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.