Friday, July 27, 2007

Um Kisha

*Kisha- an adjective describing hair texture which lacks a direct translation into English, but falls somewhere between fuzzy, wiry, nappy, or kinky.

While doing a dissertation on "Lawrence of Arabia" a few years ago, I came across a passage in which T.E. Lawrence talked about how reviled curly hair was to the Arabs he came to know and the extents one would go to in trying to rid oneself of the unattractive feature. Apparently things haven’t changed much in a century.

I’ve watched women lay their heads down on ironing boards and iron their hair. I’ve taken desperate sounding Saudi friends to Afro/Caribbean salons in England to interpret for them as they get their hair relaxed and their pocketbooks fleeced. I’ve comforted someone close to me as she cried for days because the straightening treatment she did to her hair caused it all to break off starting an inch away from the roots. “Dark and Lovely” is sold most everyplace hair-care products are and even the kids’ version is available. Brylcream is purchased by the gallon and Vaseline is apparently great on hair too. Hours upon hours are spent with hair dryers and straightening irons trying to smooth wavy, curly, and wiry locks.



In a past post, I’ve already mentioned part of MaryJo’s inheritance from me…my hair. Although far from its former glory, my hair possesses a much sought after feature amongst Arab women…it’s straight. Smug little MaryJo struts her stuff knowing that in everyone’s eyes, she’s got straight, shiny, ideal hair like this advert:
Then there’s her younger sister, poor little EttaMae, aka Um Kisha:
So... what to do about it?

I hear constantly… “Adeli kishat-ha” (fix her fuzzy hair) coming from my in-laws mouths. Last night they were telling me to chop it all off. No one wants to be seen out in public kisha or with someone who’s kisha. Because her hair is baby-soft and ridiculously thin, hair creams and oils won’t do and makes her look like an oil tanker leaked on her head. No chemical treatments for my baby so park the “Dark and Lovely” back on the shelf. When I went back to America I tried all the standards like Pink Lotion and Frizz-Ease…nothing! I spend a lot of time hovering dangerously close to a wiggly, impatient 7-year-old with hot hair-styling equipment on Eid mornings just to have my work destroyed after 5 minutes of play.

Then last year, I got a great idea…
“When I go to the States I’m gonna get EttaMae’s hair braided”, I told my husband.
“What do you mean “get it braided”, go and braid it yourself”, he replies, thinking I mean I’ll put a braid or two in her hair like normal.
“No, I mean braided all over. I lack the talent and the patience to do it myself so I’ll get it done while I’m at my sisters. I’m sure she knows someone who does it out of her house so I don’t need to pay salon prices. I’ll take her when we first get there then she’ll keep them in till it’s time for us to come back.”
“Oh no, don’t do THAT to her hair”, he says with a disgusted look.

Hmmm, struck a nerve.
So, braids are out of the question for my Um Kisha.

My sister is thrilled with the new tracks she just got. She’s a big fan of falls (those fake ponytails) and had several lying around her house which at first glance, looked like sleeping animals on her dresser. I’m glad she’s found away to deal with her troublesome hair and although I’d like to be able to tuck the kisha away underneath fake hair…we can’t do it. Muslim women are not allowed to wear “false hair” because of how Jewish women used wigs instead of truly covering their hair. So after a summer in the States of going natural and sporting a ‘fro on top of her head that rivaled anything from the ‘70’s, we came back to Saudia and many hours of wrangling her kisha hair into submission.

I know in the past, young Gulf Arab girls used to wear several thick braids in their long hair kind of like this:
Even Bedouin men wore their hair in two or three braids. It was kinda a unisex hairdo…the Pocahontas braided look. Today, young girls may wear a ponytail with several braids in it, but non wear their hair down with braids. Way back in the days of the Prophet (PBUH), some women used to wear their hair in what was described as, “closely braided”.

