When I leave Baby at the local day care center, I do not expect them to style her hair. After what I saw the other day, I am going to insist that they never treat my daughter’s hair like that again. Just take a look at these photos, and you’ll see what I mean.
I got home late from work the day that this was done, after Baby had already been settled into bed. When I leaned into her crib and ran my hand over her puffs, I asked Hubby who did her hair and why, considering that I sent her to school in a presentable, pretty curly afro. There was no need to do her hair. Hubby is hair clueless, so he just shrugged and figured it saved him the trouble of having to brush and untangle that night. Say what?!?! The next morning I saw this horror show in the full morning sun. I was hopping mad! My child’s hair was sectioned off in these CRAZY parts and bound up in … rubber bands. And they sent her outside like that!
Who does that?!? When caring for Black and bi-racial children’s hair, the three key words are moisture, moisture, moisture. If you’re going to put in ponytail holders, use scrunchies from Goody’s or little mini ones that are soaked in coconut oil or olive oil first. Common, dry rubber bands from Staples or who knows where DO NOT belong in a black baby’s hair.
It took me a few long minutes of trying to get these office supplies out of my daughter’s hair. Finally, I had to cut them out, because the rubber bands and her hair were so entangled. She was getting upset, impatient and I had to really be firm with her to get her to sit still and let me finish the job.
After I signed Baby in at day care the next day (Hubby and I had a couple of of other priorities to discuss with the teacher, so this waited a day), I asked the teacher about it. She explained that Baby and her best pal, a little boy, were roughhousing and she was afraid that the hair pulling would get out of control and that Baby would get hurt. OK, so we identified the good intentions that paved this road to hell. (I’m exaggerating, of course. But look at this mess!!) I explained that the rubber bands were a problem, because they were very dry, made her strands brittle, and caused some breakage when I removed and finally had to cut them out. She immediately apologized and said she would try to avoid that. So then I felt bad for wanting to read the woman her rights. Melanie is a young woman, about 23, sweet as pie and always is so warm and nurturing to Baby. How could I be mean when she apologized over and over?
When I was young, my mother, aunts, friends of my mother and other guardian women types would always tell me not to let other people touch my hair. My mother wasn’t super rigid about that, and neither am I. If the teacher had “good hands” and could fashion pretty cornrows or other things, I might not mind. But this? And from a Latina, who should know something about curly styles? Oh no. As a compromise, I said I would leave scrunchies in Baby’s cubby hole or her bag so that if the ever get possessed with the same idea (I didn’t use those words), at least the equipment will be gentle on her hair. Maybe I’ll leave a multi-purpose comb in there too, and a hint: could you at least part it straight? Sigh.
As for Hubby, I obviously have some more training to do to get him through the basics of brushing and untangling at night!