Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter Hair Care

We just started a new hair care routine last night that I'm really excited about. (Yes, I get excited about hair routines. Sometimes a mom's life is simple.)

With gratitude to the wonderful blog/internet instruction manual Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care, Lily's hair is now in much better shape.

Winter is tough on African hair. First of all, there isn't really Winter in Africa. So this cold dry weather we have in North America makes the curls even more delicate and the scalp impossibly itchy. Lily's hair had been loose for Christmas, and after just a few days of wear and tear it was in bad shape.  After a couple hours research and a chunk of change spent on new products, we now do the following:

Treat her scalp with jojoba oil. I paint the oil onto the part lines of her hair every few days to help with dryness and irritation. Jojobo oil mimics the natural oils of the skin, and a little goes a long way.

bubbles only for the body now!

 No more shampoo! No matter what type I tried to use Lily's hair was always super brittle and damaged after washing. So we now rinse her scalp with diluted apple cider vinegar.  First I coat her hair (still in pigtails or braids or twists, but without any clips or bands) with our favorite conditioner, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose. Then I rinse her head with diluted apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon to cup of warm water), trying to pour right over the part lines so it gets to the scalp. Then I rinse with water and reapply the conditioner, combing it through her hair with my fingers or a wide toothed comb. Finally I apply a leave-in conditioner to seal moisture into the hair.

A cute head full of two strand twists
Protective styling! A protective style is simply a style that keeps the hair unstressed, close to the head and protected from damage. Winter hair gets a beating- hats, cold, dry conditions. So Lily has been wearing her hair in bantu knots, braids or twists a lot the past few weeks. I've also noticed her scalp is getting a bit stressed. The jojoba oil should help, but I'm also trying to change the part lines often, and use less pull on the hair.
two little braids and a big puff

I can already see a difference in the health and strength of her hair. We still only "wash" her hair about once a week, usually the night before I'm going to change the style.

Oh, what a delightful learning curve this has been! I just hope she doesn't turn around and shave all those luscious curls once she hits her teens....

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