Book 003, Number 0643:
Umm Salama reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, I am a woman who has closely plaited hair on my head; should I undo it for taking a bath, because of sexual intercourse? He (the Holy Prophet) said: No, it is enough for you to throw three handfuls of water on your head and then pour water over yourself, and you shall be purified.
(Sahih Muslim)

Braiding seems like the most sensible option but despite its history in this area, no one does it now. Instead, all the “Um Kisha’s” of the country prefer the seemingly endless applications of chemicals and electrical appliances. I guess healthy, braided hair is old-fashioned.
Update: Thanks to everyone for the numerous suggestions on how to manage EttaMae's hair woes. I'm working through them one at a time to see what works best at taming my girl's wild hair and will post the winning solution (and I hope there'll be one) in a future post:)

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

honey...i dont think i have the strength within me to explain this one..

i suppose your husband didnt want your child to have what is consider a "black" hairstyle...

unfortunately..many saudis really dont like features that are associated with african-ness

kinky hair..dark skin...etc...

im sure your husband's family are really good people..but if u listen carefully..u will catch these things

maybe u should have a frank talk with ur husband and ask him what is so terrible about braided hair?

im sorry..this is my humble opinion...

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Anon-I could see why this would be your impression upon first glances and I'd considered it myself for a bit. For the younger generation of Saudis, who've had MTV since childhood, I could see them straightaway associating braids=black since there's "Tupac" and "50Cent" graffiti on the house next door. But my husband, who's nearing 40, isn't from that age-group. I think it has more to do with its antiquity rather than race association on his, and his family's part since so many Saudis have kisha hair that aren't of African descent (although more are than they'd ever admit to). That's not to say that a dislike of African-ness isn't prevalent here, along with Asian-ness, Indian-ness, etc...
As for braids with the 40+ generation, I think its just another old practice that's been replaced with modernity.

Marie-Aude said...

OK, I know this is long term and nt very useful on a young girl, but what about collecting all the adds in the west for products giving curly - fussy - voluminous hair ?
Admiring her hair as much as possible ? Planting in her head and brain that a woman with kisha hair can be beautiful ?
That so many of these western girls with straight hair would do whatever they can to add volume to it ?

Nevertheless.... what they do in my family is attach the hair with a ponytail, and fix a kind of round comb all around the forehead. As it is round, is it attached behind, as it is a comb, it holds the mainstream, and then you add small barrettes where it is needed. It usually last half a day :)

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

My voice will seem so tiny in the torrent voices calling her "Um Kisha". Now, I take one of her curls from the back of her head, which is the ONLY place she has proper curls and not just fuzz, and I stretch it out then let it go like a spring saying "Boing!". Now it's fun, but when she's older she'll only have to look as far as her own family to see that her hair's not the ideal.
As far as the barrett idea, one of the reasons her hair is so unmanageable is because of her high level of activity...most hair "things" don't stay in or in it's proper place for longer than a few minutes. They can't last through somersaults and rolling around on the floor:)...maybe in a few years though?

Cairogal said...

Why not embrace it? Get her hair cut into layers...it should curl up more naturally. Perhaps, as she gets older, add some light product. It might need some coaxing the rest of her life, but she seems to be curly headed girl, and there's nothing wrong with that! :-)

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Cairogal- I'd love it if her hair were indeed curly but kisha hair isn't necessarily curly, although she has curly patches like at the nape of her neck. Most of her hair is just plain fuzz and since shorter hair didn't work, I was hoping that length would help to hold it down a bit. Her hair length is actually to her shoulder blades, but you'd never know it by the picture.

Anonymous said...

No one is ever happy. I have straight blonde hair and I always wanted curly black hair. I spend hours trying to get some curls into my hair.

Chickpea said...

My hair isn't "kisha", but it is naturally curly. When it's wet, I've got a head full of beautiful ringlets (a la Scary Spice, etc), but once it dries it falls victim to the FrizzDemon. Funny that growing up I was always told I have "good hair."

