Since the adoptions of our two African American daughters there has been a learning curve caring for their hair. The silver lining has been this unique expression of family, ritual, and tradition. The holiday season is busier than ever for my family, with weeks meticulously scheduled with an array of dinners and present openings, work events, and family traditions. This year we have vowed to do these 4 things better, but when the busy holiday season rolls around, let’s just say things can get a little “hairy”!
Schedule Time on the Calendar
For me hair is a part-time job – it takes time and a lot of it! Because of this I do my best to plan around our holiday events. For our full AA daughter most styles require 5-10 hours over several sessions to complete. Styles last about 10-21 days between washing and restyles. With more time-consuming styles, like yarn extensions, it can take up to 20 hours to set lasting 5-8 weeks.
Plan Out the Styles
Different styles require different levels of expertise and time commitment. I like to sketch out my styles beforehand and choose my two first part lines. I get my hair care knowledge from a variety of sources including videos, blogs, and read blogs. I reserve new technique and style for sessions when I can dedicate more time or plan more time for a fancy holiday style.
Have the Right Equipment
We purchased a hydraulic hair chair for about $120 and have a cart that holds all the different items I might need for longer hair sessions. We also have a hair station that serves for daily detangling and styling sessions that our younger daughter requires. Having all of the things we need in one spot helps us feel organized and excited to do hair.
In our modern family my husband and I share family duties and this extends to hair. Tasks like detangling and removing styles require little skill and lots of patience. When we remove yarn extensions there are several steps and lots of finger detangling, if we plan a family movie night together we can remove a full head of yarn extensions twice as fast! This hair time has also been helpful in increasing my husband’s confidence in this female dominated skill set.
Growing and learning as an inter-racial family and modeling a culturally sensitive lifestyle is part of our parenting mission. We love this unique time with our daughters and feel proud to prioritize this special ritual. For us hair has become even more than a ritual and tradition in our home, but a piece of living art only admired for a few weeks before creating a new piece.