Hair day has never been a super joyous day in our home. My daughter screams bloody murder and it normally always turns into a wrestling match. I learned early on that consistency was key when it came to hair care so I have consistently been putting myself…and her, through this process since she was about a year old. Back then, it was easy. I could put a little shampoo and conditioner in her hair, fluff it out, and throw on a headband and she automatically transformed into the world’s cutest baby. Then somewhere along the way, her hair started to grow. It grew thick, healthy, and full and that became the end of my easy days when it came to making her look cute. I don’t possess the natural hair braiding skills that most Black moms have. I can barely do a French braid so most of my attempts to braid her hair turned out to be some wobbly loose rendition of an underhand braid. The parts were frighteningly crooked and my three hour attempt looked like she had been wearing her hair in the style I just did earlier that day for over two weeks. How could it be so fuzzy so fast? Overtime though, I did manage to learn just how to groom my daughter’s tresses. The first thing I did was follow the basic steps to toddler natural haircare (I wrote a blog article on that too!) and our lives became that much easier. Now, almost four years in, I have developed a stress free way to keep her hair done without too much struggle (there is still some wrestling involved).
My daughter’s hair falls into the 4A hair texture category. It is extremely full and retains moisture well. Her hair curls into an “S” type curl pattern. I love to do co-washes on her hair because it defines her curls beautifully. For those who are unfamiliar, a co-wash, or conditioner wash, is when the hair is washed using only conditioner. Shampoos can strip our hair of natural oils when used too often so sometimes a co wash is all that is needed. Our month to month regimen consists of rotating full washes and co washes.
Our first week into our regimen is a full on shampoo and conditioner wash. Since I only do a full wash once a month, I love to use a deeply cleansing lathering castile soap. Castile soap cleanses well but also strips the oils from the hair so a great moisturizer is needed afterwards (I have included a recipe at the end of this post). This is also the only time that I use a comb on her hair. I comb from tip to end to detangle and remove any built up dirt and gunk from her hair. This process is normally where the wrestling takes place.
Rest well before hair day because I assure you, you will feel like you completed a marathon when it is over, especially with week one.
Once I have finished washing and detangling, I part her hair into large sections and use copious amounts of coconut oil and twist her hair into about 7 or 8 large sections to do for later. At this point, I ammo up with snacks and movies and sit her in front of a tv for the twisting process. If this is your first time doing this, I would suggest chunky twists because they do not take as long. Finger part the hair, apply moisturizer and beginning twisting from root to tip. Make sure the hair is still damp and use a generous amount of moisturizer when twisting the hair.
Just a few quick tips for week one: if your child has a softer hair texture, you can use rubber bands to seal the ends or use them at the top of the twists for a neater lay.
Week two is my absolute favorite because you literally have to do nothing. I will be honest, I don’t even always wrap her hair and it still looks just fine. You can throw in a little oil on the scalp if you want but the hair holds up just fine.
Week three is what I like to call the beginning to the end. About two days into week three, the hair is really frizzy. I will normally take her twists out and allow her to wear her hair in a fro’d style for the remainder of week three. It works really well and once it has started to get to its end, I will throw it up into a pineapple style.
Look at that, you have almost officially made it through a full month with very minimal hair doing. When I talk to most moms, they complain that their child’s hair is not growing and is constantly breaking off. When I ask how often they are doing their child’s hair, most tell me EVERY DAY. If you comb or brush your child’s hair everyday, it is going to overly shed. Work out those protective styles and keep your hands out of their hair. And just to clarify, I do not consider weaving or braids to be protective styles. It is too heavy. So keep it light and simple with some twists or braids.
For week four, you are back to the beginning but instead of a full wash, you can simply co wash their hair. Some people do a full drench. I opt for parting and spritzing with a water bottle.
Depending on her mood, I will just stop there and retwist with my moisturizer and conditioner. If she is a little more favorable to having her hair washed, I will do a full water immersion for a true co-washing experience. Then I simply retwist and start over.
Do you have a monthly hair care plan? I would love to hear about it. Share with me below!
- 1/2 Cup Shea Butter
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/3 Cup Sweet Almond Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Beeswax
- 20 Drops Essential Oil
- In a double boiler, melt down shea butter and beeswax. If you do not have a double boiler, fill a medium sized pot half way with water and use a thick glass bowl (I like to use my glass measuring cup) and place in middle of boiling water.
- After shea butter and beeswax is melted down, pour in your other oils while stirring.
- Add in Essential oil. I love to use Rosemary and Lavender.
- Pour into glass jar and place into freezer for about 20 minutes until it becomes solid mixture.
- Take out and enjoy!