While I mostly straighten it with a blow dryer and flat iron, and had it chemically relaxed for a few years, I've definitely learned to love my hair with all its frizz and susceptibility to humidity.

When I do wear my hair "curly" - meaning slicked back into a ponytail - which is about once a week, I find that Garnier's Fructis hair putty works wonders for me. I can even wear my hair out and curly and it won't turn into a frizzy puff. And it doesn't feel greasy or oily or nasty. I don't know if they have it in the KSA, but I will happily send you a whole selection of "product" if you would like.

There's a website out on the interwebs that provides suggestions and support with curly, frizzy, thin, kisha, etc hair. I will ask my mom for the link and pass it on to you.

Anonymous said...

I have very fine wavy hair. My husband's is more on the thicker/kisha side :)
My 2 daughters inherited both sides, but same texture as my sister's (much thicker than mine, mashallah). You know one funny observation, in the west, pple want curly, darker skin(see how much tanning products are sold) while the east, wants lighter skin and straighter hair. I think many problems being faced by Middle eastern is the stuff they see on tv(satelites). The women are *painted* with layers of make-up, wearing stuff which many pple wouldn't be able to afford,they forget that it's all an act. Back home, pple are trying to keep up with the trends. Oh, btw, there are now using this lightening skin products, I saw someone who was dark-skinned but now seemed to have just become "white". It's scary coz these products contain mercury. My other friend from Jeddah says that many saudi women/girls are into these products too. sf

Suzan said...

HI Daisy
this is Suzan Zawawi, we met once in Hofuf, my mom is Um Abbas,
well it was nice finding your blog, i really like the abaya one :)
keep up the good work

Desert Flower said...

I don't know about that as our hubby's are close in age and I wore my hair with small braids in the front and he told me he didn't like it. When I asked him why becauss to me it was cute and stylish he pretty much made it clear that it had to do with him associating it to african-ness.

And from my experienes the old traditom in saudi was to wear it in one big braid or two braids. Some of the older women still do this.

When my hair was waist lenght I used to wear it in two braids as this was fast and easy some days when i didn't feel like dealing with it. I wore it to work like this one day and the other women told me it made me look like a little girl. I said hey that is a good thing right??

However I do think that the kind of brush you use makes a big difference [I don't think you should use a brush at all but a pick} and that you do need to find some kind of product to use on it that will not make her look all greased up.

As any one with curly hair will tell you using a brush will make it more frizzy.

S said...

Try using coconut oil or olive oil while her hair is still wet using your fingers. I wouldn't comb/brush it when it's dry.

I'm kind of worried she's going to end up resenting her hair and thinking she's physically unattractive because of her hair. Without doubt, other people's perception of what is attractive/unattractive rub off on children. I think if she sees you don;t have a problem with her hair ie you don't make a huge fuss about trying to "fix" it she'll embrace it easier. It's a good think fashion is so fickle though. Because things associated with western black culture (music, dress, lingo) are fashionable in our generation she could soon be the object of envy because of her kinky hair.

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

anon- so true..."the grass if always greener" isn't it?

Chickpea- hmmm, Garnier hair putty, it's worth a try. We have Garnier around here so I just may be able to find it, thanks for the offer/info sweetie:)

sf- my MIL was just talking about a girl who'd just gotten a "whitening" treatment in a salon here and her skin was peeling off as "how one would skin a rabbit" she said. I remember a news report in England about how although these products are banned, they're still so popular with the Afro/Caribbeans in the country they can't get rid of them all. Meanwhile, the other part of England's population, the whites, are all getting skin cancer from baking themselves in Ibiza and in tanning booths. Nuts isn't it?

SUZY!!!!!! I've been dying to get a hold of you!!! I'm so glad you've stopped by. I hope you read this and send me an email so I can get back in touch with you. Say hi to all your family from me!

DF- From my understanding, no one in your husband's family has kisha hair (Mashallah) so it may have influenced his perception of it being more "African".

