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Mother of Five Thanks Stranger Who Taught Her How to Care for Her Black Daughter's Hair

People logo People 6 days ago Jen Juneau
a smiling man and woman posing for a photo: Mother of Five Thanks Stranger Who Taught Her How to Care for Her Black Daughter's Hair © Stephanie Hollifield Mother of Five Thanks Stranger Who Taught Her How to Care for Her Black Daughter's Hair

A blogger and mother of five is expressing her gratitude after a woman came to her rescue following a plea she made on Facebook surrounding her black daughter’s haircare.

“Dear Black Friends of Social Media / This clueless white momma is humbly coming to you to ask your help with Haley’s hair,” Stephanie Hollifield wrote on Facebook Nov. 9, sharing a snapshot of her adorable 2-year-old painting a Thanksgiving turkey picture.

“I have asked my friends. I have asked strangers in Publix with kids with cute hair, and I’m still not getting it,” she continued, describing her several-step routine that still led to “trauma” in Haley’s “daily hair combing” sessions despite her best efforts. “I desperately want to get this right!”

Within an hour of posting, Hollifield — who is mom to Haley and four other children ages 2 to 9 — received “dozens of comments” containing “helpful, encouraging, useful advice,” including from a woman named Monica Hunter who showed up at Hollifield’s doorstep to show her the ropes.

“She came to my home a couple of days later with a basket full of supplies, products and combs,” Hollifield wrote in a November blog post. “My daughter immediately took to Monica, and sat right in her lap as she fixed her hair.”

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“Monica explained exactly what styles and haircare routine my daughter needed right now. What I had missed in all of the previous advice I’d received was the idea that I would be able to do simple protective styles at home,” Hollifield recalled. “What I didn’t know I needed was for someone to be by my side and walk me through exactly what steps to follow.”

“She gave me headbands, products and combs,” she remarked. “She wouldn’t accept my money in return. I was in awe of her grace and her kindness. She took time away from her family to help me, when she had nothing to gain.”

And the results were astonishing. “Haley’s hair looked adorable, and she kept looking in the mirror while touching her new puffs saying, ‘So pretty!’ ” Hollifield wrote. “She kept hugging me and then hugging her new friend, Mrs. Monica. I don’t think I had ever seen Haley smile so big.”

Hunter, a mother of three, told NowThis of her visit with Hollifield, “We’re a lot more alike than we are different. And if we can come together and help each other, that’s what we all should be doing. … I’m a black mom with black children and I still have to ask questions on how to deal with their natural hair.”

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“As moms, we get it, that we don’t have the answers to everything, so it takes a lot of vulnerability to do it,” she added in the joint interview.

Telling Hunter on NowThis that her “openness meant the world” to her, Hollifield added in her blog that the pair “chatted about hair, marriage, friendship, parenting, education and race issues” and that she “got so much more than advice and confidence in fixing my daughter’s hair” — namely, Hunter’s friendship and a crucial realization.

“For a minute, I couldn’t understand why Monica’s act of generosity was so shocking to people,” she wrote. “Then, it clicked. It is newsworthy because this is so uncommon. So inspirational. In our country, where everything seems so divisive, this quiet act of kindness spoke loudly to people from all walks of life.”

“This is newsworthy because Monica saw a need that she could meet and she did something about it. As simple and as complex and honorable as that. This is rare. This is what we need more of,” Hollifield mused. “There are many opportunities to make someone’s day brighter in our everyday lives. When we tune out the hate and the divisiveness that seems so loud, we remember that we are all people who need each other.”

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