Monday, January 30, 2012

The beads stayed on!

I always try to provide an update for readers who want to know the outcome of hair styles we feature on Two Heads, and whether they were failures or successes. I try to provide honest real time information that you can apply to your daily routine. I also try to focus on the health, safety and well being of our children for there is more to a method than just whether it is pretty and if it has longevity. I also want to make sure every style and/or tip I suggest is safe and comfortable to boot.

Our last post was mainly an encouragement post for moms (and dads) who may sometimes tire of the constant undertaking of caring for virgin, ethnic hair. The later portion of the entry, however, briefly described a hairstyle created on my younger daughter’s hair incorporating beads.

I am happy to announce that after five days the beads were still on her hair. I only had to swat her hand one time for reaching at one. None ended up in her mouth and the style stayed neat and flattering. I would recommend this hairstyle. If my daughter can maintain it (miss blankie totting, floor rolling, tub splasher) most any child can.

Note: the hair style lasted for about 6 days. I took it out and have since re-styled.

Also see: Your Task Is A Gift

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Your task is a gift

There is one thing that I am sure of and that is that God gives us no more than we can bare. Let me explain. I prayed for daughters (at least one). The good Lord gave me two. I prayed that they would have bountiful, full manes that were thick and beautiful. He gave me just that. That is where my prayers ended. I should have prayed for patience and endurance as well. I did not have the fore site at that time to understand that with such gifts came an awesome responsibility to steward them.

God has an interesting since of humor. At first, I did not get the joke. Those bountiful heads of hair almost became a noose around my neck as I began to lament, wail and complain about my task of caring for their hair and the time consumed in doing so. For a moment, I wondered if I had made a mistake in asking for the gift. Then I came to my senses (sometime ago) and realized what I already knew in my heart. The opportunity to care for two heads full of hair is a blessing. And God, with his interesting sense of humor had indeed already entrusted me with every tool I needed to handle the enormous job. Now, I embrace caring for my girls´ hair. It is a family ritual. It is time spent bonding and growing together. It also is a task that has reminded me of the real meaning of love and given me a glimpse of how we must seem to HIM. Caring for this finite human race is arduous, though HIS care for us never wanes. HE grooms us and grows us. HE nurtures us and cultivates us just as a good mother does for her own child’s hair.

These comforting thoughts came to my mind as I was styling (more like wrestling with) my youngest daughter’s hair today. I was reminded that a parent's reward may not be instantaneous, but to see our children healthy and happy…when you really think about it, it is all worth it in the end.

Below is the only picture I could capture of a very restless two year old who would not be photographed today.

The products I used to create this style are Organics Texture My Way and Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk. Instead of our usual box parts we did attention-grabbing triangular parts. As you can see, we tried a new accessory today, pink beads. Unlike the Sidewinder Hair Holders, she did not reach to pull them out one time (some braids were left without beads intentionally). As a matter a fact she hasn’t even touched one bead yet (very interesting). I am keeping a close watch on her as I do when any accessory is attached to her hair, but so far so good. Beads can be found for $0.99 a package at your friendly neighborhood beauty supply store. Invest in a threader, it makes the job a whole lot easier. This style, by the way, should last about a week. An update is forth coming.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Accessorize for a not so good hair day!

In the Semi-mini Braid Experiment we spoke about styling methods that give moms (and dads) a break from daily styling. The experiment (though touch and go for a moment) ended up being a glowing success. But are there other ways to keep your child looking neat and stylish? When shampoo day is still two days away, but her hair is on its last leg, how can you maintain your child’s optimum cute quota? Add accessories of course! BUT not just any old random accessories. Too many bobbles or thinga-ma-jigs can cause her to end up looking like a Christmas tree. And if not applied with care and thought, she could just end up looking unkept or like an afterthought or (heaven forbid) like she was the stylist instead of you (visions of dress up in mommy’s accessory closet come to mind).

