everything I've learned about growing, maintaining, styling, and loving long hair

Posts tagged “kids hair

tangle teezer

A few weeks ago, while I was in the process of writing the last post, a friend actually bought a Tangle Teezer for me as a gift.  I very rarely brush or comb my hair while it’s dry, so I finally took the opportunity to try it out today.  In preparation for a deep conditioning treatment, I wanted to detangle my hair so I could get the oil through it easily.  It was rather more tangled than usual, and I’m still having quite a bit of fall-out which makes the process a little more difficult.

For comparison, I divided my hair in half and used my wide-tooth horn comb on one side, and the Tangle Teezer on the other.  The side with the comb took about 5 minutes to get it completely detangled.  The Tangle Teezer worked through the tangles much quicker, but it was difficult to get it through the thicker parts of my hair.  I had to divide the half into more sections to make sure I didn’t miss anything in the middle.  It felt quite good on my scalp…. when I could feel it.  Again, I had to divide my hair into sections, especially around my crown area where the hair is thickest, to be able to reach my scalp with the brush.  Then, I felt the need to do a once-over with the comb to make sure I got it all (because the teeth of the comb will reach all the way through my hair).  Because of all this, it ended up taking just as long as using the comb, and (in my opinion) was more trouble.

My conclusion:

  • I think it may work well as part of a process…. such as using the Tangle Teezer when I encounter a knot during the combing process.
  • If you have issues with tangles, do give it a try!
  • You may like it better than I do if you don’t have really thick hair.

tangle teaser


tangles & knots

I don’t personally have a lot of experience with tangles, so I’m probably not the best source of information on this topic.  But I’m still going to share with you what I know because many times tangles is what keeps you girls from growing your hair long, or makes you want to cut it off.  If you are the type to brush through your hair, ripping out the knots as you go…. imagine me slapping your hand and saying “NO!” 🙂  Believe me, that’s the worst way for you to deal with it!  Few things make me cringe more than a child crying out in pain as her head is being yanked around by a brush in her mother’s hand.  The mother always saying, “She just hates having her hair brushed!”  Many times I have asked for permission to take over, and the little girl sat calmly and quietly as I detangled her hair.  No, she doesn’t hate having her hair brushed, she just hates the way you do it.

Like I said, I have limited experience.  I have been blessed with hair that simply is not prone to tangle.  I think it’s because it’s more on the coarse side.  However, I have dealt with a lot of different types of hair on other people, including very fine hair, tightly curled thick hair, and children’s hair.  Please keep in mind that different hair types have different needs.  These are just some basic principles that I have discovered to work well for me.

Tangles are very damaging to the hair and cause weak spots and breakage.  Here are a few rules to follow to avoid tangles, and to deal with them when they do happen.

hair1.  Avoid letting your hair loose on a windy day.  If your hair tangles easily, please follow this piece of advice!  I knew a girl who had to cut her knee length hair off at her waist because she spent a day outside enjoying the feel of wind in her hair.  She ended up with a huge knot.  Three different people worked on it over the next few days with very little success.  She cut the knot out, but it left a gap that was too noticeable, so she cut it all off.

So put your hair up or in a braid if you’re going to be out on a windy day.  The same goes for riding a motorcycle, riding in the car with the windows down, etc.  Don’t let the wind whip your hair.

Note:  It is a good idea to always put your child’s hair in a protective style (braid, bun, etc.) when she goes out to play.  Especially if she has very long or very curly hair.  Why subject your children to long, unpleasant detangling sessions when it can be prevented?  It will save you and her a lot of time and frustration.

2.  Condition!  I know you’re going to get tired of hearing me say this.  You’re probably thinking “that’s her cure for everything!”  Well, you’re not far off.  🙂  If your hair is dry or brittle, it will be much more likely to tangle.  A good conditioning routine can take care of this.  Proper hydration means your hairs are smoother and less inclined to catch on each other and knot together.

3.  Use a wide tooth comb.  This is something I started doing about 20 years ago and I never looked back.  I know there are many different types of styling brushes.  If you want to use a brush for styling, ok.  But don’t use it to detangle.

4. Start at the bottom and work up.  Never start combing or brushing at the top, even if you don’t think you have any tangles.  This can create tangles.  Also, work in sections.  If your hair is very tangled, smaller sections work better and you don’t get frustrated as easily.

Something that I found to work really well for my hair is to always detangle in the shower while my hair is soaking wet and conditioner applied heavily.  I usually stand under the shower head so the water runs down my hair while I’m combing.  You’ve probably heard that you’re not supposed to comb/brush wet hair because it will stretch and break the hairs.  It’s different when it’s coated in conditioner.  The comb slides through without stretching the hair (unless you run into a knot, at which point you will immediately stop and pull out the comb, then gently work on the knot).  It’s much easier for me than combing it dry.  By all means, do whatever works for you.

