Odette’s head was shaved, on my estimate, about 147 days ago. In that time we have seen a ton of growth. It might not be noticeable to everyone but to us it is tremendous. She was a smooth-shaven bald beauty on May 11 when we met her. Slowly but surely her hair has grown. She now sports a rockin TWA*. In my opinion it is perfect for her. It fits her personality to a tee. As you all know she isn’t happy about little hairand asks a lot for big hair like her friends. I am working hard to make that possible.
*teeny weeny afro – and no I didn’t make that up
I have learned a lot through reading (Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care) and experimentation. Thankfully her hair seems pretty laid back like the rest of her and there hasn’t been too much error in our trial and error. I explained our initial hair routine here, but things have evolved as her hair has grown. I thought I would give you all an update.
I’ll begin with clean hair and work through our daily routine.
We wash her hair with sulfate free conditioner (no shampoo) on Friday evenings. It has just kinda settled in to being a night where we are home and have the time. As I posted before we use Burt’s Bee’s Gud conditioner. It is all natural and while I like it, I would probably see myself trying something different next time just for fun. Just like before we slather it on her hair, massage it into her scalp, plop on a shower cap and let her play around in the tub. After 10ish minutes we rinse it really well using the handheld shower. On the other days of the week we rinse her hair well with water. I’ve read that we don’t really need to do that, but she seems to sweat heavily and I feel better rinsing her scalp some. Thankfully she doesn’t seem to have any issues with her scalp drying out.
The change now that her hair is longer is that we put Kinky Curly Knot Todayin as a leave in conditioner. We use it whether she has been co-washed or just rinsed. She gets a generous nickel size portion rubbed throughout her hair. We did this from the time her hair was about 3/4 inch long.
* I linked the products to Amazon, but they are way cheaper at Target.
I then comb through it with a wide tooth comb. I am as gentle as possible, but try to completely detangle it.
There is a bit of shed hair afterward, but I’m sure it is far less than if I didn’t detangle after bath.
The final step is to apply coconut oil as I detailed in the previous post. We then cover her hair with the sleep cap. On Friday nights we usually watch a movie together after bath, but I still put the sleep cap on to both protect her hair and our pillows, blankets, furniture, and clothes.
We stopped using her old sleep cap about a month ago when I was putting poofs in her hair and noticed the thinning/breaking of her hair on her hairline.
Because she uses satin pillow cases I wasn’t too worried about her going without, but then she started deciding she needed to climb into bed with us around 5 am most mornings and we don’t have satin pillowcases on our bed, so we were back to needing a cap. This time we went with a Silky Wrap sleep cap. They are a looser fit and the satin seems to provide more slip between the elastic and her hair.
I really like that it has a ribbon that can be used to keep it on a little more securely. We put it to the back and if we don’t tie it the cap is often off by morning.
In the morning our styling is pretty much the same. We spray with grapeseed oil and distilled water mixture. (We are finally nearing the bottom of her grapeseed oil bottle after 5 months so I may look into jojoba or castor oil just to see how they would work on her hair) You could also use coconut, but I don’t want to take the time to melt it in the morning. I was brushing her hair out everyday with the Denman brushto define her curls and keep them from balling at first, but now when I brush it just makes her TWA a little poofier and rounded. I read recently (I am definitely learning as I go) that I don’t need to detangle/brush everyday. Since it has been cooler she has only been bathing every other day and being detangled following her bath. In the mornings I no longer brush everyday. I was noticing more and more shed hair/breakage on the brush and was getting more ouches from her. Once I read it only needs to be done often enough to keep it from matting I laid off the brush.
I should mention that I modified the brush by removing every other row of bristles.
I also tried a knockoff tangle teezer, but I didn’t care for it at all.
I also tried mixing Kinky Curly Knot Today and distilled water in a spray bottle and applying that in the morning instead of oil because that works for some people, but Odette’s hair was very dry and frizzy.
After I rub in the grapeseed oil and brush (or not) I apply some product. I am back to using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Kinky Curly Curling Custard.
I keep all of her morning hair products in a basket in the bathroom and do her hair while she eats her breakfast. It literally takes me less than 5 minutes and I bribe her to be still with 2 gummies (they are really probiotics, but she doesn’t know that ).
I’ve learned that she like most people has different curl patterns on her head. She has looser curls around her temples and crazy tight ringlet curls everywhere else. Because her curls are so tight, her hair shrinks majorly. It is actually over 2 inches long when stretched.
Super tight curls everywhere else
Trying my best to show her true length
I have had some fun experimenting with styling her hair. She’s worn poofs a few times and last weekend I tried coils. They took about an hour and she didn’t like them. Needless to say I won’t do them again. While she has the cutest teeny weeny afro I’ve ever seem I am looking forward to having her hair braided and to me learning how to do it myself.
So there you have it, an update on our hair routine.
P.S. I have noticed that some of her things are beginning to smell not so fresh from the rubbing of her oil/products over time. The hood of her jacket for example smells of spoiled oil. I’ve tried washing it but it hasn’t seemed to help. I have had luck with dish soap cleaning her old sleep cap, but it didn’t really work on her pajamas or satin pillow case. Have any suggestions?