For those of you with little girl's, I would like to share some tips for styling and maintaining curly hair.
Let me first introduce myself- My name is Nikki (coincidence? lol) I have a 4 year old daughter- "A", who has 4A hair mixed with some 3C. I didn't know how to properly care for it or style it for a while. I started researching Biracial/African American hair care and have learned so much through various websites like Curly Nikki and many other hair forums. I just learned how to do all of these styles in January 2009, so I know if I can do it, so can you!! I have created a website, www.beadsbraidsbeyond.
A's current regimen (subject to change):
Wash once a week with Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner. I almost always leave her conditioner in (www.tightlycurly.com). I usually wash her hair on Saturday.
I style her hair on Sunday. I keep her styles in for one week. They can last longer but I choose to take the style out for wash day. If I need to use rubber bands I will soak them in olive oil first, and make sure her hair is very well moisturized to protect it from breakage. So, if I'm adding rubber bands to the base of her hair, I will apply a little olive oil, then put the rubber band that was soaked in olive oil on. I do the same thing for her ends, try not to wrap the rubber band too tight.
I will spray her hair a few times a week with Giovanni Direct Leave-in mixed with water to keep it moisturized. I also apply shea butter mixed with coconut oil to her ends a couple of times per week.
If 'A' has hair accessories in her hair, I try to take them out at night. If she has beads in, I will usually leave them in for a few days or more.
If she does not have a style in, I will detangle at night with HEHH (hello hydration conditioner) mixed in a spray bottle (water) and a wide tooth comb in sections, each section I put a big braid/twist in. We usually end up with 6-8 sections. I put on her satin bonnet and it usually stays on all night. In the morning all I have to do is take the sections down and finger comb.
I recently tried the Denman D3 Brush and love it! I will probably use that once or twice a month for detangling. She had very little hair left in the brush, and it removed ALL of the lint in her hair! lol
I like for 'A' to have a variety of styles to choose from. I know the same thing can get boring sometimes. She loves coming home from preschool and telling me how much so & so liked her hair. Most of the little girls in her class have long straight hair, so it's a nice feeling that not only is she loving her hair, but so are her friends!
Got some time on your hands? Try one of these!
Sister-twists: I find that these twists last longer than regular two strand twists. This style will take between 2-3 hours depending on how much hair your child has, so be prepared to take breaks. When I do her twists, I use shea butter mixed with coconut oil. No rubber bands required for this style. Part a section of hair, split it in two, start twisting each individual section, one clockwise & the other counter clockwise, then start twisting them around one another.
Twist-out: Don't you love 2-in-1 styles?? After you take your child's twists out, let her rock a twist-out for a few days!
Cornrows: As you know, you can make many cute styles with cornrows. Go in different directions, make shapes (see my star & pumpkin style) do layers and of course add beads or barrettes to jazz it up.
Short on time? Try these:
Bun: A cute a simple style for little girls! If your child's hair is already detangled this should only take 5-10 minutes. Smooth the hair down with some shea butter.
Veil Style: Detangled hair? Then this should take around 20 minutes.
Minnie Mouse: This should only take around 10 minutes if the hair is detangled. Put the hair in a ponytail, split it into two, fold one side under towards the ponytail holder and place a couple of bobbypins to hold it down, do the same thing on the other side then add a bow!
Styling your daughter's hair should really be about Mother and Daughter bonding time. I don't make it into this big chore. I try to make it as fun as possible for her. We act silly and sing songs all while she is getting her hair done. I make sure we take breaks on styles that make 2+ hours. I let her take a nap, give her a snack, and let her play with toys.
I am constantly learning new things about natural hair care every day. I plan on slowly but surely switching to all natural hair products for her hair. For now, this is what works for us. I have done everything from the au natural look, to cornrows, to flexi rods, to bantu knot outs, to mohawks! I would love to share them all with you now but I think I would be here all day. So be sure to check out www.beadsbraidsbeyond.