Wednesday, March 18, 2015

No One Told Me About Curly Haired Babies!!!

               Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts ~Jim Morrison
               From what I have seen in pictures, I was a curly haired baby and toddler. However, when I was two I went into the hospital for many months. When I was released, my hair was such a matted mess from being in bed for so long, that my mom couldn’t comb it, so she cut it all off into a cute little bob. After that, it grew back blonde and straight.
               When I was young, my mom would spray No More Tangles into my hair after my shower and comb it out, straight and smooth. There was never much fuss made over my hair. My sons also had straight hair. For most of their lives, I’ve kept it cut short, but it’s always been easy to manage, being so straight and fine. Lovebug was born with a head full of hair, which fell out at about 4 weeks old. It grew back pretty quickly and before I realized it, she had a thick mass of hair
Lovebug before I do her hair
And after all is said and done :)
               At almost two her hair is about seven inches long but curls up to about half that length. It is constantly frizzing up and turning into a giant afro. I thought about cutting it off. Actually I had decided to. But my resolve gave out in the end and my fear that her curls won’t come back won out. So I                                 spend the time every day to try and maintain her hair. 

         So, let me tell you how I managed to tame my toddler’s crazy locks.

   This is what her hair usually looked like before I figured how to properly condition and maintain her hair:
               It was unruly to say the least. It tangled almost to the point of dreadlocks, from root to tip, no matter what I tried to do. It would look gorgeous right after her bath, but the rest of the time I could not get a brush through her hair. I felt terrible! I didn’t know what to do! I searched several websites, looking for find advice and tips for taking care of a curly haired toddler. 
I was surprised at how few there were. One that proved to be really helpful was: The Study of Styling the Curly Haired Toddler by a Straight Haired Mom, where Rachel Callahan explains how she tamed her toddler’s curls in three minutes. (It takes me a lot longer than 3 minutes to do Lovebug’s hair, if you include all the time it takes to chase and capture her) Here is a link to her blog:

It was while I was removing the dreadlocks from my hair that I found a conditioner that works great for her very dry hair! And through trial and error, we found a hair management schedule that works well. I shampoo her hair once to twice a week (depending on how much dirt she gets into it) and I condition every other day. After her bath, her hair is blow dried on low/cool, then brushed and twisted into curls.
However, when she wakes up in the morning she inevitably looks like this: 
               I wait until she’s in a mood to let me do her hair, usually when she’s eating her morning snack or watching cartoons (or both). I use my large paddle brush and slowly brush through her hair, one small section at a time. Don’t start from the roots! That is a good way to pull and tug and break hair. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Even after all the tangles are brushed out, I still can’t run a brush straight through her hair. It is too thick and course. 

     So, once it’s brushed out, it looks like this: 

              Now, it’s very bushy, not tangled anymore but we’re not done yet! After it’s brushed, I spray her hair with a “no more tangles” creation of my own. I swirl the bottle to make sure everything is mixed up, and spray a light mist on her hair. 

Once it’s been misted down, (which she usually finds amusing but wasn’t happy about me doing her hair and taking pictures today) I gently twist the hair, so that it follows its natural curl pattern. I usually end up with four or five large twisted sections of hair. 

Then I just let it all air dry and it will dry into large spiral curls. This lasts her for just a few hours before her hair starts to stick out and frizz and just generally be wild and crazy, but that’s how my daughter is. 
Sorry about the bad resolution but my daughter HAAATES getting her picture taken!

               I bought a bottle of that “detangling spray” and I did not care for it at all. It was sticky and left a residue in her hair, not to mention the fact that it didn’t detangle but actually made her tangles even worse!  So I dumped out the bottle and rinsed both the bottle and the sprayer out with hot water. 

I filled the bottle half way with bottled water (our tap-water is too harsh for her hair), poured in two squirts of her conditioner, and added a few drops each of Vitamin E oil and Tea Tree Oil (which I used to use on my dreads). I filled the bottle up with a little more water, then swirled and shook the bottle until it was all mixed up. You may want to use more or less oil, depending on how dry or oily your child’s hair and scalp are. I use a little extra because her hair dries out so quickly, it needs extra moisturizing.