Hair Washing. Or Not.

Example of a girl who needs a “mom.”

Reina has beautiful dark brown hair. Long and silky. And then, for some reason I never figured out, she stopped washing it. I wanted to ask her if she needed something. Shampoo? Before I got the chance, the school counselor told me there was something going on at home that she couldn’t share with me. Okay, I’m just glad I’m not the counselor. I wouldn’t be able to stay out of problems.

Ah, well. Leave it to one of the boys to say something blunt:

“Hey, Reina. Why doncha wash that stinky hair? Damn.”


Reina turned pink. Got out of her seat and steadily walked over to the sink and rinsed her hair in cold water, pumped out some hand soap, and washed her hair.

The class was in stitches. The art teacher kept saying, “Oh my god oh my god,” as Reina dried her long hair with school-scratchy paper towels.

The art room sink, with bowls full of colored water and half-washed brushes, and globs of blue and red paint streaking the sink.

Reina’s hair was clean. Somewhat.

Photo by Steve Johnson on