Thanks for stopping by! This is my corner of the blogosphere where I'm keeping track of
styles/techniques/products, lessons learned, my to-do list, and favourite links.
Feel free to offer any comments, feedback, or advice - I'm learning as I go !

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Big Brother

I can't end 2010 without a post dedicated to the big brother. Big J has different genetics, and thus different hair. His is a little wavy, and he prefers to wear it kind of "surfer" style. One of my proudest Mama moments was when he donated 8 inches of growth for wigs for people undergoing chemotherapy.

Here are the pics:

More before.
3 "ponytails".
After - had to leave a surfer "swoosh".
JJ zipping by in the background with some cool zigzag parts.
Everyone's end of 2010 hair.

Happy New Year!

The Usual Routine

Our hair routine varies somewhat from week to week, but here is the "usual":

1) Take out whatever style was in (usually done the night before).

2)  Wash hair. Usually this is a "co-wash" (wash with conditioner only). If there is a lot of product buildup I'll do a baking soda rinse (baking soda dissolved in warm water). Every two weeks or so I use a no-sulfate shampoo. Currently, we're using a very affordable line called "live clean". I like the Apple Cider "clarifying" shampoo. I usually wash JJ's hair in two sections as it is very thick.
Usually I wash JJ's hair in two sections - back and front.
3) Condition. I usually apply conditioner and let it sit for a while while JJ plays in the bath. We like the live clean Argan Oil conditioner. Sometimes I mix a little jojoba oil into the conditioner and let it sit.
Sitting with conditioner.
Jojoba oil, and live clean shampoo & conditioner
 (sorry - focus problem)
4) Detangle. Usually I comb JJ's hair in the bath with a wide tooth comb. I comb it in smallish sections, starting at the ends.

5) Rinse.
Clean hair!
6) Apply product and style. Typically, I lean towards "protective styles", like two-strand twists. I try to style so that I can change it up during the week by adding/changing hair accessories. Usually I add some almond oil to a tub of organic shea butter and mix it around with my fingers until I get a smooth, creamy consistency. I then divide the hair into sections, add the shea/almond "cream", comb through, and twist, making sure to twist right to the ends. I have a bottle of water to spritz as JJ's hair dries quickly. Usually I'll wrap the ends of the twists around a barrette a few times and secure. This helps the ends curl up nicely instead of getting frizzy. It also helps "pull down" the twists for some length. I take the barrettes out once the hair is dry.

I start with the back as JJ's scalp is most sensitive there.
Note length of the combed out section. 
First twist.
Back row of twists, second section ready to go.
Barrettes added to stretch the twists and keep the ends neat.
Two rows done!
Three rows done, added some flat twists for variety
and to keep JJ's hair out of her face.
More flat twists and a flat twist to the side at the front.
Added some baubles - done!
From the top.
Twists can usually last the week easily. JJ does sleep with a satin cap at night. Sometimes towards the end of the week we do twist-out. If I can keep this momentum up, I'll post a pic!

Addendum: Katie's post on Happy Girl Hair called The Care and Feeding of Protective Twists reminded me that a daily spritz is a very good thing for twists (or any style for that matter). I've been trying to remember to spritz JJ's twists daily. I've been using a homemade mixture of live clean Argan oil smooth and shine cream, a little almond oil, and water. I just shook these together in a small spray bottle. So far, so good....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Little Brother

I should mention that JJ has a little brother, K. I am a bit more focused on her hair than on his. He's not nearly as patient as JJ for having his hair detangled or styled - JJ will actually **ask** to have her hair done - often! K - not so much.

Daddy D would like K to have locs just like him.... eventually. In the meantime though, we have experimented with the 'fro, twists, some braids, and some very short hair:
Twists - from the front
Twists - from the top
The biggest 'fro - so far. Note many different curl patterns.
More of the big 'fro.
The big chop. Wow, that was short!
The current medium-sized 'fro.
All the product & hair routine info that I've gathered has come in very handy when it comes to his hair  - but that's for another post!

Holiday Hair Pics

I did a "faux-hawk" style with red and white beads. Oh - and a few green and red beads too. I made parts from back to front with corn rows, and then gathered the ends of the corn rows into twists. It took longer than our usual hair time - JJ watched a feature-length video twice (= 3 hours!!). It's much fancier than the usual (I lean towards protective styles most of the time).

Note JJ's brush - she was styling her own doll's hair. JJ does have dolls with curly hair too - this was her choice from the store with her Christmas money from her uncle. Sigh...long blonde "princess hair". 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Hair

My favourite site so far....

Happy Girl Hair

Where to begin?

At the beginning, I suppose.

I am a white Mama to JJ, whose Daddy (D) is black. My hair is quite curly (although just how curly has varied over time). D's hair is natural, in locs. When I was pregnant, everyone made predictions about how the baby's hair would look...and probably also about my abilities to "manage" it.

JJ was born with a full head of soft, black hair. We were all surprised by how straight it was, but the in-laws insisted that it would not stay this way. And they were right. By about 4 months of age she had a pretty great afro, although it was much longer on top than at the sides and back (probably from sleeping on her back and wriggling around - I think her "baby" hair rubbed off?). Eventually there was enough hair to finger curl, twist and braid - the top, anyway. I learned how to detangle and gently comb, and bought lots of cute barrettes. I asked the in-laws tons of questions. I asked the neighbourhood nannies (mostly from St Lucia) more than tons of questions. One of the best days of my life was when Linda and Mary taught me how to do cornrows. I finally felt like I could "measure up" to the high expectations I put on myself. I felt an enormous amount of pressure to have JJ's hair looking "presentable" and "groomed" being the white mom of a mixed girl.

This pressure led to my online obsession. At first I was looking for pictures of styles, and videos of how to improve my braiding. Eventually I stumbled onto the idea of "natural" hair, and became immersed in the opinions, the politics, the overwhelming ingredient lists of what to and what not to put in hair.

And now, I'm blogging.  Why?

Mostly to organize all the information and links I've been finding for myself, as well as to keep track of what works and what doesn't.

But also - maybe - to help anyone else who might be in the same boat as me - trying to figure out how to **best** care for kinky, curly hair.