Me with Taylor, left, and Maeve, right. Fall 2006
Let’s talk curls. Kids’ curls.
Maeve’s got soft, sweet curls. Spiral curls bursting with personality. Lovable little twists of delight.
Yet this child’s ringlets have been the impetus for many a Google search on my part in a frantic attempt to learn how to care for hair that is so very different than mine. How to keep the frizzies, knots and tangles at bay and ensure that it is as healthy as can be.
Seems I am not alone.
I recently received an e-mail — a desperate cry for help, if you will — from my dear friend Maureen, who had taken a time out from battling the remarkable, yet “unruly” (as she put it) curls atop her daughter Taylor’s noggin, to write little ol’ me for the name of my Curl Care Guru.
My who? My what? you ask. Oh, read on, dear lurkers, read on.
Ya see, Maevey Gravy’s very first and best friend in life is Taylor. How can an almost 18-month old child have established such an affinity with another tot at such an early age? Fair question. Truth is, we became fast friends with Taylor’s parents, Maureen and Paul, during our adoption journey. We met during the same point in the process, in the same bi-racial program, at the same agency. We began getting together, crafting what is now a cherished friendship with almost monthly gatherings. And, well, the girls really are beginning to interact, they try to say each other’s names, and they giggle and hug and follow each other around. Yes, the bestest of friends.
(Yet another fascinating fruit of adoption’s bounty. Like-minded, good-hearted people that can become friends for life. We joke we’ll all still be getting together when the girls have grown, begun rolling their eyes at us and take long walks to “hang out” — aka “meet boys on the boardwalk” — shudder.)
But I digress.
Maureen’s e-mail explained that Taylor came home from daycare in ponytail holders that she didn’t wear in that morning. Seems her teachers now were trying to rein in her curly locks. (Big, gorgeous finger-width curls, by the way.) Maureen noted she was having to wash it every day in an attempt to tame it. Just what is a mom (who’s just as fair-skinned and straight-haired as me) to do?
Call in my Curl Care Guru.
Luckily, I’ve found solace in a line of products from California-based Curls. More accurately, I found solace in the gentle guidance of its founder, Mahisha Dellinger. She answered my long-winded (what, me?) e-mails and since then I’ve been a faithful customer, getting her products shipped to me here on the East Coast.
Her children’s line is Curly Qs. Sometime last year, when then-five-month-old Maeve’s hair was just beginning to curl, we began with the “moist curls moisturizer” to tame frizz and “reactivate” her little curls.
Since then, Maeve’s hair has grown thicker and more intensely curly. In recent months we’ve added a coconut conditioner and a “milkshake” product, which brings Maeve’s morning hair — it’s all “afrizz” I tell you — back to its state of juicy, spiraled curliciousness. (And with ingredients like avocado and grapeseed oils, chamomile and plumeria, mango and shea butter, how can you go wrong?)
Mahisha counseled that we shouldn’t be washing her hair every other night with her bath (silly parents!), that it should only be shampooed once a week and conditioned twice a week (once after the shampoo and another time mid-week, sans shampoo). I’m always learning, I tell ya, always learning.
So the frizzies vanish each morning with “a spritz here and a spritz there” and “a massage this in” there. Yep, that’s it and my girl Maeve is good to go.
But this got me thinking about how other folks handle their curls and their kids’ curls and I’d love to know what works for you. From cleaning to conditioning to combing (gosh no!?) to coifing, give me what you’ve got. Product, regimen, tips. Whatever.
I’m listenin’. Maureen’s listen’. The floor’s yours. And since it seems to be National Delurking Week, this is the perfect time to chime in.
Besides, our daughters’ curls may depend on it.