I’ve been battling the detangling demons with my kids for a while, specifically with my eldest. We’ve found our groove, moving from protective style to protective style. It’s been great. She’s even taking some responsibility for her hair. It seems that I’m clearly heavy handed because she brushes her hair just fine by herself. Not as thorough as me but she’s only 8.
She desperately wants to wear her hair out. She wants her curls to shine because all my work of making her feel proud of her hair has worked. My girl has even made the bold statement that she will never straighten her hair. Please note, I’ve told her she can straighten, bleach, do whatever when she’s older but she’s set in her ways. So set, that when she said she wanted her hair out and curly, I knew she meant business. She’s a gentle soul but she’s also very, very sure of the things she’s sure of.
As I said, her hair has moved from protective style to protective style. Usually large braids to cornrows to large braids. But for whatever reason, I’d done smaller braids and we’d left them in for a few weeks and this is what we were left with. I have to say that this looks scarier in a photo than it did in real life.
I actually took the picture after I started taking her hair out (look at the bottom left section of her hair) but as scrappy as it’s looking, it’s a completely passable style and most importantly her hair was still soft since we’d been spritzing with a homemade leave-in every few days. However, the main reason we keep her hair tucked away was rearing it’s ugly head, matting at the roots. We can get away with one week, maybe two but longer than that starts to be a problem.
I think I might need to work at creating better parts and moisturising her hair at the roots better. We’ve stopped oiling our scalps (an experiment) but whatever is the cause of this particular problem, it’s a pain in my backside!!
I know I’m not showing the label here but if you don’t know, this is the Crème of Nature Pure Honey Knot Away Leave-In Detangler. This is me holding the bottle the right way round after using it and the product is so thick, you can see that it just doesn’t move! It’s crazy. I’m feeling a bit so so about this product overall but basically, on my daughter’s Type 4 hair, it seemed to work better when her hair was drenched.
Not damp, not spritzed but dripping wet.
The Saturated Twists
Once her hair was pretty thoroughly detangled, I made sure to put each section I worked on into twists. They were saturated with product as you can see. I then tied her hair back in a low pony, put her in a satin cap and sent her to bed.
The Matted Twists
At this point, I almost feel like I’ve done something wrong. Her beautifully detangled, moisturised twists were more dry and hard and matted by the morning than I would have expected/ hoped. It almost feels like I wasted my time because we were almost back where we started. Her hair just slurped up all that product like crazy. I think I may have had more success if I’d done flat twists and squarer sections. 🤔
Time To Wash
Her hair was washed in sections using the As I Am Coconut Cowash which both me and her love. I’ve noticed the boys hair isn’t as receptive and while I can use this on damp hair on her and me (i.e. spritzed in front of the TV), the boys hair needs to be wet. And somehow, I need to remember whose hair works with what product, how wet their hair needs to be and what other products I can combine it with! That’s a stress/ blog post for another day.
Anyway, followed up the Cowash with the Garnier Banana Hair Food as a deep conditioner and we were back in business.
Getting The Definition
To the right is hair that has just been taken out of a twist and lightly finger detangled. The hair on the left has had the same plus the following products:
- Leave In: Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Flaxseed Recipes Half & Half Hydrating Silkening Hair Milk – first time using. My first impression was that it worked marginally better than just water but not as good as a leave-in lotion for detangling and moisturising.
- Cream: Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Flaxseed Recipes Seal It Up Hydrating Sealing Butter – we love this in our house but I was worried about weighing her hair down with product so I was probably light handed and not just light handed for me, even for people who follow the instructions about how much product to use. I think this was part of my undoing on day 2.
- Oil: DIY Oil Blend inspired by Naptural85
- Gel: Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel – First time using this also. I’ve no idea how much to use and I actually went back through her hair again with it afterwards because I didn’t think I’d used enough. I’m still not sure if I did.
I tried to use the praying hands method to apply all the products and then did a final brush through with the Felicia Leatherwood to evenly distribute them. I think you can see in the pic that I got decent definition at the ends but the roots not so much. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to finger coil and define every curl.
The Finished Article
I have to say, the process did not go the way I expected, but the finished article was actually quite nice…if I do say so myself.
Even the hair on the top half of her head looked curly rather than “frizzy” and undefined. Which suits her equally by the way. I’ve never been too fussed on definition, especially with mine and my 2 eldest’s hair (all Type 3/4), as I think it’s more important for us to be moisturised. My youngest hair falls into clumpy curls no matter what you do. But for the rest of us, definition has never been top of the agenda so I’m happy and proud with how it came out for my girl.
She was beyond happy. She didn’t even mind that her almost waist length hair shrunk to just above her shoulders. And that’s all we wanted, was for her to wear her curls and feel confident and happy.
WE DID IT!!!
I banded her hair overnight to try to preserve and loosely stretch the curls. Day 2 was a little less positive if I’m being honest. Her hair felt dry, we’d lost almost all definition on the top. I think I should have gone harder with the Hydrating Sealing Butter, much harder. But I couldn’t be too disappointed as she was happy. We did a moisture refresh and it looked pretty good and bigger! I get what people say now about preferring day 2 or 3 hair because her hair’s changed shape every day that we tried to maintain this wash and go. There are a few negatives but a hell of a lot of positives in every version. It’s clear I’ve a lot to learn about this particular style and the longevity of it in particular but we’re going to get there. And the one major positive about this experience is now my daughter can help with detangling her own hair!
WASH DAY IS GOING TO BE FUN! 🤦🏾♀️
Let’s keep growing together!
xx Lee xx