Help for a school counselor

AmberbuggAmberbugg Registered Users Posts: 1
Hi, I'm a middle school counselor in rural WV. My school and town is very small with a 1% minority population. I have a student with 4a hair that often gets made fun of for her "Afro" - kids words, not mine. She is black (possibly bi-racial), but has been adopted by white parents at an early age. Her mother has been trying to get help with her daughter's hair, but has not been welcomed at the salons she has called. She told me that one salon from the state capitol, Charleston, told her they "do not do mixed hair" and were very rude. And she hasn't had a nice reception from other salons either.

I myself have 3b hair and understand the teasing, my mom used to keep my hair short and there were many comments about afros thrown my direction and I am white. I laughed it all off and by highschool I figured my hair out through trial and error and now it's longer which pulls out the curls some. I am not sure what to do for my student, because her hair is very dry and fragile and probably too short for braids. I would like to help her rock her natural hair, because I try to help kids accept themselves for who they are and what they were born with.

What can I do for my student and her mother? There are so few resources in this part of the state/country.

I appreciate the feed back.
Recent DevaCut and CG re-convert 4/26/14

3a with some 2c and 3b tossed in, low porosity, high density, medium width
Currently using DevaCurl No-poo and One Condition . Style with Ultra Defining Gel
Three years since a permanent color process, 1.5 years since last color glaze. Suffer from chronic itchy scalp.


  • MysticSpiralMysticSpiral Registered Users Posts: 1,024
    Oh! That poor girl!
    All I can suggest is to show the girl positive roll models with her hair type. I can't think of any off the top of my head that a young girl would know, but I'm sure the 4a forum has a thread.
    For the mother, this site would help. It's great for support. AND for finding salons based on area
    Lady Fand of the Joy Filled Summer Skys in the Order of the Curly Crusaders!
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    Bless your heart for trying to help her!

    I would suggest that the mother broaden her salon search, if possible. Trying salons targeted to her hair type might help, although she may be pressured to straighten.

    Are there any salons listed in the referrals section of the NC home page that are nearby her/your town? Can you get a hold of a copy of the Curly Girl book?

    The main thing (imo) is to make sure she's exposed to the knowledge that those making fun of her are limited in their experience of the world. In any city ---any city --- her hair would be considered beautiful, cool and any other adjective currently in use. It's a question of provincialism.

    Could you enlist the school librarian in getting her books about black women and hair through inter-library loan? Or even refer her to this web site?

    HTH. I really applaud your effort.

  •[email protected] Registered Users Posts: 31
    That is a very sad situation and you are very kind and generous for helping. If the girl's hair is very dry and too short for braids, it sounds like maybe her mom needs help with day to day care. If learning to care for and appreciate her natural hair is the goal, a regular salon is probably not the answer. Since she is middle school age, I'd bet relaxer and/or extensions would be what the salon would recommend. Once the day to day care is under control and the hair is healthy the mom could broaden her to a larger city and try to find a natural hair salon.

    In the meantime, I would point the mom in the direction of this site, the Yahoo Group for adoption Hair and Skin Care, and the Motown Girl site. I would also point her to the Curly Girl Book and It's All Good Hair. If the mom wants to chat via email with another adoptive mom, I'd be happy to do that. She can reach me through Happy Girl Hair.

    The teasing is so difficult to combat. Most of the hair-positive books are geared towards much younger kids. I think the answer lies in building mom and daughter's confidence and exposing the daughter to the world beyond rural WV, where curls are celebrated. The family can't change the demographics of their area, but they can help their daughter understand that people often mock the unfamiliar. They have to help her see that as much as it hurts, it really is their problem and not hers.

    Positive images of black women enjoying their natural curls can be found in so many places. le coil is a great blog that consists of just images of beautiful natural hair. There are also a bunch of You Tube videos that are just photos of natural hair. If the mom becomes confident in caring for her daughter's hair she'll pass that confidence on to her daughter. Knowing and feeling her hair is healthy, well cared for, appreciated, loved, and celebrated at home would help.
  • afrikurlafrikurl Registered Users Posts: 736
    curlynikki, a poplular blogger and NC member is from North Carolina. you may want to check out her blog and email her for suggestions. you can also refer her mom to youtube. she can watch TONS of videos of parents caring for their children's hair. The truth is with natural 4a, 4b hair, most of the care is done at home. Salons uslally focus on straightening, weaving or braiding, without regard for the health of the hair.
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Registered Users Posts: 2,098
    Your school is blessed to have such a caring counselor! Kudos to you!
    Shame on those salons. Curly hair is discriminated against. It's ridiculous.

    IMO, The Curly Girl book is ok but doesn't really educate about curl hair.
    An educational, comprehensive book is
    The Live Curly, Live Free e-book. AMAZING!
    10$ and worth much much more! Everything you need to know.

    List of products that are CG friendly
  • kathymackkathymack Registered Users Posts: 9,999 Curl Neophyte
    +1 for Struttswife's ebook--wouldn't waste money on the CG book. It's not all that helpful and has very little for 4a hair. Mom should sign up for this website and read the newby section and the 4a forum, as should the daughter. It's the most active forum and we all learn a lot from reading the posts there.

    Middle school is a difficult time for all students (former elementary principal here.) Seems they only feel better when they can make someone else feel worse! Hopefully, your school has an anti bullying program. Teasing about hair would be considered bullying in my book at the very least harassment. Maybe a sensitivity and awareness program or diversity program??

    It's really nice that you're taking an interest--I think all of the students (and maybe their parents) could use some help in understanding individual differences. As a former supervisor of special ed, too, I think you might be able to hit a lot of areas.
    3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
    SE PA

    HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix

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