4 year old, 4b Hair Shrinkrage
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Join Date: Aug 2008
This was posted a while ago, but I hope that you still can benefit, if not another mother with a 4b child:
Here are some thoughts and product ideas:
1. Your products all sound good, except for the ORS olive oil. I once owned that, but I cannot remember the ingredients. If it contains silicones, petroletum (petroleum), or mineral oil, I would discontinue use. These coat the hair and block out real moisture. They also require harsh shampoos to remove the coating. The BB butter sounds moisturizing, and the coconut oil sounds like it will seal in that moisture.
2. As far as more products, I would recommend unrefined shea butter if you want to take the step into doing braidouts and twistout on your daughters hair. I wouldn't recommend it on loose hair since it can leave it waxy and hard, but if you melt it down and smooth it onto damp hair and then twist it or braid it and let it dry, the hair will be very soft and well moisturized for days. You could also try whipped shea butter since this is easier to apply.
3. Since you are in NY now, you could also purchase Qhemet Biologics Amla olive heavy cream or the burdock root butter cream in Brooklyn. If you are ever back in London, you can purchase it at Morley's Department store. Here is the link to their website with the store addresses:
The Amla Olive heavy cream is highly regarded by many 4b's and 4a's alike because it leaves the hair very soft and helps it to hold moisture. I think you may like it better than the blended beauty.
4. Moisture = shrinkage. If the hair is well moisturized, it will shrink into a cottony, coily, mass, that's a good thing. No product will help reduce shrinkage, not ever hair gels. The method of application will help and the styles you do will help as well. I do twistouts/braidouts to stretch my hair for dry styles, but when I want to reduce shrinkage for loose hair, I apply my product in smaller sections, about six sections on either side of my head. I then split those sections up and smooth on or rake through my moisturizers. I then grab the section, swirl it around and secure it with metal or plastic duckbill clips that look like this:
You can purchase at most beauty supplies. I leave them in for at least 15 minutes until I get dressed etc. then release them. This stretches out my loose afro and makes styling for twists or braids easier.
5. Definitely work on finding more protective styles (braids, twists, coils, flat twists) that you daughter will feel comfortable in and that will not be too hard for you to do. It will help keep her hair healthy at this critical time in hair growth/developement (hair grows like crazy when you are young) and it will also keep her classmates hands out of her hair. How about putting her hair in medium/large twists on the day you wash it, securing it in a bun/updo for the week, letting her wear it down towards the end of the week (will also release the stress on her scalp from wearing updo all week), then on a Friday/Saturday letting her wear her hair loose in a twisout, then washing, detangling and repeating on a Sunday? It of course depends on what your schedule is like.
6. I am inspired that so many mothers are working with their daughters natural texture. I was relaxed as a young child (3-4yrs) and I wouldn't be teased about my texture per se, but about my ethnic hairstyles. My mother would continue to braid my relaxed hair. Although it was harder for her to come up with 'cool' hairstyles for me because she wore more grown up relaxed styles, she still made an effort to work with me and find out what I liked so that I would feel comfortable in the styles I wore to school. Definitely work with your daughter and continue to be an inspiration to her so that she sees your hair as something to apsire to when she is older and has the freedom to style her own hair.
BC Sep. 2007