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.


Mike & Jo said...

Great suggestions, thanks for taking the time to share it all! We're fans of the Carol's Daughter products, but I'm sure some of that comes from the fact that there's a Carol's Daughter store right around the corner which makes it easy. I'm going to try a couple of the products you posted though to change things up a bit and do some exploring, thanks again!

Renee said...

Very awesome! Thanks for posting this, Jill!!

Carey and Norman said...

Wow. Amazing breakdown of products. I can imagine that many families will find great help in your list of products used!!

Steve and Aimee Walker said...

Thanks for all the great tips! I am glad you found an inexpensive moisterizer that works great.(that I can use too) I have not seen the Pantene ProV for Women of Color shampoo in any stores. What store have you bought it at?

Jill said...

I bought the Pantene at Target...wasn't looking for it, just thought I'd try it when I saw it, though. It's Pantene ProV Relaxed and Natural (the "Women of Color" is in a little purple text box under the Relaxed and Natural logo).

Stacie said...

Jill - this is great! I think you should put a widget on your sideboard with a continuous link to this post - that way I can refer back to it when I need to. :) (I'm so selfish.)

kikstra said...

I totally second the C.D. body jelly- I only use it on Ben's face b/c I'm cheap, but it also has lots of other uses- lips, eye makeup remover, etc. & I think I'll try the Jergens- although not sure anything will totally work up here in dry, heated air Michigan.

julie said...

Hey Jill, this is a great post. Thanks so much for sharing all this info. I totally agree with Stacey, put it in your side bar for those of us who will need this info in a few months. I can't wait to work on some braids!!!

thanks again,


Julie said...

I love this post, and have read it more than once. I agree with Stacie on the widget.
My main concern about our daughter will be taking care of her hair. I barely take care of my own, so taking care of hers is a scary one for me.

Jodi said...

Thanks so much.... love the little pictures with all the products. Very helfpful. Now I just need to practice and let it grow a bit.

Annie said...

thanks...I bought several of the products today and we did steps 1-3 tonight at bathtime. M's hair was very curly. I'll let you know how it goes from here.

what a great post!

courtney rose said...

Hi Jill! I was wondering how you were able to make that little widgit up at the top so folks could find this post easily? I was thinking about doing something similar for my post about the BlessingWay but can't figure it out.

If you can help, would you mind emailing me directions? My email is


Annie said...

I did the curl cream this a.m. and maya's curls were definitely tighter. She has a "halo" of curls on the top of her head and they definitely had a spring to them which they had not before. My mom and my sis noticed a difference this morning at church without my having to even say anything.
thanks again :)

Andy said...

I just linked this off my sister's site, you rock! Thank you for the detailed info! I have a 14 mo. old Ethiopian daughter and we are just getting into the dry hair thing. I am printing this and hitting the drugstore, and the itnernet, and the specialty store... :-) She is so worth it!

Thanks!! Jill

Brad and Fran Hoagland said...

These pointers are incredibly helpful and I will refer to them again and again. And it must have taken you a very long time to post all of that. Right now, I dont even know if my baby has hair!

Tami said...

I'm impressed with the number of products you have used. You will find yourself trying more. LOL But you have to do what you have to in order to get great curls. Try using a little natural coconut oil also.