Ni Hao! 🙂 Welcome to “Baby Big Hair Blast” where we highlight BIG HAIR artisans and their muses:) Up next to the BBH stage is Mommy Carmen and her sweet lil angel “S”. Isn’t this baby just a basket of cuteness?!?! OWEE! When I saw a pic of this baby I went IIIIINNNNN, “IN” I tell ya on those lucious, beautiful curls. Well Mommy Carmen has been gracious enough to “chat down” with us and give the play by play on achieving such curlicious moisturized bliss!! Let’s get to it, shall we?
BBH: What is your hair washing routine?
It’s pretty simple. I wash S’s hair once a week using a sulfate-free shampoo, then condition and detangle. If I’m planning to braid her hair, I’ll rinse out the conditioner, apply a leave-in, and band her hair. If I’m planning to have her wear it down and out, I’ll leave the conditioner in and define each curl individually using the Tightly Curly method, and let it air-dry. [BBH: YESSSS! TC Method all the way up in this joint!!]
BBH: What do you find are the challenges for styling S’s hair and how do you over come them?
Being a straight-haired Asian woman myself, there was definitely a learning curve for me when it came to caring for and styling curly hair. But thankfully I found great blogs like Beads, Braids and Beyond, Happy Girl Hair, and of course, BABY BIG HAIR! [BBH: Aww shucks *looks away embarrassed*] After much practice (and more than a few glasses of wine) I’ve actually become pretty decent at braiding!
[BBH: I see you Mommy w/that Sunday Style. Twist and braids combo?!?! GET IT!]
BBH: How do you entertain S when styling her hair?
Ah, that is all handled by my friends Kai Lan, Dora, Diego, Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee, Plex, and DJ Lance. [BBH: YO GABBA GABBA YO!! See… that’s what’s up!!]. And on days when I just cannot handle hearing yet another freakin’ dancey-dance, I get my iPod out and listen to podcasts when I braid. That way, both baby and mama are entertained! [BBH: O_o! Now THAT is GENIUS! Ooo, I could get my Rosetta Stone on!! Parlez vous Francais? Hmmmmm…]
BBH: What are your fave products these days?
I went through a bit of a product junkie phase, like many of us have. [BBH: *cough!!* Who? Who you talkin’ bout?? *looks around* LOL!!] But now that the dust has settled, these are the products I’ve found to work best for S’s hair texture:
- Shampoo: Curlie Cutie Cleansing Cream
- Conditioner: Aussie Moist
- Light Leave-In: Curly Q Milkshake
- Thicker Moisturizer: Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer (I use this mainly for the ends of her braids)
- Moisturizing Spritz: After trying many different brands, I’ve found that I like my homemade one the best. I use aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, jojoba oil, water, and a few drops of grapefruit essential oil to create a nice, clean scent. [BBH: OOOOooooooOOOOOOWEEEEEE!!! Whew! *shakes the product junkie off* PJ GET BEHIND THEE!!]
How does S feel about her hair??
Overall, I think she feels very positively about her hair. Some days she’ll be really interested in the process, wanting to dip her finger in the jar of product to “help mommy,” and insisting on looking in the mirror to see the end result. And then on other days she couldn’t care less! So I think that’s a healthy balance:) [BBH: Awhhhhh:) That much hair at that age? You may want consider putting her to work for real, LOL!] One thing I do worry about as she gets older is that she gets *too* much attention for her hair. I’m really wary of her getting the message that the most valuable thing about her is her appearance, as opposed to her intellect, capabilities, or character traits. So I’m figuring out how to balance between making sure she feels positive about how she looks, and helping her understand that her worth goes far beyond her appearance. [BBH: Welllll! You bedda preach up in here Mommy Carmen!! Ain’t that the truth Ruth?!?! Especially for our little girls. HHhhhhh. So true, and it is a challenge. Same boat over here…]
BBH: Tips or fav “quick” styles and/or wearing the big hair “out”? In terms of wearing her big hair out, I’ve found after experimenting with lots of different products that the Tightly Curly method works best for S’s hair texture.You can read/watch about it here: http://tightlycurly.com/resources/videos/ But basically the idea is that you keep the hair soaking wet, you don’t rinse out the conditioner, and you define each individual curl by running your thumb and index finger along the whole strand from root to end. Then let it air dry completely (so don’t start the process at night or it’ll get messed up when she sleeps). It’s definitely a bit time-consuming, but I love the results. [BBH: YES!! Def our “go to” method for defined BIG HAIR!! Works everytime, TC in the houuuuuuse!] Her hair ends up bouncy and soft and defined, without any of the crunchiness you get by using some other products like gels. I also find that it gets much less tangled than when I use other methods. And I can easily get not just second [uhp!]- or third-day hair [Uh-oh!]-, but sometimes even fourth- or fifth-day hair! [BBH: EEEEYAAAAAAAAAAAY! *does dance* Thank ya TC Method, Thank Ya!!] Plus, you can save $$ because you don’t need any fancy, expensive natural hair products! Cheapo drugstore conditioners work well. You can check the Tightly Curly site for her recommended brands. [BBH: MMhhmm, sho’ you right. She also has a fabulous dictionary for ingredients typically found in hair products (see the BBH Hair Guide)]
BBH: Lastly, I’m sure you get A LOT of second looks with all those curls! 🙂 Any experiences or other information you’d like to share??
When we’re out and about, we often get the “you’re so lucky you have ‘good’ hair!” thing, which is always awkward to respond to. Not being black myself, I don’t think it’s my place to launch into abig lecture about how all hair is good hair, and that we need to let go of the eurocentric idea of beauty. [BBH: Girl do you wanna guest post on this blog?!? PREACH, ok?!?!] But I also don’t want to let the issue go unaddressed in front of S. If you or your readers have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! [BBH: I find it helpful when the little ones deliver the message. Folk face doesn’t ‘crack’ as much:/ You can have her respond, “Thank you! All hair is good” and plant that seed right on in… Hhhhh, people:/]
Thank you Mommy Carmen and Lil “S” for participating!! …..NOW-IT’S-TIME-TO-DANCE!! LOL! I jus’playin’ Mommy, I jus’ playin:) HHHHhhhhhhh. Golly isn’t that baby just YUMMY? Looking all supasweet and cherub like!! GIMME THOSE CHEEKS!! And alllllllll that hair! OHGAAA! I love how Mommy Carmen is self taught and “gets” the issues surrounding “good hair/bad hair”. It’s such a sensitive subject and she is spot on in needing to nip it before that sweet baby starts getting the wrong message. What say you BBH parents, any pointers?!? Well this has been a a very informative and thought provoking Blast! Mommy Carmen and lil “S”…
Go Head Baby!!