Thank you for not shaving it, mom!
Growing up, my hair was a daily topic of conversation and frustration in our household. My hair was a handful, literally.
A little background, for you– My mom is white with fine blonde/brownish hair, and my father is black with thick coarser hair. When I was younger, I always wished I’d gotten my mom's hair. I was jealous. My mom’s wash-and-wear hair was so pretty, and easy to maintain. Who wouldn’t want that?! Crap, I still want that, but that’s not what I got. I landed somewhere in the middle with a thick head of fine, curly hair.
It’s not that my mom was oblivious about how to do hair; she just had no experience with my type of mixed hair. I remember her taking me to her hair stylist, and them not even knowing what to do with me. So we’ve washed it, now what?
At one point or another, I'm sure my mom fantasized about shaving my head. One of those times where shaving my head turned from a fantasy to deep consideration was when I was 5, and got lice. Yes, cringe, ew, don't act like you’ve never had it.
I’ll never forget lying outside on our patio bench, melting under the hot sun with my hair in a wild fro. My poor mom combed through my hair strand by strand, and globbed my hair down with oil. After about 4 hours, I had so much grease in my hair that it wouldn’t have been safe for me to be around an open flame. She could’ve shaved it; she considered it. Luckily for me, she didn’t shave my head or dramatically cut my hair. Actually, unbeknownst to me this was a big turning point in my life, oddly enough. After we dealt with my lice scare, a few years later, my mom took me to get my hair relaxed for the first time. She said it changed my personality. I was more confident at school, and I took on a new persona. As I sit here, today, with my hair straight, it makes sense. It’s not that my “natural” hair isn’t beautiful, but this is my natural hair just styled, differently. Straight hair has always given me a confidence booster, and it's just the way I prefer to wear my hair. I'm sure it has something to do with society’s perception of “attractive” but that’s a different rant for a different day.
Today, I feel like I have a good handle on my hair. It just took time (31 years), patience, the right stylist, and practice. Using “regular” shampoo and “regular” conditioner aren’t options for girls with hair like mine. It took some trial and error, but nowadays it’s so much easier with product reviews only a click or screen touch, away.
So for any mom struggling with their mixed daughter’s hair, know there is hope. Don’t give up, and step away from the razors.
Here’s a list of what I’m using, daily. Side note – I haven’t had my hair relaxed in over 10 years, and I don’t use any other chemicals to straighten my hair. Win!
Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner (It’s a 10 Leave-In with Keratin)
Moroccan Oil Deep Hydration Mask (If you want to do a deep condition or have some free time)
Mini straightener (face framing hair pieces, less heat)
½ in. straightener (sides for styling)
1 in. straightener (back of hair)