I wanted to take a moment to chronicle Caitlyn’s hair journey. Both of my children came from the womb with a head full of beautiful black hair. That would explain the heartburn I endured, right? lol! As Caitlyn got older, her hair texture became more and more curly.
I’ll admit in the early days, I wasn’t all that skilled or creative. Not all black women can braid.
I’m one of them.
I do ok with plaits but cornrows? Nope. It’s probably because my mom didn’t know how to cornrow either. Amazing how such skills get passed down from mother to daughter. But she did teach me how to plait which helped me to an extent.
I was the little girl coming up with the “bad hair”. I was barely 11 years old when my father sent my sister and I to the hair dresser for matching Jerri curls. I’ll spare you that photo montage. So coming up, I always had hair issues. It was unruly, thick, coarse, you name it, that’s what it was. It was hard to comb. It broke combs.
Now here I was with a beautiful baby girl who’s hair was very, very curly. I didn’t know what to do with it so I ended up doing very little.

Here’s Caitlyn at around 8 or 9 months old

When she was this size, I got away with my lack of creativity. But the older she got, I realized I had to do better. Last year, when Caitlyn went through her hair pulling issue (I’ll blog about that at length soon) and recovered from it, I realized that I’d have to do a better job at nurturing her hair growth. By the time she overcame her hair pulling, I didn’t have very much to work with in the back. I found a mom on youtube name Katie Lynn Lynn who was the adoptive mom of two Liberian little girls. I was completely fascinated and inspired by her dedication to the care of her little girls’ hair. Why? Primarily because she was white. I said to myself, “If she can overcome any reservations she may have about hair care for her daughters, surely I can!”

So away I went.
After watching a few youtubes of Katie, I decided to give the piggyback braids a try. Here’s my first attempt:
When I realized that I COULD style my daughter’s hair well and didn’t have to feel less than because I was unable to cornrow, I ventured into different styles. I am so serious that other moms made me feel less than because I couldn’t braid my daughter’s hair. In the beginning, her aunt on her father’s side would braid her hair when she felt like it. Both the aunt and Marc didn’t waste time comparing her styling skills to mine. Rather than fighting back, I acquiesced and let her do the styling. This left me feeling pretty low and incompetent.
But here’s the message I’m trying to send here…
I’m the best mommy for the job!
I don’t care how many moms out there can style their daughters hair like a pro, I’m still the best mommy for the job. How many African American moms have told other moms of beautiful African American little girls that they couldn’t style their children’s hair properly? When I saw Katie’s youtube channel, I was liberated. If a white woman (who quite frankly had a way harder road to hold than me) could step up to the plate, learn the techniques and needs of her daughter’s hair types, so could I.

Pardon her frowny face. She was fussy this day. lol!
Caitlyn’s hair braided, about a month ago.

So here’s what I started doing differently:
1. Since hair “grows”, I decided that the best thing for me to do, even if I wasn’t sure of all the products to use, would be to be more consistent in how often I touched her hair. Whatever I did, I had to make sure I was doing it routinely, i.e. routinely washing, conditioning, moisturizing, combing and brushing. You can’t just leave hair alone. That’s what I had to learn. Even if it’s not the best care, hair will respond to CARE.
2. I changed my attitude about her hair. I embraced her curls. Her hair wasn’t “bad” or even hard to manage. The problem wasn’t her hair, but my ignorance. I committed myself to loving her hair.
3. I decided to be confident in what I could do, instead of insecure about what I couldn’t. I still can’t cornrow my daughter’s hair. But I do a mean piggyback braid! I also do great pigtails and two stranded twists. I do what I can do well and think nothing of what I can’t do.
Caitlyn’s hair stays braided about 80% of the time. Most of the time I braid it straight from her wash and conditioning, no blow drying or heat. I decided to do something different yesterday, just to mark the progress her hair has made since I implemented a few changes, mainly in my attitude:

Isn’t she an absolute DOLL?! I LOVE her hairstyle! No, my parts aren’t precise and there’s no fancy bells and whistles, but I did it! I was able to make my daughter look presentable. I successfully blow dried and flat ironed her hair all by my lonesome. I probably won’t do this style too often because I’m not a fan of too much heat, but when I want to give her a different look, I now know that I can do it. That makes me feel really good.

YOU are enough for your babies.
And that, is all.

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