S- Your so right, I've noticed a change in recent years. I've seen several young guys sporting huge curly mops of hair on their heads around town and in ads on tv aimed at youth. Even some of the girls are letting their hair go curly in ponytails who'd previously not even wanted people to know their hair wasn't poker straight. I just hope it lasts and my daughter calms down enough to keep some real curls in her hair. Thanks for the suggestions too.

Cairogal said...

I've heard the coconut oil suggestion, too, but you have to use it REALLY sparingly.

Nzingha said...

my girls got thick bushy dry curly hair. When we go to Malaysia everyone loves to grab a hold of my babies locks. Here, we struggle :) since Mr. man comes from a mixed family saying braids isn't something he objects to. The only thing is my girls have breakage so braids wouldn't look so great. There are oils that we use and conditioners that help. But most of us with mixed daughters sit around and wonder "what to do w/ their hair".

أبو سنان said...

Manal's hair is pretty curely like that. She goes back and forth between wanting to get it straightened, which does work for her, and just saying forget it.

Umm Adam said...

My girls translate Kisha= Boom Hair

The kids always tease my youngest girl for having kisha. My oldest daughter's hair is longer and wavier now but even when it was curly she never got teased. Everybody loved it. However, people omplained about her wearing down. Even in shool. If I sent her to shool with her hair down, she ame home withit in a ponytail, from her teaher.

Hopeful said...

Assallamu alaikum,

Greetings from ireland!

InshaAllah as your daughter's hair gets longer it will be easier to tie it up or keep it in two braids. As the saying goes, where there is a Will there is a Way!

My fear would be that the poor little princess will have a complex about her hair if people keep making an issue about it with her.

May Allah protect our children, ameen.

A. said...

hopefully as your child get older the mentally of Saudi culture will change..hopefully..

i do think its true..african features are frowned upon

its so funny..in Saudi..the same thick curly bushy hair people complain about..is the same hair that sooo many westerners ohhh and ahhhhh at...

One day...maybe Saudis will realize how the um Kisha features are so desired in many parts of the world...lol

actually..the think ur daughter's hair is really cute! Its not straight....my hair is straight and boring..ughh

maybe you should put small soft rollers in her hair at night and in the morning it will come put curly..

or..u can wet then braid her hair at night..and in the morning..it will be curly and wavy..then put a headband to hold it back



who cares what others think.."um kisha" hair is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

salamu alaykum

my daughter had spiral curls and i found that mixing pure liquid glycerin and mineral water in a spray bottle works wonders. glycerin is a natural moisturizer and her hair is shiny, soft and moist all day. i think curly hair is making a comeback in egypt cause people ooww and aahhh at her hair....i'm talking about the egyptians!

i am biracial (black and white) and my egyptian husband's mom has kinky hair and his dad has bone straight hair so we couldn't really predict what kind of hair she would have. i love her curls and she loves them too and that is sooo important!

i use a product from the US that is specifically meant for biracial and curly hair and it has helped sooo much! www.blended-beauty.com.

i think once you find what works on her hair it will be manageable and will no longer be a hassle.....although curly hair is more work than straight hair, i think it's beautiful!

hema said...

oooh i love those little plait things. they are so funky. i'd do it if i thought i'd get away with the cool look(but know i can't!)

TwennyTwo said...

peace,

Ooohhhh maaaaan. The Huuurrr issues. (That's 'hair' in the local accent, btw.)

The person below who recommended glycerin is headed where I was. The product I'd recommend to keep her hair moisturized and curly is called Sta-sof Fro. It's not for heavy use at all- wash her hair often- but it helps retain curl and smells pretty nice.

