Hair. It’s played a huge part in my adoption story. I have lank greasy hair. Boring, brown, unsexy. My daughter has thick, difficult, incredible, memorable hair. When she arrived, aged 5, hair was a major part of our daily life. I had no idea what I was doing and a million questions…
- Every Sunday would it take 2 hours to wash and comb it? (YES)
- Would I wish I’d used the Girls World I got for my tenth birthday more? (YES)
- Was I going to find a hair band big enough to contain it? (NO)
- Was I going to find a shampoo, conditioner or serum that would work? (NO)
- Was I going to have to take out a second mortgage to pay for all the products? (PROBABLY).
Between the leave in conditioners and olive oil sprays I felt constantly guilty that I was hurting my child. That to her it felt like I was hurting her on purpose. Pulling her hair because I didn’t love her. That I was traumatising her every Sunday and no amount of explaining worked. So, in the end we reached an agreement…
IF I WAS ALLOWED TO DO HER HAIR, SHE WOULD BE ALLOWED TO DO MINE.
And so began our journey of learning to do each others hair. She got to grips with the greasy slippery lank, I go to grips with the unruly curls. I gave her mohicans, braids of all descriptions, hair extensions, bunches (sometimes up to six bunches). She combed my hair out, sectioned it, tried to give it some sort of life. I’m not going to lie, an 8 year old brushing your hair for hours hurts, a lot, but our pain was shared. We both endured it.
In the last year or so my daughter has taken over her own hair. She is brilliant, developing new styles, looks. She’s proud of her hair – her afro out wanting it to reach the sky, in a bun and sleeked back, straight and curly. I love how proud she is of it. I love that we found a million and one things to do with it together.
But the best bit… She still does my hair. So this Sunday I got a hair wash, blow dry and straighten – along side a hand massage and manicure. The whole process took about an hour and half. An hour and a half of being pampered for free, by my daughter. An hour and half with no TV, no social media and a chance to talk about her life…
Hair. When I think how much we used to argue about it, it makes me smile now how close it’s brought us.