Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Thursday, January 29, 2009

THE Hair Post

I've had lots of questions on how I do Mari’s hair, what I use, what I recommend, etc. So I’m going to write out our hair routine. Let me preface this by saying that I had a lot of advice from many people, lots of experimentation, and over a year of hair struggles. Not all hair is alike, nor does it respond to the products the same way others do. I’m going to outline what we do and what we use. At the end of the post, will be a detailed "review" of all the products we currently use as well as some of the others we've used (both liked and disliked).

Using normal baby care products has not worked on Mari unless I did a full-body slather up to three times a day…NOT happening.

What we use now – Jergens Naturals HYDRATE.

First, let me say that I love leaving Mari’s hair all natural curly…however, this look actually takes the most product to keep if from looking like a fuzzy lint-trap and takes the most time and maintenance. Braids/ponytails are much easier and also help protect the hair from the elements and hold in moisture.

Shampoo Day:
We shampoo once a week at the most (unless there is an unfortunate accident with the pancake syrup, etc. but even then, I try to adjust the schedule because shampoo strips the hair of its much-needed natural oils).

Step 1 - Shampoo:
I have tried several different products and haven’t found any particular one better or worse than another, except that I do look for ones made for African-American women or coarse/curly hair. We are currently using Pantene ProV for Women of Color. And from the size of the bottle and tiny amount we use…she will be a teenager before I need another bottle. I use just enough to get a thin lather, mostly trying to wash out the products that have built up all week.

Step 2 - Conditioner:
I LOVE this product. Garnier Fructis Sleek N Shine 3-Minute Masque. I use a hugely healthy amount and slather it on her hair…you leave it on 3 minutes and rinse out. It is almost an instant detangler and while I wait the three minutes, I comb through her hair with a wide-toothed comb. She has these gorgeous ringlets that relax half-way down her back! Then we rinse it out. BTW, I have a sprayer that attaches to my shower head that she loves to be sprayed off with…I can direct the spray away from her face so that she does not get stuff in her eyes…love it!

Step 3 - Leave-In Conditioner:
I follow up the rinse-out conditioner with Granier Fructis Sleek N Shine Leave-in Conditioner and finger comb a moderate amount through her hair.

PAT dry…do not rub to dry. Oh the knots you will get!

Daily care: Yes, it’s twice a day if you want to avoid horrible hair sessions.

First, I never “dry-comb” Mari’s hair. The knots are impossible to get out, it leaves her hair all fuzzy and dry, and also breaks a lot easier, so I wet it before doing ANY combing. And only use a wide-toothed comb for general combing, I will use a small toothed comb to smooth the hair into ponytails but only after I have gotten out all the snags.

***If hair is in braids or twists or any other style that I won’t be taking down to redo, then I just spritz with Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner.***

Morning Routine: (at night – during bath – we just spritz with water, throw some leave-in conditioner on and comb out the knots before bed)

(If not already styled or needs redone)
Step 1 - Wet:
Spritz with water from a bottle until almost dripping. If it looks especially dry and/or matted after sleeping on it, I’ll spritz it will a mixture (4:1) of water and Burt’s Bees Apricot Oil (you have to shake the heck out of it!).

Step 2 - Leave-In Conditioner:
Granier Fructis Sleek N Shine Leave-in Conditioner - finger comb a moderate amount through her hair.

Step 3 - Style!

Styling Tips: HAVE FUN!

If going all-natural, then you will need some kind of curl-lock. Here are my two favs:
Garnier Fructis Sleek N Shine Curl Cream Gel – very moist, creamy…just finger comb through and arrange curls.

Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. You simply take a small section of hair and apply it root to tip pulling the hair out straight as you do it and then let go and the curl relaxes into a beautiful sproingy wave.

Play around. Put little ponytails in the front and then split them in half and incorporate those halves into another row of ponytails, twist them or braid them or criss-cross them into the next row. Take the “puff” of a ponytail, put some “goop” on it and then take little sections and twirl them tightly…you’ll have a ponytail of ringlets!

Don’t be afraid to try some stupid-looking stuff…at least you’ll learn your child’s hair’s capabilities and limitations. Also start when they are itty-bitty so they get used to you messing with their hair. I used to brush Mari’s hair while she was sitting in her highchair eating, just to get her used to me playing with it…now I plop her in front of Elmo or Dora and style away while she glazes over from happy-toddler-tv. She sometimes even falls asleep during braiding.

Click here for one of my favorite website of how-tos.


