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Free hair!

Natural hair is amazing and beautiful with its beautiful curls, and to see my daughter wearing her hair free and running around flipping it and seeing all those beautiful curls is great but it doesn’t happen all that often for a few reasons…

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Wearing the hair free is a sure way to create tangles and that is ok since that is what tightly curly hair “wants to do” and will always do. But it is important to take care of it and not let it get out of hand since it will lead to breakage and knots that might have to be cut out of the hair..

Wearing the hair free will also allow the ends of the hair to rub against clothes, carpets, sofas and other things… which can lead to split ends and more knots and tangles…

Besides knots, tangles and split ends that all leads to breakage and damage to the hair, free hair will also get dry much faster than hair that has been  braided, twisted or put up in a protective style. If you want to read more about protective styling click here.

Even if it is good to know the “risks” of wearing the hair loose and free you shouldn´t let it stop you from doing so from time to time because more than just being beautiful, it is also good to give the roots and scalp a break from styling, so rock your curls and show the world how beautiful they are!

With all that said, there are a few options of “free styles” to choose from. You can wear it curly in a “wash and go”, in an afro (stretched or not stretched) or in a twist out which is what I prefer to do for a few simple reasons..

A twist out is exactly what it sounds like. A hairstyle that you create by doing twist on damp or dry hair and let it “set” with a light styling cream or gel for anything from a few hours up to several days. Just make sure that the twists are completely dry before taking them out.

Besides being very easy to do and looking beautiful twist outs doesn’t create as many tangles since the hair is a bit stretched. It is also fairly easy to maintain over night by simply twisting the hair again or putting it up in a very loose bun (pineapple) over night.

A few tips to get the best looking and lasting twist out are:

  •  To use a good styling cream or gel that will nurture your hair while maintaining the style.
  • Make sure that the hair is well detangled and smooth the ends of the twists when setting the style.
  •  You can put a tiny amount of oil on your hands when you are taking out the twists to give the hair shine, lock in moisture and prevent humidity from proofing up your style.
  • Always be very careful and gentle when you are taking out your twists.
  • When you have taken out the twists gently start separating the sections little by little. Be careful not to separate them too much. The less you separate, the more defined your twist out will be.

The dreaded head lice!

Most parents shudder when they see that big note on the school entry, saying that there are head lice going around and that everyone should check their children’s hair.

If you then have children with really long tightly curly hair, or even worse, dreadlocks! You can imagine how I feel about this topic.

If we load up with conditioner and patience I could probably comb through my daughters hair with that extremely fine tooth comb. But there is no way I can do the same with my son’s dreadlocks.

So I am determined to prevent that from ever happening.

How do I plan on doing that?!

I know I can never be 100% sure that my kids will never get head lice, but here is what I do to prevent it:

I spray my sons dreadlocks (he would probably say that I drench them more than spray ;)) every morning before school with a head lice prevent spray that I buy at our local pharmacy. It is called “Linicin prevent spray”. It contains castor oil and is a very mild and safe spray to use that does not contain any insecticides.

 This spray lightly coats the hair, but since we use a sulfate based shampoo for his dreads this spray works well for him.(se post on washing dreads here)

If I feel that I want to give his hair some extra protection I will also put some coconut oil on the dreads.

Yes, I said coconut oil! I love coconut oil! Did you know that coconut oil actually helps to prevent and kill head lice by suffocating them?  The main ingredient in the head lice prevention spray is also thick oil (castor oil) that works similarly to the coconut oil.

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So since I don´t want to put anything drying om my other children’s hair, I simply use coconut oil generously to seal in moisture after we wash the hair as well as in our moisturizing sprits.

In addition you can keep the hair braided or twisted and preferably up in some kind of bun to further prevent these unwelcome creatures. The risk of getting lice is much higher if you have long hair that is swinging around, brushing against furniture and other people’s hair.  You can also teach your kids not to borrow or let others use their hats or caps and if you line the winter hats with a satin lining, you make it even more difficult for the lice to hide there.

There is a myth that head lice don´t like “afro hair” but that is not true. The truth is that the risk of getting head lice is reduced quite a bit if you use oils and hair products that make the hair slippery and thus making it harder for the lice to attach their eggs. If you also keep the hair braided or twisted, you decrease the risk even further.

Beauty and diversity

I truly beleive that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but if you don´t think you are beautiful inside and out that will shine through.

I wish that my children will always see how beautiful and special they are inside and out but I know that it will be difficult at times. We all struggle with accepting and loving our selves just the way we are and growing up in a country where you don´t look like ”everyone else” will make it even harder.

Sweden is a wonderful country, full of fantastic peolple with diffrent backgrounds and cultures. But there is still a long way to go before being mixed or non european will not be something that makes you stand out.

I love the fact that natural hair is getting more and more popular! It is not as big in Sweden yet as it is in some other places but hopefully we will soon get there too! We can all help by spreading and sharing knowledge to each other.

It has taken me a few years to learn how to properly care for my biracial childrens beautiful curls, and my goal is to teach them to appreciate the beauty and diversity of their hair so that they don´t grow up feeling like it is a burden and something that makes them stand out in a negative way.

Hair is hair and beleive it or not but by learning about my childrens hair I have learnt alot about my own bone straight and very fine(some might say thin too) nordic hair.

Growing up I always dremt about having long thick curly hair and I went to the hairdresser every three months to get it permed. Not only was this very expensive but it also damaged my hair so much that it eventually started to breake off. I wondered why it would not grow and looked for ways to get the hair of my dreams.

After some years I discovered hair extensions. I tried all kinds. Weave, braids, glue but nothing really worked. Have you ever seen a girl with synthetic extension hair that is looking so ragged at the bottom that it is almost dreadded hair? That was me…

The individual extensions with natural hair  that you attach with silicone ”glue” worked best for me. I was so happy and finally thaught I had gotten my dream hair. Sadly I woke up from that dream when it came time to take out those extensions.. My own hair had broken off in many places… This is when I decided to start caring for my own hair and decided to do my very best to help my children embrace who they are and love them selves just the way they are.

Using the knowledge I got from reading about how to care for naturally curly hair I slowly figured out how to care for my own hair too. And when I started caring about my hair instead of just feeling like it was no good, I started to appreciate it for what it is. Yes, it will never be thick or hold a curl very well but it is shiny and healthy and if I care for it properly I can get it to do whatever I want.

I hope that I can help someone else learn to love the hair they were born with, thick, thin, curly, wavy or straight. Hair is just hair but it can make a big diffrence in how we feel about our selves.

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This is me with my ”dream hair” before I took it out…