As for attitude- no matter what, people will say what they'll say. However, your daughter's reaction to what they say can change their attitudes, because if she's different, she'll stick in their minds. Your voice isn't tiny against those saying 'Um Kisha'; in fact, my mother's voice is the biggest thing in my head a lot of times. Every time you see kisha hair, say, "how pretty! look at that kisha hair, awesome!" She'll (and others) may think you're weird at first- and you will be- but she'll not have any issues about whether or not it CAN be seen as beautiful, and that'll go far with her. My mother did that for us and I'm grateful to this day. And my brother loves girls with kinky hair, too. You can always help her feel comfortable in her skin no matter what.

I'd get your daughter's hair braided one good time by a neighborhood girl; don't do it with extensions, just her hair. If your husband absolutely hates it, then fine, it'll come out and you wouldn't be out that much- and if he loves it? Or your daughter does? You've gained something. I mean, the child has what's called "good" hair by many Black americans (as do your kids, too, by the way Nzingha)and if it's treated properly as natural hair, it'll suit her beautifully, just as God intended.

Or just leave it alone and be content with what God gave her. *shrug*. I for one have to congratulate you for even being open-minded enough to try for a solution instead of calling her 'kisha' and being done.

peace
Twenny

Anonymous said...

How against chemicals are you? It seems her hair has a lot of different textures in it. I think a perm might actually work nicely to give it a single texture. Many wavy-curly girls get a year's life out of a perm because the grow-out doesn't show and the natural curls follow the perm's pattern.

Shabana said...

I think your daughter's hair is cute, masha Allah! But hair always changes as you get older, especially after you hit puberty. Maybe by then, when she is more conscious of it, her hair texture will change a bit. Is kisha an arabic word?

H...E said...

i COMPLETELY know what you're talking about...my sister moved to the UAE from Connecticut and her daughter has the thin, curly hair...when they lived in the US people thought it looked great...ever since they left my niece has been asking to go to the salon get her hair straightened...she also asked for "that cream that's gonna make my skin whiter!" ma2saa...

Safa said...

My one niece has that same hair.....and I don't really know what you can do for it. She let hers grow out....but it never did get very long.... And then she wraps it. Sounds like horrible advice for a little girl tho....

Anonymous said...

hmm
looking at the picture you daughter hair looks very much like mine. The posters who suggested glycerine and other moisturizers are on the right track. Hair that is curly tends to dry out and needs all the moisture it can get. Another thing you might think of doing (though it might seem counterintuitive) is to reduce how much you handle it. By washing it less (less I mean not every day if it is not dirty) it gives time to the natural oils to spread through the hair. Also I have found that by only using combs with wider and fewer teeth it really helps. Basically it makes the hair less frizzy, breaks and pulls less when I have to style it and generally is more manageable. You might also want to think of just doing 1 large braid (i.e. a french braid, which is still very modern). If not during the night at least before going to bed since it will also reduces frizz. Wow just realized how much I wrote, but I remember the frustration of having to deal with hair that was different from everybody else around me.

Anonymous said...

salamu alaykum

yeah, washing it only once a week will help keep it moist. but if she sweats alot during summer and her scalp gets stinky then just rinse it in the tub without putting any shampoo in it. also, try to find pure aloe vera in the pharmacy cause that moisturizes hair also.

Forsoothsayer said...

nah, it totally is a black thing. 40 or not, slavery in the arab world was practised within his lifetime and he knows black people. as someone who grew up in the khaleej her whole life i know how vast is the stigma attaced to being black. that is the whole idea behind the hatred of kinky hair and braids.

my heard isn't "kisha" (we call it akrat here) but try mousse, if it's important to conform to (generally horrible) saudi norms. in egypt moms pin their daughters' hair with 10,000 barettes. she's too young to blow dry.

Joolya said...

Wow. This is amazing. I have had really similar conversations with my friends on America on the various virtues/disadvantages of curly hair - across a spectrum of ethnicities (white Jewish, African-American, South Asian). I guess I should not be surprised that it's the same all the way across the world in a completely different country and culture.
Sad, but true.

Joolya said...