I’ve heard good things about the Tangle Teezer.  I have never personally used one, but 3 of the hair girls I watch on youtube rave about them.  If you’re not opposed to using a brush, it might be worth a try.

growing out curly hair

I happened across this video today…. It was on my “recommended for you” list on youtube.  I thought her advice was great and I wanted to share it with all of you.  I know your first reaction might be “I don’t have African hair, this won’t help me.”  Trust me, it’s not a matter of race, it’s all about hair texture.  I figured out a long time ago that products and techniques African women use for their hair will many times work perfectly for me!  Straight hair and curly hair are cared for and maintained in different ways, sometimes the information will even contradict between the two.  That’s ok.  Methods will even differ depending on how curly your hair is.  Choose what works best for your hair type.  So if you have curly hair, her tips will be helpful to you.  I do almost everything she lists here.

I browsed her youtube channel and found it interesting that she had been relaxing her hair since she was a child because her mom didn’t really know how to care for it.  She grew up not even knowing what her natural texture was!  Her hair wasn’t super damaged from it, but out of curiosity she cut off all the relaxed part and started fresh and has been growing it for two years.

I think this is a great example of what has been happening for ages with curly girls.  Especially when the mom has straight hair, she has no clue how to deal with a curly haired daughter.  She treats the daughter’s hair the exact same way she treats her own straight hair.  And it doesn’t work!  I see this a lot and it makes me sad because the daughter grows up hating her hair and thinking the only option for making her hair look good is a flat iron or blow dryer.  Ladies, do your daughters a huge favor….. If their hair is a different texture than yours, learn about how to care for it properly and teach her how to as well.  Don’t help her grow up hating her natural hair!

hair everywhere!

I remember a story a long haired friend told about how her coworker found one of her hairs in his house.  She had never, ever been in his house.  Thinking back, he remembered that he had sat in her desk chair for a few minutes one day at work.  Apparently one of her hairs that had been on the chair attached itself to his clothing and hitched a ride home with him.  She said “It’s a good thing he wasn’t murdered, I might have been blamed when they found my hair on the scene!”

Probably the biggest annoyance to me that comes with having long hair is that you find it everywhere.  Evveryyywheeeerrre.  Because the hairs are so big, they’re noticeable.  They’re easy to find.  Or more like… it’s easier for them to find you!  They lurk in the carpet and wrap themselves around your toes.  They thread themselves through your clothing and drop off at inopportune moments (like in the kitchen).  They collectively sabotage your drains and vacuum cleaners.  It seems that no matter how hard you try, no matter how diligent you are about disposing of them, they still end up everywhere.

I have found a few ways to help in this area.  I used to have to clean out my shower drain about once a month simply because it would stop draining.  What I pulled out looked like a drowned mouse and smelled like death.  Because of that, I started sticking my loose hairs to the shower wall during my shower.  IMG_5441Any hairs that I find on my hands or stuck to my body will go on the shower wall.  I detangle my hair in the shower, so I get a ton.  It ends up looking like this —> by the time I’m done.  (this is an actual pic of my shower)  After my shower, I simply wipe my hand across the wall to gather up all the hair and drop it in the trash.  It may seem gross, but it’s not near as gross as the dead mouse drain thing.  I also have one of these, draina drain strainer, to catch anything that I don’t.  It even traps my husband’s hair which is only a couple inches long!  You can pick one up somewhere like Walmart.  There are different options for drain shapes and sizes.broom

Another indispensible item in our house is a rubber broom.  Several years ago, my mom saw one in a magazine and decided to give it a try.  With three long haired people living in the house, it was part of our regular vacuuming routine to sit and dig hair out of the vacuum cleaner!  We hated that so much!  I’m telling you, this broom will find more hair than you ever imagined was lurking in your carpet.  And it will pick up more hair than your vacuum will.  You can also use it on your furniture or in your car.  I bought mine online at simplygoodstuff.com, but they’re available on several different sites.

I hope these little tips will help you out.  Let me know how it goes for you.  If you have any more suggestions for capturing these rogues, please share!

for Valentine’s Day

How about some heart hair styles….

(click on the pics for instructions)

and from my own gallery (no tutorials)



dealing with static

Winter is quickly approaching.  With winter comes static electricity.  Static in your hair is a big deal.  The longer your hair is, the bigger deal it is.  It can get a little creepy when your hair starts reaching out to people standing two or three feet away, or when you pull back from a hug and your hair is still clinging to the other person. 

Imagine this with 3 feet of hair!

So I’m going to share with you some ways I’ve learned to help reduce static in hair.

1.  Wear clothing that isn’t prone to static.  We all know that sweaters are like the best conductors of electricity, right?  But does that stop us?  No!  🙂  Here’s a tip….. natural fiber clothing (cotton, bamboo, wool, silk, leather, etc.) is less prone to static than synthetic fibers.  Cotton is actually neutral when it comes to electricity.  Cotton sweaters don’t get static!  (But you have to get fabrics that are 100% cotton, not mixed with a synthetic.)  So keep this in mind when you go shopping for your winter clothes, hats, coats, gloves, and scarves.

