I have come to terms with the reality of my curly headed babies. The reality is this: their hair is individual to each of them, and as they grow I learn a little bit more about the similarities and differences between our curls. For instance; River has fine curly hair. Some may assume it is an attribute passed down by Peter, him and I both disagree. Peter has thick curly hair…fro like. I have super thick curly hair. River’s hair gets curlier and curlier when she sweats, our hair gets fluffier and fluffier when we sweat. Over the past five years, I’ve had to concoct a hair regimen that worked for her. One that was affective, yet incredibly easy…
1. Oil. Less is More. My hair thrives when I run coconut oil through it. River’s on the other hand does not. Oil runs off her hair like water; irritating her eyes and face. About a finger tip a day, every other day or so does the trick.
2. Condition More. River’s hair needs to be co-washed every few days. Whereas I co-wash mine every two, three, or even, four weeks.
3. Detangle is key. Speaking of detangling, when left completely uncombed for too long, River’s hair locs in the middle. To keep this from happening, in addition to finger detangling, I use a denman brush with leave-in conditioner in the bath at night. Using the denman brush with the leave-in conditioner makes her hair much easier to comb and keeps it detangled for about 2-3 days.
A rule of thumb: Comb gently from tip to root. But don’t comb unless you’ve hit the bigger patches with some lightly oiled fingers
4. Don’t braid overnight. Protective styles don’t work for her hair. We tried this a few times to make the mornings easier or because she simply requested. With her fine texture, it only tangled her even more.
5. Let it be. When I was pregnant with River, I dreamed of all the styles I would put her hair in. A side ponytail there. A top knot here. A twist in the front and out in the back. And then as she got older and her request became more detailed, I tried my best to accommodate. Occasionally, I would produce good results. Mostly, I would try and then she would ask that her hair stayed wild. Now, very rarely, do I tie her hair up. The wonderful thing about her hair is that it’s her’s. Styles and twists and crazy details aren’t necessary. And that’s okay!
(Illustration by Cali Sales for LaTonya Yvette.)