Back in January, one of Hope’s monthly “Try’s” was to do her own hair. Well, she has done her hair ever since, pretty much.
Her hair has broken about two inches since she started doing it. Over-manipulation, lacking moisturizing routine, too much heat and pulling and tugging from blow drying in an attempt to get her hair “straight.”
I try to gently coach her. I sent her YouTube videos that she never watched (maybe if they had been in Vine form…). I talked to her about products. I also encouraged her to be sure to wrap her hair at night so that it didn’t dry out.
I tried not to nag as I saw Hope’s beautiful hair lying around in tufts in her room.
It was like talking to a wall.
Last week, I sat Hope down and really talked to her about her routine after she complained that her hair seemed so much shorter than it was before. I tried to be supportive and encouraging.
Last week, I put crochet braids in (not the first time); she decided that she didn’t like them and took them out after two days.
Yesterday, I put crochet braids in again, with bouncy, curly weave. It took 7 hours—SEVEN HOURS!!! (Did I mention my left wrist has severe carpal tunnel syndrome and I’ve battling tendonitis in this hand for 2 months???)
Hope has been begging for weave since she moved in because, of course, she’s been brainwashed into thinking that she will be beautiful only if she has long, bouncy, loose waved hair.
I have been resistant to the whole weave thing. No shade to folks who wear it; I just don’t. I don’t care for it myself, and I really wanted Hope to embrace her natural hair. But since we really needed to give her hair a rest with a protective style, I rounded up some weave and put it in.
Moments after finishing, she started complaining.
She decided she didn’t like the curl pattern. She didn’t like the length. She was “stuck” with this hair. She went on and on with some pretty nasty comments.
I was slathering on a topical pain medication while grimacing.
I replied with encouraging statements. Yes, it’s different, but she looks lovely. Yes, it’s different, but it’s pretty sophisticated. And on and on.
She replied that she really didn’t like “different.”
Sigh. Here we go.
She got up this morning complaining again.
I took a deep breath and just said, fine. After church we can take it out. I won’t do it again. I will provide her with the products and the tools to be successful. I am exhausted balancing my physical sacrifice to meet her hair needs.
Hair is such an important part of an individual’s identity. I get it. I really do. I want Hope to feel beautiful; I want her to have healthy hair. I occasionally want the intimacy that comes with doing her hair. But I am going to step back from this as well and let the natural consequences play out.
If she ends up with short hair, she ends up with short hair.
If she ends up with long healthy hair, she ends up with long healthy hair.
Today hair will be a parking lot battle (as opposed to a mountain battle). I don’t bother dying in parking lot battles.
I’ll help her take the hair out this afternoon, and then I will take some pain meds for my hand and be done with it.
March 27th, 2016 at 11:22 am
The struggle is REAL! Many people don’t understand how difficult it is to take care of our hair. I don’t know if it would help, but there are lots of great Youtube videos that she can watch that will teach her and give her tips and tricks on how to take care of her hair. I am not a weave girl myself. I have only worn it once!
March 27th, 2016 at 2:18 pm
Ugh!!!! I send her YouTube videos; she doesn’t watch them.
She looks soooo good, but if she doesn’t see it then, well, it doesn’t matter what I think. She is terrified about what kids will say at school–which is hilarious because the tumbleweave I see rolling around that place is epic. I’m chalking this one up to teen angst. #shrug
March 27th, 2016 at 2:47 pm
Yeah. You know I have decided that natural consequences are the best way for me to handle the hair battles with my daughter. Those consequences are ugly right now, but at least I don’t have to fight. I fully expect that one day my daughter will barge into my bedroom screaming in horror because her weave has fallen out. And I will *not* say I told you so, because I am the adult… I am the adult… I am the adult…
March 27th, 2016 at 6:25 pm
UGGggg all you hard work, I am sorry you are a trooper though. I hope soon she will heed your vast knowledge base.
March 28th, 2016 at 11:40 pm
Wow, such patience, wow. I want to be like you when I grow up.
March 28th, 2016 at 11:42 pm
Is it an option to take her somewhere to have it done? that’s what we have done with both our girls after a certain age. At this age, parents can’t do much right, so a stylist, or a friend who can do hair, could probably put in the same style as you and she’d like it. And she’d probably take advice about how to take care of her hair from anyone but mom.
March 29th, 2016 at 6:28 am
Amazingly, last night we had the most mature conversation ever about the hair. Ultimately she said, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I was so very proud of her and the recognition that she needed to take care of her, but be sensitive to me. It was a big breakthru. ❤
March 29th, 2016 at 10:35 am
yay Hope! That is awesome.
Also, I forgot to say, I’m glad you decided to stop putting your hands through hours of work on her hair when you have severe carpal tunnel and tendonitis. No matter what her hair looks like, my hands hurt just thinking about that! You have to take care of yourself too, remember. 🙂
April 15th, 2016 at 9:26 am
As i was reading this I remember being a teenager. Then I read the this “But I am going to step back from this as well and let the natural consequences play out, ” and I remembered. My parents did this with us lot. I remember my dad always saying something along the lines of , ” I can tell you about it from my own experience, but either wasy, you are gonna wanna retell it from yours, so go one and do you”…that’s basically the gist of it. And my hair was short (cause i fucked it up dying it all the time), I had to pay for my new glasses out of pocket (because I was careless and didn’t put them in the case my parents bought be), and the list goes on and on. It’s one of those things about being a teenager, you know, like always being right, or having the last word all the time. My dad never actually said, “I told you so” but his face and body language sure did. She’s growing up and becoming her own person. Let her screw ish up sometimes, but you’re right, she’ll learn! We always do!