My apologies to all those mamas (white and black) who let their children have wild, free flowing hair.  I was raised by a Jamaican nanny, and that is just not happening. My goal was simple: every day she looks like a lovely, talented Black woman did her hair.
one of Lily's first hair dos... just one little puff!

I started on a quick, steep learning curve.  All I can say is: God Bless the Internet! Happy Girl Hair, Girls Love Your Girls, youtube... other adoptive mamas and African-American women willing to share their experience and wisdom saved me (and Lily's hair). What a wonderful community I found!

 After nearly a year of learning,  I love doing Lily's hair, and I take a lot of pride in how she looks. It was easy in the beginning: she and Daniel had both had their heads shaved a few weeks before they came home. Lily because she had a scalp infection, and Daniel because that's how boy's hair is in Ethiopia. Short! (And we're keeping it short, thanks to my handy buzz cut kit!) So she had just a few little curls to admire.

Lily admiring her new hair style.
 Part of our routine is admiring our gorgeous selves in a mirror.
 So here is Lily's hair routine. Every morning I spritz her hair with a conditioner/oil/water mix and freshen up her puffs, braids or twists. I add in some accessories from my color sorted collection of barrettes, clips and pony-tails. This usually only takes a few minutes, although Lily might say FOREVER! She doesn't really like having her hair done, as it requires sitting still. Which is the reason why I never put braids in; they take too long and require extra sitting still.

This is how hair gets done: in the highchair, with snacks and TV.
 Once a week I wash her hair with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner.  First time I rinse it all out, then I leave some in. (Same with Daniel.) Every few days I rub in some coconut oil or other leave in treatment. We've got quite an assortment of hair products at this point. I have a hard time passing by "African Natural Hair Care" displays without stopping. (Why African hair care needs a "special/wierd hair" aisle is a post for another time.)

Then we sit down and I start combing and parting and making pretty happen.
 Her curls are really delicious. Big and bouncy and shiny and healthy. Just like her.

 A few weeks ago, while Lily was wearing a head full of "twists", I received the ultimate compliment. An African American woman (with beautiful natural hair), stopped me to ask me how I did Lily's hair, and say how cute it looks. I nearly cried. But I kept my composure, and only squealed with delight once she was out of hearing. I hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Add your comment here. Don't worry about logging in... you can just use your name, and leave the "URL" box blank. Thank you! -Becky