The Motley News

A Hair Texture Dilemma


(Below/Left: My hair, Above/Right: Lanona’s hair)

As illustrated in the pictures above, my hair and my daughter’s hair are different in a lot of ways. Lanona is biracial and has curly, thick, and fine-stranded hair. My hair is very thick, course, and tightly curled. I’m sure her hair will transform a lot as she gets older, but I’m also sure that it will never be exactly like mine. Every since her birth I have had to put some kind of moisturizer in hair hair because she has a very dry scalp and her hair gets really dry and tangled without a moisturizer. Initially I used vaseline, now I use water and Johnson and Johnson baby gel for her hair. I desperately want to find some natural products for her hair, but I don’t know where to look. One thing I know is that she can’t use the same products that I use. I tried putting sweet almond oil in her hair and it weighed it down, made it very greasy, and difficult to comb. Giovanni direct leave-in did the same. I’m really at a loss here! I need to do a lot more research than I have because I’m sure there must be some natural baby haircare products somewhere. My fear is that they will be too heavy for her hair.

Every since I was younger I have been able to braid, twist, and style hair, but I’ve had very few experiences dealing with hair like that of my daughter. I have even had a hard time finding hair ties for her. The thin hair ties knot in her hair and the thicker ones are difficult to keep on unless I wrap them around multiple times. Maybe this is why many biracial boys and girls are always wearing beautiful curly afros–their parents don’t know what the hec to do with their hair! Lol. This brings to mind some of the individuals that have labeled my daughter’s hair as “good hair.” A student last semester saw a picture of her in my office and said “Oh she has that good hair.” I replied “There is no such thing as ‘good hair’, all hair is ‘good’ hair.” He replied “No, she has good hair.” I was too exhausted to get into a tirade with him, but I should have took the time to talk more with him about his comment. I know both me and my daughter will hear this over and over again throughout her life. I am already planning for in depth discussions with her about this when she gets older. And then there will be the discussions about the large-scale social notions about light and dark skin, having to identify her “race,” the social juxtaposition between Black and White, etc. etc. The very thought of these types of discussions sadden me because we live in a world that forces distinction between me and my own daughter. A world that will force her to identify as “Black” or “White.” A world in which some will dislike or even hate her because she is both.

I have digressed. This was supposed to be a hair post and it turned into a social commentary on race. The truth is that they are linked. The truth is that my daughter loves her darker skinned mother and she loves touching my hair. The truth is that one day she will be acculturated and her eyes will open to another truth—the truth of the world—that tells her that her and her mother are different—that one is more socially desirable to most and one is not. For now, I will do some research and shop for natural haircare products for her. Later, I will deal with the other dilemmas.


Author: charishreid

Writer and Educator.

2 thoughts on “A Hair Texture Dilemma

  1. The irony isn't lost on me. I think I have book in mind for you, I have to find it at Barnes and Noble. It's about how to take of all different types of hair for children.


  2. Oooh, that book sounds great. I just got my Aubrey Mandarin Magic Ginkgo Leaf & Ginseng Root Hair Jelly today and I put some in Nona's hair and it seems to work well so i'm excited about that because if it works for me then that will be one product that we both can use.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s