Monday, October 6, 2008

Hair we are again ...

A few commenters have asked me about Lucy's hair care routine and how I keep those beautiful curls beautiful.

First, thanks for the compliments it is nice to hear. I am no expert and have taken a lot of advice I have received seriously plus have taken the lead of my child which means "do hair as little as possible".

I have 3 main "styles" that work for us because they are easy and can be completed in less then a short movie.

First, I rarely wash her hair with shampoo. Usually I soak it in the tub and load it with conditioner and comb it out while she lays on her back in the tub. This gets the grit and food out but doesn't dry out her hair as much. Last night I did wash it. When I condition or wash it I don't use any special expensive products. I once bought a bottle of Carol's Daughter rosemary shampoo, and it worked well, leaving her hair soft but now I just use my shampoo or a baby shampoo. I usually use whatever conditioner I use in my own hair.

my main styles as you can see from photos are:
1. box braids or twists (this look lasts about a week, and it cute like dreads)
2. two pony tail puffs
3. four section pony tails with braids

here is how I usually work the styles:
Day one: remove style and wash or condition her hair and divide it into two pony tail puffs (or pig tails)
Day two: divide the pig tails into 4 sections and braid the ends
Day three or four (depending on time and how the 4 section style looks), divide each of the four sections into 4-6 small box braids and leave this style until it starts unravelling (about 4-6 days) then comb out wash and repeat the steps

Doing her hair this way saves the "combing out" step because usually it stays pretty combed out when it's divided, and it's this step that Lucy hates the most.

When I do her hair I use a spray bottle containing water mixed with some oil. Usually I use olive oil but sometimes I use virgin coconut oil or jojoba oil. Its usually about 6 parts water to 1 part oil. This provides detangling and conditioning. When I leave her hair in the pony tail puffs I usually add some Carol's Daughter mimosa hair honey or hair milk to the curls to condition and protect them. When the hair is in braids I usually just rely on the spritzing of the oil/water mix to provide the protective conditioning.

During hair time I keep her in her youth chair and let her watch a movie and eat snacks. I choose my snacks carefully as when she gets irritated with the hair process she usually sticks her hands in her hair and schmears them all around (nice... ). When she says something hurts (even if I know it's not hurting her) I try to respect her and shift my hands so she "feels better", I don't want her to associate her hair with being problematic or painful. Sometimes we do fight, and she'll have a hard time "recovering" from a pull, so there are times when I yell (just being honest) OHHH and warming the oil/water mix has greatly decreased her hair time complaints, I usually just use warm water to make the mix or if I am reusing old stuff I put it in the microwave for a little bit.

Although it took a novel to write all of this, I do want to say that "hair" is not a huge issue in our house. I mean, we don't spend a lot of time on it or a lot of money on it. I try to keep her looking good and not disheveled but we do leave the house with messy hair if we don't have time to do it. The hair care routine for Lucy is no more time consuming or difficult then the coffee making/drinking routine I go through every morning ... it's just part of what I do to take care of Lucy every day. That being said, if I let it go for too long it DOES become an issue and becomes a painful event for her and this is why we've incorporated it into our routine.

Thanks again for all of your positive comments. I was worried about hair care when I started the process and worried about being respectful to her culture and worried about being judged by others ... these days I am worried about Lucy and not causing her pain and keeping her healthy and happy, I am more worried about being judged by my parenting (loosing my patience) in public then I am about how her hair looks.



Meg DeZutti said...

Thank you so much -- I'm going to save this post for future reference. We are a ways off -- "think" dossier will go to STL in Jan, but still, I am dreaming of my baby and want to do the best at everything. as a white parent, I know I will be judged by my childs hair. good to know this is do-able. Thanks Stacey!

jillybean1023 said...

So, what do you do to keep the look? Does she sleep in a cap? I did our daughter's with twists and beads and it was very fuzzy by the next morning.

jendabi said...

Thank you so much for sharing Lucy's hair routine. That is exactly what I want...the hair to look great, but without a lot of time spent. She's gotta love her hair; it always looks so braids are my fav!

Stacy said...

jillybean, depending on the style it can look fairly fuzzy after a nights sleep. fortunately for her hair Lucy doesn't spend a lot of time head on the bed so maybe that's why her styles last longer. Seriously though, we don't use a cap or anything special, usually the box braids will look great for 2 sleeps and then start fuzzing but not enough to change looks ... the pig tails (2 sections) won't even make it through one sleep without looking slept in. The carseat will do a number on free hair as well. Some kids hair keeps a style longer ...

Veronica and John Accornero said...

Thank you so much for this! Weird, I was actually going to ask you about Lucy's hair routine a couple of weeks back. Her hair really looks healthy. My daughter's hair is not long enough for much styling just yet but it is growing and it is so silly but I'm getting a bit anxious about it. Partially because she hates for me to comb it or do anything to it really (we wet/condition daily). I will definitely keep this for future reference.

mookie mama said...

Hi, I'm a random visitor who found your blog after searching for Carol's Daughter references and ideas of what to do with my own daughter's hair. Emma was adopted domestically -- she's now a black 2-year-old being raised by white parents.

Thanks so much for posting all the info on what you do daily to keep her looking beautiful -- lucy's hair is gorgeous -- and I completely agree with your philosophy. As white parents of black kids we're going to be judged on so much, it's important to keep the baby's needs in mind and make them a priority.

By the way, I love love LOVE the "preschool" shirt Lucy wears in a previous post. Wherever did you find it???

Best of luck,
shane, emma's mommy

Stacy said...

Shane, your daughter is so cute! I found the preschool tshirt at target btw.

Holly Fisher said...

this blog is so helpful! I am saving it, for sure.