To avoid all the wrong outcomes, let’s take a look at a few tips that may get you to shampoo day looking like a winner. Keep in mind these tips are not just for “not so good hair” days, but can be incorporated any day to up your girl’s cute quota!

Hats: Hats are a no brainer to add to any ensemble, whenever it’s raining outside, but hats should not be reserved for the rain. Hats should not be reserved for just big girls either. My little girls love hats. I don’t mean a plain old baseball cap. I’m talking rhinestones, leopard prints and bright colors on berets, page boys, fedoras or beanies (knit caps). Pin a flower on the side and we’re talking cuteness through the stratosphere.

A beanie with a bow
Photo courtesy of

To pull this look off and make it look intentional, try to pull at least one color out of the outfit your child is wearing to match at least one color in the hat. In the case of a multi-color hat, like a leopard print, for example, tone down the outfit just a little (no plaids or clashing prints). An even better combination would be to dress her up in a bright solid color like pink (maybe a pink top and denim bottom) then add a pink flower to the leopard print hat. Sounds a little quirky, but try it, you’ll be surprised at all the compliments your little one will receive.

A traditional child's beret
Photo courtesy of

Head bands: Head bands are another obvious choice when the hair is not quite perfect. Unfortunately, I have seen some good head band wearing and some not so good head band wearing. Let’s explore wearing a head band the right way (this tip applies to big girls as well).

Doubling or even tripling thin stretchy head bands can be used to add style and hold back unruly hair. Mix up three colors that may be found in your child’s outfit and pump up the sound on a casual look.

Wearing a super wide band can cover the part of the hair we don’t want to be seen, but can accent your daughter's beautiful face. Again, use your judgment on adding color. But a wide fabric head band looks super cute and similar to the hats mentioned above, you can really make it look stylish by adding a pin or flower.

Wide orange headband
Photo courtesy of

Embellished head bands are my absolute favorite for little girls. Now, I must add my disclaimer and a BIG word of caution before I describe this look. I am wary of recommending this look for big girls (i.e. women), because it can come across a little cartoon-ish, clown-like or themed on an adult. Of course, this is fine if that’s what you are going for. But I digress…

Embellished head bands literally come in hundreds of styles and looks. There are lace ones, leather ones, ones with huge rhinestones and ones with every flower you can think of. There are ones with bows, glitter and ones made of patent leather. There are even those that are made of feathers (got to love feathers). There are also head bands with a combination of the fore mentioned additions, like rhinestoned flowers, leather and lace with rhinestones and rhinestones on feathers. The combinations are endless. Can’t find one you really love? Bring a one-of-a-kind uniqueness to a look by making one yourself (more on that in another post).
Patent leather and rhinestone headband

Black feather headband

Purple rosette headband 

When wearing one of these fancy embellished head bands, the accessory becomes the star and not the hair style. This is a good thing if you are trying to draw attention away from a not so great hair day. In this case create a simple hair style, like one pony tail pulled up on top.  Really any simple look will do that will allow the head band to be placed in a non-obstructive manner.

Finally, since we are talking about children, with any style you choose to create with the above suggestions, make sure you child is comfortable. Ensure that the band on the hat is not squeezing her head. Adjust the head band so that it is not too tight behind the ears, otherwise her cute little look will not last very long because she will not keep the item on her head if it hurts.

Below is my four year old wearing her super oversize Rosette Head band (Gap). Here the big, satin embellishment camouflages all the flyaways and covers up the fact that she is in need of a reset (shampoo and style). She looks super cute and very in vogue. Try this look and no one will know you are concealing a thing…I won’t tell ;-).

She's always singing...
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WEN trial continued...

I have been using WEN, by Chaz Dean, on my oldest daughter for about 2 months now (that equals to about 1 shampoo every two weeks or 4 shampoos in total). I initially stated in the post WEN, does it really work?, that I was not enamored with the product, but that I was going to stick with it long enough to let it bear its self out.

