Pharr Away

To Love. To Grow. To Change. To Live.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Madison's Hair Care Regimen | Age 4



Maddie turns four next month, February 26th.  I'm so excited about this age and how much she's grown, and I'm looking forward to throwing her a princess party (per her request) on that weekend.  With age comes change and that includes what works and doesn't work with her hair, among so many other things.  The last time I posted about her hair regimen she was about two and a half.  Not much in regards to products has changed since then, but I have learned a few things and made adjustsments along the way.  As I've said in previous toddler hair care posts, what one must do to maintain a healthy scalp and head of hair changes over time.  I'll continue to share what we're doing each year as those changes occur and pretty soon we'll be discussing the 'dos' and 'donts' of newborn hair as well :)!

Product List (Updated):

See the link below to read more about how/why I use each product.

Washing:

When I started traveling I ended up washing her hair only about every two weeks as it's all that I could manage.  Before I was washing every 7 - 10 days or so, but I've decided to stick to the two week cycle.  It works best for the both of us in regards to time spent focused on hair.  She doesn't mind getting her hair washed but she also doesn't love it, and I feel the same about washing it. Reducing how often we wash her hair keeps us both sane.  Also, I've always felt that the less I manipulate her hair and just let it be then the more it flourishes.  Lastly, she's at an age now where she'll ask to have her hair washed if her scalp is itchy, so we stick to the two week cycle and adjust if there is any issues with her hair or discomfort with her scalp.

ALSO READ: Wash & Twist (Toddler)

Deep Conditioning:

For some reason I'd never bothered to deep condition her hair until last year.  I think deep conditioning is very important, especially for her hair type which is super, super curly and extremely dry when/if not managed properly.  I'm still trying to find a deep conditioner that I like and feel works best for her, but as of right now we've settled on using Kinky Curly Stellar Strands.  I can't say that I'm a huge fan so I'll be trying out some more products this year.  When it comes to deep conditioning I keep it pretty simple with her at this age. I apply it, add Bantu knots, put on a cap and let her play and do other things for about an hour or so.  I refuse to put her under a dryer at this age, but that's just me.  I'm looking into the caps that use the heat of your head to help with the conditioning process but I need to do a bit more research before I decide to use it on my toddler. Color me paranoid about overdoing it with her and what I expose her to hair-wise.


Twists vs. Braids

I've never been a fan of children wearing braids (in any form; their hair, added hair, etc.).  You can click the "Hair" link below to read more of my thoughts on why.  Nonetheless, I tried braiding her hair during the time that I was traveling for work a lot as I knew it would hold up longer, but as I knew to be the case, it caused way too much strain on her scalp no matter how loose I tried to make the braids.  When you start to see the small bumps form on the scalp that is a sign that the hair is too tight and needs to be taken down immediately to avoid damaging the scalp, particular a child's edges where they often show up.  

So instead I opted to twist her hair.  I find that I'm not 'tight-handed' at all when it comes to doing twists, and just as important to me was the short amount of time it takes to do them.  Twists are so much easier to put in and take out.  Again, I don't like spending an abundance of time focused on / doing her hair.  As I've stated in other hair care posts she's still so young and I don't want to make taking care of her hair something that she dreads.  With that said, twists are the better option, in my opinion, if you're looking to keep from manipulating your toddlers hair for a few days.  Remember, it's the fact that you're protecting and not manipulating the hair often that's helping it to flourish and grow...not the braids/twists themselves.  Again, see the post below for more information on that topic...

ALSO READ:  Hair | Eurocentric Beauty Standards & Colourism 


Treating the Scalp

I'm still learning what works and doesn't work to maintain a healthy scalp.  It's something I struggle with on my own head.  Maddie's scalp, like mine, tends to be very dry and is often itchy.  Washing isn't always the answer.  I'm certain because I'll wash it just to find it still itchy the next day.  I make sure to add leave-in conditioner followed by moisturizer on her actual scalp after each wash now.  It probably sounds odd but you've got to try different things when you're struggling with dryness. 

Sometimes, it's truly about moisturizing, oiling and/or treating the scalp.  As of right now, I use the Organic Root Stimulator Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Oil on both of our scalps at least once per week, or more when I notice there is a need.  I know all the information out there says that we shouldn't grease our scalp because it blocks pores, etc. and I agree with that logic but to an extent.  I recognize that every scalp is different and some people need more moisture/oils than others.  So, this is what we're doing as of right now and I'm still feeling out how it's working for us.  As I learn more and try other options I'll be sure to share that information with you on her instagram page; @toddlerhaircare.  

I'm certain I've overloaded you with quite enough information for now!  I would love for you to comment on how you're managing the hair of your child(ren).  The point of this post and our hair care IG page is not only for me to share information but also to create a forum that fosters discussion about toddler hair care; specifically for Black children as it can be a bit more complex and time consuming than people realize.  I hope that I'm always presenting clear, useful information, and I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions you might have.

This is my year of being intentional, and that goes for everything including taking care of my daughter's tresses.  I wish you luck in managing your child's tresses too!

Be intentional,



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