When Your Children Don’t Look Like You: Understanding Black Hair Care

By May 4, 2020Podcast

Today’s conversation with my guest, Monica Hunter, was a gift. We talked about hair and skincare, and in that, we explored how to help our children feel valued and loved. There is beauty in coming together to care for one another. As a foster and adoptive mom of a multi-racial family, I’ve had to ask so many questions, and I’m thankful for people like Monica who are willing to jump in and share their knowledge. We need spaces where we don’t have to fear making a mistake but can simply learn with others together. I want my children to know I care about them, and part of that is showing them that I care about the hair and skin that God uniquely gave each of us.

HERE ARE MY 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM OUR CONVERSATION:

1. Hair and skincare are first about taking care of what God has given us.

I want to be faithful as a parent. I don’t want to communicate that my child’s outer appearance is more important than what’s going on inside her heart. But, to dismiss or avoid the conversation about hair and skincare feels like a miss. God, the Creator, made our hair and skin. I loved how Monica drew this point out. When we show our children that we’re willing to learn how to care for them—all of them—we’re showing them that they are valued. God created them purposefully. Our exterior is not all of who we are, but how we take care of what God has given us is important too.

“We don’t just want to focus on hair and skin, but we also want to acknowledge that it’s important.”

2. You don’t have to have this all figured out.

It’s okay to have questions. No parent is perfect nor can we be the expert in all areas. We can, however, try our best. We can work towards figuring out tools and techniques to use for our children’s unique needs. I love that Monica kept pointing us back to this reminder. We have to give ourselves grace in this. I’ve found in asking questions at my son’s barbershop, that they don’t expect me to know the answers. They affirm that I can bring my questions to them. When we approach others with the right heart, most often, we’ll find that people are willing to help.

“Give yourself permission to not have all the answers.”

3. Getting your child’s hair done can be about so much more than the hair.

I appreciated that even though Monica certainly knows how to do her girls’ hair, she also takes them to get it done. It’s not just about the hair getting done, but being at the beauty shop for hours is an important piece of culture that Monica wants to pass on to her girls. There’s an expectation that they’ll be there a while, and it allows her and the girls to connect with other women. There is a sense of belonging that happens at the shop. Not everyone has to go to a beauty shop, but I think the point that stuck with me is that we must find ways to connect our children to this diverse world. For us as adoptive and foster parents, if family is not where our children can see people who look like them, we must explore areas where they can connect to others who do.

“I’ll tell you about hair and skincare, but I outsource hair too because I want them to have the experience.”

And as a bonus, if you’re new to African American hair care—

3 Quick Hair Tips from Monica

Understand how often to wash the hair.

When you wash the hair too often, it strips the hair of essential oils. Your child is not dirty if they wash their hair once a week or even every two weeks. That’s actually helpful for their hair.

Moisturize frequently.

Between washes, add oil every few days, and use a satin cap at night to reduce friction on the hair that can lead to breakage.

Use a protective style.

You and your kids will be thankful that you don’t have to comb out their hair every day. Try a style that will last for 3-7 days.

RESOURCES FROM TODAY’S SHOW

Connect with Monica:
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/LoveWorksIfYouDo/
Website | loveworkscommunity.org
Email | monicahunter@loveworkscommunity.org
Monica’s New Children’s Book | Mommy Loves Me, Can’t You See

 

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We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

Monica Hunter is a wife, mother, businesswoman, and author. She and her husband, Vincent, are the founders of LoveWorks, an organization focused on promoting the action of love through marriage, family, and community. They have three daughters and live by the motto, “Love works, if you do!”

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

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