Why Should I Braid My Hair?

Q's sporting Box Braids again!
She actually let me do them all in one sitting this time! Must have had a captivating movie. :) lol - well, a new one anyway.

The dress is Happy Green Bee - I absolutely LOVE them!

I used to do something similar to this on my own hair in high school and college! :) I just thought it looked neat. But it wasn't until just recently I've been learning (prompted by a protective hair care challenge over on Beads, Braids and Beyond) that there are some big benefits to braiding.  Note: However, like with anything, there are those  who claim the opposite! 



Benefits of Box Braids:
* This style is easy and fast to maintain once it is in the hair.
* It prevents tangles and knots.
* Doesn't require daily restyling.
* Keeps hair secure (even layered and short hair!)
* Can give the hair a break from the "daily grind" and allow it to rest.
* Less likely to get damaged (therefore the hair can just focus on growing longer!)



 
 

Beware of the Braiding Pitfalls! ...

* Do not braid too tight.
* Do not leave the braids in too long (Two months is the limit generally agreed upon - however I don't think I'd want to leave box braids on a little toddler for anywhere near 2 months! I'd say 3-10 days is about all I'd feel comfortable with for the next few years.)
* If you notice stress on the hairline or little bumps on the scalp - take the braids out immediately.


Continue to care for your hair even while it's in braids - 

* Wash your scalp, condition your braids, add moisture! (just like normal)
* Sleep with a silk or satin scarf (Lycra swim caps or sleep caps can work, too) over your braids to keep them from getting frizzy as quickly. A satin pillowcase works, too, for kiddos who won't keep a cap on overnight!
* Avoid drying your braids with a regular towel (actually it's best to avoid drying unbraided hair with a towel, too - it can cause breakage.) instead use a microfiber towel or some T-shirt material and gently squeeze out the water - do not rub!
* "Braid Spray" is recommended for daily use - to make your own combine distilled water with a natural oil (like jojoba or almond or grapeseed oil) and an essential oil, like lavendar. A mixture like this is good for your hair and your scalp! It can also be used instead of washing the scalp as a means of cleansing.   (Q's review on this recipe is found HERE!)
* Tea tree oil can be used to clean the scalp if it becomes itchy - always use diluted and be reserved about using tea tree oil on kids! (it's strong stuff! Often used for dandruff.)




When it's time to take out the braids -

* Remember that the average head of hair loses 100 hairs a day! You should and will have more hair falling out than normal when you remove the braids! It seems like a lot - but that hair that would have come out earlier hasn't been able to get out of the braid - so if you've kept the braids in for 4 days - the average head of hair would now have 400 hairs fall out when the braids come out! It looks much worse than it really is. :)
* Another tip (depending on your texture needs, etc) that I've read is to gently detangle the hair before you wash it. Getting rid of the "shed hair" first makes for much easier combing and washing.






 

Great Times for Box Braids!
* Camping
* Spending time away from the "usual hairdoer" (if the default hair person is unwilling or resistant, especially)
* Swimming
* Busy days (box braids are quick and easy once they're in!)
* Windy seasons!
* When you want the fun of wavy hair after the braids come out. Braids add waves to straight hair (especially if they're braided when wet and then allowed to fully dry before being removed.) Braids also give curly hair a funky wavy look - known as the "Braid Out." :) Very cute!  Plus, this method of getting wavy hair doesn't involve a curly iron , crimping iron or other heat method which can be damaging to any kind of hair!


Here is a quote from buzzle.com, "It is believed that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Africans, and Asian peoples all wore their hair in braids, which not only looked good but also helped keep hair off the neck in hot climates."  Interesting! I didn't know that so many cultures embraced braiding like this! But I can sure see why!


    Esty Stores - Hair Bows, etc

    Curly Hairdo Ideas's salute to Esty.com  :)  
    "Your place to buy and sell all things vintage, handmade, and supplies"

    Here are a few Esty stores that sell Hair Bows, Headbands, Flowers, and more!

