Monday, 5 October 2015

Crazybeautifulblack Hair

If you read my post about Emma's ordeal at a kiddies hair salon recently you'll understand the reason for this post.

As a mom raising a girl with very different hair to mine it's my responsibility to learn how to care for it and to teach Emma how to love it and look after it. I, unlike the ladies who work at this salon, don't believe that beauty equals pain and even without having ethnic hair, I understand the damage that relaxing, (rough) brushing and tight hairstyles do. 

The moment I got home from that place I contacted Taryn Gill at The Perfect Hair, explained the situation and asked her to recommend products for Emma's hair. With all the gentleness in the world she went through the hair care routine and two days later the product arrived. It would have been sooner but I ordered it at about 4pm.

I couldn't wait to get my Caucasian hands on it and into Emma's hair. That night I washed (twice) with the Cowash (shampoo and conditioner), which, because it's all natural products, doesn't froth and foam, irritate or burn. By the second wash I was able to put my fingers through her hair, without Emma even flinching. 

I patted her hair slightly, and then we got on the couch for some hair TLC time. I slowly worked the Style and Define through her curls, using only my fingers and as I was doing it I allowed her to put some in too. Like Taryn had said, Emma needs to love and enjoy her hair, and not associate it with pain and terror. 

The next morning I sprayed some water on and we spent time putting more of the Style and Define in her hair. By day 2 Emma's hair looked shiny and curly and defined. 

I've since learned that Emma has 4C hair,  which needs a lot of moisture. So every morning and evening I spray her hair with a mixture of water, olive and coconut oil. And then put the Kinky Coil cream on. I also learnt how to do the two twist for night time and am currently looking for a silk bonnet or pillow case. 

I no longer feel awful about Emma's hair, and we're both loving the 'mom and daughter' time in the evenings and mornings. Last night she fell asleep while I played with her hair. And I find myself touching her hair throughout the day.
I've even noticed her playing with it, which she never used to do. 

The Perfect Hair has a product for every type and speaking to Taryn, you can feel her passion for natural hair care. The products I purchased (yes, purchased. This isn't a sponsored post) were very affordable - R240 for both products and worth every cent. They also stock As I Am, Mixed Chicks, KeraCare, Carols Daughter and Shea Moisture.
Their website address is Do yourself a favour and check them out 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

A hair raising day

Let me start off by putting the blame firmly at my feet. As a white mom with 'white' hair raising a black baby with 'black' hair I've never quite gotten the hair regime right. I've asked friends, and strangers, and often the information is similar but at times, also conflicting.

Some say wash as often as possible. Others suggest relaxer and other chemicals to make her hair more manageable. Others say only wash once or twice a month. One thing they all agree on is lots and lots of moisture. 

'White' hair is so different. My hair is so different. Mine is fine and pretty straight. As a baby I had curls and apparently I screamed and cried enough for my mom to one day take a pair of scissors to my locks and chop them off. Since then I haven't had curls, or long hair again. 

In the world of ethnic hair, Emma's is coarse. And strong. And very curly. Which apparently is great. Unless you're a white mom trying to manage it. 

Yesterday I took Emma to a kiddies salon. Recommended by one of Emma's friend's moms at school. On our way Emma and I did a pinky promise that she would be as brave as possible. I told her that it might hurt because her hair is so curly but I'd ask the ladies to be as gentle as possible. 

Let's just say all promises went out the window. The woman at the salon insisted on putting a relaxer on Emma's hair. I asked if it was necessary. The stylist asked me how many children's hair have I done recently? So, against my better judgement, I kept quiet. 

Emma started niggling with the relaxer. She niggled a bit more when the lady washed her hair. She asked me to rather do it. Which I did. I sang and laughed with her and took her mind off things. 

