So last night we took out Hope’s braids, and today she stepped out as a full blown naturalista! OMG, she’s so adorable I can barely stand it! It was another 5+ hour ordeal, taking out the braids, detangling, cleansing, conditioning, blowing drying, paddle brushing and dry twisting. Around hour 4, my back was killing me, and I must’ve started huffing a little when my girl said, “Thank you for doing my hair. No one has ever taken the time to take care of it like you. It feels so good when you do it, not like [former foster mom].”
I nearly started crying; then I woman’ed up and kept plowing through. The truth is, I love having my hands in her head; there’s a special bonding that happens when I do her hair.
Look at these lovely blown out locks…
As I began to twist her hair, I could tell she was getting anxious. We took a break so she could get her silly putty, which she uses to cope. After we were done, I sat down next to her on her bed and asked her why she was so anxious.
“Suppose I mess it up? Suppose it doesn’t look like yours? I can’t do anything right, so I’ll probably mess this up too.”
Oh dear, self-esteem, self-worth meltdowns before bed. My sweet Hope has so much healing to do. Good Lord chile, you can’t mess up the dry twist out!!
So we had another chat about it just being hair. #pagingIndiaArie #Iamnotmyhair It’s beautiful if for no other reason than it grows out of your lovely head. It will grow. It is and will be lovely. It will be coily and sometimes kinky and you’ll learn all about yourself through your hair.
“I don’t know what I really look like…you know without braid weave. I am excited about seeing what I look like. But supposed I don’t like it?”
Yeah, ok, so it took me a while to like my hair after I went natural. It made me see myself differently.
“I want my hair to be like yours…you know without the gray. #justalittleshade
I smile, yeah, I know…without the gray. #justalittlesideeye
It will be beautiful, I tell her before tucking her in. So, fast forward to this morning with more anxiety.
“I’m sure I messed it up.”
Hope, how could you mess it up when all you did was sleep with your cap on?
“I dunno, but I know I messed it up.”
Sigh. Of course her hair was lovely. I’m jealous actually. Her thick hair embraced those twists, gave off a shine, great definition and is super moist.
She scrunched her nose as she peered into the mirror, turning side to side. I got out the pick and fluffed and fluffed. I got a sparkly headband from my stash and popped it on her head. She smiled.
“It’s so short. Is it nappy? Is this an afro?” It does appear shorter—shrinkage! No, it isn’t nappy, but there’s nothing wrong with it being nappy. No, this isn’t an afro.
“Hmmm. I like it!”
She didn’t just say it, she declared it. But then she said she looked plain, so I suggested that we style her for our trip to the bank and to the Peeps store. We pulled out all her little jewelry, picked some earrings, a necklace, a ring and some bracelets.
She was blinged out. #happyandyouknowitclapyourhands
“Yeah, I need to be sure to put on a few things when I wear my hair out.”
It’s rainy here today, so I told her that it might look different in an hour (or 10 minutes..sigh!), but it will be fine. I told her that her hair would look different tomorrow too, as the hair stretches.
So we head out and bump into our neighbor who raved and the concierge who raved. We talked about how free her head and hair felt. She enjoyed her hair, her new look.
I know we will have more anxiety about the hair, but today was a lovely hair day. Just awesome. Hope saw herself today and liked what she saw today. She didn’t “mess it up.” She felt good about herself.
Hope was successful today. I love this kid.
March 29th, 2014 at 9:05 pm
Looks gorgeous!! Great job ABM.
March 29th, 2014 at 9:44 pm
March 30th, 2014 at 3:00 am
The natural hair journey is hard for grown women!! I learned some patience and the ability to let go with my hair. I am such a perfectionist at times while my hair is like… “HMMPH” I’m doing ME. Lord knows I am learning!! I can love and despise my hair all in 30 minutes. LMBO. I’m so happy she saw her natural self and loved it. Great job, Mama.
March 30th, 2014 at 5:10 am
I know nothing about hair, at all, but what I do know is she has a twinkle in her eye, and you did that! 🙂
March 31st, 2014 at 7:16 am
What a great post! i’m glad Hope liked her hair!
April 1st, 2014 at 11:19 pm
Beautiful ladies – beautiful story. I had just called it a night on my girl’s mini-twists when I read this. How great that she has you to bond over hair with her. You both look lovely – and happy in that moment. Sweetness.
April 6th, 2014 at 10:12 pm
Beautiful experience and two beautiful ladies. I love natural. Though my hair is blonde and straight as can be, I still go all natural, no dyes, highlights, or perms of any kind. But learning new ways to put it up can be such fun. My daughter’s hair is a lot thicker than mine and there had been some (bad) layers and (not so great) bang cuts before, so I’m enjoying watching her experience her hair as it grows out, and learning to love it as is. So glad you two can bond over this great experience.