    Britta's Boutique

    Soda Pop Kids


    3 Little Giggles


    Shining Stars Boutique


    Sweet and Chic Bowtique


    To Sweet Pea From Me


    Babalina's Creation


    The Little Ballerina

    Sweet Bitty Bows


    Princess Grace Bowtique


    Lemon Drop Baby Boutique


    Kute Kiddo (embroidered hair bow)


    Daisy Dew


    Boutique Hermosa


    Belinda Avant Designs


    Piccadilly Clips

    and that's not all! Head on over to Etsy to search some more! :)  It's worth it!

    Up To No Good

    Flashback #3

    4 months old and Trouble Already!


    Like the little mohawk she's got goin' on?! lol

    As you can see, her curls didn't come in right away ...


    (yep, that's Daddy in the background!)

    Curly Hair Interview - OperaDiva!

    Hi! Welcome to our second ever Interview!! (I love these!!) 
    To find out how you can participate - go HERE.

    Let me introduce, OperaDiva!
    and now let the goodness begin .... :)

    What is your daily hair routine? Well, I actually don't wash my hair every day. More like every third day, my curly hair is way too dry if I wash it daily. 

    In the shower, I wet my hair then wash with conditioner (Suave Naturals tropical coconut) by massaging it into my scalp for about a minute. All of those places that say to use a dime sized amount of shampoo/conditioner are ridiculous, I could never get that amount to work even in my fine, thin hair, I use a lot more. 

    After I co-wash, I use my rinse out conditioner, right now I'm using Garnier Fructisse sleek & shine, but I really want to try one by Aubrey Organics. Leave that on for a couple minutes while I do all the rest of my shower stuff, then rinse it out. I then put in a pretty generous half dollar sized amount of the Suave Coconut conditioner as a leave in. 

    This is where it gets a little odd, but stay with me; still in the shower, I add a little bit (about the same as the leave in conditioner) of clear gel, and scrunch it in with my head upside down. I'm experimenting with what is referred to as the super soaker method, so right after this I scrunch a couple palmfuls of water into my hair until it feels a bit like seaweed. With my hair still dripping, I scrunch it up into one of those towel turban things, with my hair all piled on my head, none of it in the tail of the turban. Leave that on for about 15 minutes, then take it off and upside-down scrunch in some flax seed gel (I make my own, it's not hard but there is a learning curve). Scrunch it up in the towel turban for another 5-10 minutes, then take off the turban and let it air dry the rest of the way. 

    When it's fully dry, I turn my head upside down and scrunch out the crunch with a TINY bit of coconut oil on my hands. I have to be really careful here, if I use too much it looks really greasy. Voila, hair is done! It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, if I can do it while being a full time mommy to an almost 9-month-old, anyone can do it! 

    (Curly Hairdo Ideas has a recipe for homemade flax seed gel - find it HERE!)
     
    Do you have any other "routines" that you add to that, but don't do every day? If so, what are they? When I don't wash it, I generally spritz it with water with a drop of lavender essential oil, re-scrunch, and I'm ready to go! I also try to do protein treatments fairly often, since my particular hair type craves protein. And I use henna because it's pretty




     

    Why Lavendar Essential Oil? Is it the oil? Or the scent? both? Would something else do the trick? What's the purpose? It's a recipe in the book Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey, it's actually a bit more complicated than just putting it in the water, you basically steep the oil in water like you would tea. Not sure why it has to be Lavender, but it smells really good and does help me be a little less frizzy!



    (Side note: I did a tiny bit 'o research on lavendar oil and it's supposed to be great for you in many ways!
    "The health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to remove nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems. Lavender has the Latin name Lavare, which means “to wash”, due to its aroma that gives the feeling of a clean aroma." ~ quoted from www.organicfacts.net  - better circulation will mean healthier hair growth as well. For more details on the health benefits of lavendar oil visit THIS site.)

    What do you mean by protein treatments? Can you elaborate on that? How do you know your hair craves protein? Another complicated question! I know that my hair craves protein because it is a very fine texture, and highly porous (there are tests you can do with your hair to find this stuff out, they're pretty easy and involve running your fingers along a single hair in both directions). There are some good commercial protein treatments out there, I've heard good things about the Aphogee 2-step although I haven't used it. I do a homemade treatment with eggs, mayonnaise, honey, and sometimes random other protein containing ingredients. Leave it on for about an hour, co wash it out, then do a deep conditioner for an hour. It leaves my hair amazingly soft!

