Thursday, August 23, 2012

Learning curve (or curl as the case may be...)

Remember this post? (the one about keeping Desmond's fro for all you lazies who don't want to click over.)

Well, it's still growing. A lot. In fact, on days I need to comb it out, it's super amazing but holy wow. It's grown so much that it's getting more difficult to manage. More hair, especially this curly, means more tangles means more fights (means more wine?)

So, we have a choice. We can shave it and keep up with it that way, or we (I?) can learn to manage it better. I've been regularly popping into a salon in our neighborhood owned by a mom at E's school. She's encouraging and always tells me what I need to do differently or that I'm doing okay. She recommends products, etc. She offered to try to add a "style" to it if I wanted her to so a few weeks ago we tried.

When we arrived for our appointment, she was finishing up with a customer so handed me a large comb and asked me to comb Dez's hair out before she started with him.

This, my friends, was the pop quiz of transracial adoptive moms. So.much.pressure.

Dez was beyond squirmy once she was ready for us. After we gave up one style, she showed me how to do a two strand twist (see example pic below), leaving three in his hair for me to reference when I got home and practiced on the rest of his head. (He was getting way fussy and there were lots of other clients waiting)

I finished his hair by the end of the evening. Some strands I was kinda proud of, the rest were a disaster. I asked Russ if it looked decent enough for me to run to the store with him and he quickly said, "" Ouch.

(this pic is so awful, but I'm posting it anyway to remind myself of how far I've already come...)
(doesn't his hair look just like the girls up above? I mean...)

That day I spent over an hour looking through a blog I should have started following months ago. It's called Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care. I'd looked at it once before, right when Dez came home but hadn't been back. I also was pointed toward The Fro Show for other ideas (especially more boy appropriate styles).

After reading and reading I made a plan. I researched what "type" of hair Dez might have so that I could buy the right products. I'd been using It's a Curl! for about six months but his hair has changed. I've switched to Kinky Curly products for now. His hair will change again so I just need to pay attention to when those won't work any longer.

So, I strapped Dez into a table booster seat (with a tray for snacks) in front of a cartoon, got my spray bottle, combs, products, etc all set and tried my second attempt at a style. I decided to try coils and was BEYOND proud of my first attempt (other than the Fro crime scene evidence all over the floor...):

He wasn't super excited to sit still for so long, it took about 40 minutes. Then a couple days ago I tried my first attempt at corn rows:

They're not great up close but at this point it's more about protecting his cute curls and training him to sit still while I work on it.

Then the awesome ladies at the local salon encouraged me to get Dez used to sleeping with a sleeping cap to protect the styles I'm spending so much time and energy on. So we gave it a shot and I honestly can't believe it but he's keeping it on every nap and bed time now!

Overall, it's a process. I'm educating myself via blogs and taking risks. I can't tell you how vulnerable I felt walking into the local salon for the first time but just being honest with the fact that his hair is so very different from anything I have experience with has made for an open relationship with the ladies there. It's around the corner from our house so as soon as I try something new, I walk over there and ask for feedback. The more I work with Dez's hair the more amazing I find it. Not to mention the whole "natural hair" debate, I just hope Russ doesn't embrace it...


Chrissy said...

So very proud of you!!!! Great job! I need to start working on Judah's hair.

Want to come cornrow Miley's for me? You'll need 3 bottles of wine for that one. :)

Maggie said...

That looks so much better than I would ever be able to do!!! Kudos to your hard work!

Carrie said...

Can I ask what brand sleep cap you went with? I tried getting ones for my little girls (18 months) and they are sooo big. I tried a scrunchie to cinch them, but they are still either taking them off or they are falling off. Thanks!

Deb said...

Katie, all I want to say is I LOVE YOU!

Heather said...

Okay, you've given me the confidence I've been looking for to try a protective hairstyle on my 9-month-old son. Think of us on Saturday morning... :)