posted on: May 31, 2016
1. Oil. Less is More. My hair thrives when I run coconut oil through it. River's on the other hand does not. Oil runs off her hair like water; irritating her eyes and face. About a finger tip a day, every other day or so does the trick.
2. Condition More. River's hair needs to be co-washed every few days. Whereas I co-wash mine every two, three, or even, four weeks.
3. Detangle is key. Speaking of detangling, when left completely uncombed for too long, River's hair locs in the middle. To keep this from happening, in addition to finger detangling, I use a denman brush with leave-in conditioner in the bath at night. Using the denman brush with the leave-in conditioner makes her hair much easier to comb and keeps it detangled for about 2-3 days.
A rule of thumb: Comb gently from tip to root. But don't comb unless you've hit the bigger patches with some lightly oiled fingers
4. Don't braid overnight. Protective styles don't work for her hair. We tried this a few times to make the mornings easier or because she simply requested. With her fine texture, it only tangled her even more.
5. Let it be. When I was pregnant with River, I dreamed of all the styles I would put her hair in. A side ponytail there. A top knot here. A twist in the front and out in the back. And then as she got older and her request became more detailed, I tried my best to accommodate. Occasionally, I would produce good results. Mostly, I would try and then she would ask that her hair stayed wild. Now, very rarely, do I tie her hair up. The wonderful thing about her hair is that it's her's. Styles and twists and crazy details aren't necessary. And that's okay!
More thoughts on combing through and this edible conditioner.
(Illustration by Cali Sales for LaTonya Yvette.)