Unbraided and Free


Dimples’ hair requires braids nearly all the time in order to avoid hours of combing out painful tangles. When it was shorter, I could pop a cute headband on her head and her curls were darling. As it has grown, those darling curls have become a source of pain, and yet having long hair is important to her. The result is that most of the time I unbraid, wash, condition, comb, and rebraid all in one day.

I LOVE seeing her hair loose and free – it is so beautiful. The picture above was taken after I spent over an hour taking her braids out last week. This week I am letting her scalp rest and have it in four braids with no elastics next to her scalp.

Honeybee’s hair has a different texture and doesn’t tangle nearly as much. It is a little bit curlier and a tiny bit coarser, but still very soft. It also isn’t as long as Dimples’ yet, so we’ll see what the future holds. Being ten, she is able to manage her hair more than Dimples can at seven years old. I’ll have to find pictures to post of her hair before she came home and some recent ones; her hair is also growing quickly.

Hair is very important to women of color, and I am learning more all the time. In the orphanage, the girls’ hair was shaved regularly, so having long enough hair for braids, especially with beads on the ends, is a source of great happiness to them. I only wish I were faster at braiding!

Dimples’ hair was much shorter two years ago on the day we met.

One day Dimples will be old enough to manage her own hair and I hope I’ll get to see it loose more often.


~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Shonni
    April 30, 2009

    She had such a pretty face!

    Reply
  2. Laurel
    April 30, 2009

    Wow! I can’t believe how much it’s grown in 2 years.

    Also, I am always surprised by how different the hair is of most of the Ethiopian children, than the Ghanaian children. My girls curls are sooo… tight, it is still just an inch or so off their heads when it is washed and not combed out or straightened.

    Dimples is a beautiful young lady … she will get to the point of taking care of her own hair. And, someday my girls will be able to do each other’s braids.

    Laurel 🙂

    Reply
  3. PastorMac's Ann
    April 30, 2009

    Wow Lisa! I can’t believe how much her hair has grown in just two years! She is such a lovely little lady.

    My Ethiopian daughter’s hair is super fine and has tight tight cork screw curls. We’ll have to see what we can do with it when it long enough for braids and other things. She’s already dying to be able to “do” her own hair. She’ll be four in June.

    Reply
  4. darci
    April 30, 2009

    she is lovely-what a good mom you are to take the time to do her hair. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Jess
    April 30, 2009

    Oh what a beautiful girl she is!

    Have you tried the twists? I do then often in Emma’s hair because it still feels like “down hair” but keeps it from getting too tangled. I can’t usually get them to last as long as braids though, so maybe it’s just more work…

    Reply
  6. Sandie
    April 30, 2009

    Gorgeous, Gorgeous, Gorgeous!

    Reply
  7. blessedmomto7
    April 30, 2009

    She is just so STRIKING! Beautiful girl that’s for sure!

    Reply
  8. Andrea H.
    April 30, 2009

    yeah we all know the amazing mom you are when it comes to their braiding. To me one of the best out there, no joke. But luckily most of the ET kids have really good hair. Dimples looks so beautiful with her hair down and I am so glad you are giving her a break on her scalp. Also thanks about making the comment about black womens’ hair. That is a true statement that we as parents of black children should accept and respect and take serious. Don’t let me get on the hair issue again.

    Reply
  9. Sandee
    April 30, 2009

    Beautiful long and wild hair. I have a page in my scrapbook of Mame with her big wild hair, and I entitled it: I love BIG hair!

    Reply
  10. Signe
    April 30, 2009

    She really is so beautiful. BTW there is a guy named Darrel at Mr. Leons that does braids. He is African American and had sisters. You might give them a call.

    Reply
  11. Lois
    May 1, 2009

    My preference (because I grew up in the 70’s?) is for the big ‘fro look. I loved the hairdo on her beautiful sister at the dance recital.

    Reply
  12. Mark and Sarah
    May 1, 2009

    I am just taken by Dimples. She is stunning. Every time you post her picture I have a little bit of breath taken away. Gorgeous child.

    We are on our way to our third child (2nd from Ethiopia)–a girl. I read your blog in earnest and hope to gain a few hair tips too!

    Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  13. coffeemom
    May 1, 2009

    Hair is a BIG deal. I have a tenderheaded one, big time, and we do the same, wash, or no wash, CONDITION and rebraid, most of the time. Otherwise it’s howls of pain. I can’t wait for her to be able to do it on her own…but she’s 10 now…so who knows when. Your girls are beautiful. I love following your blog. M

    Reply
  14. Anonymous
    May 2, 2009

    Are you familiar with the great book for curly hair “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey? It is an excellent guide and help for curly haired girls and anybody helping to care for curly hair. It can be really helpful in learning to love and care for your curls. I can highly recommend it!

    Reply
  15. Thankfulmom
    May 2, 2009

    (I just posted this comment on the wrong blog post – but since it’s my blog, I’ll just post it again!)

    Anonymous (I wish I knew who you were to thank you!), I jumped over to Amazon and just read some reviews of Curly Girl. I am going to order it right away; it sounds like just what I need. I have no desire to use chemicals on my daughters’ hair and I love their curls. I want them to love them too and this book might help me teach them to take even better care of their hair. Thank you.

    Reply

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