Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bad Hair Day

I have been struggling with M’s hair a little lately. I think part of it, maybe feeling a little insecure. I know perceive that I am judged more as a white woman doing her hair. I am learning slowly but surely and some days we have really good hair days and it looks super cute and some days I struggle and it looks a bit rough. I need to experiment a little because I just don’t feel like she needs to rock the twists in pony tails all the time. I mean there is only so much you can do to make it look different, 5 pony tails with braids, 7 pony tails with twists, barrettes on the ends, no barrettes, scrunchies, colored bands, bows, no bows, etc. I want her to be able to wear it down, but I haven’t been able to master that yet though without a 30 minute detangling session afterwards.

I also want to make sure I am taking good care of it. So I read a lot about products and have spent a good bit experimenting with products. I know I got her conditioner down and I like the leave in I am using, but not sure if her shampoo is getting it clean enough while still helping and not doing any damage. Sometimes I only condition and sometimes I wash and condition (never washing more than once a week except this week which I will get to in a minute).

I read a lot of blogs on hair and follow one in particular pretty closely, Happy Girl Hair. Ironically, I think M’s hair is very similar to her one daughter and Baby D’s hair is very similar to the other daughter. I also recently started reading Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care. I used the latter to learn a new style, rope twists and flat rope twists and decided to try it out.

I left M’s hair out yesterday knowing I was going to wash yesterday or today. It was pretty cute, but her dad just rolled his eyes. Last night I washed it, got all the stuff together and styled it. It took about 2 ½ hours and I was so proud of myself. It turned out pretty darn cute for my first try and I was excited that it would probably last 2-3 weeks. She was so good and patient through it all. I took one picture of it.

Her Hair:


Fast forward to this afternoon, we went to the pool but it was closed so we came back home and I decided to cook dinner. I let Miss M watch some TV and started cooking. The show was almost over (all 30 minutes of it) when I hear her say “Ouch Mama”. I rush over to the couch to find her comb stuck in her hair, her hair and face covered in hair grease, her hands covered in hair grease, nice little hand prints in grease on my couch (about 5 of them). Her hair style was ruined and that was just the start of it, she had used about 2/3 of the bottle of hair grease on her hair mostly.

I was so mad, not just at her, but at myself for leaving her hair stuff out. Who knew she could open the bottle. We finished last night around 11:30 and I was tired and didn’t want to mess putting it back in her room where the baby was sleeping. (Will never make that mistake again)

I had to wash her clothes and wash her hair four times and I didn’t even remotely get most of the grease out. It is so bad. I re-styled it tonight in larger rope twists but I think I will need to wash again soon. I just have no clue how to get it all out. Ugh! It is also not how I planned to spend my Sunday night before a busy week. The washing and re-styling probably took 2 hours.

I know people that don’t have a kid with hair to do won’t really understand how crushed I was when I saw what had happened.

Hubs says I should just keep taking her to get her hair braided but I don’t think that can be the only solution; I need to be able to fix it, too. I am learning, it just seems like it is such a steep learning curve. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, this is what I wanted a little girl to do her hair and dress up. It doesn’t mean it can’t also be a little stressful.

When I feel really bad I tell myself it took me almost 30 years to learn how to take care of my curls and I still have bad hair days, so I can’t expect myself to know everything right away. People love to be helpful and tell me, Miss D’s hair will be easier. I am not so sure, it will be different, maybe a little easier in the sense it is closer to mine and the dude’s. I think I will still need to learn some. I also don’t want to start the mindset that it is hard because I want her to love her hair (I LOVE her beautiful curls, I love how cute she looks in the water and bath with her curls circling her face). It isn’t hard, it is just different than what I am used to.

I didn’t take any pictures of the mess. At one point I did laugh to myself that I actually had something worthy to send in to Shit My Kids Ruined. I was just too caught up in trying to fix the situation.


Amal said...

