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It is officially back to school season and with the usual eye balling of supplies lists and holding up of pants to check if they are the right size comes the age old question for every BIPOC mother.
What to do with our daughters hair?
A Note About Protective Styles:
We all love a good protective style, even if it means sitting our babies in a chair at the hair salon for a few hours, their impatience and tender scalps only being partially held at bay by regularly delivered snacks and tablets.
A good protective style when done right can be left in for 1-2 months. Our young ones probably couldn’t last much longer than that, they are outside more, getting sweatier, getting dirtier, and sleep wilder.
But what can you do for your baby that can’t handle the session in the chair?
My favorite style to do on my daughter (newly entering Kindergarten this school year) I fondly call the transformer. This being because it is one style that I am able to transition into many over the course of the week.
I initiate the transformer on Sunday’s bath night by plaiting (french or dutch braiding) my daughters hair into two sections after her bath.
I make sure to add all of our favorite leave in products, my personal favorites are a combination of The Mane Choice, Aunt Jackie's Curl La La, & Alikay Creme Brulee. Followed by a few drops of The Mane Choice hair oil on the scalp and ends, I lightly massage that in.
This style usually gets her through Monday, then bam!
Tuesday I transform it. By taking out the bottom half of each braid we get two cute pigtails with braids in the front, and the curls are beautifully defined because of the products and being able to be fully dried.
Make sure your hands are lightly coated in hair oil before removing the braids to prevent extra unnecessary frizzing!
Ready for Wednesday? Fully take the braids out and re-tie the hair, refresh it with a spray bottle filled with 80% water and 20% your favorite leave in products, and if their texture calls for it, a few drops more of oil.
Use your soft brush to get their edges nice and smooth, and tame any frizziness from their wild Tuesday.
Thursday is here, spray again to rehydrate the hair and then because my daughters hair is long I get each section up into a bun.
Space buns! How cute is that? For added “mom really tried” levels of effort we pull out a few tendrils at the top, temples, and/or nape of the neck.
Now Friday is finally here, the week has beaten me down worse than a bag of bricks and while I am burning myself trying to glug-glug my coffee as fast as I can to regain some remnant of energy I am thinking about the quickest and easiest style we can do. What do I end up with? Usually a bun consolidation.
I take the two sections of hair and blend them together into one big bun, sometimes leaving a section out to wrap around and hide the hair tie when its done, and bobby pinning that in place.
We made it through the week and to wash day (lovely!) What’s even better is using this strategy of braids into various styles can work for many other types of braids, it is really just about thinking of the sections you have and the different styles you can get out of those sections. I hope I gave you mom’s some inspo, and good luck this school year!
Thank you to all of the amazing stylists and mothers whose photos were able to guide others through this blog and to provide gorgeous examples of the different styles being described!