Interracial Family: Hair…It Continues to Amaze Me
By: Amy Wise
One thing that I’m still getting used to even after 16 years of having a mixed race daughter is this whole “hair thing.” The other day I went into Tatiana’s bathroom and hanging everywhere were rows of HAIR! She had washed her weave and it was hanging off the towel racks, shower curtain, and counter. It looked like long black creatures had taken over everything in sight. At first when I walked into the bathroom I was a little freaked out, but then I looked around and literally laughed out loud!
Each time I write about hair, and there have been many, it seems Tatiana is at a different stage in her life. First, as a little girl, it was combing through, braiding, and filling her thick, curly hair with barrettes. Then, as a pre-teen, it was adding extensions, and having them braided for hours at a time. Now, as a teen, it’s long, straight extensions, after her bi-monthly trips to the salon. I don’t know why this blows me away so much because as a white woman, I go through the same type of craziness every month when I get my hair cut, colored, and highlighted. What’s the difference? The difference is I don’t have someone else’s hair attached to my head and hanging throughout the house! Trippy!
The other night we were all getting ready for bed and Jamie looked down and thought our little black poodle was lying really still on the floor, but in actuality it was Tat’s weave! We had all been watching a movie together and she had taken it out, piece by piece, and eventually it ended up in a nice, neat pile on the floor looking exactly like our dog. It just cracks me up that this black fluff ball on the floor looked more like our tiny toy poodle than my child’s hair!
Because I always want to know as much as I can about what my child goes through, I recently sat down to watch Good Hair. It’s the documentary hosted by Chris Rock that follows where the hair extensions come from and how they eventually get to the heads of black women all over America. I haven’t watched the whole thing yet because once I started watching I asked Tat if she had seen it, and she said no. I want to sit and watch it with her so she can see the history behind what is attached to her head. It just fascinates me that there is a documentary about this! I’m sure the black women that are reading this are cracking up at me because this is just part of how you were raised and who you are, but for me it’s a totally new adventure.
Whenever we go to buy Tat’s hair we have to go to the “hood” because of course you can’t by “her hair” in the suburbs where we live. Even though our neighborhood is quite the melting pot, we still don’t have a beauty supply place that caters to the African American crowd. What’s up with that!? Hmmm, maybe I should open one…would that be weird? I’m always the only white person at the beauty supply where she shops so why not be the only one in our area who owns one? It’s a thought.
As Tatiana hits each of the different life stages, I continue to learn something new. I love it, and wouldn’t change a thing. So even today, after 16 long years, her hair continues to amaze me and probably always will!
You can check out some of my other hair stories from the links below: