My girl Lucy and I (sort of) have this hair thing down (that is until she gets to be old enough to not want cute puffs, or box braids, or beautiful free hair, save that thought). I believe we went though some transition phase between infant hair and preschool hair that was a little challenging. Our normal routine stopped working, and her hair was getting "gummy". I needed to ask advice, get 2nd opinions and try new things. Now we are set with the new routing and our hair days are pretty drama free. Of course it's summer and Lucy swims a lot which adds to some dryness, she also has this fabulous new nervous tick of pulling on the hairs along her hairline (forehead), so she now almost always sports a frizz halo ... I hope she grows out of that soon!
I do realize that the fact that I am blogging about this does indicate that this is not a task that has been handed down to me from my mom and my mom's mom ... Lucy's hair has been a learning process for me. I don't want anyone (especially Lucy) to ever feel that it has been problematic because it' hasn't. It's not easy but it's a lot easier then some challenging behaviors a certain little someone has exhibited! I also don't want people to think (i know i am not supposed to care what people think) that hair is all we think about here at casa Lucita because it isn't! It's just important for both of us that her hair stays healthy, strong and beautiful.
I just wanted to share our curly hair care routine for anyone who is interested. Maybe someone out there is stuck with hair that is transitioning and just needs a new idea.
1. Most of the time I keep Lucy's hair in a protective style, like box braids, puffs, or other styles that are separated, and kept up with binders. I do this because it helps prevent breakage, it requires less daily care and it keeps our focus on fun and playing hard.
2. I only really wash her hair with shampoo when it gets really funky. I find that having her lay in a bathtub of warm water and running my fingers through her hair, from roots to end works out the grime and build up just fine without stripping her hair and drying it out too much. When I do shampoo it I just use whatever shampoo I have in the tub.
3. Hair days sort of have a pattern. At the beginning of a month (and this is very loosely defined, a month can be a week, a month, 6 weeks ...depending on the circumstances and the hair) I will take her hair down and wash it in the tub. Usually the first day after this washing, I just condition it heavily and leave it loose.
The second day after hair day I will usually divide her hair into two parts, and let her rock some Afro-Puffs for a couple days. Really cute. When her hair is in puffs I will spray the ends with a leave-in conditioner and comb out the loose parts in the mornings.
The third or 4th day I divide the puffs so her hair is in 4 parts. I usually put binders at the top, braid the hair and put binders at the bottom. This style can last for 3 days or so. I don't usually do much with her hair when it's in this style, other then condition the hairline because she picks at it so badly.
When the 4 parts start looking rough I remove them one by one and put in box braids. I spray the hair with water/conditioner during this time making sure to comb out any dirt etc (if her hair is in bad shape, I'll wash each section separately at this point). The box braids can last for about a week, but they do look pretty fuzzy at the end of the week. I usually spray her head with leave-in conditioner every day at this stage. She's also getting it "rinsed" a lot because she's in the pool.
Once this box braid stage is over it's time to start from the very beginning.
Here are the products I use most often:
1. for detangling/conditioning I use Tresemme Curl Moisturizing conditioner. For detangling I put about 3 tablespoons in a bottle (about 20 oz or so) of hot water, sometimes adding a splash of olive oil (that really helped today). The wetter the better for Lucy's hair. I also use this spray to condition between hair do's.
2. When I am doing a new style, there are three heavier leave in conditioners I like to use (not all at the same time). a. coconut oil (i melt it in my hands) b. carol's daughter honey mimosa c. if you are in mpls you can go to Rituals in the Global Market (by the dance floor), they make and sell good hair products there. I like the Antonana's Twist Hair Oil ... nice! The pomade is good too.
3. I use a boar's bristle brush to smooth down the hair for the Afro-puff style. I use a detangling comb (bought at Walgreen's) for combing out. This comb has worked well, it looks like a wide tooth comb but if you look between the wide teeth there are like baby teeth ... hard to explain, but it has worked very well for us. Picks and regular wide tooth combs also work fine.
Well that was long and probably boring but that is our current hair care system in a nutshell.
I'm leaving with a question ... So once she gets older (which could happen tomorrow) and feels like all those cute styles are too young for her what happens??? Someone tell me. My tired soul can only focus these days on the here and now and maybe that's better. I just hope she loves those puffs until she's at least 25 ... cuz they are dang cute!