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Old 03-24-2011, 10:20 PM   #1
 
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Default 4a's with long hair....we need help, please

My daughter is 7 and she's a classic 4a.....her hair is almost waist-length stretched, but neck-length unstretched.

We need some styling tips, questions below:

1) Washing is a....problem. She doesn't fight tooth and nail anymore, but she still doesn't really like it. How often should I wash her hair? It's extra-EXTRA fine and seems like stuff builds up on her hair quickly.

2) Daily styling can be a problem. Her hair gets matted very easily. I can't cornrow worth a damn. It seems like the longer a protective style stays in her head, the worse condition her hair is in when it's taken down.

Cornrows, box plaits and two-strand styles look their best for about 2-3 days, tops. After that, it just looks unkempt and frizzy. Also, her hair does horribly when any of these are really tiny. I'm just looking to jazz things up a bit, I guess.

No matter what we're about to do...fixing her hair takes up THE most time. She just has...so...much...hair..
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
 
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What are you washing your daughter's hair with? You don't want to strip her hair. A low poo and a cone free conditioner should do the job. As far as how often you should wash it, once a week should be enough, twice a week max. I also have fine hair and my hair is too delicate for me to wash it more often than that. And as far as how to preserve styles at night, is she sleeping with a satin scarf or bonnet? If she is but they don't stay on her head overnight, it may be why the protective styles don't keep as the cotton pillowcases are robbing her hair of moisture. You may need to switch to a satin pillowcase.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
 
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We're lucky if her hair gets washed once a month. I have no bathroom space whatsoever and no hot water in the kitchen, and it's almost impossible to wash her hair in the shower.

I would like to no-poo all the time, but her hair needs shampoo to get rid of the buildup by the time it does get washed. I try to compromise by washing it in conditioner first-then-shampoo......or sometimes I mix the shampoo and conditioner together and wash it that way.

I use some olive oil shampoo, I forget the brand. It's so slippery and moisturizing, it seems more like conditioner than shampoo. If I HAVE to use shampoo, I'd rather use this one.

If it hasn't been that long since the previous wash, and her hair doesn't look/feel too gunky, I don't use shampoo at all.

She sleeps with a satin bonnet but sometimes it doesn't seem to do much good. I will be brutally honest and say that it's really....really tempting sometimes to relax it--we both hate the detangling sessions and it just takes up SO much time, especially on school mornings. Even on weekends when we have to leave the house by a certain time.

Last edited by sinistral55; 03-25-2011 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
 
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I don't want to encourage the message that the only way she can wear her hair "out" is to have it straightened.......but at the same time, I'm not letting her wear twistouts (and other "out" styles that don't involve straightening) if we have to deal with hours of painful detangling afterwards.

And it's hard on her, too. I grew up as a very tenderheaded child and she's nowhere near as tenderheaded as I was. But sometimes I just can't be as gentle as she or I would like.

Sometimes I wonder what her length-maximum is....because it's still growing! I'm a 3b and my hair grows long enough to sit on if I let it; all the women on my paternal granddad's side had EXTREMELY long, thick hair.....butt-length and beyond.

It isn't so much the TEXTURE of her hair as it is the LENGTH and the AMOUNT of hair she has. I'm seriously rambling here, but in summary, I need some cute styling ideas--for long 4a hair--that will leave her hair in at least halfway decent condition afterwards. Hair matting up = very bad for both of us.

P.S. I'm planning on finding the Tangle-Teezer asap since I've just heard about it and read people's reviews.

P.P.S. I've also found that trimming keeps her hair a lot more manageable. I will get this done too, probably next week.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:10 AM   #5
 
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it seems to me she's in need of a haircut. It seems curlies are always trying to grow their hair super long, so it's unheard of to cut waist length hair, but if you are having this much trouble, why keep the length? My neice has hair that is THICK and waist length. Her mom used to wash it once a week or less and put it in two laura ingalls braids/pigtails. Finally a little over a year ago, her mom cut it to her shoulders, and EVERYONE including the child is much happier. When she's older and can manage her own hair, she can grow it to her rear end again, but 4a waist length hair is too long for even me ( an i am a hair nut), so i can only imagine the trauma it can have on child. cut it to a managagle length. then put it in pigtails or braids ( I'm talking one or two pigtails or braids)....i think simplicity is the best thing for kids. I would still use the natural products and co wash, and seal with castor oil...but braids outs, twist outs, and all that on a child with the type of length your talking about would be just too much.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:22 AM   #6
 
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Have you looked at this blog? Beads, Braids, and Beyond

I think she has many great style ideas, product recs, and tutorials.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
 
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I hate to be the boring one and advocate practicality here, but when I was a child and had extremely long hair there was no such thing as twists, cornrows, or box braids for me. My aunt either gave me a bun or a braided ponytail. I had TOO MUCH HAIR for ANYTHING else. She would have been ripping it out by the handful had I insisted on more intricate designs because It was nearly impossible to manage the length of hair I had. Maybe that's the route you're going to have to take. Beads, Braids, and Beyond is a good site, but if you're going to do all that to her hair only to take it down three days later and redo it because it's fuzzy then that kinda borders on over manipulation and could cause more harm than good. Is she insisting on twists and braids or do you think you can compromise with something like a ponytail or a another simpler style?
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanisha View Post
I hate to be the boring one and advocate practicality here, but when I was a child and had extremely long hair there was no such thing as twists, cornrows, or box braids for me. My aunt either gave me a bun or a braided ponytail. I had TOO MUCH HAIR for ANYTHING else. She would have been ripping it out by the handful had I insisted on more intricate designs because It was nearly impossible to manage the length of hair I had. Maybe that's the route you're going to have to take. Beads, Braids, and Beyond is a good site, but if you're going to do all that to her hair only to take it down three days later and redo it because it's fuzzy then that kinda borders on over manipulation and could cause more harm than good. Is she insisting on twists and braids or do you think you can compromise with something like a ponytail or a another simpler style?