    Can you talk a bit about Henna?
    Sure! Henna is a natural herbal color for your hair, it adds a coppery red tint, turning to a less natural reddish purple if you do a lot of applications. It is very conditioning on most hair types if you use the pure "Body Art Quality" henna. I don't recommend boxed henna hair dyes because some of them contain metallic salts, and if you try to dye over those with commercial dye you generally get fried, green hair. I actually need to do another application, Henna is so pretty and I love the reddish tint! Be aware though, that the lighter your hair, the brighter the red, and it is as permanent as permanent gets, you will have to grow it out to get the color gone. Do strand tests first on shed hair from your hairbrush or shower. I found all of my information on www.hennaforhair.com, they know more about it than I do!


    Do you use chemicals in your hair? Yes, but no silicones or sulfates.
     
    Do you use heat (hair dryer, curling iron, flat iron, etc) on your hair? Not anymore! My hair actually looks a ton better and healthier since I stopped styling with heat.

     
    Have you ever straightened your hair? Why or why not? What were/are your thoughts on straightening curly hair? I used to straighten it all the time, I thought it looked better, but really I just didn't know how to maximize my curl potential, so it was dry and frizzy and had no curl definition. Now I don't because I know the heat can be very damaging to curls, and I want the healthiest curls possible. 

     
    What is your favorite way to wear your hair? Down and curly!

     
    What do you like best about your curls? That they add volume and texture to my hair!

     
    What is the worst hair advice you've ever received? To brush my curly hair so it wouldn't look "messy". I followed this advice for YEARS, and now I know it was majorly contributing to me having split ends and damaged hair.

     
    If there was one thing you could say or one tip you could give a young person with curls, what would it be? Throw away your hairbrush and don't shampoo every day, and when you do shampoo, use one without sulfates! 

     
    If there was one thing you could say or one tip you could give to the Parents of young children with curls, what would it be?! Embrace the curls, don't try to get rid of them using harsh methods!

     
    In caring for curly hair do you think shorter is easier to maintain - or long? Or does it matter? Shorter or mid range is generally easier, but longer can be absolutely stunning, just requires a little more product.

    Anything else you would like to add that I haven't thought to ask?! Not that I can think of! Oh, here are my "before and after" pics if you want them!  (of COURSE we do!!)

     
    Before CG and a haircut, on a pretty typical hair day:



    After a haircut and being CG for about 6 weeks, on a good hair day:

     


    Gorgeous pictures and a treasure-trove of information! Thank you so much, OperaDiva!!   
    p.s. Adorable baby, by the way! :D So young! Where does the time go??

    Upcoming - a Curly Hair Interview! But first, a passion of mine ...

    I am a loyal (to a fault) DiaperSwappers addict. :)  If you've never heard of this site before - you should probably go take a look at their forums - lol - but be forewarned! It's addicting! There are some Super cool ladies over on those boards! In fact, a couple of the members over there were my first inspiration to create this blog. I am so grateful to them for their encouragement and continual support!

    To curb your curiosity, DiaperSwappers is a Buy/Sell/Trade site for cloth diapers. But it is SO much more than that as well! In fact, Q ended up being out of diapers completely by the time she was 14 months old because of a forum on DS! Isn't that ironic? I had just purchased our "stash" of mostly BumGenius Organic One Size All in One cloth diapers (LOVE these, by the way!)
     bumGenius One-Size Cloth Diaper Blossom
    when I stumbled upon the Elimination Communication forum... it wasn't love at first sight - (cuz man, that idea is WEIRD!) but I wouldn't do it any other way, now! :D

    There isn't a ton of info out there about EC - but the 3 most famous books are:
    The Diaper Free Baby by: Christine Gros-loh  (my favorite!)
    The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative

    Infant Potty Training by: Laurie Boucke  (I haven't actually read this one)
    Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living



    Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by: Ingrid Bauer  (this one is great too, but it is more than just the lifestyle and methods of EC. All great stuff though!)
    Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene

    and the forum at DiaperSwappers was an amazing support system. I hear there's an EC forum over on the mothering.com forums as well - but I've never really checked it out much. I'm so addicted to DS that I'm afraid I'll get addicted to mothering.com too and Really have no offline life! lol!

