March 12, 2007

On The Subject Of Your Biracial Child's Hair

ellen_gallagher_preserve.jpg

Suffice it to say that when it comes to hair, and particularly to perceptions, ideals of beauty, and norms of socialization, white folk have been messing with black folks' heads long before they actually started caring for them.

Which is a strained way of saying that straight-haired parents face a whole set of new questions and challenges when caring for their biracial or multiracial children's hair. Don't worry, though; at Anti-Racist Parent, Dawn uses the introduction of a hair relaxer targeted at non-black parents to explore the issue a lot better.

Just For Me Texture Softener targets white parents of black and multiracial girls [antiracistparent.com via dt reader carmen]
image: detail of a painting by artist Ellen Gallagher [drawingcenter.org]

5 Comments

Curls and kinks have been "shamed" for such a long time. And the scars (emotional and otherwise) from chemical burns, or from a too hot pressing comb are no joke. Thank goodness for websites like naturallycurly.com. The industry has come a long way in terms of providing products and support for very curly/kinky hair.

I worried that my biracial son's hair was so straight when he was born -- I kept anxiously asking if it would get curly eventually. 18 months later, we're already on haircut number 2 cause my mboy looks like he's trying out for the Jackson 5 with his riot of curls, and if him and mama are out solo, everyone always says, "Wow, you must get that gorgeous curly hair from your daddy!"

I was always ashamed of my curly hair growing up in the midst of kids who didn't know ANY other Black people. I'm hoping I can instill more pride in my son as he gets older.

'Daddy, Papa, and Me' had a related post a few years ago which was interesting to read...
http://www.lathefamily.org/2005/03/twostranded_twists.shtml

Might want to try Mixed Chicks products. They are perfect for biracial hair.

My wife is mixed raced and she was born with straight hair that was brown. She's mixed white and native with her mum having the curly locks. One fine day when she was about 5 years of age her mum decided to give her a complete head shave using her father's razor and after that the hair grew out curly. Somehow the shaving made her hair curly.

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