I, like many other mothers, absolutely love hair accessories. Beads, barrettes, ballies, bows etc. Sometimes, all of those extra hair accessories are unnecessary and if not used properly can cause damage. I think a lot of mothers may feel pressured to use all the cute hair accessories but I think sometimes it's important to take a step back and love your child's hair for what it is. Let your child see that they do not need a hundred beads or a couple of bows to make their hair look beautiful.
I am going to be doing more styles that require little to no hair accessories a lot more often. I wanted to share some tips for those of you (including myself!) who still want to use the beads and barrettes and other accessories every now and then.
- Soak your rubberbands/elastics in oil! (I have used melted virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil) Rubberbands tend to be on the dry side, the last thing you want to do is wrap a dry rubberband around the hair which can lead to breakage.
- The hair should already be well moisturized, but make sure you moisturize the hair a little more where you are placing the rubberband/elastic. Are you putting a rubberband at the base? Moisturize that area more. Are you putting a rubberband on the ends? The ends are the oldest part of the hair, therefore the weakest, so definitely focus moisturizing the ends more.
- Try not to overdo it with accessories. I love beads, but I know sometimes I have gotten a little bead happy. I don't suggest covering the entire braid with beads. Beads can be pretty heavy and we don't want all that extra weight on our children's scalps. Try covering less than half of the braid.
- Instead of using a rubberband on the ends, try snaps. Snaps are tiny barrettes. You wrap the (well moisturized) ends around the barrette and snap it closed.
- If you use rubberbands/elastics/ponytail holders, please do not wrap these too tight. Rubberbands will hold, you do not have to wrap them 10+ times for them to stay put. A tight rubberband around the hair is just asking for breakage. When I use rubberbands, I usually wrap them only 5 times, depending on the section I'm working with. The larger the section, the less you will need to wrap the rubberband. I have never wrapped a rubberband more than 6 times.
- Always cut the rubberbands out. You can use small scissors or nail clippers. Just be sure not the cut your childs hair in the process. I actually take the end of the metal rat tail comb, put it through one piece of the rubberband, gently pull it out away from the hair, then I cut with the scissors or nail clippers.
- Be mindful of your childs scalp. If you see little white bumps, or redness, take the style down immediately. If this happens, I suggest using a little oil (I like coconut oil) and doing a gentle scalp massage.
- Try curling the ends of twists or braids instead of using a bunch of accessories. Curlformers work great on braids but I'm sure you can use another type of curler that work just as good.
- Try going accessory free every now and then! Or something as simple as one bow or a headband.
I would like to end this post by quoting one of the mother's (Angela) who participated in our protective styling challenge:
"Sometimes, less is more and I'm finding that with this challenge I can truly appreciate her hair without any added extras :)"