Sunday, May 1, 2016

Taking Care of My Toddler's Kinky Afro

'I've always wanted a girl as a first child,' I said to myself severally.

'I'll have all the time in the world to dress her up and play with her hair.'

 'She'll be like a mini me!' 

 And she kind of is.   

 The flaw in my wish was that I forgot how much of a tyrant I was to my mum when it came to making my hair!  

Current hairstyle. 26 months
  I can even remember some of my antics!  

Avoiding her every Saturday and Sunday so I don't have to do my hair

Faking the flu so my hair won't get shampooed

Hiding the combs to delay plaiting my hair

Crying so much that the neighbors have to check in

Wearing caps and scarves so she won't see the messy hair

This was when I was in primary school.

Don't blame me! My hair in its natural state is tougher than an iron sponge! Even when wet! She threatened to cut it off so many times, but I'm glad she didn't because after the pain and tears and threats, I brandish my new hair do like a proud peacock, whipping my hair back and forth like nothing happened.

First Hair do ever! 5 months 
My daughter is the same... I keep her hair tools in a basket so whenever she sees me approaching with that basket, I'm in for a tough time!

She starts rolling on the floor and wriggling out of my grip. If I tug too hard, she'd turn around and seize the comb. Sometimes she'll even hide the comb where I can't find it.

By the time we're done I feel like I've just run a marathon!

So I came up with some products and techniques that makes the process tolerable for both of us.

Here, I share how I detangle, wash and style her curly hair. These tips can also apply to adults, so feel free to try them out yourself. 

1.     Detangling

The first thing I do is to detangle the hair in preparation for washing. 

I start by

Loosening the current style

Using my finger to undo any knots

Lightly combing with a loose tooth comb.

Before I start detangling, I generously spray the hair with my DIY detangling spray shown in the photo below


Yes, my secret ingredient is lotta body! The same lotta body that we used in the past to roller set hair  but sometimes, makes you end up with crispy hair! Turns out it's an excellent detangler. I dilute it 1:3 with water and add a tablespoon of glycerin. I put it in a spray bottle for ease and voila!

A few generous sprays and her hair gets good slip and most knots can be undone with just fingers. Yay! It saves time too      
Her hair is a 3c/4a type. 23 months
 

2.    Washing


Fact: I do NOT shampoo her hair! I tried it once and ended up with a dry, tangled mess! The poor thing cried so much in the process that I figured it simply isn't worth it. 

I wash her hair every week (10 days in cold weather or allergy season) and I simply use a conditioner to wash her hair. 


Conditioner washing or co-washing is all I need to get her hair clean. It is a proven mild cleanser, so there is no product build up and hence no need for harsh shampoo (even baby shampoo is harsh on her hair!). 

Though every 1-2 months, I use her body wash (Aveeno baby) to gently massage her scalp. I find it much milder than shampoo.

I apply conditioner from roots to the tips

Then massage the scalp gently from her forehead to her neck. 

I wash it off then apply a second time. 

If the hair still feels dirty, I wash it off and apply a third time. 

If the hair is clean, I run a wide tooth comb through it, 

Wash it off then blot with a hooded towel.

Party hair. 20 months
 
3.    Styling

No matter how I style her hair, it'll get messy in three days! So I've decided to stop stressing myself!  

I always style the hair when wet. It is impossible to comb her hair when it's dry. Simply impossible

I divide the hair into four, six or eight 

Spray each section with an argan oil spray (Hawaiian silky is my fave)

I comb through the section with the help of that DIY detangler up there.

Use an elastic hair band to secure the root firmly 

Braid or twist each lock and secure with a hair band

There was a time my mum insisted on plaiting her hair 'because it is long enough."

I agreed at first because, you know, Grandma knows best! 

SO when she went to her grandparents for a sleepover, she was returned to me with beautifully plaited hair that made her look so cute and grown up. it also meant that I had two weeks before the next wash day. Yay!   

First corn row ever. 11 months
But when it was time to loosen it! Oh em gee! It was horrible! Her hair was unbelievably tangled! She cried, I cried! she had a headache, i had a headache. 

"Big Girl" Hair. 18 months

Then I made a mistake of being there when her hair was being plaited and when I saw how much she cried, I figured nothing was worth putting my child through this pain! She's happier when I do it my way.  
I used to style her hair in the tub. The water distracts her. 9 months.
 
Current go to style. This style lasts a little over a week, so I do it whenever we need to travel. 23 months          
   
Brighter
So that's all folks!

Hope this has helped at least one or two people out there with baby girls. Dealing with girls and their hair is the ultimate test of patience. 

 Do you have natural hair?

 Do you have any tips for me and Baby R? 

Are there any styles that are easier than the ones above?

 Let me know in the comments below!  

 Lots of Tangled love,

 Ummi.    

11 comments:

  1. Omg...she's so grown up now. So cute, her hair looks really healthy!

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    1. Awww, thanks dear. You won't believe it till you see her! She's an old soul...

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  2. Ummi the hair omg i love her hair i hope i get a baby like yours..barakallah fi

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    1. Thanks Aisha dear! InshaAllah! Yours will love be even cuter.

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  4. Your daughter is soo adorable and she has lovely healthy looking hair!I can relate to ur childhood antics, i also had stubborn hair and had similar behaviour whenever it was time to have my hair made. Sadly the threats were not empty in my case and my hair eventually got cut by my dad. I find the easiest hair 'softner' for me is a mix of rosewater and water spritz into my hair and then i apply shea butter and its soo easy for me to work with. She will be thankful for the time n energy you have invested in her hair. You can check out 'Discovering Natural','Naptural85' and 'Jessica Pettaway' on YouTube for more styles for her and you may come across other useful channels in the suggestions.

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    1. Thanks for the tips dear! Will try the rose water spritz this weekend and let you know how it goes.

      I just wrote a long reply to your comment and blogger swallowed it!

      Thanks for the YouTube channels as well! I'm about to go subscribe right now.

      Take care xoxox

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    2. My pleasure. I hope it works. hahaha@swallowed comment, i hate when that happens, soo annoying having to reply all over again. After i type a comment of reply i always copy the text before posting so if it doesn't go i can just paste again instead of cracking my head to recall what i wrote before. I believe u'll find something useful on one of the channels. Cheers!!

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  5. Awwwwwwwwn, I had so much to learn from this post. Stumbled on your blog and I so so like it. Well done.

    My hair is still a short afro. In some months, I will start talking about detangling etc. It's still as manageable as it can be for now.

    Your daughter's hair is just so cute.

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    1. Hi esther! Thanks for dropping by! I'm so glad you like it here, I truly appreciate your audience.

      Sometimes I'm so jealous of people with short afros. Just being able to wash and go sounds like a great luxury. But I'm so scared of scissors near my hair.

      Take care! ๐ŸŽ€

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  6. Hi Ummi,

    Ah, your little princess has got beautiful coils. I love how you are responsible for taking care of her hair, her mane is thriving, well done!

    For some reason, this nursery rhyme just popped into my head-

    What are little girls made of?
    Sugar, spice and everything nice
    That's what little girls are made of.

    Lol :-)

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