    (oh, yeah, Facebook has a few fanpages for EC, too. In fact THIS one is by the same people as the Diaper Free book, I think.)

    Some other things I had never heard before but am now a firm believer in are Babywearing, keeping boys intact, Baltic Amber jewelry (use code 73 at Inspired By Finn for a 10% discount!), breastfeeding (and in public! oh the horrors! ha!), co-sleeping, "Unconditional Parenting", and I'm sure there's more - but I'll stop boring you now! lol    

    ~ If anybody EVER has any questions or would like a friend to chat about some of this stuff with EMAIL ME! I could talk about it all day and night, but hardly anyone around here does this stuff. I've wanted to mention it multiple times on the blog, but up til now I've been able to restrain myself. LOL ~

    Anyway, I started blabbing about DiaperSwappers only to say that I met a lovely mama over there who is going to do our next Curly Hair Interview!  Wooooo!! How cool is that?! (and yes, we did happen to "meet" in the EC forum! lol)

    Soooooo, come back tomorrow for a very insightful interview by OperaDiva! See you then .... :)

    Baby Carrier Picture - Q's favorite spot

    Flashback #2

    I love this picture! It's not a very good representation of any kind of baby carrier because of the angle you can't really see it in use (it's a Maya Wrap Sling - but made by a friend of mine, not the actual company) but I love it because it's taken from MY perspective! So this is what I saw when I was wearing her in the sling....


    Who needs fancy baby hair when you have Baby Eyes!?! :D We used this carrier a lot - and then graduated to the Mei Tai's. I LOVE "babywearing!"

    Q was 4 weeks old in this picture.

    More Accessories for Babies and Kids Hairstyles!!

    I'm enjoying this so much! I've been compiling lists of stores that sell hair accessories for our toddlers and babies (tweens and teens, too! Maybe even us mamas! lol) and finding sooo many cute ones! Make sure to add your store or favorite shop in the comments and I'll add them to a future post!


    My newest finds:

    Little Tweet Boutique


    Kayte Bug Boutique


    Boy Mom Bowtique

    Jell E Bean Designs  -  (so much more than just bows - and it's all Adorable!)

    AbbieJack Bowtique  - (look for the "Bride and Groom" They're my favorite!)

    Ellie-Jayne Designs - (be sure to find the 4th of July clips! So unique!)

    Pretty Pretties

    Oh geez! I've forgotten to mention The Curly Hair Fun Store! LOL Well, if you visit this store you'll be supporting Curly Hairdo Ideas!  You can see some of my favorites that amazon.com has to offer right inside. :) This store is ours! lol!

    Don't forget to add yours!

    The Day Q was Born :)

    Flashback #1

    All red and alien-ish... What's not to LOVE?!


    See the DARK hair?? :) awww! We thought she had so much!  LOL



    Here you can see her hair better! and her "widow's peak."  Plus one Tired Mommy!  Q was born at home with a midwife, so we were lounging on our couch at this moment in time. :)

    Sidewinders Hair Holders ... on BBB!

    If you're still in the "market" for new hair accessories (yes, I'm on an accessory kick! lol and I don't see it subsiding soon ...)  Be sure to head on over to Bead, Braids, and Beyond to enter Nikki's giveaway!! Winner will be announced on June 26th - so hurry over!

    She posted some Super Cute ideas for ways to use them, too!

    and the Winner is .......

    (drum roll please!) ... .... ... ... ... .... ...  The Winner of the Lovely LuLu Hair Bows $15 Gift Card goes to comment number.....

    #38!!

    Ryan Family said...
    we love the american pride bow!!my dd wears tons of red white and blue and that bow is so beautiful jjccryan@gmail.com

    Congratulations!! and Thank YOU to everyone who participated! The response was so fun to see and read! Be sure to enter our next giveaway in July sponsored by Jell E Bean Designs!! (and don't miss all the fun posts until then :) lol!