Currently using:

Product: Jergens Naturals HYDRATE
What we use it for: Skin care.
When: Nightly – head-to-toe, Mornings – face
Where to get it: Local Retailers
Pros: inexpensive, large pump-style bottle, slides on smoothly and absorbs quickly, light oatmealy smell, mostly natural

Product: Pantene Pro-V Shampoo (for women of color)
What we use it for: Shampoo
When: once a week, max
Where to get it: Local retailer
Pros: big bottle, will last a lifetime, doesn’t strip the hair of natural oils
Cons: not the greatest lather

Product: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Conditioner 3-Minute Masque
What we use it for: Deep Conditioner
When: After shampoo
Where to get it: Local retailers
Pros: super slick, instant detangler, leaves the hair so soft

Product: Granier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-in Conditioner
What we use it for: Leave-In conditioner
When: Twice a day
Where to get it: Local retailers
Pros: absorbs quickly, doesn’t weigh down hair even after multiple applications, helps with detangling

Product: Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner

What we use it for: Conditioning for styles that are left in for days (braids, cornrows, etc.)
When: Twice daily
Where to get it: online or at Sephora stores
Pros: spray bottle, lightweight, awesome smell, natural, get for travelling and for “freshening up” hair styles
Cons: always backordered, we go through this too quickly for the expense of using it everyday

Product: Garnier Fructis Sleek N Shine Curl Cream Gel
What we use it for: curl control when going all-natural, spread on and finger comb curls into place
When: daily on curly days
Where to get it: local retailers
Pros: absorbs quickly, every lightweight so doesn’t weigh down hair even after several applications
Cons: kind of goopy to spread

Have used and like, will use on occasion:

Product: Carol’s Daughter Unscented Body Jelly
What we use it for: Skin
When: Once a day, head-to-toe
Where to get it: online or at Sephora stores
Pros: great moisturizing, unscented, one tub lasts a long time, natural
Cons: always backordered, not inexpensive, slightly greasy on application but absorbs quickly.

Product: Burt’s Bees Apricot Baby Oil
What we use it for: Skin care as an infant, hair care now
When: Skin was once a day head-to-toe, Hair – mix with 4 parts water and spritz on
Where to get it: Local retailers
Pros: Yummy smell, natural, can use on body and hair
Cons: oily

Product: Neutrogena Body Oil (sesame)
What we use it for: Skin care
When: when wanting a shiny, smoothness (picture taking, etc)
Where to get it: Local retailer
Pros: very light, minimal smell
Cons: absorbs extremely quickly that makes it difficult to get on fast enough

Product: Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding – this is a new product for us and we love it but will be used for special occasions only (see cons)
What we use it for: Outrageous curls and ringlets
When: for styling curls only – simply take a little section of hair, apply a little root-to-tip and smooth out straight, let go and spring…instant ringlet
Where to get it: online
Pros: makes beautiful, long-lasting curls (we are talking surviving naptime)
Cons: expensive, does buildup after more than one application or if mixed with other products (think hair glue)

Product: Carol’s Daughter Hair Butter
What we use it for: to smooth and “lock” braids
When: while braiding, smooth on a little to help “lock” the braids
Where to get it: online or at Sephora stores
Pros: only need a tiny bit, works well without weighing down hair
Cons: stinky


Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk

Luster’s Pink

Just for Me

One day I'll look back at this post and laugh at the number of products I've tried and am currently using. but truth be told, hair acts very different depending on the weather and what you want to do with it. I haven't yet found a "one-size-fits-all" product.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bad blogger award!

I'm awarding myself the bad blogger award. I stink, I know. I promise a REAL update when I feel like it. Just feeling the winter know, by the time you get home from work it is already dark and you've got 20 million things to do before bed, etc. So to tide you over until I actually take the time to post, I'll leave you with a short video.

You can always tell Miss Mari's mood by the position her eyebrows are in...the closer together they get, the farther away you better get. Here is a video of her working on her sillier eyebrow tricks. Just watch those brows!

And Jodi, I haven't forgotten your hair question...I'm working on THE big hair post - coming soon!

Monday, January 5, 2009

1st Famiversary Reviewed

Since I provided you with plenty of video footage on the last post, I'll not bore you with another video. Just a quick recap of our special day on Friday.

We basically had no agenda, other than whatever we wanted. That kept almost-2-year-old tantrums to a minimum because I didn't care that it took her 6 years to eat her breakfast, and 25 weeks to get dressed, etc.

We started out by going to Pufferbellies for storytime. This was Mari's first ever storytime and Susan said she did really well. She wasn't perfect but not bad. She did, however, rock it with stringing the foam beads on the yarn and we ended up with 2 necklaces...she was the only kid (and she was the youngest, by far) that had the patience to do them!
We then stopped to see Grandma at work before heading home for lunch and a nap.

We continued our celebration (after some playtime) with supper, cake, and presents...cause we all know that there have not been enough presents lately! (Which reminds me, I haven't posted about Christmas Round #3 on New Years Eve...I'll do that later).

Here is my gift to me. You can find them at the AHope Store.

Mari's gifts were a great, custom-made doll by fellow adopter (with a recent referral for a baby girl!!) Autumn and a picture book I made at Snapfish.

Mari eating her favorite dinner, spaghetti (except I cheat and give her ziti cause it's easier to eat and less messy!)

Yummy ICE CREAM cake!

What blue icing can do for you!

Looking nicely at her picture book. It's now succumbed to the fast fingers of a tear-happy toddler. Yes, one page ripped out already...but it taped back together pretty nicely.

Cousin Madi came over to play for the evening. The girls had a BLAST together. It is so much fun just to sit back and watch them.
The clothes were an accident but it's pretty cute. And yes, Madi's bib perfectly matches the barrettes that Mari had in her hair all day and I had not yet taken out. Go figure!

Friday, January 2, 2009

I Love You, Mari - Happy Forever Family Day!

(It's 15 minutes long, in case you are wondering.)