January 08, 2009

Hair, There, and Everywhere

Is it because of my daughter’s beautiful curls or the fact that she’s black and I’m white that so many people stop us to talk about her hair? It is beautiful (according to our good friend and neighbor, whom my daughter calls grandma and who is an African American woman, Ava’s hair is a grade of curl many black women pay to try to achieve).

For the most part, we have received positive comments from both black and white people. Only once did a woman mutter a negative comment under her breath, which I called her on, and we had a “discussion” in the middle of a store. I couldn’t say what I would have liked to say back to her, as Ava was with me and how I react is how she will learn to react to stranger’s comments about our “different” looking family and the like. So, I flashed my pearly whites and took the old adage, kill ‘em with kindness.

I was upset and shaking afterward, but I know things like that are bound to happen, unfortunately. When I spoke with my neighbor about it later, she was pretty appalled and told me just to ignore the comment, because the lady clearly had no idea what she was talking about. She’d accused me of not taking care of my daughter’s hair, when in fact, my daughter’s hair is well taken care of and in fantastic shape.

But what strikes me as interesting is that while occasionally (but very rarely) do I hear people comment on a white child’s hair (interestingly, I have only heard people comment on white kids with curly hair), I have never heard anyone say anything negative about a white kids hair. And look around. I’m not afraid to say it, there are some white kids out there who look like they haven’t combed their hair in weeks, with lopsided ponytails and some serious bedhead. So why doesn't anyone comment on that? Beside the fact that it's just out-right rude...

It is something to think about: are people commenting on Ava’s hair because it’s beautiful or because they're curious if a white woman can care for a black child’s hair? I’m sure I’ll be commenting on this a lot, as I continue to educate myself on the best ways to care for Ava's hair (yes, I actually do educate myself; I make no assumptions).

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite sites for Ava’s hair care products (I have ordered from all of these and love their all-natural, paraben and SLS free products):

Blended Cutie’s Hair Care (by Blended Beauty)
Carol's Daughter

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