P.S. Have you heard of or tried Ouidad? It's a US company but has an online shop (you can google it) and my curly-haired friend swears by it.

former um kisha said...

from a former um kisha-called girl i'd like to say tht my heart goes out to ur little girl. i'm still um kisha to everyone who knew me as a child,but now i sport nice curly hair,which turns into silky straight thanks to electrical gadgets. believe me when she's older, u will lose to all those chemicals and hot irons>>and her problem will be solved inshaaAllah...ofcourse after being scarred fo life from all those horrible name calling(maybe it's just the case with me)
any way..good luck to ur little baby..

Anonymous said...

Hi Saudistepfordwife
Love your blog.
Your daughter's hair is lovely, this from a British born of West Indian parentage woman who is now sporting her natural kinky hair in all its glory (I have long thin locks). Yes I was once brainwashed by the kinky hair bad and straight is the best mentality that plagues people of African descent. There is a quiet but growing natural is good amongst the black community in the West its small but we look forward to the day when relaxers are obsolete!. But until then people are influenced heavily by their cultures, I can understand the pressue for its takes a real man to appreciate a beautiful woman of any ethnic group for how God/Allah made her rather wanting her to look like a Caucasian Eurocentric clone. It would be good to try the braids, it you plait it when its damp, dry it then lose the braids you get a lovely wavy effect (or is that frowned upon in your culture?).
Well hope you manage to works things out for the best.
A sista in the U.K

Anonymous said...

Great blog topic SaudiStepford.


Keeping your daughters hair braided is the best option for her unruly hair. Please teach her to LOVE her unique texture and colour and everything else about her hair and person.

BTW your voice is the FIRST and LOUDEST to your daughter trust that she values your opinion above all else.

Have you tried Henna, or Cassia in her hair? It might tame her frizz...

Khalil said...

Who would not believe that Saudi has insulting names for things associated with people of color, and African descent. While serving in the US Army during the Gulf War, the soldiers referred to them as “sand niggers” yet they try to look down on others. Strange!

I am so saddened knowing that KSA holds the title of being the most religious place in the world for Muslims; nevertheless, they simultaneously, have been identified as one of the most racist culture of peopl. Maybe I did not explain, but I am a brown-skin (since I have yet to see anyone black-skin) American convert to Islam. And sadly but truly, I have repeatedly heard the word zingy, abd, and nigger more times within a 2-3 year period in KSA than I have heard almost in my whole life around whites in the US.

And knowing most people would be suggesting to do anything but leave her hair alone, with the exclusion of washing, brushing, oiling, etc, is so disturbing.

Concerning the pretty little girl’s hair, she should be taught to be proud of who she is and “to Hell with the people who use such derogatory names.” But I am not surprised that she suffers that problem in KSA. Because there are other problems indicative of why this topic is being discussed:

In most pharmacies, the haircare for the non-European type of hair is usually at the top shelf as if nobody needs it.
Also, you will find more types of skin whiteners, than neo-natal vitamins. Showing how backwards people are in their priorities.
If you visit a Jarir Bookstore, you will notice that 100% of the Arab magazines target lighter skin women (further pushing the issue).
Though many Saudis claim, “Oh I like blacks…” they would dare let their sons or daughters bring someone with distinct African like features of Michael Jordan or Oprah home as a marriage candidate.
Most of the single women you will find in Saudi will usually be from the darkest clans of people. Why? Every light skinned Saudi will automatically get a woman of his color. The ones a little darker with money and status will too. The darker group will get the lighter–skin women who are rejects and leftovers, and even marry the pretiest of the darker ones. However, there will exist a large group of dark complexion women.
If you travel in Thuqbah (excuse the spelling) you will see that these people are the most economically, academically, and socially deprived people. Of course you know that al of them have brown-skin.
If you talk to 100 Saudis who say their mother is American, 95% of the women are white to the extent that some men (which I saw in Alabama) would marry trailer-trash (long story to understand that concept) than marry the daughter of a two brown skin Americans that converted to Islam. Should I mention that the girl was raised properly in Islam and a virgin as opposed to the once drug-addicted sexually promiscuous trailer-trash?
… I could write terabytes about how terrible it is. And if you ask any American convert to Islam (brown-skin or white-skin) they will confirm this issue.

