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A Chicago woman is being lauded for creating a hair care school specifically for white adoptive parents of Black children.
Tamekia Swint founded the nonprofit organization Styles 4 Kidz in 2010. She was inspired after noticing the hair of young girls who’d been transracially adopted or were in foster care.
“When I was growing up, I knew how important my hair was and how I felt about myself when I was going to school,” Tamekia told The Chicago Tribune. “It saddened me that there are kids out there not having that experience, and how important that is to your confidence, and how you feel, and even your performance in school. All of that matters, how you look.”
The confidence boost of proper hair care is especially important for young Black girls, who are growing up in a country that doesn’t value their beauty the way that it should. As Tamekia says, a Black girl’s hair is her crown.
But many white adoptive parents are ill-equipped to provide proper hair care to their kids – not only do they not know the basics of caring for Black hair, they don’t even know where to turn for help.
We work hard to restore what has been lost. We hid the missing hair and gave her a beautiful style! #styles4kidz…
That’s where Tamekia comes in.
“The impact that these adoptive parents are having on their kids is phenomenal, but they’re not familiar with the hair. I saw that this might be something where I can empower them,” Tamekia said.
« Black hair School for adoptive moms » It matters pic.twitter.com/I7wRcnimy3
— Beautés Afro (@Beautesafro) May 19, 2019
Styles 4 Kidz teaches parents all about Black hair, including how to wash, condition, detangle, moisturize, and protect it. The organization also provides salon services to children in need, including kids in group foster care.
It’s a game-changer for many white parents.
“I see a mom feel like there’s no hope. Here, she has an environment of support,” Tamekia said.
Check out their website to learn more about Styles 4 Kidz or sponsor a child in the program.