Ladies, don't you hate when you leave straightening your hair until the end of the night? Guys have it easy, they just wash and go. Girls have a bigger problem with hair; whether you need to straighten, curl, scrunch, or braid, there's a lot more to do!
It took me forever to figure out the best way to care for my hair. I've tried curly, wavy, straight, bangs, no bangs, long, short... you name it, I've probably done it to my hair. I've finally reached the age where I really care about what my hair looks like now though, so I take the time to make it look nice. I love my bangs, and I take the time to brush them out. I straighten my hair after I shower (alright, sometimes I'll only straighten my bangs if I have no where to go), and make sure it looks good.
It's taken me 22 years to figure out how to care for my hair. It's taken me 22 years to even want to figure out how to care for my hair. But imagine taking in a foster child for whom you are responsible for everything, including their hair. You can't take 22 years to figure out how to do your new child's hair, no matter what kind of experience you've had with that particular kind of hair in the past.
When you take in foster children, you don't know who will be walking through your door next. Sometimes you're taking in children of different backgrounds, which means their hair may be different than your own. Take our family, for example. My mom is a white woman with thin blonde hair. She had to get used to doing my hair when I was little, because mine was so much thicker, but it was basically the same procedure for hair care. But the last little girl who lived with us, during my junior and senior years of college, was (I believe) bi-racial, if not 100% black, and had the cutest little curls you could imagine. Her hair was the complete opposite of ours.
Now, my little sister's hair was crazy. It was either in tight little curls, or it was poofed out in this big afro. It was adorable, but it was the kind of hair that a white woman would not know how to care for had she no previous experience with it. Luckily for my mom, my cousins are bi-racial, so my mom learned a lot about that kind of hair when my cousin and I were little girls. My mom and my aunt had to figure out how to care for my cousin's hair properly so that it would be strong and beautiful, and so my mom already understood the basics of how to care for my new little sister's hair.
Sometimes you don't have experience with your new foster children's hair. Maybe their skin is different as well. When we took in my little sisters, who are Puerto Rican, my mom found out that she could put oil in the bath to keep their skin soft instead of getting ashy. There's a lot to learn when you take in children of different backgrounds, which foster parents may not realize.
There's always support for foster parents somewhere. Whether you know someone who can teach you about something like hair or skin care, or you can go to a hair salon and ask for help, there's always people willing to help you. I remember in one of my favorite shows, "Grey's Anatomy," the two main characters (who were white) adopted a baby girl from Africa (who was black). The dad thought people were staring at him because he was this white man with a black baby.... Turns out, everyone was staring at him because he had no idea how to brush or style his daughter's hair. A fellow doctor helped him understand how to care for it, and there were no more stares to be found!
So remember, don't panic if you're facing a situation that you've never been exposed to before. Just take a deep breath, and start looking around to see who can help you. It's amazing how much foster care can teach you about life, down to the simple things like hair care.
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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