I recently blogged about Madison's Hair Care Regimen and the list of products that I currently use now that she's two years old. To further elaborate on what our regimen consists of I wanted to talk about wash days and how they look for us.
Initially, I would wash her hair in the tub during a bath every 7 - 10 days, but she'd have a fit about water getting in her face and ears and didn't do a very good job of holding her head back to help avoid this. Someone then suggested that I use the good ol' kitchen sink to wash her hair. *gasp*
I couldn't believe that I hadn't considered this before. We, of course, tried it and I've been washing her hair at the kitchen sink ever since. Here's the process:
- Very thick towel/blanket (as cushion)
- T-shirt (preferably) or towel (to dry hair)
- Wide tooth comb
- Snack < --- this is key!
When I wash Madison's hair I co-wash every other time. So, essentially, she get's shampooed twice per month and co-washed twice per month. When shampooing I lather only once and I pay particular attention to the scalp and ends of her hair. I massage the scalp very well and finger comb the shampoo through the hair. I spend a few minutes on the ends constantly running my fingers through them and I sort of pick at the ends of the hair with my fingers (it's hard to describe). What I'm trying to do here is make sure that I'm getting to the dirt that tends to build up in the folds of the curls at the end of her hair. I'm not sure if this is something that other parents experience, but it's as if the ends of her hair are magnets for product buildup and dirt.
After lathering I rinse, sit her up and apply conditioner. We talk about something random for a few minutes and she usually shares the snack that she's been munching on throughout, then I lay her back down, do one pass through her hair with the wide tooth comb and rinse. I smooth away excess water with my hands then "towel" dry her hair. Leave-in-conditioner is added and we sit down to do a style during one episode of one of her favorite shows.
I quickly add coconut oil throughout her scalp. Don't make this take longer than it has to. To apply, part a long line from the forehead to the back of the head, starting at the left ear and apply. Do this from the left ear to the right, and it shouldn't require any more than ten parts. Afterwards, rub fingers all throughout the scalp to distribute the oil all over. And "wah-la", you're done!
To twist, make a part from left to right starting from the back of the head and you'll eventually work your way forward. Moisturize the parted hair, detangle then add oil to seal, then grab a section to twist. Add a bit of Eco Style gel to the hair, specifically to the end, then two strand twist. Continue to smooth out the ends as you twist since smooth ends are key to ensuring the style comes out right. At the front of the head, be sure to twist towards the direction that you want the hair to fall in that area (see photo above). Also make sure that you're tightening the twist at least half-way through by pulling at each of the strands to ensure that it doesn't start to unravel at the roots when you're done. At the end of the twist do a small bantu knot. This is not a full blown bantu not, but one just at the end of the hair. Check out this video to see what I mean: How I Care for my Daughter's Hair.
In the morning, I add olive oil to my fingertips and gently untwist each twist and separate each strand into two. I then use a "pick" on the roots to slightly lift the hair away from the scalp to hide any parts. Add a bow or ribbon or even pull parts of the front or sides up with bobby pins to style, or just let it all hang free and you're all set! Since Madison's hair dries out drastically throughout the course of the day, due to her tight curl pattern, we either have to re-twist at night or pin her hair up in some way the next day, so twist-outs don't tend to last more than two to three days around here. It's so cute though so that short amount of time is worth it to me!
Hopefully, my lengthy explanation provides a bit of guidance to someone working to maintain a super curly toddler's natural hair. I'd love to hear what others are doing and I love answering questions about what we do and why, so don't hesitate to comment or send me an email :).