Hair lessons for foster families

LANSING, MI (WILX) -- One of the less talked about challenges of adoption and fostering children is their hair.

Anne'ka Marzette-Armstrong helps parents style natural hair. (Source: WILX)

For parents who have children with kinky, curly or coily hair that is not like their own, YouTube tutorials may not be enough.

"How often do I wash, how--what kind of comb to use, what kind of brush to use," are some questions foster parent Abby Nowiski says she had herself.

When it came to doing her daughter's natural hair, Nowiski said she was running in circles getting nowhere.

"I was doing it like I do my own and then I was making mistakes. I wasn't doing it justice and that wasn't fair to my daughter either and then at that point, it was like 'I need help with this,'" Nowiski said.

That's where Anne'ka Marzette-Armstrong came into the picture. She's a mom with daughters of her own, who noticed there were a lot of foster and adoptive parents searching for answers.

"I think about if I were to care for a kid whose hair was different than my hair, I would have the same type of questions," Marzette-Armstrong said.

She also has a close connection to how it feels to be a foster kid who is not understood.

"When I was younger, I had a friend who was a foster kid and I remember her stories and I remember how she felt about herself and her appearance," Marzette-Armstrong said.

Marzette-Armstrong is showing parents step by step how to care for their child's natural hair and letting them know it's okay to not know what to do just as long as you ask for help.

"The first time that I did braids on my own I remember taking pictures and sending it to her. She was like 'yep, that's right, that's good,'" Nowiski said.

"In my mind, it's just me trying to give back in a little way to try to help them feel good about themselves and teach their parents to help them feel good about themselves because it is their crown," Marzette-Armstrong said.

Marzette-Armstrong said it all started with a thought and she reached out to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to offer her help by training families. Now she owns her own small business called "Natural Me 2."

To contact her you can call her at 517-708-2222 or email her at naturalspeaks2@gmail.com

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