I have had numerous requests for information on locs, so in order to appease to masses:
Marissa has had her locs in for a little over two months now.
I am still completely in love with them. In fact, I think if you were to ask a couple of my friends, they would tell you that they are quite sick of hearing me talk about how I just love her hair and how I am so very happy with it.
More importantly, Marissa is happy with it too.
A couple of weeks ago we were at Whole Foods and the sweet brown woman working the register said, “Who did her hair?” I am never quite sure how a conversation beginning like this is going to go, especially with brown women. I hesitantly replied, “I did.” What she said next (and including the several minutes it took to check us out) was perhaps the BEST compliment I have ever or will ever receive in my life. Seriously way better than, “You know your thighs just keep getting smaller and smaller.” She told me that it looked awesome. She told me I was doing a wonderful job. She told me that I made the best decision for her, and that in a few years she is just going to be so happy that we did this. She told me how proud she was of me for doing this. She told me how vitally important it is for her to be comfortable with how she is made, and that loving her hair the way that it is such a huge part of that. She told me that I had done a wonderful thing to move her in that direction. She also told me how cool it was that I saved $400 by doing myself.
I SERIOUSLY wanted to crawl over the counter and hug her and make her my new best friend.
You’ll be happy to know I managed to restrain myself.
However, I did live on the high of those compliments the rest of the weekend.
It was such a gift to have that encounter. I fretted over this decision for two years. I wanted to do it from day one. I knew I was going to have to wait a while for her hair to grow and get healthy, but I knew I wanted to do this.
I talked to so many different people. Other adoptive moms, and tons of brown women. Even complete strangers, in random stores and gas stations. Including one in Whataburger, at which time I inadvertently picked up HER drink and took a big ol’ gulp of it. I wish I could have had a camera on my husbands face at that moment, when he looked at me and I realized it wasn’t my drink. I ever so coolly put her drink down and grabbed my own. Once we got outside, Richard’s first words were, “So how did you like that woman’s soda?” I don’t even like drinking after my own family and I was throughly disgusted. I was also ever so thankful I was never going to have to see that woman again. However, I always forget to take into account God’s glorious sense of humor. I kid you not, a month later when I took Marissa to the salon she recommended, she was there getting her hair done.
I’m so glad I can laugh about that now.
Where was I?
Oh yes. I had talked with so many people about this. EVERY ONE of them had a different opinion on what I should do with her hair. However, they all agreed that I shouldn’t do Locs. Ever.
So I tried everything else under the sun that they suggested, and was miserable the entire time.
I would have a terrible time braiding her hair every few weeks, as I have chronic pain in my fingers, hands, and wrists. Not to mention that I am just not that great at it, and could not seem to get anything tight enough to look good with out elastics, which were just damaging her hair.
Then one day someone told me that I need to straighten her hair. It was the only way to go. In one desperate moment, during a time that I should not have been allowed to make decisions about breakfast, let alone hair, I did it. Even though I ABHOR chemicals. I was just sick about it. It did however, make it very easy to comb out.
Several times a day.
I hated that I just couldn’t spontaneously leave the house. Instead I had to plan on having a long drawn out comb out session before we left, then again when we arrived because it would be all matted and mashed down in the back. Not to mention, the chemicals and constant combing was damaging her hair.
It was at this point I started taking her to salons to have it braided by the professionals.
She hated it. She would cry and cry and cry.
I was paying LOTS of money to have my child tortured.
Not to mention the super tight styles were damaging her hair.
I finally decided that I was just going to do it. Even though everyone thought it was just a horrid idea, I was going to do what I thought was best for our situation and start locs.
1. Easier to take care of on a daily basis.
2. Saving my hands and wrists.
3. Saving money.
4. Saving my child from the pain and torture.
5. Saving her hair from constant styling.
6. I figure since we started them at age 5, by the time she is old enough to really care about her hair, she is going to have these long beautiful locs. She will be able to curl them, leave them down, and pull them back. She can add beads and other pretty trinkets. She can wear headbands and hats.
7. I wanted to stop the madness of doing things to her hair that were actually damaging it. I figured at the rate we were going, her hair was never going to get any longer due to the constant breakage. I really felt like her hair had not grown a whole lot in the two years she had been home. I know that was mostly due to breakage. In the two months between starting the locs and last week when I tightened them, her hair grew a good half-inch.
At this point this post is WAY longer than I had intended.
Thanks in part to the Whole Foods and Whatburger ladies.
So girls, now that you know why, you’ll have to wait a couple more days for the how.
Be patient it will come.