What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her.
My daughter’s name is Chloe and she will be 7 years old in March. She is so sweet, she cries at movies, she loves ALL animals and is a girly tom-boy *lol*. She loves makeup – Sephora is her fave, because of all the tools and makeup just begging her to put them on her face. We’ve wanted to get her modeling gigs, but I’m so leery of the people who take advantage of kids. Now she’s in the weird stage with her teeth … ugh, and she won’t stop smiling, she’s a jack o’lantern!
How do you care for her hair? What products do you use, how often do you wash/condition, what techniques do you use (i.e., how do you detangle), etc.?
No matter the style, Chloe wears a satin bonnet every night and sleeps with a satin pillow. Initially, it was because Mama did and she wanted to too, but then it made sense that a lot of what I was doing for myself would benefit her as well.
I wash Chloe’s hair twice a month with Tresemme Low Sulfate Shampoo or Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo. I co-wash her hair weekly with Organix Coconut Milk Condish, Aussie Moist, HH HE or the Suave Almond and Shea Butter Condish. I always leave some condish in her hair and then wrap her hair in a white t-shirt to get the excess water out. I then section her detangled hair and apply Giovanni Leave-in, Kinky Curly Knot Today or Shea Moisture DC (smells so good) to her hair. Then the products vary depending on the style.
I detangle Chloe’s hair by sectioning the nape from side to side (this hair has looser curls) and then parting the rest of hair in 4 sections. I use my denman brush, along with a spray water bottle, and work from the ends up and then, if I want to stretch her hair, twist or band the detangled section with Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In or BeeMine Curly Butter.
Do the same products that work for you work for your child’s hair?
Yes and no *lol*. Chloe’s hair is thicker than mine, so I have to use more product on her or just a heavier alternative. But, for cleansing and conditioning, definitely we use the same products.
What is a typical style? Do you employ protective styles? If so, how often?
Chloe loves her hair out and we’ll do a WnG. But, depending on the hold, we’ll use different products. For a softer, fluffier WnG, we’ll use crèmes, like Aveda Be Curly or Mixed Chicks (but these two are pricey for our budget). For a more defined curl with some hold, we use KCCC with the Knot Today, Elasta QP Feels Like Silk or Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel and last, apply a few drops of Organix Coconut Milk Shine Serum (love the smell).
For her ponytails, I use TCB Lite Hair & Scalp Conditioner. It looks like gel, but goes on like a pomade. No sticky or tacky feeling and has amazing shine and lays down her stubborn curls and wispies like no other. I’ll sometimes use the Feels Like silk on her ponytails, if her hair is out for a curly ponytail. I have to use rubberbands on her ends (I know, I know), but her ends will unravel with the “twist around your finger” move. I even bought the ORS Lock and Twist Gel thinking that would keep them together, but no luck.
We’ve even attempted a straight do, but Chloe’s curls will not be tamed and ’m not willing to burn her locks to try. I purchased the InStyler, then I use a heat serum on her hair (right now we have Carol’s Daughter Macadamia Nut Heat Protectant) and it does the trick, but within a few hours she has BIG HAIR. But, she’s happy and grateful for the hours she does have it straight.
I most definitely take advantage of the talented hair braiders whose styles last for 2 weeks and save me precious time in the AM!!! She loves the beads they put in her hair. I use Karen’s Body Beautiful Heavenly Jojoba Oil to lube her scalp or Palmer’s Spray Oil (I think it’s coconut oil) and alternate with Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk or KBB Leave-in to moisturize.
What challenges do you face with your child’s hair?
Chloe has a few textures in her hair as well as her hair grows unevenly! You can see that one side is curlier than the other when I do a WnG. One side will be on point and the other will be just ok *lol*. And that troublesome crown area is always dryer and has a mind of its own. The length of hair at the nape of her neck goes to her bum, but then her next “layer” will be mid-back! CRAZY, right? Well, I ignorantly had someone cut it up to mid-back (she wanted to try and cut it all even – she has layers that go up to her chin – heck no you ain’t cutting her hair even), thinking it would start to grow evenly. Well a year later, that nape section is to her bum again, but not the bulk of her hair. I’m concentrating on healthy hair, moreso than length with Chloe. But, I think I have to look at both.
How does your child feel about her/his natural hair?
Well, we live in a diverse community and Chloe wants to wear her hair out more frequently like some of her lighter friends. She’s even come home begging for a bang, this was in Kindergarten. Well, the AA community I grew up in didn’t even think of cutting bangs until maybe middle school!!! Her dad began to stress that his baby was getting grown and I had to explain to him that Caucasians get their little girls hair cut in bobs as early as toddlers; she is just expressing what she is seeing. I was just grateful she just wanted a bang and not the whole shebang, ok?! I pointed out to Chloe that her hair doesn’t want to stay straight when we InStyle it and her bang would just be a bush on her forehead if we did cut it and, after she finished laughing, she was ok with it. She’s more aware of her hair because of the attention that she gets when she wears it out, but overall, she loves her hair and thinks the shrinkage is really cool!
Have you ever relaxed/texlaxed your child’s hair? Why or why not and, if you relaxed her hair, what prompted the decision to return to natural?
No, I have never put a relaxer in Chloe’s hair and I won’t. We have so many resources at our fingertips as well as products that are just a website away that I just can’t see putting such harsh chemicals on her hair. She can make that decision when she is old enough, but hopefully she will appreciate what God has blessed her with and the evergrowing community of Natural Hair goddesses to relate to too!
Anything else that you’d like to add?
I think that this series/subsection of Hairscapades will be another resource for our curly families. One-stop shopping for moms and kids! I’m looking forward to reading other mini-hairstories and learning some new and better ways to maintain Chloe’s hair (if anyone can grant me the magical power of cornrowing, flat-twisting and parting, I’d be eternally grateful). Thanks Shelli for allowing us the opportunity – you are the bomb.com *Tamar voice*.