Before giving birth to my beautiful baby girl I knew to keep an open mind of my children having any type of hair from thick and wavy like mine to thick and coarse like their father’s or anything in between.
I knew some different things would have to be done with her hair than how I care for my own hair. I was however naïve enough to think that running some coconut oil through their hair would be enough. Even though I have known of my own husband’s hair care needs for years I did not think that it would fully apply to our children and vice versa my husband did not have knowledge of her hair having different needs than his. We both learned some things.
As our baby has grown from infant to toddler her hair has changed from straight and fine to thick and curly. The needs of her hair have changed dramatically through the months.
I want to educate myself on the proper hair care for my biracial baby. So, I started doing research and reading blogs from mothers all over the world with many different backgrounds. I wanted all of the information. I read harsh blogs that made me feel like I was not doing right by my daughter AND I read blogs that were insightful and filled me with a fire to learn how to do my daughter’s hair to the best of my ability. I recently read a magazine article about a woman who was afraid to wear her hair bonnet around her roommates of four years because she did not think they would be accepting. What a terrible feeling of not being able to be your full and true self in your own home due to fear. I would never want anyone, especially my own children to grow up with those feelings. I had a takeaway from each blog that I read. But in the end, I had to just take the advice that I could use and toss the rest, as with all parenting advice.
I did her hair up one day and felt like the master. Another day I could not get her to hold still and I could not focus on what I was doing. I have cried over this, felt overwhelmed, and powered. For those that had no idea that hair could cause this much emotion they have never had to experience it. I leave you all with this information not as judgment, but as a learning opportunity. You may have to learn to care for a different type of hair from your own. And I want you to know that if you already realized you would have to do things differently from how you care for your hair, then you are already ahead of the curve. You can do this! If you haven’t ever put much thought into other people’s hair. Take as step back and realize that many hair “styles” are less about style and more about care and protection of beautiful locks.
My personal goal was to learn the correct ways of taking care of my daughter’s fragile curls. I want her to grow up to be an empowered woman who embraces her curls and has learned how to properly take care of her own hair from me.
There is no clear-cut route to take when it comes to biracial hair. Each child’s head of hair is as unique as they are. I have taken advice into consideration, tried out many different products, and adjusted to fit my daughter’s needs.
So, the next time there is judgment passed on someone’s hair ask the person questioning it how much they know about natural hair and the crazy journey that that person has been on with their own hair. Keep on reading folks and having conversations; just when you think you know it all you learn something new.
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher