In short, I looked at Miss E’s hair and thought, that has to go. In truth I’ve been wanting to cut her hair for ages but I was terribly attached to it and kept having moments of ‘won’t she look like a boy?’ Her hair has been growing in a very uneven manner for a while now, the middle grows like wild fire but the back and sides were struggling a lot. It was becoming difficult to style her hair and her first birthday seemed a good milestone for her first big chop.
I honestly wasn’t sure how to go about doing it, do I take her to the hairdresser or barber? Break out daddy’s clippers? In the end, I went on good old trusty Youtube and found this awesome video of MarieAntoinetteTV doing a tapered cut on her son. Luckily, I’m pretty confident with scissors and Miss E knows how to be still. I would not recommend this option to anyone and know that if you do it yourself, you do so at your own risk.
I’m pretty happy with the cut. I didn’t make the sides and back as short as in the video and it’s not perfect by any means, but it looks presentable. It’s made washing, combing and generally looking after her hair easier and her sleep cap fits like a dream. Her hair has also been growing back much more evenly since the cut.
I know a lot of you have been wondering how I’ve been getting on with my hair post big chop. The answer in short (no pun intended) is GREAT!! I love the ease and simplicity of my tapered Teeny Weeny Afro and the colour is popping in the current sunny weather we are enjoying. Do I miss my long hair sometimes?….sure! There are moments I long for length just to switch things up but then mummyhood calls and I’m glad I don’t have to spend 30 mins plus on my hair anymore.
I’ve mostly just been doing wash and go’s but if I want more definition/pizazz I shingle my hair. For those not in the know, shingling is a styling method developed my Miss Jessie’s salon, which “manually turns kinks to curls.” It’s a way to achieve maximum curl definition and elongation and all that’s required is sopping wet hair, some sort of defining product and wide tooth comb, Denman brush or even your fingers. You can find tons of tutorials online and most especially on Youtube. My fav video is by Carmen of My Natural Sisters.
Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel
Curly By Nature Nourishing Gloss Balm
After co-washing my hair I apply Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing lotion as my leave in. It acts as a great moisturizer and base to prevent crunch from the styling products used on top. I then apply a generous amount of either the Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Curl Activator Cream depending on my mood and what’s within reach. On top of that I apply a light amount of Eco Style Gel. I tend to re-wet my hair with a spray bottle in between applying products. Finally, I apply a very light layer of the Nourishing Gloss Balm. I then take small sections of hair, apply a small amount of gel and work my denman brush through the section, starting at the ends and smoothing with my fingers as I go. This defines and elongates my curls and makes them clump together. I do this throughout my hair, re-wetting as needed. I then leave my hair to dry. Because I use a gel, this style is able to last for 2-3 days and I just re-wet each morning with water.
Hair needs to be very wet to get the best definition
Use a moisturizing Leave-in underneath your styling products to prevent crunch and dryness
For very short sections of hair, manually shingle with your fingers
You will get varying degrees of curl definition and clumping, depending on your hair texture
No amount of product or shingling can create curls where there are none
I realised something recently, my daughter’s hair is an endless source of fascination and interest for the Caucasian mothers I meet in our daily travels. Whether she’s in full Afro mode or has ponytails in hair bands, I will always get a comment and it’s always positive. Even the other babies try to cop a feel. It made me start paying closer attention to the hair of the other babies around us to try and understand what was so special about Miss E’s barnet. What I noticed was a whole load of bald babies, I kid you not. The few that did have hair, it was usually quite wispy, silky and FLAT!! That was the main difference. Whichever way I styled her hair, whether in its natural glory or intricately coiffed, it tended to protrude a good few inches from her head.
Thus at 6 months old the differences between Miss E and her peers is already evident and noticeable. Right now it’s positive and I pray God it always remains so for her. But chances are it won’t and my job as her mother is to instill in her a strong sense of her self worth and beauty so that she is able to take pride in the very things that make her different!
NB. That is not Miss E in the image above, though weirdly enough it does look like her!