    Last Chance to Enter the Lovely LuLu's GIVEAWAY!!

    Don't miss out! Go HERE to enter! (you only have until Midnight, Tonight!)


    You could win a $15 Gift Certificate - good on any merchandise in her store!

    A Face for an Interview :)

     Just thought you might like to see that Gorgeous red hair we interviewed not too long ago!

    Dear honored blog readers, Meet "Lady G"  :)


    To read up on her hair care thoughts and insights, visit THIS page!

    Something a little different -

    But not by much!! Here is a variation on the same theme that I seem stuck on lately ... pigtails! But who doesn't love pigtails on little girls anyway??


    For this hairstyle I pulled all her front "bangs" hair to the side and added a soft hair elastic -


    Then gathered all the hair up into two pigtails! Isn't her hair getting long?!  (for comparison's sake... go HERE!)

    Make sure that the "Tail" from the first pony is included in the left hand pigtail to get this look.

    Over the next 2 weeks - flashbacks!

    I'm going to be at the computer infrequently the next few weeks (I'll miss you so much!!) So while I'm gone I have a few little surprises for you! I thought it would be fun to line up some flashback pictures of Q and myself!

    We also have another great interview on the way - so stop back in to read that! There's some great info in there!

    As always - Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!!!  and look for the next one in a couple weeks! :)

    Blog Changes and Updates!

    As you may notice - I've (finally) updated the FACEBOOK badge! It now links you to our NEW facebook page! Be sure to join us over there as I will be phasing out the old page eventually.

    I've also updated The Curly Hair Fun Store blurb and added it's own Page to just under the header! :) I'm kinda excited about this one. I'm just experimenting with it - so let me know if there's anything you'd like to see different or added.

    And as long as we're talking about it - that goes for the whole site you know! Please always feel free to email me at curlyhairdoideas@yahoo.com and let me know what you like, what's missing, what you wish you could find on the blog! What did you find that could be easier, etc, etc! I love having your input!!

    Anyway - I'm hoping to keep updating and making some changes here and there - so keep checking back and see if you can keep up with me! LOL!

    Don't miss the GIVEAWAY to Lovely LuLu Hair Bows!!! Thursday at midnight is the deadline....

    Creative Cornrows for Short Toddler Hair!


    Here's a hairdo for those days you want all the hair up! This one worked well for us even though Q's hair is still quite short (too short to put into one ponytail). 

    A style like this is also nice for adding some extra moisture (add some coconut oil or shea butter as you style it and the hair has a nice long time to soak it up) or protein to the hair.
    Braids also can protect little wispy hairs or curls from getting as matted and tangled, and that is good for hair health as well as easy of styling! :)

    Now for the hairstyle! ...

    First, I sectioned her hair into 4 quadrants and made temporary ponytails in each.
    Then I started braiding (cornrowing) towards the center of her head.

    (getting ready to do the third braid!)

    Here they are all braided and put into a center ponytail (nice soft one to be gentle on the hair)


    As you can see I left the little braces elastics in her hair the first day (took them out the second day) they are harder on hair than the soft fluffy hair ties, but Q's hair isn't curly enough to stay braided without something in the ends. I have to admit though, it was much cuter with the ends free! I was hoping to try for a third day as well (and for that I wanted to take the ends of the braids completely out and spritz with water to see if I could activate the curl!) but it got too frizzy and looked like it needed to come out. We'll just have to do it again someday!

    (for all of you straight-haired people out there... Did you know that curly hair is capable of holding braids and twists and even BEADS in hair with NO use of any kind of hair band?!?!?! As the hair dries the curl shrinks up and the texture and shape of the curls all become tight enough to hold the style! Isn't that amazing!? As a straight haired teen always wanting beads in my hair I wondered how other people were able to achieve a look I never seemed to be able to! I'm still in awe ...

    There are probably lots of different methods for beading and ending braids that "curly girls" use - but that NOT using SOMETHING was even possible just blew my mind! I love it!!)



    and there you have it:
    Big Cornrows (or you could do French Braids) - into a ponytail!

    p.s. Don't forget to enter our GIVEAWAY!!!
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