Then she sat in the chair and it was time for the blow out. It was horrific. Emma screamed and cried. And ran out the salon. She wanted nothing more to do with the woman brushing her hair. But there was no turning back. She was looking like a little troll and we needed to try and finish it. So I sat in the chair with Emma on my lap and held her arms down. And two stylists attempted to dry and brush her hair. It was nightmarish. Emma called for me and begged me to make them stop. She sobbed while she yelled that it was hurting. 

I looked in the mirror, horrified at the sight. Me, holding my child down, while I allowed people to hurt her. But what was more horrifying was the faces of the other parents. One mom said to another, and loud enough for me to hear, that what I was doing was tantamount to child abuse. Another customer said "good God, is styling her hair that important to you?"

Gone was the idea of braids. Down the drain the thought of dreads. The only thing we could do was little pom poms, which Emma yelled and screamed through too. 

I don't know. The stylists told me that unfortunately it's the way it is for black hair. There's no way they can be pretty without pain. And this isn't the first time I've been told this from people working at a kiddies salon. But surely it's not the only way. 

I've now ordered another product for Emma's hair which will apparently detangle and soften the follicles, enough for me to put my fingers through it easily. And a dear friend has given me the name of her kiddies' stylist who is so gentle they nap while having their done. So I'm going to give that a try. 

And then I got home to hear Ben had beaten and bitten his friend. 

Let's just say I won't be getting one of these soon

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

I'm a telephobe!

  1. Telephone phobia (telephonophobiatelephobia, phone phobia) is reluctance or fear of making or taking phone calls, literally, "fear of telephone". It is considered to be a type of social phobia or social anxiety.
    Having a genuine fear of telephones in this day and age sounds absolutely ridiculous. But I do. I'm not sure if it's the idea of not been in control when you say hello (as in the conversation can go either way) or not knowing who's on the other end of the line and there's some days I'm just too exhausted to 'perform'.
    It sounds absurd but it's a very real fear that encroaches on my social life and my business (current and future). It also keeps me from going back to my old profession, which is PR.
    I prefer the good ol' days where if someone wanted to reach you they called you on your home phone. If somebody was available to take a message they would and you would return the call when you got home. There wasn't a huge panic if you didn't phone back. The person would simply call again the next day. At a reasonable hour. Weekends when the phone rang you knew it was a friend or family member. Business calls didn't happen. Not on a Saturday and definitely not on a Sunday. 
    Communication via technology has created additional stress to most of our lives. But to someone who dreads a ringing telephone, it feels a million times worse. Also, the various forms of communication have created a paranoia that didn't exist a few years back. 
    Here's an example. Ben isn't well. In fact he's really sick. And clingy. He nods off to sleep but if I leave his side he jolts awake. To keep me as close as possible he's taken to entwining his arm in mine, which was cute the first 20 times he did it. Now I just feel like a hostage. 
    Late this morning, maybe from the stress, I felt one of my headaches coming on so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone. Lying with Ben while getting rid of my headache made sense. I put my phone on silent and ended up falling asleep.
    I woke up to 17 missed calls, 8 whatsapp messages, a Facebook message and an email. All from the same person. I checked the times of the phone calls. One, two minute intervals between each. After the calls, the whatsapp was sent, then the fb message and finally the mail. Which was from a potential client, who wanted to chat about an event. But in their mail they said that they had tried the entire day to get hold of me and me not responding clearly meant I didn't want to do their function. 
    Wait! What? I don't want to do YOUR function? Because I didn't answer the phone? How do you arrive at that conclusion? Even if you've never heard of telephobia surely you think of a hundred other reasons your call wasn't taken, especially if it's the first interaction with a person. I could be in a meeting. I could be driving and don't take calls. I could be with my kids. I could be away from my phone. I could have left it at home. I could be at the doctor. I could be having a bypass. I could be sick. I could be dead. 
    I understand that I need to get over my fear of phones, and each day I promise myself that this will be the day I answer at least one number I don't know. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes not. 
    But in the same breath, people, friends, family and complete strangers, also need to understand that having a cell phone doesn't make me available 24/7. 
    By the way. Don't call me to discuss this. I'll call you