11 March 2011

Finding the Right Hair Products from Baby Hair to Child Hair

It's times like these that make me happy that I don't do sponsored posts, because what I have to say isn't always what companies want to hear. But the truth is, if you want to do the best service to your child's hair you have to be willing to change products if or when the time comes. And for me, when I really love something, that can be really hard to do.

Information like this usually, but not always, applies to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. As Boo's hair continues to grow in, products that worked really well, as recently as 6 months ago, just don't seem to cut it anymore, which can be very frustrating. I mean, I like trying new products and I'm really particular about what I settle into using, so it's hard not to take it personally when her hair starts to reject something that I worked so hard to find. Ugh!

When Boo was a baby, we started using jojoba oil and/or hair milk on her hair for moisture and curl definition. Loved them both. We also washed her hair with shampoo once a week, at most, or more if she spit up in it, which she did all the time.

By a year old, shampoo was out of the question for anything more than once a month. Enter co-washing (conditioner-only washing). I tried olive oil, it was too heavy and never did anything for her hair but weigh it down and make it look greasy. Chucked that idea. Tried coconut oil. Much better. Styles were set only once a month, the coconut oil seemed to hold up, the spray conditioner I was using was lovely. But then they conditioner started not to work. Darn, I really liked that one! I tried a cheap conditioner mixed with water; too heavy (I know, is there such a thing!?!). I eventually found a conditioner that would work (not-so-cheap).

By two years old, the styling cream that I was using for once-a-month styles was too heavy for more frequent styling. I didn't get rid of it, but I needed something lighter for styles that were not going to be warn as long. I searched high and low and found, yet again, a not-so-cheap product that worked. As excited as I was about this, it spoiled after only 3 months. Drat! At least the coconut oil and spray conditioner were still working.

By three years old the styling cream that I put on the back-burner at 2 years old was brought back out because it was no longer too heavy for frequent styling. Her hair was filling in, and the texture was not as baby-fine so it could stand up to the cream. Great. But now the coconut oil was getting in the way. It was great for adding to hear before washing when we were styling every month or so, but was not doing so great with styles that changed every week. So I put that on the back-burner to be whipped out only when needed. The previous spray conditioner was no longer working, and.....

Well, you get the picture. That is, in a nutshell, a very watered-down version of our hair journey. The point is this: As much as I might want to find the "perfect" product and stick with it, odds are really good that I will need to change it at some point. It may seem very frustrating to serve the needs of hair that is transitioning from baby hair to child hair, but I really believe that's all a matter of perspective. I've found the more attached that I get to something, the more frustrated I get when I have to let it go. And the last thing that I want to do is pass on that frustration with hair along to my daughter. So I've learned to love a product without being overly committed to it, that way I'm not so heart-broken when we need to "break up."

Just thought I'd pass on a little bit of my experience for those mamas with itty-bitties who are struggling to find "what works." Don't invest too much time, energy, and/or money into it. Find what you like but be willing to let it go as your child grows and his/her texture changes. It won't happen to all children, but just be prepared for the fact that you might end up only using 1/8th of that jar of $25 styling cream before you need something else. ;-)

Further, products don't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Please see our post about doing hair on a budget as well as our homemade aloe vera hair recipes if you're looking for ways to save money.