Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flying pool fun is hair maintenance free!

Today my two oldest children have soccer camp, so I have 3 hours free to focus on my littles. My husband and I speculated on a special activity for them, including a quick trip to the children's museum or zoo. The girls amazed us, when they asked at breakfast, if they could run through the sprinklers and paint pictures.

Turns out it doesn't take as much as I expected to satisfy my little princesses. As a bonus I can simply dry their hair off. There's no chlorine to wash away. Win, win.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Celebrating my husband for all he is and all he does for our family--especially being our number one nappy support person.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Small Box Braid Tutorial

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Choosing a nappy friendly style in a straight hair world

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Mocha Baby's Hair Growth Spurt

Mocha baby's hair has just had a dramatic growth spurt--over the past week.

As you know, I've been twisting and coiling it to expose her scalp for coolness in the hot weather. The temperature dropped over the pass couple of days and I've returned to the fro. I can't believe how big her fro is now. My first thought was maybe the twists stretched her coils out--but I've been rinsing the fro daily and letting it do what it does. I fluff it out with my fingers as always.

I'm scratching my head.

In the past I've noticed growth once I started styling my babies' hair but I've experienced breakage too--with my too tight and over the top methods. The twists/coils were very gentle....I'm wondering if we're on to something here.....time will tell, and I will keep you posted.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Mocha Princess Pool/Beach Regimen

The following are things I've tried and learned from personal experience. I encourage you to adapt my methods to your situation.

I don't use swim caps because in my experience, they don't keep our hair perfectly dry if we like to dunk our heads under water. My girls stay under the water. Swim caps work best to keep
our hair out of the pool. I also find plastic/rubber swim caps to be extremely hot on our heads. I imagine my daughters' brains cooking under them on a hot day. I never use them when we're outside. I'd use them inside if the facility requires them.

Chlorine can be very drying to nappy hair. Your child's hair will be fine after repeated exposure to chlorine if you are careful to protect it from the chlorine before swimming AND take care to wash it away after. Never allow chlorine to stay in your child's hair indefinitely. I've been in situations where I didn't wash until the next day, and my girls' hair was fine, but I'd never just leave the chlorine in their hair.

Salt water from the ocean can also be drying to nappy hair. I take the same precautions when we go to the beach that we use at the pool.

Consider the following:

1. Saturate their hair with diluted conditioner. I fill up an 8 oz spritz bottle with about 1 oz of conditioner and the rest water and shake until the conditioner and water are well mixed. You may use any cheap moisturizing conditioner. I recommend the Suave, V05 lines because they are cheap and easy to find anywhere.

This works to minimize how much chlorine your child's hair will absorb. Like a sponge, hair will only absorb so much. If it is already full of conditioner, it will only take in a little bit of chlorine.

Massage the conditioner into your child's hair until it disappears.

2. In a pinch, you may saturate your child's hair with plain water before swimming. The above principle works just as well with plain water if you don't have conditioner with you. I like the conditioner because I like giving the hair a punch of moisture before exposing it to chlorine.

3. When my kids come out of the pool I spritz their hair with diluted shampoo (1 oz of shampoo to 8 oz water). I've been using a sulfate free shampoo from Trader Joe's with no problems. I watch their hair carefully. If their hair begins to look, feel and behave differently over time I may add a chelating shampoo, designed for swimmers to their routine. So far, I haven't had to. In fact, I've been pleased with the extra soft feel of their hair from all the moisture.

I send all of them into the shower by themselves to rinse away the shampoo as they bathe. It's wonderful that even my 4 year old can do this herself. I've trained her to stand with her back to the shower head, and to tilt her head back while looking at the ceiling so soap won't get in her eyes. In the beginning, she held a dry wash cloth over her eyes as she did this.

I encourage them all to rinse, rinse, rinse and when they are absolutely sure their hair is clean.....rinse some more!

4. Rub a light oil through your child's hair to trap in moisture as it dries. Castor oil isn't light, but I find it works really well on all our heads. Coconut oil is great too.

I find our routine to be so quick and easy that I enjoy taking my kids to the pool often.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mocha Baby's first Style

It's been so hot and Mocha Baby has been sweating profusely. Her hair is dense on top and my husband suggested trying a style to expose her scalp. I was reluctant to bother her fro, because I've been keeping myself on a tight leash as far as bothering her hair. See my post here for the details. Clearly the time has come to move in a different direction.

First, I tried finger coils, which I thought were very pretty but they rubbed right out any time she rested a portion of her hair somewhere. I'm not interested in using heavy product on her hair for hold at this time.
While playing around with one of the coils that came loose, I discovered that I could twist Mocha Baby's hair and it stayed much better. The twist kept curling over until they looked like little bantu knots--loved it!
To twist I spritzed her hair damp with water and topped it with a very small amount of my shea butter mix. I think plain castor oil, coconut or any oil your daughter's hair likes will work just as well.

I'm so glad to find a way to expose her scalp without putting strong tension on her roots. Mocha Baby's sweating is radically reduced. It's amazing how much heat we release from our heads. I will be searching for smooth and silky feeling pillow cases for all my girls this summer (except the baby she doesn't sleep on a pillow)--and letting them ditch the sleeping caps and scarves.