Odette’s hair continues to grow like weeds. This child has more hair than I ever knew was possible on a human’s head. Seriously. It is crazy how much hair she has. It is also surprising how long it actually is. Because of shrinkage, it is easy to underestimate the length of her hair now. I would say it is close to 6 inches.
Her curl pattern is so tight that a lot of her hair creates these curly-q ringlets. I’m not sure if that is a “preferred” look or not but it is just what it does between washing.
I’ve been asked to go over Odette’s hair routine so I thought I would finally make good on that promise. Let me begin by saying that I am no expert. I have not at all been good about styling Odette’s hair in much but a ‘fro. I pay for that with tangles and breakage…Ugh.
We continue to shampoo Odette’s hair about once a month. I just use cheap, but natural shampoo from Trader Joes.
After it is clean, I blot it dry a bit and apply an ample amount of deep conditioner. I like Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque that I get a target for I think $10ish. I only use it monthly, so it lasts a long time. While it isn’t time to detangle yet, I try my best to run my fingers through her hair and coat as many separate strands of hair as possible.
Then I plop a shower cap on her head and let her play for 2-3 hours before we head up and rinse it really well. I have my most effective detangling on deep conditioning days, so I plan to give a fair amount of time to hair on these days. I use Kinky Curly Knot Today (again from Target $12ish), but have to admit that I don’t love it for Odette’s hair. I assume her incredibly tight curl pattern is the reason why. It just doesn’t give me enough slip. I should point out that it is not rinsed out. I apply it (and A LOT of it) to Odette’s hair after she is out of the tub. I simply use my fingers these days and a lot of patience to detangle Odette’s hair. I’ve found that if I force myself to do small sections at a time I do a better job of getting all haha the knots out. On this day I was sectioning off, detangling, and then putting in puffs.
UPDATE: I had a couple people comment on this post and suggest I try the Tangle Teezer. I bought one a long time ago, but was not at all impressed with it. I decided to give it another go. While Odette’s hair was drenched with conditioner in the tub I used the Tangle Teezer in small sections to detangle. I had to do tiny sections because Odette’s hair is so thick and I had to hold the hair down at the root to keep it from pulling too hard. But after about 25 minutes her hang was more detangled than it has ever been. I could actually run my fingers through it! There was obvious breakage from the brush, but there was when I used my fingers too. The Tangle Teezer is my new BFF.
Weekly, except weeks that we deep condition, I cowash her hair. Cowashing simply means that I use conditioner only. I am currently using Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner (Target $10). I finger detangle a bit with the conditioner in and again with Kinky Curly Knot Today.
When Odette takes a bath or shower mid-week (typically her hair washing nights are Fridays or Saturday mornings) we rinse her hair and then apply coconut oil (We got our huge tub at Costco for $15, but you can get a jar for around $7-8) that we have melted in our hands after. We do not detangle. *We also rub coconut oil all over her body after every shower or bath.
To style Odette’s hair on a daily basis I use these products, Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk (Target $12) , jojoba oil (Whole Foods $15), castor oil (Whole Foods $7) , and distilled water.
I wrap a towel around her shoulders to protect her clothes and spray her hair until it is good and wet with a mix of distilled water and castor and jojoba oils. I don’t measure when I am putting them in the bottle, but would guess about a tablespoon of each type of oil and then I fill the bottle with distilled water. Be sure to shake the bottle before spraying. I let that sit for a couple of minutes and then I rub it in a little. Next I apply about a quarter size dollop or two of the milk to her hair and rub it all in. To fluff her growing ‘fro I just grab a bit of hair and pull it out to fluff a bit. As shown in the first picture.
Odette and I visited my aunt’s family last week and my 21-year-old cousin did Odette’s hair for the day. It really isn’t hard at all. This picture is a poor reenactment.
I think that Odette’s hair is overall healthy. Our routine seems to keep it well moisturized and from what I have read that is most important. I should be better at putting it in protective styles, but haven’t gotten there. She sleeps in a silk cap, uses satin pillow cases, and wears a swim cap when she is swimming. I never went so far as to put satin on her car seat or anything, but could see that maybe I would if she was home at a younger age.
The day pictured above when I was putting in the puffs was to prepare Odette’s hair to be braided for the first time. She loved it! I just got a recommendation for another salon that I plan to try out soon.
Because her hair was braided right before we went to the beach (intentionally so it would be low maintenance and not hold as much sand), it only lasted two weeks before I needed to take it out. It was a 2 hour job just to take it out, nearly the amount of time it took the stylist to do it! The braids stretched her hair a lot and the water dried it out, so her “fro was about twice it’s normal size. Odette didn’t care for that at all and even wore her sleep cap around the house for two days.
So there you have it. That is this vanilla mom’s attempt to care for my daughter’s chocolate hair. If you haven’t checked out ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com you should. Lots and lots of great info there.
Happy Monday! It’s time for The Bachelorette. (Am I one of only 3 people still watching this season? Snooze fest, but I can’t not watch.)