Kentwood class teaches white parents to style black hair

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KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Little Jalynn’s hair is the crown she can never take off, but her adoptive mom, Noelle Rottier, didn’t know how to make her crown shine like her sisters.

Rottier adopted Jalynn, a child of color, in July. She said learning to style her hair was an unexpected challenge.

“Picking hairstyles, that’s a big part of being a girl,” Rottier said. “I felt like that piece was missing from our relationship.”

Rottier said she didn’t want to only take Jalynn to a salon but wanted to do her hair herself.

“I want to bond with her,” Rottier said. “I want her to trust me.”

After combing through social media, Rottier stumbled upon Mosley School of Cosmetology’s Hair Hope program in Kentwood. It was the relaxer she needed.

“I learned how to do cornrows, and one of the ladies that was helping said, ‘you’re braiding like its white hair, you need to flip your fingers and keep it in your fingertips.'”

Theresa Mosely, founder of the Mosley School of Cosmetology, created the Hair Hope program for white parents who are raising children of color. She started the program in 2018 with 11 moms and one dad.

A photo of participants of Mosley School of Cosmetology's Hair Hope program in Kentwood learning how to style black hair.
A photo of participants of Mosley School of Cosmetology’s Hair Hope program in Kentwood learning how to style black hair.

“I think the most emotional thing about doing Hair Hope for me is remembering that little girl at school that got picked on every day because my hair wasn’t done,” Mosely said.

Using her experience as a longtime stylist and licensed cosmetologist, Mosely teaches parents how to braid, wash, style and care for black hair. It is a four-hour class with a life-long impact.

“You feel more confident, as a parent, when you can deliver that service,” Mosely said.

Rottier said Mosely’s program had been the best hair care for Jalynn, and whether she’s rocking her braids on the couch or by the beach, her crown will shine like the queen she is.

“She will always be beautiful, and I hope she grows in pride with who she is and who God created her to be,” Rottier said.

Mosely said she offers two types of classes. There is a free session and a more advanced class that costs $150. More information can be found online.

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