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A Good Enough Mother Welcome!

I just want to take a moment to say, “Hi and welcome!” to all our new readers who have made their way to Good Enough Mother from the story posted on MSNBC.com.  I know you’ve come over to check out the pieces on my natural hair transition so I’ll make it easy on you and post the following links:

Hair care: My Top5 First Year Hair Growth Secrets

The 5 Things I Learned About My Natural Hair.. And Me!

To My Daughter: See Hair’s The Thing

But I do hope you’ll poke around a bit and see what we’re about. After more than 20 years in TV news, I left the business, kicked out actually but who’s counting? That same year my first book, Good Enough Mother, the Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting, was published.

While I was out promoting the book, I got asthmatic bronchitis and became very, VERY ill. I was hospitalized for three days and when I got out, I went right to the hairdresser to have my hair relaxed, as I had been doing for more than three decades. Well, harsh chemicals on over-processed hair reacted badly with the medication that was in my system and my hair broke off and fell out!

I was mortified! What would I do? Bald and breaking is a bad look for women who make their living in television. To make matters worse, I didn’t know what to do; I was a 45-year-old woman who didn’t know how to care for her own hair.  So I set about to find more information, combing through websites, asking friends and spending countless hours on the very best resource around, YouTube.

But this was about more than just hair; this was about self-acceptance. In less than a month, I will celebrate three years natural. While there have been parts of the journey I liked more than others (I did NOT like the TWA or Teeny-Weeny Afro stage) on the whole I’m very pleased. So here are a few quick tips if you’re thinking about going natural:

  • Be Patient: Hair grows about ½ an inch each month, more or less. Any product that promises more than that is a waste of money.
  • Be realistic: See above.
  • Learn protective styling: Braids, buns, twists they will all help. It won’t matter how much your hair grows each month if you’re not protecting the ends and retaining that length.
  • Find a role model: Make sure she has a hair texture that is similar to your own.
  • Find the right products: I don’t use shampoo, AT ALL! I only use conditioner to cleanse my hair. That may or may not work for you but check it out. Much of this journey is trial and error.
  • Enjoy the ride: By that I mean, every stage of the journey. Don’t wish for a BAA (Big Azz Afro) and miss the fun things you can do with your TWA.

So there you have it, my story in a nutshell. Good luck to you as you embark on your own journey and remember to enjoy the ride!

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