Dear Carly, I am so proud of the mommy that you are. I commend you for the time you have taken and research you have done to learn to do it yourself. You did a great job! Twists can be harder than breads. They all require a sense of rhythm and pattern to follow but you have done great so far. Doing the girls hair is not easy but believe me, it will get easier and faster. Keep doing their hair and the girls will become use to the time it takes. Unless you have their hair relaxed (which I don't recommend at this age) at this age braids, twists, and pony tails are what it's all about! Unless they have a short fro, leaving their hair out is easy for you but not so for the girls because it can look unkempt is a new minutes and be a nightmare to “fix” later. Besides, they don’t have long blonde hair so they can appear on The Love Boat like Whoopee 
Don’t work about getting all the grease out of her hair. It’s really not such a bad thing. It will eventually all go away them you’ll have to add more!
They will take over at some point and will probably get it cut short until they learn to manage it all themselves. My girls were pre-teens before they had their hair relaxed. Then came the curling irons and flat irons, and hair dye before you know it they are young ladies.

Handmade Mama said...

Carly, I commend you for spending all the time needed to research info to make sure that the girls hair is always neat, nicely done and most importantly, healthy!!! It is NOT easy! As an adopted mother and black woman, I understand how to you feel about the perceived attitude of those around you when the world sees a white woman with black children. The ironic thing is that I had NO idea if what to do with K's hair when she first came home with us. I would just wash it and go. I knew how to do ponytails but had to teach myself how to cornrow. For the mist part my hair had been relaxed so I did not know what to do with virgin hair!!! Over the years, I have found that blow drying Kayden's hair with a comb works wonders! It gives her more length and makes it more manageable! Hang in there the PP said, it will get easier as you do it more and more. And know that I am here for you if you need me and will share my routines if you need more info. And the grease is oil would have possed another problem ;).

Quackenbaby-CQ said...

Oh man....silly little miss! I'm going to have to give her a little tickle action tonight for being a little hair monster! Totally sounds like something Layla might have done at 2-3yrs old.

I'm Tiffany. said...

M's hair seems a lot like mine, to be honest. I need to get a closer look, but I suspect that it's super-curly, fragile, dry, but capable of being very soft?

There's a delicate balance you have to strike between wanting to do something with it and letting it be. Growing up, people never knew what to do with my hair, so it broke off a lot because they would treat it just like everyone else's. My sister and I have two completely different hair textures - hers can tolerate heat and chemicals and still grow long. Mine? Nope. Melts out because it's VERY curly, but not particularly coarse.

It sounds contrary to logic, but you'll have to do *more* work with it now since its short, and as it gets longer, it'll be easier to manage because it'll mat less (assuming she doesn't wear it out much).

Hang in there! A year from now it'll be a breeze and soon you'll be able to help you.

CandCFamily said...

Tiffany, I think your description is accurate, it is very soft and has a super tight defined curl. It isn't coarse at all.
Thanks everyone for the comments it was rough and I probably didn't handle it well.
The sad part is I think she was really just trying to help. She is so smart and imitates everything, the girl loves to properly brush teeth, fakes putting deodorant on, asks for her nails to be painted. Getting the comb un-stuck was really hard, but I am glad I didn't have to cut it.
Then I had the scissors out to cut the bands off and left them on bathroom counter and the dude thought it'd be a grand idea to cut a chunk out of his hair. Luckily his curls disguised it, but I had no fight in me to tell him how mad I was.

Handmade Mama said...

Tiffany and Carly, Kayden's hair is a lot like that as well! I simply wash, grease her scalp, blow dry and pull into puff balls. Braids are great but they frizz up after just a couple of days. I also used Silken Child Moisturizer (sold only at Sally's) on a daily basis or when I need some of the frizz order words, to make it slick. Do not be afraid to experiment! And Ken gives me the look when I allow Kayden to wear her fro....

Anonymous said...

I think just the fact that you're willing to learn is so awesome! The learning curve is a steep one. I've been natural 2 years and I'm still learning. Have you tried the tightly curly method? It might keep the tangles down.

CandCFamily said...

I used to read her site a lot and got away from it, I am glad you pointed it back out because the conditioner I use as a combing conditioner she no longer recommends as one. Hello Hydration. I think I tried her whole method a few times on M and it just didn't really work, but now that her hair is longer I am going to try again.

I'm Tiffany. said...

Yeah, I didn't like the tightly curly method so much when my hair was short-short. I figured out that it was because my hair is straighter around the outside than it is in the middle, so I just looked crazy. Now I can pull the front back and it's a little better since the rest of it curls fine.

Mama P said...

I go through the same thing! Princess has been here for four months, and I struggle so bad with finding ways to make her hair NOT look like white-woman-who-cannot-even-do-her-OWN-hair did it. LOL

I got a "You're getting better" from mom the last time I saw her, so that must mean progress!