I should be used to hair issues. I grew up with them. Take a teen who has curly hair and wants it straight and there were my issues. Funny thing is that today I LOVE my hair. I wish it was even curlier. I’m sad because Emma just has a bit of curl and Izzie’s is stick straight. Good thing though I got my child with curly hair. His name is Frankie.
So give me some slack. I have no idea about how to handle Haitian Hair. That was one of those things that you tell yourself you have time to prepare for and books to read. Yeah, that did not happen. Since we have known Frankie he has had long hair. It has normally been kept in braids or corn rows. We love it and only know him that way. But looking at his hair when he got here and knowing that now I’m in charge gave me a scare. The biggest asked question we have about Frankie is if we will keep his hair. It’s a fair question. I would ask the same one.
For now we are going to try. See how it goes. We are going to keep the braids for a while and then maybe try to put dreads in. And if all else fails we’ll cut it. Thanks to some friend connections I was able to find a a place in Spartanburg where there is a lady who all she does is braid hair. I was told it would take 4 hrs to take out his braids then another 4 to put them back in. I forget who told me that. But this lady I found took them out in 45 minutes and put them back the next day in less than an hour. When I say speed braider I mean speed braider. They say I should have them redone every 6-8 weeks… I’m wondering if that means 12 weeks?
We spent a day with Frankie looking like this… When we left the salon I was asked if I had a hat for him. Um, no… was I to bring one? I had to run a few errands so she grabbed him and pulled it back for me so I would not embarrass myself in public with people thinking awful things of me and how I keep my childs hair.
I will say this…. There is a big difference in cultures that I’ve never been exposed to. The salon I went to is a black hair salon. When I pulled in there were about 50 cars in the parking lot. I did not think that they were all there for the salon but they were. The vibe of the place was unbelievable. Black gospel music playing. Generations of ladies from infant to Grandmothers sitting under dryers and getting their hair done. A barber shop in the front where the men come and go. Nails being painted and massages happening. I was even told that on Saturdays there is a lady that comes and serves breakfast in the back for a dollar an item. I was surrounded by this community of people who were engaged in life. It felt like one big family pot luck without the food. I was the only white person there. I never felt like I was not welcomed. I was so thankful for all the help and advice I was given for Frankie’s hair… for the kindness I was shown.
Hair, it’s just one of those things. It’s a complex thing but simple as well. And Frankie’s hair has opened up a different side of life to me that I may never have been exposed to. I’m so grateful for that. I’m thankful for my sons hair. Thankful at how his hair has shown be a piece of community… another piece of the Kingdom that God has beautifully created.