While American celebrates Oprah, Ben Carson, Tiger Woods, Mae Jemison, Thurgood Marshall, (which not one of my adult students knew) Saudis are still living in a period of time prior to Islam hitting the Arabian peninsular.

If it is one thing the fabric of Saudi society lacks, it is respect and honor for others.

Khalil (my real name)

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

khalil- When I wrote this post, I was unable to respond to the many comments I got but I feel that yours deserves a response.

You've made so many valid points that I don't know where to begin. I've noticed such striking similarities with the discourse on African-American skin color and what goes on here in Saudia. I MUST make a post on it inshallah.

Brother, you've inspired me and although it may take a while to get to (in order to address the issue properly), I'm putting it on my list of tentative titles at the bottom of my blog which I work through. Thank you for your insights.

Anonymous said...

awww mskeena um kisha!! if thats her in the pic mashalla she has lovely hair! i would kill to have that kind of volume :-( my sister's hair was just like that till she turned 8 or 9 now she has beautifull curls at the ends of her long hair...um kisha is too young to have anything done to her hair...just brade it to make it easier for her to play..trust me itll change ;-)
selma

one word---EDUCATION! said...
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one word---EDUCATION! said...

Wow.....I feel very sorry for the little girl. To hear so much hatred and negativity over something she absolutely cannot help.

I don't know what was done to her hair in the pic, but it looks damaged.

I am "Black" American with very mixed race ancestry.....I have hair similar to your daughters and in our community it's termed "good hair" and a considered very good thing (it's just hair to me, but whatever)

I'd say my texture is similar to actress Minnie Driver or Juliana Margulies...but when someone takes a notion to brush it, it looks just your daughters.

I'm pretty sure that your husband considers braids as too 'black', though it's not being verbalized.

You will find a cornucopia of info at naturallycurly.com. Once you find out your daughter's curl type--very important on that site--you can find the right products, washing and styling techniques, even homemade hair recipes.

There's separate forums for each curl type, just tons of info. At first I thought your child might be a "2"--which is 'wavy' on their site, but she could be a little curlier than that.

Newbies to the site are always amazed at how they have a (MANAGEABLE!!!) hair type they didn't even realize they had, because they're FINALLY getting the right products and hair care regimens.


Go have a look-see around their site....naturallycurly.com....I PROMISE you won't be disappointed!

p.s. I will tell you this--if you want to type her hair on the site, take a pic of her hair when it's been washed and left to air-dry with NO manipulation. That'll help to show her true texture.

Hugs to your little girl and tell her I think her hair is beautiful.

one word---EDUCATION! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
one word---EDUCATION! said...

RE: MTV.....never was a mere TV channel such a bane to my existence. Just a horrible, HORRIBLE way to be exposed to African-American people--I refuse to allow either it or BET to be watched in my home.

Sometimes I feel it's no wonder that non-Blacks--American and otherwise--sometimes seem surprised to learn that 1) I have a full-time, well paying job; 2) am a married mother; and 3) was raised in a loving, two-parent home; 4) live in the same home as my husband; 5) am drug-free; 6) and can actually read. Sorry but MTV is a real peeve of mine.....

And for the love of all that is holy...NO CHEMICALS on her hair, please!!! Go to naturallycurly.com first, and find out what hair type she has, and how to take care of it. You might (no, will) be very surprised!

My daughter actually HAS "black/African" textured hair...way kinkier than mine...I want to keep her hair natural forever and want her to appreciate and love the hair God gave her, but living in the Deep South, I'm up against A LOT. I'm pretty much positive that she'll be asking for a relaxer once she reaches about 12or 13.....

Naturallycurly.com!!! I can't recommend it enough LOL!

