Monday, June 10, 2013

Haitian Hair Handiwork

Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese)
The act of tenderly running your fingers through someone’s hair.

I think I need to teach my girls this term Cafuné  as "tenderly" seems to be lost on them.  In fact, they were taking great delight in putting my removed hair follicles on their own heads and laughing at the color and texture difference.  When they play with my hair, I end up with 50-100 less hairs due to their aggressive pulling.  I am constantly saying in Creole, "Gentle please!" but of course, that lasts about ten seconds before it is forgotten.  

Some of you with healthy heads of hair might not recognize the extreme cost  this is for a thinning fine-haired middle-aged woman.  Most remarkable is when you understand my hair was "my thing" growing up.  I didn't care about a beautiful body or face nearly as much as  I coveted a beautiful head of hair.  I was constantly desiring the long straight locks of my Latino and Asian friends.  My nightmares as a child were that someone snuck into my room in the middle of the night and cut off my hair.   I woke up crying more than once due to this recurring dream.  

A few years ago I was shocked when looking at my high school yearbook and I noticed how incredibly long my hair was.  You see, if you had asked me in high school if I had long hair, I would have responded, "No, but I'm trying to grow it out."  Yet those yearbook photos aren't lying.  Remember, these were before the days of Photoshop and hair extensions.  And they most certainly reveal my hair almost reached my waist.

So why do I let these girls abscond with my precious and few remaining hair strands?  Simply because these girls are worth so much more than the hairs on my head.  I have no desire to hinder their love and joy - so when they want to run their fingers through my hair in attempts to make me into a Haitian beauty, I'm not going to stop them.    Most of you know the previous trauma of their lives, so I love letting them "be girls," even at the expense of my scalp.

Thought you might enjoy a few photos of their most recent handiwork- and I do mean HAND-iwork.


  1. You are amazing my friend, so self sacrificing, kind, caring, thoughtful and sweet. I am continuing to keep you in my prayers. May God continue to walk with you each and every step, even when those steps feel so painfully hard. Love you!! Kylee xxx

    1. Aaah, thank you Kylee. You are the amazing one though. First- you replied/commented here which is a gift to me as so few do- and I am a person of relationship- so though people tell me they read my blog, unless they say "Smiles", "Hi" or just anything, I have no feedback and no interaction and don't really know if I am speaking into the wind. So thank you for taking the time to say something. But beyond that, the courage you have in facing every day- and how you cling to God in the midst of your hardships- you are the amazing , kind, caring, thoughtful and sweet one! Thank you for putting me in your category, but really, you outclass me girl!

  2. Hi Melinda! I know this blog post is old, but I'm not sure how else to get in touch with you, so I'll give this a shot. ;) I responded on my blog to your comment. <3 Take care!