Monday, July 9, 2007

Hair


Hair care comes up a lot in our Ethiopian adoption groups and forums. Discussions about products, "no poo" etc happen almost on a weekly basis. We've discovered that products and routines that work for one kids hair don't work for another. After a year and a half with Lucy I have found some products that really work for her hair (Carol's Daughter, straight olive oil) and others that don't (anything from Target). I have also found that by rarely washing her hair (just using conditioner) it stays in better condition. I have also become better at different styles (twists, ponies, box braids). I really LOVE just combing it out and leaving it loose and beautiful .. but this style quickly dissolves into something that looks disheveled when really it takes more time then the other styles. Lucy is NO help. She is typical of a two year old and can not stand the idea of sitting still for very long. Her complaining and twisting combined with my lack of skill and my lack of desire to force her to sit usually means we get two and sometimes four puffs in her hair before total meltdown. I love her hair. I love that it's tight curly and thick. I think it's beautiful. Before I was even considering adoption a friend of mine was complaining about white people adopting black children and completely messing up their hair (a pet peeve). This conversation came back to me the second I considered Ethiopian adoption. "I won't be that white person who messes up her daughter's hair" I thought. Well ... I say, occasionally I do mess it up, sometimes she goes out and it's all over the place and occasionally it gets a little dry. I think this is more about lack of time and lack of cooperation. Mostly we have our morning ritual and her hair looks fine. I am learning and she is becoming more tolerant. Someone on the adoption forum posted a link to an op-ed about why all of this is so important. Click HERE for the article.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stacy, Please take the advice and criticism from Black women about hair with a grain of salt. It's true that African American women place of lot of importance on their hair. In my opinion it can sometimes it is way too much emphasis and is not always healthy. I remember quite a few young girls who lost their hairlines in the quest for impeccably styled hair. Some older women I know are balding because of the super tight braids and ponytails, hot combs, and chemicals their hair had been routinely subjected to over the years. Keep Lucy's hair clean, moisturized. and combable. After that, what you do with her hair is between you and Lucy.

I was so p**d off to see the criticisms about Zahara Jolie-Pitt's hair. I know plenty of little girls with Black parents whose hair looks a lot worse than Z's and no one demands that they be taken from their parents. There's nothing wrong with her hair...nor with Lucy's.

Stacy said...

thank you anonymous. it's good to hear balanced advice. i appreciate it. Stacy

Anonymous said...

usually I am anonymous, not this time with the great advice on hair.

Stacy said...

uh but I still don't know who you are????

Anonymous said...

african american and ethiopians hair is not same.....the ethiopians has a curly and long hair.

mary said...

thanks to folks like you who have taken the plunge to adopt. I was just referred to your blog and love it. My husband I are considering Ethiopia and any info we receive is helpful. We recently lost an adoption to guatemala (the country closed) and now are considering Ethiopia as an option. You are a brave soul and I admire your heart. thanks for sharing about your daughter. mary

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to investigate the various ways of caring for your child's hair. I am an african american female who has just made the decision to "go natural" while this was not a big decision for me I do agree with part of what anonymous said. Typically most african american women put huge amounts of thought, money and undue strain into their haircare. I have found that natural and lo manipulation styles are the best for my hair as well as using natural products like shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil. Keel learning and all the best of luck to you and your family! Also, there does tend to be major differences in texture for typical african american hair and ethiopian hair. It is more often less dense and easier to manage. But of course, just as any other culture, you can find a range from the kinkiest and most coarse to the softest and most thin.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I never even considered hair. I want to adopt from Ethiopia also (I don't know if you've ever stumbled across EthiopianTripletLand on this site--good read) and was kind of leaning toward boys but I guess I don't have a huge preference either way. It's amazing the little things you don't consider. I actually have an acquaintance who is white and her biological daughter is half-black. I've never even asked her what she does with her daughter's hair but I know it's not very coarse like I expected it to be. That actually is an important thing to consider, I suppose, and it never crossed my mind!

The Hair Lady said...

Lucy is beautiful. I am looking now to adopt from Ethiopia. i have lots of questions. how could i get in touch with you to find out more about the process and the best agencies.

Anonymous said...

She is a beautiful young girl and you are beautiful for opening your heart and home to her. Please remember that you may receive criticism for adopting a black child, but don't let it discourage you. Be blessed and have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

"african american and ethiopians hair is not same.....the ethiopians has a curly and long hair."

This is false. There are some AAs with hair with the same texture of hair that Lucy has. Then there are those Ethipoains with the same kind of hair people stereotype ALL AAs of having (aka - very kinky, afro-like hair with no curls).

And guess what? People of ALL hair types from the straightest to the most kinkyest/coiliest can grow long hair if they know how to take care of it. Ethipoians aren't magically born with undamageable hair that forever stays long. It needs care too other it won't retain it's growth. Imo, the problem with many people with very coily/afro hair is that misconceptions about how to handle their hair have existed for hundreds of hairs and the relaxer had been viewed as a solution for too long. Now, more people than ever are waking up to caring properly for their natural hair now that this info is more readily available.

It would do well for people not to not promote the idea that Ethiopians have superior hair. They are a people whose country has mixed with many other ethnicities within Africa (inc. West Africans) and that has contributed to a range of hair textures, facial features and skin tones. They do not all look the same, likewise neither do African Americans. It is a big misconception that both of those two ethnicities only have one kind of look and one kind of hair.

Lucy's hair is beautiful. Stacy, there are some black women who know what they are doing with thier daughters hair. Try naturallycurly and check the type 3/type 4 hair care sections. or motowngirl.com is also a good resource. There is a lot of advice to be found in many "black" hair communities directly from black women. It seems like you have done your research already though and I think that's wonderful. I'm sure she will have long hair and not simply because of her background but because you treated it with care, knew how to handle it and did not neglect it :)

Anonymous said...

"existed for hundreds of YEARS" (not hairs lol!) :)