Did you know articles about children are the hardest ones for me to write?
It's not just because I'm not a parent, or that all my 'little tiny person' family members live out of state— it's the photo procurement, to be honest. Look at those kids. I can barely take the cuteness. Them getting their education and growing up to change the world? The fishtail in those little mild waves, and the classic cloud poof?
It's too much!
But that kind of coiffure doesn't come out of nowhere. And unlike my tips for saving cash for high schoolers, this one's going out to all the caretakers. Yes, dads too. All um...all five of you on here. It's cool, it's cool, I see y'all.
So up first on the help list, we've got:
Satin pillow cases.
Now if your kid can take a bonnet, awesome. If they're anything like I was...and am, their sleep style is a little less like this:
And a little more like this:
New book idea: What to Expect when you're Expecting a Tasmanian Devil...
It's not just the area around their bed and all the poor fallen stuffed animals that suffer— their hair suffers! Scarves fly off and across the room, bonnets get lost in the abyss of sheets, and their hair just...yeah. It's "knot" pretty. Go ahead and stifle the issue with a silk or satin pillowcase to rest their little tossing heads on—maybe even a full bedding set if they're really jungle gyming it up in their dreams. For pillow cases though, you will want to toss out the extra bucks at the start for one with a hidden zipper. The zipper keeps the case on the pillow and doing its job, while the extra fabric folded over it will keep your little scholar from any scrapes or hair yanking in the night. Save yourselves the time and money on constant detangling, and put it towards all the school supplies instead!
I'm going to be a broken record about this until it stops being an issue (so a good long while probably), but representation matters. If your curly kiddo isn't seeing themselves in their classmates or their course material, it's going to take a little toll that will follow them in later life, especially if they have afro-textured coils. I don't dare ask my mother how much she spent on perming, and primping me over the years because I wanted to wear my hair 'Out' like my classmates, but I bet if I'd grown out what I had, I could have been a late 90's Jaxn Harlem and bought her an island with my IG sponsorship money by now.
The Just Like Me Box seems like a great way to get kids to see themselves reflected on the page when the books they normally have access to might not. And most librarians are always willing to look into requesting reading materials for growing minds with growing hair. It's worth checking out!
Curated YouTube Subscriptions
I would have killed to have AV entertainment I didn't have to turn my head away from at her age...
YouTube isn't about to be my one-stop shop for media, but I can't say that a great deal of my entertainment isn't coming to me for the low low price of 'Let us advertise to you'. Looking at the numbers of kids that want to be vloggers when they grow up, it's not just me, even though I can't say I'm not a little immature still. But when you need to cover the facets of 'Own your representation' and 'HOLD. YOUR BUTT. STILL.' all at once, there's nothing better than handing them the tablet and giving them something mind opening. Not only is there a YouTube Kids app that takes the guesswork out of whether the content is going to be appropriate for smaller curlies, but there's a lot of wholesome, educational, and fun content out there that'll have cross-generational appeal you might not expect.
These guys are getting me back into making music for example (you've been warned).
Making a curated-by-you account for them that you can check the history and content of is a great solution to braid-boredom and a super cost-effective way to get them interested in hair care, extracurricular activities, or even straight up scholastic subjects outside of the classroom!
"Smash-Proof" Hair Accessories
You know this pile.
Thinking with straight physics, children should hardly ever break anything they drop, since they're closer to the ground, right? Yeah, that's why the 'hard sciences' don't necessarily give us the whole picture of life's issues. And if you have kids still growing into their hand-eye coordination, or that like to run around, you're going to end up with a lot of broken hair pieces. Now, of course, some of that is inevitable. We're not exactly making heirlooms out of hair ties here.
But with things like clips and bands, and ties, there ARE ones you can buy that will last a bit longer. Anything made of clear brittle plastic is a goner from the start. Delay the inevitable by picking up accessories with wider bands, more give to any plastic (think to yourself, 'Could I step on this?'), and rubber grips whenever you can. Elaborate baubles like tortoiseshell clips or chandelier dangles can stay in the -picture day-only pile. The fewer times you have to replace those, the more easily you can replace everything else they grow out of.
By and large, curly hair is going to take more time and money to get together than straight, but our curlfriends out there are making their mini-mes shine, and we know it.
If you ever want to @ us with backpack pics, we're all your curlista-juniors' aunties now, even our IT guys! Stay tuned for what college students are going to need for Back to School season in my last installment—and sign up for our newsletter to see when it drops!