Anonymous said...

I was born in Saudi and my parents left when I was 2 months old, partly because of the racism at the time. This was well over 20 years ago.

Even bypassing the idea that braids = black hair, if you put her hair in 9 or 10 braids, something like 5 along her head, that will look like a little girl with braids, not necessarily a little black girl. NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH LOOKING LIKE A LITTLE BLACK GIRL, but that's okay, I think I get it.

Two braids would be even better, but her hair looks too thick for that. Good Luck! My own hair is a least that thick and I struggled with it for a very long time. And then I cut it all off and fell in love with it as it grew back.

May Allah make it easy on you both. :)

BlueDebonair said...

(I realize that responding to this is probably pointless, as you have probably solved the problem now!)
As a girl that has grown up with what was always considered "trouble hair," I really want to help you with this problem! First, I'll give my background: Half African-American, half Persian. Because of my father, my hair is somewhat looser than my mother's, but I inherited her hair's tendency to have crazy, random curl patterns and frizz in certain areas.

I grew up wearing my hair in braids and other simple styles that work well with little girls who like to jump around. Ponytails are an option, generally. You have to have the right ponytail holders, though. I used to wear the ones with the two little balls that wrapped around each other, and they were fantastic!

Now that I'm older and no longer get my hair done in the kitchen sink by my mother (oh, the years of tears and pain just to comb my hair!), I have my own method of doing my hair that works for me. This is not necessarily an orthodox method, but it works. I detangle my hair with a paddle brush while I am in the shower (having it wet is VERY important, because brushing frizzy hair when it's dry just makes it poof and fuzz more). I use conditioner to make sure that it is soft enough by the time I detangle. After I get out of the shower, I use regular conditioner (even though I'm sure there are leave-ins that work just as well) on my hair, applying enough to cover all of my hair, and then I apply a little bit of some sort of hair creme at the ends and another product by Tresemme to the top to prevent a lot of frizz and flyaway hair. Then, I go out the door!

My hair still drives me crazy, but it's definitely manageable, and the most important thing is that it is much more defined and smooth and not as impossible to get a comb through now. All of that being said, I think that the most important thing I have learned over the years of dealing with my hair is that, even though she may hate how crazy her hair is for a while when she's growing up, your daughter will appreciate her hair when she's older if she learns how to deal with it rather than piling chemicals on the first chance she gets. I am so glad my mother never put anything in my hair to alter it. I don't recommend using relaxers in her hair, because most of the people I've talked to begin to completely hate them after they get older. In the end, she'll probably wind up chopping her hair off right around time to go to college, and starting fresh anyway. Just make sure she always knows that, despite what anyone says, her hair isn't what makes her beautiful, and trying to get "smooth, perfect" hair is always going to be a disappointment. It's more than likely never going to be as smooth and as sleek and as straight as her sister's or your own or as the "ideal" woman in Saudi Arabia (which is the ideal in America, too, as far as I can tell, with the exception that it must be able to make the perfect wave upon demand -- and must be blonde). No matter what you do to her hair, it's not going to be what you're trying to get to, so you should just teach her how to tame her own hair and love it for its unique look, because she'll grow into it and learn to appreciate it that much more.

mira said...

Why make your kid feel she's not fine the way she is? Granted, she might hear that around her, but why feed the insecurity yourself?
What's wrong with curly hair?
Are you so desperate to please just about everyone, and lack even this much influence in your household?
I am sorry for you.
Oh, and for your kids too.

Al Shabab said...

I did not know the prophet (SAWS) braided his hair! How interesting! It looks pretty much descent in the picture even though I am not a huge fan of braids and others alike

Anonymous said...

Well I know my comment is a few years late but if your husband has a problem with close braids(cornrows), maybe you should flat twist it? The effect is the same but it's popular with my white friends. You could twist the ends of her "kisha" hair to make sure it doesn't fuzz and secure the end of each twist with a tiny hair band.



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