No, it's not boring. This sounds like the route she needs to go just for sanity.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
 
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I agree with the others that suggest cutting.

In the meantime, my mother used to pay a local teenager down the street to put small cornrolls in my hair. The kind that would last about 6 weeks. It gave her a much needed break from my mid back length hair, especially during the school year. It didn't happen very often, but we were both glad when it did.

Thankfully, she knew someone that was gentle with my hair and respected my mother's wishes not to braid it too tight. I'm not sure if that is out of the question with your daughter though: the time, she may be too tender for it, etc....
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:24 PM   #10
 
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I agree with Lanisha too that simple styling is better. Everytime i've attempted anything intricate it jsut got too complicated..so no heads of twists or cornrows for my DD ,at most i'll make a braided or flat twisted band across the front for decoration. Braids(two or one) are classic, can't go wrong IMO.

Also, if you're not already doing so, please try co-washing instead of shampooing. IME, shampooing curly and kinky hair is like an instant setback for moisture and tangles. We don't need the shampoo because I use condish and liquid oils only, no solid grease etc. maybe some coconut oil occasionally.

Another thing i do is to refresh the hair between cowashes~

put on distracting show,

take down the braid(s),

put a shampoo cape & towel on her,

make about 4 sections (might need more for denser hair)

spray the hair section well with water

maybe add more condtioner and oil or some leave-in product if needed(usually not needed because the water tends to reactivate the existing product)

brush& smooth gently then clip aside

rebraid hair


This really keeps the weekly-ish cowash from being a huge pow wow!
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
 
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In addition to all of the wonderful aforementioned suggestions and recommendations, I recommend the blog, Happy Girl Hair: Happy Girl Hair: Natural Haircare for Kids
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
 
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re: cutting

I've cut my DD's(she'll be 4 in july) hair several times. It's about MBL wet but shrinks up to shoulder-ish. I kept it about chin length shrunken for a while but it's actually easier to put up longer. My husband suggested cutting DD's hair again when she clowned out the last time I had to do it while I was really sick.

I explained to him that making it shorter wouldn't really actually make things any easier (i find that with curly hair, shorter can be more tangly without the extra weight? does that make sense?) so we're sort of holding at this length for now. There's a girl @ my son's school (7, 8 years old?) with hair past her hips but it's type 1. She only wears it out for parties.

In general, I think that for children and seniors..or anyone who depends on others for hair care 'BSL' or 'MBL' hair is plenty. It's enough to tie up and it's a versatile amount.

I guess it all depends on the tolerance of the caretaker and the child/senior for having her hair done?
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Last edited by Presto!; 03-25-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:37 PM   #13
 
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I agree with folks, I think simple is the easiest. I wore two pigtails until I was 12 years old.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #14
 
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teachermrw, thanks for the link. I'm in a style rut.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:48 PM   #15
 
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I guess I'm just in a style rut....and I'm not adept at doing hair, that's a problem too. Her hair DOES do pretty good with overnight baggying, though.

Sometimes I just want to snazz things up when school pictures come around or if I want to have some pictures done somewhere. I have looked at the sites and the banding looks like it will help tremendously with manageability.

She's way overdue for a trim, so when I go get it done, I will see if I can get some of the length cut back. I'm going to try and up my product game, too....

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Old 03-25-2011, 08:39 PM   #16
 
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my daughter has a different hairtype, but we have the same issues. she has super fine, nearly waist length (stretched) curls and it is a total PITA to deal with. she has super fine hair and i think that's where the "problem" lies. detangling is a chore, hairstyles don't last more than a day, and i have to wash it frequently to avoid her having dirty hair.

i wash with shampoo once a week and then co wash every other day. i suck at styling so if it isn't a basic hairdo (ponytail, pigtails, french braid(s), a bun, etc.) then she's not getting it. i do try to jazz things up with hairbows and clips though. maybe you should give the tangle teezer a try. i don't know if it has helped my daughter's hair, but she certainly prefers it to the denman. she calls it "the magic brush" because it doesn't hurt when i detangle.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:40 PM   #17
 
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^^^ My daughter's hair is super-fine, too, and I think it has a lot to do with the issues I mentioned. A LOT.

My hair is relatively fine, but my niece's hair is 3b and super-fine and it drives her CRAZY. My daughter's hair is finer than both of ours put together....itty bitty skinny strands that snap at the drop of a hat. All three of us have issues with matting if care is not taken.

She's been in 3 pigtails mostly, this week.
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