Before you read this make sure you’ve left your PC-ness at the door, along with any judgement. If you take offence to words like ‘pubes’, ‘black’, ‘hair’ and ‘Doh’ then this post isn’t for you – you have been warned. Also remember this is my blog and my experience of life with Emma. It is not meant to offend or upset anyone. If you know me and my blog you will ‘get’ this post…

I’ve mentioned before in a previous post that when adopting a black baby as a white couple or single parent some agencies ask if you’ll be okay with their ethnic hair. Apparently there are a few people who freak out when their baby’s hair changes from a soft downy fluff to a mass of curls.
Emma has gorgeous hair. I don’t know much about good or bad black hair but friends (and strangers) tell me it’s perfect. It’s strong and has the same texture all round. But of course I have no idea what to do with it. Not because it’s black . Because its different to mine. I have fine hair, affectionately known as bum fluff. I know what to do with it. If I had curly hair I’d know what to do with that, but I don’t, so I don’t.
I can’t tell you the times I’ve stood in front of the ethnic hair products shelves totally confused. There’s oils and creams. Straighteners and moisturizers. I have asked for advice as to what products I should get and I can see the confusion on the persons  face. It’s as if they want to tell me I’m in the wrong section. When I say it’s for my daughter I get the same look…
On Friday I asked a mommy who had her daughter with her what  she uses to wash her hair. She looked at me as though I had ‘half-smiley’ for a face and then answered in a not so subtle are-you stupid kinda tone “Shampoo!” Doh.
Emma’s hair has been a source of endless conversations. Some funny (like the time she ended up looking a Tombliboo with velcro balls stuck on her head), some serious (like the fact that it’s getting so knotted or ‘locked’ that I don’t know what to do with it). Some best not spoken aboutlLike the time I thought it would be a good idea to have a lock of Emma’s hair as a keepsake.
I’ve always loved the idea of keeping a snippet of her first hair cut, like most mommies do. But I have learned that this works best with Caucasian hair, not Emma’s Tigger hair, which is springy and bouncy bouncy bouncy.So when Mark was giving Emma a trim I asked him to keep a little bit of her hair aside for me, for our memory box. And he did…leaving a snippet on the table, throwing the rest away. Motherly duties got me busy and I forgot all about it…until a few days later.
I was cleaning up and looked at this clump of hair. Mark!” I yelled “Why are there pubes on the table?” Doh!
Needless to say we’ve decided we’ll do away with the tradition of baby locks and hold onto Emma’s childhood memories some other way
Melinda
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9 thoughts on “Adopting Black Babies Part Doh

  1. Wah!
    Awesome.
    By the way, I have no idea what to do with curly hair either, I have always had dead staright hair, that is until I had two children and my hormones went nuts and now my hair is curly…
    Can you see the problem?

  2. I am not sure how old your baby is however being a child i'd say there is a post on moomie where I got a link to your blog about Ethnic hair. it's lies in a balance of making sure the hair is never dry,however making sure it's not too oily, or else it clogs pores… Things that contain shea butter, olive oil are good humectant.

    looking at commercial product, focus on baby range, like I am not sure if they still make the beautiful beginning range for kids. there is the organic root stimulator range tht can be found in many store that has worked well with my hair. I cant say much about natural hair as mine has been relaxed for most of my life. However from what I can tell you, get a good shampoo and a conditioner, organic root stimulator, dark and lovely are two good brands and start from there.

    WHen you get tired of commercial product, u can always try and make your own mixes at home. I am not sure about homemade shampoo, but plain fridge mayo or mashed avos mixed with prob olive oil would work wonders.

  3. haha Melinda 🙂 If I wasn't going on holiday this weekend I would come by and bring some products for you and Emma and show you how to manage the hair. Since her hair is natural and has had no chemicals put it in yet all you need is shampoo and some moisturiser. We get natural hair products at Clicks and it is made especially for afro like hair. I use these products on my and Kamva's hair as we both afro girls 🙂 Will tweet you a picture and you can maybe get that and see. vbmhert mentions beautiful beginnings which is great but wont work well with the afro type hair. Then after washing and moisturising to can plait it in buns which makes the hair soft in the morning for combing. Early next year can come show you how to plait it and its not sore at all, Kamva does not cry when I do her hair 🙂 Hope its helped a little

  4. WAAHAHA! Melinda too funny because I can identify!
    Hannah has an afro. An untameable mass of hair that scares me when it comes to combing time! Lord knows what I'll do when she is old enough to want to wear her hair “open” like Cinderalla..like all little girls want to! But I love that mass of tight curl! Dark&Lovely have a lovely kiddies range and I also find the Kair Detangler and Leave In Conditioner works well and leaves hair soft and manageable. Lastly, I use a hair oil (Natural AMLA oil is good) or hair food (Black Chic make a good one)which I apply every time I brush her hair.

    I try and make “styles” like little plaits, or make a middle path and interleading little plaits.. looks so cute and is NEAT. Hard to explain though!

    All the best!

  5. LOL, I love this post, it's honest! And seriously, I didn't think there was anything remotely offensive about it.
    I was going to suggest perhaps popping it at a local ethnic hair salon and asking them for some tips? But I see Anita has given you some great advice above.

  6. Hehheh ..love this post! My friend who has adopted a coloured boy has just let his hair do its own thing. It is currently dreadlocked – and really long too – about 12cm! They spend heaps of time at the beach, so the dreads are blonde. We ALL love it and have vowed to never, ever speak to her again if she cuts them.
    I adore braids! I actually had braids in my own hair about a decade ago – I've always admired them. Very sexy.
    My BEST is seeing little girls with 'ethnic' pigtails that look like 2 little pompoms! Too bloody adorable for words!

  7. LOVE this post! What I know about ethnic hair is scary so can't offer advise but have to say that Em's hair always looks great in her photo's so I'm sure you're doing a great job 🙂

    xxx

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