I have never been into hair. As a teen I used to roll my hair on frozen juice cans and that was the extent of my hair styling efforts. My oldest still mocks me regarding the hippie braids I put in her hair at the age of 3. My second daughter who danced from the time she was 4 until her late twenties often had to french braid her hair for performances. I was the only parent who could not french braid. This pleasant run of hair negligence ended sixteen years ago when I was thrown in to the world of black hair care as a foster/adoptive mother. I am still reeling from the shock regarding the amount of time, effort, and product black women everywhere endure regarding their hair styles. I have a 16 year old and a 2 year old with totally different black hair texture and totally different hair needs. My oldest has hair that requires "perming" every four months so that I can get a comb through it. 14 years ago I was quoted $125.00 by a hair salon to perm and was also informed my daughter would have to sit still for 3 hours. Right. Out of sheer necessity I taught myself to perm. I buy a kit for $4.95 and perm every four months. The first perm I did took 3 hours. Now we have it down to 45 minutes or less. A friend, a black social worker who instructs foster parents, has used me as an example of a white foster mom who has learned to "do" black hair. I have had many black women stop me in stores and even parking lots to ask me, "who does her hair?" When I tell them I do the look of approval and shock on their faces is discernible. Unfortunately, my fame was short lived with the addition of my two year old. I am told she has "quality" hair. I've heard this term over and over and I assume it means she has hair I can comb through without perming. Unfortunately, she also has the personality of a feral cat when it comes to touching her head. She will fight, scream, kick, hit, and pinch for 3 minutes or three hours. Even though she has partial paralysis of the left side she has a right hook that George Foreman would be proud of. However long you are touching her hair is however long she will wrestle, right hook or karate chop the stylist. My black sitter told me about a month ago she will no longer "attempt" to do her hair again she is so "horrible." This was the ultimate blow. Recently a well-meaning friend who has witnessed the wrestling matches asked me, "why don't you just let her hair go into a little Afro?" Little Afro? The above photo is for my well-meaning friend. I believe the finger in the air means, "Round one, I won. Ready for round two?"