This just didn't work for me. I have prided myself (maybe a little too much) on her having healthy, moisturized and cute hair as much as possible. So I went on the hunt for new products, new styles and new ideas.
I found this facebook group that revolutionized the way I thought about her hair and my role in it. I have gleaned that there are 3 basic "rules" for transracial adoptive parenting hair care.
- Keep it healthy.
- Simple styles are FINE.
- Do what folks around you are doing (no more, no less).
Keep it healthy.
This one is pretty straight forward, but over and over, I hear people saying that the style doesn't matter so much as the moisture and health of the hair. Many people recommend the LOC method, which is what we have used since Sweetie was about a year old and still use, we just continue to play with the product choices, which is really fun. Its a bit like being able to bend the rules, but only AFTER you know them. Learn about the LOC method - it will change your life if you are parenting transracially.
Simple styles are FINE.
Once a kiddos hair gets to the length that its breaking off, or getting excessively snarled, its time to put it up somehow, someway, so that it can be protected & stay moisturized throughout the day. This is officially called the style. There are folks who... well... get a bit carried away in coming up with new styles, different styles, styles that take two weeks, all the bribe candy you have in the house to put in & then last for MONTHS and months. I exaggerate, but its true. Oh so true. And for the mamma like me who wants to do it right, I looked at all these AMAZING, beautiful, intricate styles and felt defeated because when I tried to do them, it just looked like a hot mess and stayed in a matter of hours or days, not weeks.
Then like a breath of fresh air, I was told that it really wasn't necessary to learn to braid 25 different ways, or learn an entirely new skillset overnight. I could work with what I had, learn some easy styles and then style every day or two and my girl would have snarl free & mosturized hair.
Do what folks around you are doing (no more, no less).
So simple, but a step I 100% missed learning. Look at people of color in YOUR neighborhood and see how they do their kids hair of a similar age. This one requires you to get around folks of color and scope out their hair (without touching, but that's a whole different conversation) and take notes. At the end of the day, we want our transracially adopted kids to fit in and not look drastically different (unless the child themselves tells you different, cause some kids dance to their own drum and want to stand out).
That means, if beads are on every 3 year olds head, put them on your child's too. If not, no beads. If every childs head is in braids, learn to braid. You get the idea. Learn the skills to help your kiddo be "one of the kids." No more, no less. Step away from pinterest...
I attend a diverse church, so the nursery took on a whole new light as I examined the kiddos hair and discovered -- very simple braids, no beads and very simple styles. Which worked great for my wheelhouse - which consists of simple braids and ponies. My two go to styles now each take about 20 minutes and last for a day or two at the most. But they do their job - they keep her hair snarl free, moisturized, healthy and enable her to be just one of the kids.
Its also let me relax a bit, knowing doing right by my daughter's hair doesn't have to be a part time job. :)