Monday, January 25, 2010

Fuzzy Naps

Mocha Girl Three has fuzzy naps. Her hair is silky soft and fine. It stretches long when saturated with water. As it dries, the individual strands clump into curly little coils. If I apply gel to Mocha Girl Three's wet hair, small ringlets and waves are set all over her head.

If I allow Mocha Girl Three's hair to dry naturally, applying only a thin layer of shea butter, it frizzes up within several hours no matter how I style it.

At one time, I frustrated myself by constantly trying to smooth her hair with a brush. I styled her hair almost daily, but had to stop when I noticed it was breaking excessively. Fuzzy naps can be delicate. I began matching her outfits with caps when we left the house.
I did my best to force Mocha Girl Three's hair to adapt to the methods I used with her older sisters, but failed miserably. Her strands are fine, and many of the styles that work well for her sisters, made her hair look sparse . Mocha Girl Three's small braids were thin and scalpy. I was relieved to have some success with small twists, but they knotted and tangled terribly over time. I was working too hard to be experiencing such bad results.

My struggle ended the day I decided that Mocha Girl Three's hair was important enough to receive different treatment from her sisters. If something I was doing wasn't working, I stopped. If a staple product for her sisters was gunking up her hair, I experimented until I found a product her hair loved. Most importantly, I stopped attributing her bad hair days to flawed hair. Rather, I acknowleged that her hair was communicating a need that wasn't being met. The result was beautiful fuzzy naps.

I've found the following methods to be effective with fuzzy naps:
1. Expect some frizz over time.
2. Use only thin layers of product to moisturize.
3. Avoid heavy oils and butters. May apply light oils and butters sparingly.
4. Experiment with leave in conditioners for moisture.
5. Style with braids and twists no smaller in diameter than the size of a pencil.

6. Dampen the hair with plain water before manipulation to change or freshen up a style.
7. Encase the hair or pillow in satin, or silky fabric before sleeping.
8. Expose to steam and moisture daily. This may exacerbate frizz but also promotes elasticity. Healthy fuzzy naps are sometimes...well...fuzzy.
9. Examine gel formulations and avoid some alcohols which may be drying. Try pure aloe vera gel as a natural substitute.


  1. Thanks so much for this blog. I have the same issues with my daughters' hair. I think for too long I blamed the hair itself without changing the way I approached it. Thank you for helping to change my perspective.

  2. Wow! My daughter's hair is very much like Mocha Girl Three's. The strands are extremely fine and and feel almost insubstantial to the touch, but is is also very fuzzy and coily. I would love to see more videos and pics of styles that work well for this hair type! She wears two strand twists a lot, but after about only a week tiny knots and tangles form and are quite difficult to remove (even with lots of conditioner). I can attest that the methods listed above are definitely effective in working with this hair type. It is so nice to see a child with my daughter's hair type! Thanks so much!

  3. You're welcome! Here is a link where I did a tutorial on the cornrow puff on her hair:

    There's also a maintenance video for this style

    I have a lot of success with the cornrow or flat twist with the ends gathered into a puff combo styles for this daughter's hair. I do so many variations and I'll be sharing them all summer. We still have lots of fuzz but the braided parts keep the shed hairs in place so she can wear the ends out without tangling. Also--in warm weather--her hair likes to be out as long as I stay on top of the spritzing for moisture.

  4. Hi!I think your blog is amazing! I just happened upon it recently:) I have your daughter MG3's hair type and so have often felt discouraged from going natural thinking I had bad hair. Thank you for giving me hope
    Sandi from Kenya

  5. Thanks Sandi--I think this hair type is easier to deal with as wash and go hair--with daily or every other day rinsing and styling loose. She'd have to take over that for herself though when she gets older. It's really impractical right now with her rolling all over the floor and doing what five year olds do. Also--I can't see myself scrunching and shingling and curl defining every day.....not practical for me either. I feel like my job is to keep her hair safe until she's ready to play for herself. The fuzz is like a familiar friend...=)