When I brought my daughter home in February of 2009, I entered a whole new world. I pretty much had to learn a new language with words like co-wash, no-poo, and twist-out. There were even code words like 4b, 3c, Ph, and TW and words to avoid like sulfates and parabens. I had entered the world of black hair and skin care.
I tried to do some basic hair and skin care research before travelling to Africa to meet my daughter, but I will admit I was ill prepared. Fortunately, my daughter’s head was completely bald in the back, which gave me time to learn before I actually had to do much with it. Last week, I was excited because my daughter’s hair is finally long enough that I can fit all of her hair in four puffs!
For someone with completely straight hair, looking at a head full of tiny coils smaller than the ink tube of a ball point pen can be daunting. And yet hair care is far too important an issue to be ignored or pushed to the side because of fear or lack of confidence. On many occasions I have been led to believe that my parenting abilities are judged by what my daughter’s hair looks like. When we are out in public, people definitely look at her hair. Sometimes we just get looks, sometimes unsolicited advice, and sometimes nice compliments.
I found a wealth of information online, on hair care blogs, and even You Tube videos; maybe too much information. I asked friends, co-workers and women at church for hair care advice, and every single one gave me a different answer. I came to realize this new world would be one of trial and error, countless hours, and lots of practice. My daughter is worth it.
When I began my internship with MLJ Adoptions, I was excited to have the opportunity to coordinate a hair and skin care class for parents who have or are in the process of adopting transracially. I hope this class will give parents a convenient way to learn the importance of this issue and also provide them with tips, techniques, and resources (I look forward to learning some new things myself!). Please join us on Sunday, November 14th at 2:00PM at the MLJ office. For more information, you can visit the MLJ Facebook page or enroll for the class on the MLJ Client Care Database.