Motherissues asked about Lissa's hair regimen and some of the products we use. I purchase almost all her hair care conditioners etc from www.mineralindulgence.com They have a children's part of the site called bareminerals I think but you can link to it right from there. The stuff is amazing! For Lissa I have the napturally sulphate free shampoo but I rarely use it. I typically just conditioner wash (sometimes referred to as "no poo washing" or "co-washing) Her head and hair never smell icky or seem to have any build up. About every 4 months or so, that is when I do the actual shampoo. The co-wash I just wet her hair as usual and gently work the kiwi coconut smoothie into her hair. It works great on her and a little goes a long way-perhaps because she is still young. (though she really has a great deal of hair now) When I style her hair I use a variety of things depending on what I am going to do and how long I hope it will stay in place. Perhaps because of her age, perhaps because of my relative inexperience, her styles typically don't last more than a week if I am truly lucky. Braids and beads will last that long. . . unless we spend a lot of time at the park! That is what did in her most recent hair do. there is a pre-braiding conditioner and of course the name escapes me, but I put this on every single section before I do braids or twists. Her hair still feels nice and soft when I take the braids out (which I did this a.m. before work so I can vouch for this) and has no sign of damage. When it is in braids or twists I have a revitalizing tonic from the same site and I lightly spray with that and then the conditioner/water mix and gently, oh so gently work into the twists or braids.
Beading is becoming a lot of fun. at a site called www.shuruba.com I found a beading tool. I think they also sell them at www.snapaholics.com The beads slide on this gizmo, her hair goes through a slit in it and i slide the beads up the braid in a flash. If I was super organized I would fill 6 or 7 beaders ahead of time. . . i am not that organized. Also I am usually styling her hair when she is in the tub or just out of the tub. It is when she is least wiggly. Usually I braid or twist in the tub, but put the pretties in (Lissa's term) when she is out. She helps pick out her hair decorations and is beginning to try to thread the beads on the beader for me. (I give her a spare one to mess with while I work) I try to use elastics sparingly in her hair to avoid breakage so I don't use them at the base of her hair when I do twists though I have lots of friends who do. I often don't even use them at the end of twists and use a teeny barrette or snap there instead. After a couple of days they usually hold themselves in place really well.
I also have a shea butter conditioner that I use on her hair overnight sometimes and I use that on the boys as well. There is also a really smooth conditioner that the site sells which I use on KC's hair. Rob typically likes his shaved. He is not into hair care which is probably an age thing, but I am not going to have him walking around looking unkempt. People will assume that I don't know how to care for his hair or how to teach him to care for his hair. Neither is true. He is just a pre-teen going through that stage that all boys go through. Till he is out of it, it is shaved head by mutual agreement. And i have to say, that looks great on him anyway; he has a really well shaped head (that looks weird as I write it but it is true). By comparison, KC has sort of a lumpy head (that too looks weird as i write it) and a shaved head is not his best look--though sometimes he talks me into it because he likes to match Rob. LOL
Lissa hates headbands so free hair days are typically only 1/2 free with something done in the front like small twists or pony puffs, and the back conditioned and picked out free. Once I did all little bantu knots like a self headband across the front of her hair and left the back free. Her big brother Rob told me she looked like she had a skin disease and had big bumps. OK didn't do that style again! (although everyone else thought it was cute!) He also doesn't like the twist out style so I don't do that as often as I would like although I think it looks very cute. I just got some cute alligater clips with faux gems on the top of them and am going to see what I can come up with to incorporate those into a style for special occasions, such as church or a dinner out etc. She loves those giant balls that are on each end of a covered elastic so when I do her hair in a hurry it is often with the "ballies." The set we have are purple and yellow, and handpainted to raise money for an orphanage in Ethiopia. They are really pretty.
I have dreams of learning to cornrow and french braid. I can envision 2 fat french braids running around her head on either side. With the shape of her face it would look stunning. But I am going to have to find someone who will actually show me. Youtube isn't helping with that one; I think the angles are not quite right on the camera shots to help me. I have done flat twists once and do like those. I plan on doing more of those in the future as well. I'll have to try and take some better pictures when I do her styles; I am really bad about that!