10/26/07

Hair
Let me preface this post with a little background. In the African American community, hair is a big deal. A really big deal. How you care for it, how it looks, and what products you use on it all reflect a personal emphasis on its importance. And the importance of caring for black hair is not something to be taken lightly. If I don't know what I'm doing with Lily's hair, it would very much break off and fall out. It's so fragile. Also, if I don't take good care of Lily's hair, then it reflects back on me--and it is not a good thing. People would look at Lily and see an unkempt head and then look at me and come to the conclusion that I am not a good mom. For myself, there are many days that I grab a baseball cap and shove it on my head and don't even think about my hair. Or on a day that I'm just too plain lazy to really care, I pull it back in a clip and call it done. But with Lily, I can't get away with that. Her hair is gorgeous but very demanding. It's never a "quick" brush and go. It moisturizer, combs, oils, sprays, clips, bands, and styles--braids, twists, parts, sections, and poofs. If I put as much time into our taxes as I did on Lily's hair, the IRS would hire me. Being Lily's mom--and caregiver of her hair--is a huge privilege. So I was so disappointed in myself yesterday.

The kids had a day off of school for parent/teacher conferences, so we hung around in our pajamas and just played. By afternoon it was almost 80 degrees, so I decided to take the kids to a playground. I looked at Lily's hair, and figured it was "good enough." Two ponytails that were a little frizzy, and her hair looked dry, but I thought, "Who cares?" We got to the playground and were there for 5 minutes when a beautiful black woman arrived with her 4 daughters. That's right: 4. And every girl had their hair perfectly coiffed and styled. I felt like yelling, "Hey, I know my child doesn't look so great now, but I REALLY work hard on her hair ALL THE OTHER days of the year." I also felt like the uneducated white woman who has no clue how to do a black child's hair. It didn't help that Carver really needs a haircut and looks like a Furby.

Needless to say, I spent most of this morning on Lily's locks, and she's back to her gorgeous head of hair.

3 comments:

hmmj said...

Been there. And it is good to know someone else has been working on hair most of this gorgeous day! My daughter and I are taking a break at hour 5 of the do- I'm really hoping to get two weeks out of it but we'll see- sand, playground bark and her own playing with her hair do me and the hair in! So are you going to share a picture of Lily's fab hair?

blessings,
Heather
mom to TJ, Tye and Micah Ashenafee

Chatter said...

Don't beat yourself up too much; you would probably be surprised by what that woman was really thinking. However, I'd probably do the same thing. All that matters is the truth Cathy!

Orrange said...

i am still stressed about sam's hair. We need to take him somewhere to get it done so that I can learn. I just haven't coughed up the cash yet. It looks good when we leave the house in the morning but soon it seperates, gets fuzzys or other stuff stuck in it, and just starts looking less kept. It also gets knotted so easily and I'm not sure how to comb through it all without breaking it. He's in a wedding in december s we'll be hitting the salon sometime before then.