2.  If you wear something that is prone to static, wear your hair up.  This is the simplest solution.

3.  Use combs made of bone or horn.  I used to use a plastic wide-tooth comb.  Every time I combed my hair, it would get static.  Since buying a horn comb, I no longer have that problem.  (I do use a plastic comb in the shower because water can damage natural ones.  Besides, in the shower you don’t have to worry about static.)

4.  Using fabric softener or dryer sheets on your hair is a very common remedy that I hear a lot.  And I admit, in a pinch, I’ve prayed Static Guard on my hair.  I don’t recommend this.  It works, but the chemicals are not good for your hair.  Please only do this if you’re desperate!

5.  Condition, Condition, Condition.  I can’t stress this enough!  This is the most important thing to do!  Dryness is what brings about so much static.  I read that even dry skin will cause static in your clothing.  So keep your hair (and skin) moisturized!  Do regular deep conditioning treatments about once a month, and use plenty of conditioner when you wash your hair.  Make sure you don’t have build-up that is preventing the moisture from soaking in.  I like to scrunch raw shea butter into the ends immediately after my shower to seal in the moisture.  (I also use it as body lotion.)  For those with straight hair, smoothing a few drops of oil into your ends daily is highly recommended.

I wish you all a happy, static-free winter!!

wedding styles #3

Here are some adorable styles for flower girls or junior bridesmaids.  These are not photos of my own work, but they would be pretty simple to do.  I will give brief instructions on how I would recreate each one.

tiara braid (I just LOVE this one!) – I can’t wait to try this one on my nieces!  Part the hair down the center and make a dutch braid from the nape of the neck up towards the the top of the head.  When you get to the crown area, begin curving the braid towards the other side (it helps to take pie-shaped sections of hair when you reach this point).  Stop gathering hair when you reach the center part and continue to braid to the end.  Tie it off as close to the tips as possible with a tiny clear elastic band.  Repeat on the other side.  Bring the braid tail across the top and, beginning at the end of the braid, coil it into a bun so that the ends are at the center.  Pin the bun in place to the side of the crown.  Repeat with the other side.  The braid should begin at the nape, go up the side, across the top, and be pinned in a coil on the other side.  (I included the second pic so you can see more clearly the path the braids follow.)  Decorate with small flowers or jeweled pins.

wrapped dutch braids – This one is so simple!  Part hair down the center and make 2 dutch braids from the front to the back, braiding hair all the way to the ends.  Pin the ends into a bun or however you would like to arrange them.  Use a large plastic craft needle to “sew” the ribbon through the hair, wrapping in a criss-cross pattern around the braids.  Tuck the ends of the ribbon under the bun, or tie them in a bow.  Decorate with a large bow (such as in this pic) or flowers.

braids and curls (for a little girl with very long hair) – Pull the hair into a high ponytail.  Make 5 or 6 braids and tie them off a few inches from the end and curl the ends.  You could use a curling iron or sponge rollers.  Loop the braids and attach them at the base of the ponytail by tucking them under the hair band or placing another band around the ponytail and braid ends.  Arrange the curls, pinning if necessary.  Decorate with ribbons and flowers.  I think it would be pretty to weave ribbon into the braids.

coiled braids – (You may recognize this from The Game of Thrones.)  Make a part from one ear to the crown and then to the other ear, dividing the hair in half horizontally.  Put the lower half in a ponytail or bun to keep it out of the way.  Make a center part in the top half.  Comb one side down towards the ear, dampen the hair and use a little gel so it will lay smooth and flat.  Begin the braid at the top of the ear near the horizontal part, aim it towards the back of the head so it will lay flat when you coil it.  (Try to divide the sections as equal as possible because this braid needs to go to the very tips of the hair.)  Braid to the very end using gel and a spray bottle as you go to prevent stray ends from poking out of the braid.  Tie it off as close to the tips as possible with a tiny clear elastic band.  Release the lower half of the hair.  Beginning at the end of the braid, coil it into a bun so that the ends are at the center.  Pin the coil in place.  Repeat on the other side.  This pic has no decorations because she’s wearing it as an every-day style, but you could dress it up with jeweled pins or small flowers.

stacked ponytails – This one was created by doing 3 ponytails stacked vertically and then creating inverted “topsy tails” with each one.  By that, I mean to flip the hair under the band and through so it’s pointing up and falling over the hair band.  Then curl and arrange the ends.  If the little girl’s hair is long, you may need to pin the curls in place.  This one is decorated with a bow, but I think it would look fabulous with a mini tiara.

flowers – If the little girl doesn’t have much hair, compensate by adding lots of flowers!  You can use fresh or fake, whichever you prefer.  Sometimes on a little girl it’s better to use fake, especially if she’s bouncy.  I will talk more about using flowers in a future post.

For some unique little girls’ styles that are extremely easy to create and a little less formal-looking, check out She Does Hair.