Thursday, February 21, 2008

Piper's Hair Takes Over the World

I realized the other day that I have no idea how to take care of Piper's hair. It's not really "white girl" hair but nor is it as curly as say H's hair. H didn't brush it Monday, and I didn't dare touch it on Tuesday or Wednesday. It looked like this Wednesday night:

I'd like to say that Umberto looks like this because of the hair taking over but no he's just fighting because she grabbed a toy.

But look at the's starting to take over the living room. It's wild, out of control, and way to scary to take a brush to it.

Here's a closer look:

Okay so I'm a bit mortified that we let it get this bad but the combing out is a nightmare. She screams like we're killing her. She even fights, as in claws and hits us. It's a real nightmare.

Obviously, I need to figure out how to tame this beast in a way that is not painful to her. Today I tried not using shampoo, and just using a conditioner. Someone I know recommended not combing it but I think if we did that it would dread (it was starting to in the above pictures) and I so do not know how to care for dreads.

It looks beautiful right now. And it feels great. I left the conditioner in rather than washing it out. Combing her hair out was still a nightmare . I really wish she'd let us cut it.


Lolabola said...

apparently curly hair does well with regular conditioning and only sporadic shampooing. I've been trying it on my wavy hair and it seems to help quite a bit.

It's hard to believe that those pictures are of the same person. You must be so relieved it's done!

Ros said...

No dreads! You know I'm all about freedom of expression & individuality, but -- no dreads. Um, no brushing it out, but using a wide-tooth comb carefully starting from the bottom? This might be the time to spend some $ on a quality leave-in conditioner too. FatLady & I love BedHead products. Expensive, but quality so that you end up using much less of them and even though she's using the curl-tamer and I'm using the extra body stuff, we're both really happy with it. Oh yeah, and some special activity she only gets to do when you're combing her hair?

Ginger said...

I am relieved Lolabola. It was a bad bad time combing that out yesterday.

Rosslyn, we have a tangle free brush that has wide soft plastic brushes but I might have to move to a comb. As for condtioner, we do have expensive stuff (I use Aveeda and Body Shop stuff). But I may need to invest in something that can be left in. Really I proably just talk to Fatlady about the hair and get some advice. I suspect Piper is going to have hair like her dad's.

My word verfification is fauipbma...

Erica said...

Wow! That hair is wild!

Sorry, no advice here.

Fat Lady said...

That is one beautiful head of hair!!! Both tangled and tamed it really is gorgeous.

One thing to get used to with curly hair is to not expect it to do the same thing twice - it has a mind and a life of its own and it goes its own way.

The other thing to know is that it needs lots and lots and lots of moisture. The curlier the hair, the more conditioner it needs - both rinse out and leave-in. And water is good for it, as long as you use conditioners to lock the moisture in and don't shampoo too often - because shampoo strips the natural oils and curly hair really needs them. Looking at Piper's hair - I wouldn't wash it any more frequently than every 3 days - and you could probably go as long as 5, maybe even longer.

I second what Ros says about a good wide-toothed comb. I find that all brushes - even the tangle free kind - tend to break curly hair down and make it frizzy. I only use a brush on my own hair when it's straight or wet - to make it lie flat. And I never use one on the girls - it's strictly combs for them.

As for leave-in product. I do like the bedhead products. However - Garnier Fructis makes a number of really good leave-in products. And at $2.50 - $4 they're really reasonable - as opposed to a $17 bottle of Control Freak. The advantage to the less expensive ones is that you can try a bunch of them until you find just the right one - or combination of them that works best.

I find that each individual's head is different - especially with curly hair - and the product that works on one head, doesn't always work on another. For instance, Spice's hair appears to be almost exactly the same texture as mine - but the products that work in my hair leave hers kind of dull.

I find that cream products work better in my, and my girls hair than gels or serums. But Piper's hair isn't nearly as curly as ours - a serum might work nicely in her hair - and it only takes a drop or two.

Also, as Ros said, start combing at the ends and gradually work your way to the roots - and hold the hair tight while doing it. If you hold the hair loosely or let it hang while you're combing the shock of pulling through a tangle goes straight up to the scalp and HURTS. Sometimes I even put the hair in a pony tail before I start combing it out to absorb the shock.

And it's always, always, always easier, and less painful to comb it out while it's wet. When it's really tangled I will put a ton of conditioner in, let it sit for a while and then comb the hair out with the conditioner in - then rinse. This really works well for when I want to let the girls wear their hair out in it's natural, curly state. Combing it with the conditioner in really works the conditioner into the curls so they come out really bouncy and with their shape defined. The trick, though, is to rinse it without messing with it too much. No combing or even running my hands through it when I rinse. Just keep letting the water flow over it until most of the conditioner is out.

The thing about curly hair is the more you mess with it - the more you brush it or comb it or do anything to it - the more it breaks down the natural shape of the curl - and when that happens you get frizz and tangles. The more you let it live in it's natural state - the happier it is and the less it tangles.

It's a crazy balance between helping curly hair and pissing it off. Kind of like living with a toddler!

So, can you tell I have a bit of a passion for caring for curly hair? With three heads of it in my house I can't help but be pretty invested in it.