So far some of my criticisms of the product have remained. Two months of use have not increased the products detangling ability. Her hair is still quite a task to comb out after shampooing. Therefore,  what was initially sited as cons are still cons.

The last time I used the WEN I decided to modify my technique to see if I could attain better results.

Below is an account of the process:

Instead of putting the Re-Moist Hair Treatment on last, (after cleansing conditioner) I put it on first (like a hot oil treatment) to see if I could glean any improvements (per my husband's suggestion).

This is what it looks like.

This is her hair after shampooing. I am very pleased with the shine and curl, but it was still quite a task to detangle.

Her hair ended up looking very pretty when it was all said and done.

By the way, cute teal outfit from Baby Gap, tutu from Gymboree, boots Nordstrom and cute hair accessories (head band) Gap, (knockers) Wal-mart

I am still waiting for my socks to be knocked off. They are still, however, on my feet, warm and toasty. I am beginning to approach the conclusion that even though WEN is very healthy for the hair causing no harm as I can see, it is not an overall home run. My next step will be to continue to use the WEN Cleansing conditioner, but incorporate another product that may help to detangle. I will let you know how that goes.

Note: WEN comes in several “flavors” (for lack of a better term). If I have not already mentioned, I am using the Sweet Almond Mint which is the “signature” selection that comes with your 60 day trial. It is the default choice sent to you if you do not specify any other. Other varieties are peppermint, fig and pomegranate. I was informed by a WEN representative that “fig” may work better on “ethnic” hair. She says that fig was “specially” formulated for coarse, curly hair. I am not convinced that any assortment will make much difference in detangling, but we shall see…  



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Coconut oil pre-shampoo treatment

We have been discussing the best way to retain moisture and stave off breakage. As a matter of fact that is the most important component of any hair care dilemma. If we can figure out how to stop dryness and excessive shedding we would solve the problem of many moms (and dads) out there faced with the challenge of keeping their child’s hair healthy.

In the Healthy Hair post back in November, I included a brief description on how to apply an olive oil treatment and the benefits it could provide. Some readers informed me that they tried the treatment, but wondered if coconut oil would work even better. I wanted to find out so I tried the process out on my two year old (I would have preferred to try it out on the four year old but it was not time for here shampoo). Even though the two year old’s hair is not as as dry, I assumed that I would still see an obvious improvement, if the coconut oil was worth its salt.

Well, it was worth it and then some. Below is a brief synopsis of the coconut oil pre-shampoo treatment process on some very dirty 2 year old hair:

1.Use a generous amount of extra virgin coconut oil.
2. For thick hair part into four section to ensure the scalp gets its fair share.
3. Slather it all over the hair (for best results start at the root and work down to the ends).
Note: Your child will be greasy!

4. Place a plastic cap for optimum penetration.
5. Leave cap on for at least 30 minutes.
Note: Please do not leave your child unattended during this time for the obvious safety issues that could arise (i.e suffocation from plastic).

6. Shampoo thoroughly; you will need to wash hair about 2-3 times to remove excess residue.
7. Condition hair (optional as hair may be soft and manageable after treatment).

8. Style as desired. 

I would recommend the coconut oil pre-shampoo treatment just as much as I would recommend the olive oil pre-shampoo treatment. I would not, however, equally endorse the coconut oil as a hair dress for styling like I would the olive oil because it is heavier than the olive oil and messier. Because it is solid at room temperature but melts when warmed, coconut oil can go on subtly then end up looking a little like “jheri curl” juice once it melts on the hair. It is true we want sheen and luster; what we do not want is our children to look like they took a bath in cooking oil.

A good combination regimen could be to use the coconut oil as the pre-shampoo treatment and save the olive oil for a highly moisturizing hair dress that adds shine and suppleness to natural locs.

   Learn all the great ways to maintain healthy virgin hair. Then show it off on vacation! Travel any one? Check out these two great travel pages by yours truly. Stay up on what’s hot in the world of travel from the perspective of an unbiased, wide eyed traveler who treats every adventure as if it’s the first.

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