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I imagine many moms have had thoughts about what things would be like should anything happen to them and their spouse was in charge. My visions of my husband and daughter without me usually involve my daughter with matchy matchy clothes (that don’t necessarily go together), huge, frizzy, poofy hair and them eating cereal for dinner every night while watching cartoons. Not the end of the world, but still….
On the days the hubby takes Newt to school, he is in charge of getting her ready but he usually asks me to take care of her hair before I go to work. I realized why last week when he was on his own to take her to a doctor appointment and then to school. When I got home I noticed Newt’s hair was crazier than usual and I asked them if they did her hair that morning. Matt verified that he briefly ran a brush(!) through the top layer of her curly hair and left the knots underneath. Ack!!
When I decided to write about hair, my mind immediately went to exploring the cultural, psychological and political significance of hair, specifically for women and girls. But I quickly realized I would have to do a great deal more research and interviewing other women and moms for it to be anything other than me just spouting my opinions through my own biased lens. So, this post is just about me and my kid. I would love to have future installments written by other moms to have a broader exploration of these issues.
When I was pregnant and imagining what pieces of me and what pieces of Matt my daughter would have, two of my hopes were that she would end up with Matt’s dimples and his naturally curly hair. You see, I have pin straight hair with no texture at all. Sure, there are benefits, like I can let it air dry with no problem, it doesn’t get frizzy in humidity- which is particularly helpful in Florida, and it doesn’t require product. But the downsides are that my hair always looks exactly the same, it doesn’t hold a style because there is no texture, it tangles very easily and I have to wash my hair every day or it looks like an oil slick. And don’t tell me that to have to train my hair so it doesn’t produce so much oil, or just use baby powder or dry shampoo. Been there, done that. The only thing that can allow me to go more than a day without washing my hair is a ponytail and a hat.
The first thing I noticed about my screaming, slimy, beautiful baby when she was born were her glorious dimples. Then I saw her head full of dark, dark hair, but I couldn’t tell if it would be curly or not. This threw me for a loop because Matt and I are both natural blondes and I personally had no hair at all until I was 2. Eventually Newt’s hair lightened and it started to be apparent that she didn’t just have wavy curls, she had CURLY curls.
This made me ecstatic…and a bit intimidated. I think we have already established that even though Newt gets her curly hair from Matt, he doesn’t really know what to do with it, and his solution for himself is to shave his hair clean off. So I had my work cut out for me- learn how to manage curly hair. I took to the Internet and to consulting my siblings who do hair.
There are a few tips I learned: never, never use a brush. Wide tooth combs are a must. If you do use a brush, it must only be followed by a ponytail or braid, or some kind of spray and then scrunching. If she spends the night elsewhere, I try and remember to pack a ponytail holder, because it is a given that whoever she is with will not know what to do with her hair, will not have products for curly hair and will brush it. My brother who had a hair shop in New York, gave me some awesome products for her, including Davines Curl Building Serum. I am not usually one to spend $20 on a hair product, especially for my 5 year old, but this stuff is awesome and a little bit goes a long way, so it lasts forever. You can get it from Amazon here. My brother also turned me on to Moroccan Oil. I let him test other hair oils products, and he assures me this is the best he has found. It does smell nice, is light and actually works well on the ends of my hair too, without weighing it down. It is great for helping me get a comb through Newt’s hair when it is still damp and reduces some of the fly always. Not to be left out, my brother also found a terrific texturizing spray for my super fine hair, Davines, This is a Sea Salt Spray for Unisex. It smells like cupcakes and the old packaging said it was for wizards, so clearly it was made for me.
Lastly, I have known for a while that Tea Tree shampoo was useful in treating and preventing dandruff and itchy scalp, but recently I started buying Tea Tree Oil by itself and just adding a few drops to my handful of whatever shampoo I am using. Buying it this way allows me to use it in other ways too, like for itchy patches on skin and hot spots on the dogs. Recently I read that it can be helpful in preventing head lice so I’ve started adding a few drops to Newt’s shampoo too. WebMD also notes that initial research shows that it can be beneficial in treating dandruff and preventing lice, so you don’t have to go just by my word for it. And since I’m not a doctor, make sure you aren’t allergic to it before you start using it, and only use it topically. There are tons of options for tea tree oil on Amazon, as you can see here.
Now, if only I could figure out why her hair takes forever to grow……