Thursday, May 17, 2012

Winning the Hair Wars

Did you fight the hair and the hair won?
My 9 year old daughter understands. She has thick, straight hair. Until recently, our morning routine went something like this:
Me: Have you brushed your hair?
Her: YES, can't you tell or do you think I look ugly?! 
(my daughter is not a morning person.)
Me: You could never be ugly. Your hair looks like maybe you missed some spots. Let me try--
Her: I don't care, don't touch it!
Me: Sorry, Sweetie, it's gotta be done.
I take the brush and start at the bottom, trying to work out the snarls with as little pulling as possible.
Me: Try to breathe, just calm down. I know it hurts, but--

Seriously. You would think I was cutting off her toes one by one. I often wonder that the neighbors haven't called the police. Then I remember most of them have little girls, too.

Her father kept saying, "Maybe it's time to just cut it short again" and she would stomp out of the room yelling, "NO! You can't make me look like a boy!" 

I never anticipated that straight hair would have the same problems of tangles and snarls that my thick, curly hair has. No such luck. In fact, I think hers was worse than mine, and mine seldom gets brushed!

Recently, miraculously, the blood-chilling howls that accompanied our hair-brushing routine have become a thing of the past, due to the magic of Infusium 23. I discovered this gem back when I was in high school, and my step-mom brought it with her upon marrying my dad. It was a miracle then, and remains so today. Why I didn't already have some in the house for my daughter is a mystery. When I thought of it, my second thought was, "DUH!"

This is the leave-in treatment. I've never splurged for the shampoo/conditioner set, because this is good enough. It's better than good enough. It's nothing short of hair magic. For my daughter, I first tried putting some into a little squirt bottle, with a tiny bit of water, to just spritz the problem areas. 
No luck. This, according to the agonized, dramatized, Banshee-envy-worthy wails, did not solve the wicked tangle problem. So we now follow these steps: 
  1. Shower, shampooing and conditioning as normal
  2. Towel dry hair, squeezing as much water out as possible
  3. Squirt Infusium 23 directly on hair, recognizing that it will run and coat the hair, you don't need to soak it, but if you can see tangles, give them some extra attention
  4. Flip the hair upside down and squirt the underside as well; the same technique applies
  5. Wrap the hair in a thin, soft towel (we use a beach towel that otherwise sits on a shelf ignored) and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes or as long as the hair-bearer can stand
  6. Unwrap and brush out. Let the magic begin.
Now, we are actually enjoying getting her hair washed and ready. This routine also works well right before bed and then braiding the hair. Morning brushing is a breeze!

Now, her hair looks like this:
Today, the part of my daughter will be played by this lovely model.
I do still keep the little spritz bottle for brushing out dry hair at night (or whenever). It works for those trouble-spots. 

Now our mornings go more like this:
Me: Did you brush your hair?
Her: Yes, can't you tell? Or do you think it looks stupid?
Me: Your hair is gorgeous, should we do ponytails?
Her: Fine. Whatever.
(She is still not a morning person)

Good luck and happy brushing!

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