4 year old, 4b Hair Shrinkrage
My 4 year old is a 4b and she has soft hair but it shrinks to about 75%.I am currently using ORGANIC Root Stimulator OLIVE OIL Hair Lotion and have used coconut oil, blended beauty butter but the products soften, ease friz but still shrinks. I always wrap her hair in ponytails but she seem to be hating this since she is now going to school. When I left her hair loose one day with a band she said almost all the children in her class (99% white) were touching her hair (she started a few weeks ago). I have since noticed that this has left my little girl a bit frustrated and has constantly said she once long hair. Previously at the day nursery she told me one day when I was doing her hair and she was looking at the mirror that another child in nursery had called her a guerilla. What can i do to help my little daughter? Also I need advise about products I can use to help with hair shrinkage which also a problem with my 4b hair - by the way I am in England in the UK.
i'm more concerned about the child calling your daughter names. i'd definitely bring that incident to the director's attention. your daughter has a right to feel comfortable and secure while in daycare and not be the target of demeaning remarks by other kids. that behavior needs to be nipped in the bud.
unless you keep her hair suffocated with heavy, coating products that weigh down texture and counter shrinkage, you should enjoy, and teach her to enjoy, her hair texture instead of trying to fix it.
personally, i'd change to more natural and milder products for her hair and forgo the use of petro-based products. i wouldn't obsess over fighting the shrinkage, but focus on retaining hair growth by keeping the ends healthy and by not using tight hair styles and accessories that can compromise the health of her scalp and hair.
i'm also concerned that at the tender age of 4 she's already showing that other's opinions of her is shaping how she feels about herself.
My DD has very shrinky 4a hair. When wet it's past her waist, but if we let it dry naturally it's not even to her shoulders. She's seven now, and I've tried all kinds of great styles on her that might work on your DD. Have you tried twists--single or double strand? I used to plait her hair and part it into geometric shapes. My DD's hair tangles like crazy if left natural, so we really don't do that more than once a year for a special treat. Braidouts are also great, just take down dry braided hair and put little clips or something--it gives a 'curly' look but without the shrinkage and tangling. My DD's friends went nuts when she wore her braidouts in 4 ponytails. She's possible the only black person in her whole year at school but she's very self confident about her appearance. She's very patient and loves to try new styles. "It's all Good Hair" is a helpful book with detailed diagrams on how to do stuff (great for me since I have totally different hair and had to learn from scratch--I'm also from the UK, but live in NY now :wave:). She loves to look through the pics and choose a style--maybe your DD would enjoy that too.
The products you're using sound moisturizing. I don't think there's anything that eliminates shrinkage, though. I was looking at ancient Egyptian reliefs at a museum once, and I could swear one of them had weights hanging on the ends of her hair :farao: Maybe one day we'll get bored and try that...
I would also encourage you to take her to places outside of school where culture is celebrated. She can see more Black people and I think it will reinforce her natural beauty. Also just wondering do you wear your hair natural? Your hair might also influence how she feels about hers.
As for the products I've used them and they work okay. You should keep her hair up in braids or twists to help it stay moisturized, prevent tangling and breakage.
We live near a lot of families from India, and even their two year old daughters have hella thick and long straight hair. My daughters have long hair, but thin strands. So, I get a lot of "why doesn't my hair look that big or straight." I just do a lot of things that encourage them to love their hair and their different cultures. My fam is very multicutural but most of us are black. So, I have my kids around my family a lot so they can be with kids who have curly hair and skin color like mine. I also let the get to know of how I take care of my hair since I'm 100% natural. They can feel the texture, learn about the products, and get to know my styles. That has helped my girls a lot since they realize they can do a lot with their hair from wearing my styles to the type of ponytails they see their white and asian counterparts wearing if I do a braid/twist out or leave a conditioenr in to protect and define their curls.
They also take in a lot of programs where there are many different races. That helped a lot when we lived in a very snobbish area where we were the only black/biracial family within sight. Only other minority family near us was an Asian family with one kid. Needless to say, my kids didn't see anyone who looked like them at the b-day parties, playdates and parent-child groups. So, I drove across town to a YMCA in a more multicutural neighborhood for them to take classes like ballet instead of the ballet classes offered in our area. Maybe doing something like that can help your daughter embrace her beauty.
I agree with all the other ladies about styles and products and ways to get your daughter to enjoy her hair.
[quote=hairy situation;857808]My DD has very shrinky 4a hair. When wet it's past her waist, but if we let it dry naturally it's not even to her shoulders. She's seven now, and I've tried all kinds of great styles on her that might work on your DD. Have you tried twists--single or double strand? I used to plait her hair and part it into geometric shapes. My DD's hair tangles like crazy if left natural, so we really don't do that more than once a year for a special treat. Braidouts are also great, just take down dry braided hair and put little clips or something--it gives a 'curly' look but without the shrinkage and tangling. My DD's friends went nuts when she wore her braidouts in 4 ponytails. She's possible the only black person in her whole year at school but she's very self confident about her appearance. She's very patient and loves to try new styles. "It's all Good Hair" is a helpful book with detailed diagrams on how to do stuff (great for me since I have totally different hair and had to learn from scratch--I'm also from the UK, but live in NY now :wave:). She loves to look through the pics and choose a style--maybe your DD would enjoy that too.
The products you're using sound moisturizing. I don't think there's anything that eliminates shrinkage, though. I was looking at ancient Egyptian reliefs at a museum once, and I could swear one of them had weights hanging on the ends of her hair :farao: Maybe one day we'll get bored and try that...[/quote] That right there in red is soooo funny, ROFL...
On a serious note though:
There are beads out there that are heavy that can be put on the end of the hair when it's braided to strech it.
Hi my name is sheena I have a 4b hair type. I have a two year old girl. She has my hair type also. I see what you are saying she has a lot of shrinkage. What i do for my daughter is after I wash her hair I towel dry it, then put a very light oil moisturizer, like jojoba oil 100% natural,and do gentle cornrows about 6-8 whatever works for your daughter's hair, the cornrows need to be lock closly, but gentle enough not to hurt. The hair doesn't have to be completly dry, but it shouldn't be dripping wet. You can put some light cream moisturizer like Eden Body works milk works well, but you can use any light moisturizer. Put the cream in before braiding, after braiding let it air dry for about 5hrs. To remove braids make sure the loosen the braid carefully so you have some loose curls, then you can style her hair in curly puffs, sections of 4 whatever you like. Please let my know how it works for her. ever evening after school put the braids back in with a light hair milk and it should last for as long as you like. she will not have very straight hair, but it will have lenghth and shine. I suggest to use shampoos and conditioners without parabens and synthetic ingredients. Eden Body works has a great line. Organics has a nice line if you are looking for gentle shampoos that won't dry hair fragile curls, but promotes strength and moisture.
God Bless you and Family
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. :happy7:
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