I learned some lessons about Dori’s hair last year. Unfortunately I learned them the hard way. I was convinced that Dori would need hair plugs before kindergarten. Her hair was breaking off at a disturbing rate and when parted the right way there was obvious thinning. Here what I did wrong:
1. I got lazy about product. I stopped ordering the good stuff (Carols Daughter and Curly Q is what I had been using). Instead I used the product available for ethnic hair in local stores. It is less than half the cost and I do not have to order it online. These products did not work for Dori.
2. I was braiding it frequently. And leaving the braids in for several days. I did this for over a year. It kept her hair neat and easy to care for but it started causing breakage.
3. I was combing it too much. I really thought I had no other choice. Her hair would tangle and matte like crazy and it needed to be combed out regularly.
After I realized that Dori’s hair was being damaged. I began to take corrective action. I talked to a mom with experience with black hair care both with her own hair and her three daughters. This is what I what I have learned:
1. Dori has what my friend refered to as mixed hair. It is curly and there is a ton of it but it is very fine. I should not assume that just because other children can wear one hair style for a week or more that Dori can. One of her daughters wore style for a week. Another daughter has to have her hair done daily. Not all hair is created alike. DORI’S HAIR IS VERY DELICATE.
2. Dori’s hair should be finger combed. I did not believe it was possible to get through the tangled mess that would accumulate when her hair was down without a wide tooth comb. Guess what? It is possible.
First I had her hair trimmed. The stylist I used was wonderful. She did a “Deva” cut, which means she cut a tiny bit off of each and every little curl to “seal” it. It took an hour but it helped eliminate some of the tangle and left her curls naturally beautiful . From here on out Dori should only need a trim once a year. The stylist also showed me how to work through Dori’s hair using just my fingers. She was great!! if you are local and want her information I just let me know.
It takes about 10-15 minutes daily to finger comb her hair and a comb is only needed on the really difficult sections, but her hair has less frizz and no longer am I picking out bunches of hair a comb on a daily basis.
3. Products do matter and sometimes you get what you pay for. I am now only using quality products and avoiding silicon and petroleum byproducts. My friend also sent me to a great place locally with the biggest supply of Carols Daughter product I have found.
So from my very limited experience here is my advice:
1. Ask some one you know in person for advice. Just like all things about children what works for everything else may not work for you. Have some one run their fingers through your daughter’s hair and tell you what she may need. And then – take that advice even if it seems impossible.
2. Buy good products. There are several good websites with good advice. Take the advice and make the investment in your daughter’s hair.
3. A single hair style may not last a week. Daily maintainance may be required and leaving rubber bands overnight may cause breakage. The ten minutes a day is worth healthy hair. Dori actually likes having her hair done and sits well for it. If I finger comb her hair the night before and have her use a cap it only takes minutes to do in the morning.
These days Dori wears her hair down most of the time. I braid it for ballet and when it is rainy (moisture = frizzies for Dori) about once a week. Her hair is much healthier and she has hair growing back where it broke off last fall. I have learned my lesson and I am so much more careful about her beautiful hair.