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Foster Parenting tip #3: How to get thar har did!

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Leo’s been on vacation this week, so I’ve hardly looked at the computer for days. I love havin’ my Mr. at home! I love it because he’s nice and funny and also because he’s repainted our entire livingroom, diningroom, entryway, all the windows, trim and is going to work on the hallway today. God bless him!

So this post is a continuation of my foster parenting tips. Tips that I hope do not scare those of you considering foster parenting away from the idea. And tips that I hope those of you actually looking for help take with a grain of salt. My blog is less reliable than Wikipedia is all I’m saying.

So, you get a kid with hair that’s not like yours. I’m a white woman with a lot of fine hair that sometimes curls, but mostly levitates around my head in limp waves. So far, not one of my kids has had hair like mine.

Lucky them.

Before fostering, I had never cared for any hair other than my own, so it was all a new experience for me. From my experience, most hair can be divided by race. For the purpose of this blog I’m going to call it white hair and black hair.

Black hair:

To someone who knows nothing about black hair care, this can be a terrifying experience. My first black baby’s hair left me paralyzed for days. I was so afraid I would cause irreparable damage. Luckily leaving it alone for days did not.

As it turns out, black hair care is not scary at all! And… I did not mess it up.

First, children with black hair have dryer skin and scalp than others, so their hair doesn’t need to be washed as frequently. Depending on the child’s texture, length, etc. you can wash it  once a week to once every two weeks. I’ve heard some say that you should only use a good clarifying shampoo, but I have yet to wash a child’s hair with out nearly drowning myself, so I use the tear free formulas. It cuts down on all of our tears.

Once the hair is clean and towel dried, I use a basic wide tooth comb or pick and Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion. The bottle is pink. It’s in every store I shop where we live. Work from the ends to the roots and comb through. If you go the other way, you will make it tangle worse.

That’s it for washing and brushing. Simple, right?!

Styling is infinitely more complicated. The few I’ve had with hair long enough to need a style, I found the hair divided in half, or quarters and pulled into puffs is pretty darn cute. I use the pointy end of what I’ve always known as a rat-tail comb to divide the hair. I don’t know what they’re really called, but I got mine at the dollar store. I also use the tiny uncovered rubber bands. I get those at the dollar store, too. They stretch really big and hold tightly. The bigger rubber bands, and the ones with fabric coverings won’t hold the style through the day.

If I want the hair braided nicely, I pay to have it done. It’s expensive, but worth it. I went to my local overpriced kid’s hair salon and had met a woman who did children’s braiding. I found out through a very secretive conversation that she also braids out of her home for less. Cha-ching!!!

White hair:

I use the same shampoo on all of our kids, but for kids with white hair, I use a basic detangling spray after the bath. Children with white hair need to be shampooed much more often. Again, as with all hair, texture and length make a difference in care. I wash white hair anywhere from twice a week to every other day. I find the thin rubber bands work great for super fine hair, too. And with our little ones, I keep them in pony tails or pig tails. It’s easier for me. And no stress hair is better for everyone.

I have had one child with serious dry scalp. It was itchy and flaky and red. In that case, the doctor suggested we use Selsun Blue and let it set no more than 10 minutes. Then wash it out with basic baby shampoo and care for the hair as usual. I let Leo do the washing because I was terrified of blinding the child. Somehow he managed to get her hair washed and rinsed with out getting it in her eyes, or flooding the bathroom. He’s good like that.

I don’t know anything about lice (knock on wood). Trust me, though, y’all will be the first to know when I learn.

***No compensation for brands named.

****If any information I gave was inaccurate, or if you have better tips, please let me know. I really have no idea what I’m doing.


About Monica

Christ following, husband loving, children hugging foster and adoptive mama.

4 responses »

  1. It all sounds spot on to me! I’ve never seen Luster’s hair lotion in my area (though now i’ll keep a closer eye) so I comb through with a little baby oil. Leaves the hair shiny and moisturized for days.

  2. Thank God I have boys. I don’t even comb their hair most of the time.

  3. Oh, and I didn’t respond to your previous comment…just let you know that we’re super-dooper cool and I’m glad you’re in my life. XOXO

  4. This is not the I Am From poem! Seriously, one little birthday request and I get nothing but hair care advice??? What’s a girl got to do around here?????

    (Just in case the tone on this is perceived incorrectly, I am totally teasing.)


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