June 24, 2009

Unpardonable Sin

I’m addicted to reading cnn.com. I check it several times during the day, more than I check my local news website. There is always something interesting regarding black hair care.

When Clifton Green and his wife adopted an adorable little girl from Ethiopia, they knew they would eventually have to deal with the hair issue.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based couple, who are white, had read books about transracial adoptions that addressed how to deal with Miriam's springy curls that grew in full, dark and strong after a toddlerhood of baldness.

Green took it upon himself to learn how to care for and style his daughter's textured tresses.

"We didn't have any skills, but we had the desire," said Green of learning to do his now 5-year-old daughter's hair. "It's the culture, it's important and we want to honor it and respect it."

For many African-Americans, having a child walk around with unkempt hair is an almost unpardonable sin.


It's a beautiful thing that this dad realized he didn't have the skills and took the time out to learn how to style his childs hair. It is also a good thing that he doesn't put the same stimas on her hair as we already have gone thru growing up.

The good/bad hair issues we have is horrible. I used to say "I hope I have good hair". But, I had to really think about that statement. My daughters natural hair is beautiful and I told her that often. I never wanted her to feel like her hair was bad. She had alot of hair, but outside pressures got to her and she wanted a relaxer.

The pressure alone is enough to make people lose sleep. I was concerned how my friends & family would take my transition. I didn't tell my friends about my decision until I was at my 8 week point (when I would normally get a relaxer). Most of my friends told me "it won't last long, you'll get a relaxer soon". I told my father that I planned on cutting all my straight hair out in a few months. He gave me this look of complete disapproval. He told me "Keep your hair long, it looks good that way". I tried to explain to him that I was tired of relaxing my hair and I wanted to see what MY hair looks like. He just wasn't hearing it. But, 4 months later, no relaxer or heat has touched my hair! It's also starting to grow on my dad. I love my new growth. I've learned to embrace it. I don't care what other people think about my good and bad hair days. It happens!

I look forward to seeing Chris Rocks documentary, "Good Hair". I'm curious to see how he touches on the subject that our community goes thru with our hair issues.


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