Angel is her name and her role in our life.
Wanting to be prepared I did what I could to get ready to new grooming responsibilities: watched YouTube videos, read recommended websites, asked where to get African Hair Thread and was promptly queried by and African-American friend, “What’s that? I am in my mid-40’s and not only have never used that; I’ve never heard of that.” That response suggested to me I’d slipped into overkill. I knew I had slipped into slightly crazy when I went to buy product at the largest mall in the region, couldn’t figure out what to buy so started looking for well-groomed African descent women to ask.
Before even leaving Haiti, we were advised by a kind stranger in the airport to make sure we care for Mica’s hair well.
I made an appointment with a wonderful hairstylist as soon as we returned to Vancouver. Charmaine guided me to products and styled Mica’s hair. We will visit with her again for “fancy styles.”
First goal was to transition Mica into family life and to be well-groomed. But I also know that I believe it is important for a Mama to care for a child’s hair and for the child to learn to care for her own hair.
Hair stylists are skilled in styling hair, and I needed a teacher for regular routines.
Week before last I took Mica’s extensions out and was headed to a local salon when I got a call to head to camp to take Caleb to emergency. Well, I knew I needed help when waiting in emergency my worry was about Mica’s hair rather than about the other child’s breathing.
During this same week a group from California came to help and pray at UBC. One of the team, Angel, has learned to make homemade conditioners, and she has taught her own child to self-care for her hair. She schooled me in hair care with conversation, and then she offered to teach me by doing Mica’s hair together. Let me say, “You Tube videos do not talk back!” After watching videos I was twisting out instead of around, Angel amused but kindly said, “No!”
Who knew that starting with wet hair does not preclude ongoing water spraying!
Who knew colourful hair twisties actually break hair!
Who knew that sulfates in many shampoos will damage African hair!
Well, obviously lots of people know this, but I didn’t.
After hours of watching and practicing, Mica soared around proudly returning to the mirror to check out her new style. Later this week I’ll fly solo with Mica’s hair which means lots of Veggie Tales because I am slow, but I feel ok to make mistakes, to be slow.
I did all I could humanly do to learn how to properly care for Mica’s hair and how to teach her, but God orchestrated the right person at the right time in unforeseeable ways. I want Mica to enjoy her hair and to feel confident with a variety of styles. The look of natural hair is lovely, but I had read this dries out the hair and is not an acceptable child style. Angel “gave me permission” for Mica to have some days with combed out hair. I won’t permanently damage her hair with a day or two out.
Three months of styles:
Angel your grace, honesty, humor, patience will long be remembered in the storytelling of Mica’s transition to life in Canada! Oh, and your natural hair products need to offered on-line. You would make a killing just based on smell alone.