When my daughter was born, she didn’t have a bunch of hair. By the time she was 2, it seems as if she had even less. She suffered from eczema causing all of her hair to fall out, except a little poof at the top of her head. She also had extremely dry, fragile, thin sandy brown hair! I just knew that this poor child would always be bald and forever suffer the stigma of being the girl with itsy bitsy pigtails.
As my daughter turned from a baby to a toddler, I did everything to try to grow her hair back. She was getting taller and bigger; she was at the age where she should be wearing beads or pretty burettes instead of a tiny, dry, auburn . I purchased a “wonderful” moisturizer and applied it daily, sometimes twice a day. I would even deep conditioner her and have her run around with a processing cap on for hours. Whenever I would see a little girl with long pretty ponytails or beads, I would stop her mother and ask her what she was using on her daughter’s hair and then I would run out to pick it up. It NEVER failed, when I got to the beauty supply store, I would see that the product was packed with nasty ingredients and I would leave it on the shelf, frustrated and back at square one.
By the time my daughter turned 4, I had gotten so frustrated with both of our hair issues that I started to make my own concoctions. Over the next year, her hair had thrived like crazy. The nutrient rich diet that I was feeding her follicles had her hair growing like wild fire! Now, we had a NEW problem; her hair had gotten so thick that doing it became overwhelming at times. It seems as if she just woke up one morning with a ton of hair that had massive shrinkage and just took forever to do! We went from 4 beads per braid, to 10, to 20 (I wouldn’t put any more than that, but there was room for several more). For the next year and a half, she exclusively wore braids so that I didn’t have to handle her hair too often. Each time I took her braids out, it seemed as if her hair had grown a bit more.
When Khyli turned 7, she no longer wanted to always have her hair braided; she wanted to try new styles, which required more upkeep. It seemed as if every time I did her hair, we would fight and I would threaten to cut it all off or make her get Sisterlocks. Doing her hair became a battle; a dreaded event. I had to figure out a way to make this more pleasurable; I didn’t want her to start hating her hair, start thinking that it was “bad” because I complained about doing it so much. Here I will share some of the tips and techniques I discovered that helped me with managing my daughter’s MID BACK LENGTH hair.
The first thing I did was make a conscious effort to be patient with myself. I would schedule her hair just like I would schedule a meeting. Do it on a day where I knew I had enough time to take it down, wash it, condition it, and then put it back up, which could easily take 6 hours.
As her hair grew and became denser, I started to wash her hair in sections. I would put 5-7 puffs in her hair and wash each one separately; this would cut down on tangles. I did the same with conditioning her hair.
Comb the hair in sections as well; starting from the ends to the root. Take small sections for very dense course hair. Use a detangling spray such as
Although Khyli is very tall, I still washed her hair in the kitchen sink, while she would lie across the kitchen counter. This made it so much easier to wash her hair; as she was more comfortable.
I also decided that I would make the day a bonding experience. We would spend the time to catch up! This was a time for just the two of us with very minimal interruptions. We talked about everything; how school was going, how my job was going, tell her stories about when I was a little girl or when she was a little girl; and I would make it a point to tell her several times throughout the day, how much I loved her hair!
You may also pick up her favorite movie or book; if your daughter is anything like mine, she will want to talk about the movie, amongst a million other things. I allow her to …