Sunday, November 7, 2010
Where to begin?
I am a white Mama to JJ, whose Daddy (D) is black. My hair is quite curly (although just how curly has varied over time). D's hair is natural, in locs. When I was pregnant, everyone made predictions about how the baby's hair would look...and probably also about my abilities to "manage" it.
JJ was born with a full head of soft, black hair. We were all surprised by how straight it was, but the in-laws insisted that it would not stay this way. And they were right. By about 4 months of age she had a pretty great afro, although it was much longer on top than at the sides and back (probably from sleeping on her back and wriggling around - I think her "baby" hair rubbed off?). Eventually there was enough hair to finger curl, twist and braid - the top, anyway. I learned how to detangle and gently comb, and bought lots of cute barrettes. I asked the in-laws tons of questions. I asked the neighbourhood nannies (mostly from St Lucia) more than tons of questions. One of the best days of my life was when Linda and Mary taught me how to do cornrows. I finally felt like I could "measure up" to the high expectations I put on myself. I felt an enormous amount of pressure to have JJ's hair looking "presentable" and "groomed" being the white mom of a mixed girl.
This pressure led to my online obsession. At first I was looking for pictures of styles, and videos of how to improve my braiding. Eventually I stumbled onto the idea of "natural" hair, and became immersed in the opinions, the politics, the overwhelming ingredient lists of what to and what not to put in hair.
And now, I'm blogging. Why?
Mostly to organize all the information and links I've been finding for myself, as well as to keep track of what works and what doesn't.
But also - maybe - to help anyone else who might be in the same boat as me - trying to figure out how to **best** care for kinky, curly hair.