What this White Mom Did with her Black Daughter’s Hair Today

As I’ve mention many many times, it’s sometimes hard for this white woman to figure out the vagaries of African American hairstyles.  When our daughter Naomi lived in Ethiopia, her hair was shaved close to her head.  Obviously, the orphanage made sure the kids were fed, not necessarily well-coiffed. Here’s Naomi at 2 years of age in the orphanage:

Would you believe that child, two and a half years later, is this child?

Well, many of you know, I’m learning to do Naomi’s hair.  Yesterday, at the shooting range, I let her hair “be free.”  She loved it, but the style is not protective enough for the rigors of summer.

Today, this is what we did:

Check out the criss cross pattern in the back:

You can see, I haven’t adorned her head with bows yet and the styling product is still wet.  However, I was very pleased with the result!

And I have a very important announcement pertaining to the continuing hair saga.  The last hair style I did lasted one month.  Though I know it wasn’t perfect, I was proud of myself for hitting that milestone.  In fact, this is the hairstyle, which even survive this day at the sandy park…  barely:

Thanks for all the encouragement, friends.  And an especially big thank you to Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care — the website with  all white mothers need to know to take care of their beautiful black children.

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About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • http://www.chocolatehairvanillacare.com/ Rory, Chocolate Hair / Vanilla Care

    eeeeek!!!! i LOVE it! thanks for the shout-out (again) but i LOVE the weaving pattern of braids. it’s so cool and always holds a special place in my heart. you’re doing such wonderful things, and not just with hair. :-)

  • http://www.arealeducation.com Belinda French

    Beautiful, Nancy!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/grow-black-hair-long grow black hair long

    Very cute hairstyles. You should be so proud of yourself for going beyond your comfort zone

  • Melinda

    Wow! This is gorgeous! I’m dealing with the same issues, Nancy! Our white-as-rice family is fostering to adopt a black-as-bean sibling group and although I’ve been to a hair and skin care training class, I’m struggling with french braiding. I just can’t get it to look right. We usually go with lots of little braids, which is possible thanks to our Tad & Lily (Leapfrog) DVD collection! You’ve inspired me to continue trying – and I’m going to check out the resource you posted! Thanks so much.

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  • Not Chicken Little

    She’s a beautiful child and you are a beautiful Mom inside and out, for the love and care you give her and for living your ideals.

  • Ahsley lorenz

    People internalize racism and lots of African American women therefore have self-hating views about their hair. This is due to the European standard of beauty being forced on us for so long.
    Many African American women feel that there is something wrong with their hair unless it has been straightened.
    Sadly, most of the negative comments I get about my hair come from other black people.
    Many of us find a black woman’s hair in its natural state to be offensive and obscene. My grandmother once told me that it was a sin not to straighten my hair lol.
    In their defense, many businesses have double standards and will tell us that natural hair is un-professional. I worked at a bank with a no afro rule. As soon as my little fro got past my ears I was told it was too long. There was no rule about how long my white co-workers could grow their hair.
    But don’t let negative people stop you; you’re doing the right thing by teaching your daughter to love her hair.
    She is beautiful.
    Good luck!!!

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  • Saphayia

    Black as a Bean? You people use some of the most offensive terms and comments.