Silly? Perhaps. But if you are a white mama to a black child...learning the ropes isn't easy. One thing I did learn quickly was that boy are those hair products important. Because let me just tell you uninformed parents out there -- African American hair is far different than your own. It's beautiful, and it sure takes a lot of care.
I just finished a 2 hour hair session on Callie. She went straight to bed, otherwise I would have taken pictures. Basic twists, but 2 hours of twisting and I can't tell you how great it feels to type now! Seriously. It's like shaking out your legs after long run. Even two years ago I wouldn't have believed that she'd sit through me doing her hair without screaming bloody murder. I was certain our neighbors were going to call Child Protective Services a few times while trying to brush out her hair. And what could I have told CPS? "I can't deny it. I'm torturing my child. I'm desperately trying to pick through her hair. And she hates me for it." (sigh) But I stuck with it, and she's so much better now. What do I have to thank? MPP y'all. Movies. Popcorn. Product.
So, after trying too many different products to even count, here's what I have settled on (for the time being). I don't claim to know it all ~ with what I know, if I really did know it all, Callie would have a pretty grim future ~ but this is what I use and what I'm thankful for. (With that said, if anyone stumbles across this who knows more than I do...I'd be thankful for that information as well!)
Shampoo and Conditioner
Shampoo, shampoo, shampoo. I have gone through more shampoo and conditioner for Callie than I've used for myself my entire life! Callie's hair is Thin. Fine. Tight curls. Black hair -- and curly hair in general -- gets dry. So, you don't want to over wash. But you still have to have clean hair. All shampoos I used, I felt, just stripped her hair completely. Then I'd load up the conditioner. LOAD up. The best conditioner I could find for her was the kind in my mom's boxes of L'oreal after she'd dye her hair. She'd mail me the little tubes. Those really worked the best for Callie...but I was still unsatisfied.
Until. One beautiful, glorious, late night infomercial. It's true. I was so immersed in each demonstration. And when I saw that Holly Peete Robinson used it for her and her kids ~ I got giddy. Could this really work for Callie? I didn't call or go online to order. I didn't want to be that person who bought some stuff from an infomercial. I sheepishly mentioned it to a friend who readily said, "Oh, I have that stuff. Do you want to try it?" Um, yeeeeaa-aahhh. I was sold. I ordered it up and life hasn't been the same. This stuff glides through Callie's hair. It's a cleansing conditioner. With this one step, I'm washing and conditioning her hair. I am in love. My finger run through her hair, and when they don't, I give a little wiggle, and ssswish...there they go. Knots? Not really. Love it. And, I use it for myself too. Noooo. "But your hair is so different than Callie's," you say. Yes. That's the beauty of this all-natural product. I don't get it, and I don't care.
What is this heaven in a bottle? Wen. Changed my life people -- or rather, Callie's life. Whatever.
I do it from time to time. I've tried some packets that I get at the store. They were fine. I did Callie's hair once with a deep conditioning packet of gunk and wrapped her head in saran wrap! She looked so cute (I wish I could find that picture right now). But now, I use Wen, again. They have a deep conditioning mask and I do that about 1x a month for her...for that extra moisture, especially during the winter.
Wen. Is this getting boring? I use the sweet almond mint styling product, BUT, I also use, and love a few others.
Mizani's line I actually still really love...believe it or not, Wen isn't the only thing out there that I use for her. Mizani's Coconut Souffle, in particular, I use as I put in twists or ringlets. I've also used their Rose H2O products. It's fine, but I like the Coconut Souffle better. It really makes styling her hair so much easier, and her hair soft.
I'm not as good as this as I should be. I go through phases. But in the winter, when the weather is especially dry, I am much better. So, each day I need to add moisture to her hair to keep it hydrated and shiny. Here are 2 of my favorites.
So, there you have it. I'm so grateful for these things. Now, I neglected the different combs, brushes, hair bands, etc that are fantastic as well. But, this post is already long enough. These products have made the time I sit with Callie enjoyable. She gets excited to get her hair done. Yeah, that's probably the MPP over the "yea, Mom's doing my hair"...but oh well. It's no longer something I dread (like from the fear-of-CPS days). It's become something that I often, truly, look forward to. And now that I have the products I like, I've been able to focus more on the actual hairstyle than the haircare. And really, that's the fun part!