Friday, October 11, 2013

Explorer's First Cornrows

I have been styling Scholar's hair for over a year, since just before he was a year old. I have done cornrows, box braids and coils. Until this week, I have never "done" anything with Explorer's hair. Of course, I take care of his hair, moisturize it, comb it, but I have never been able to style his hair.

Explorer's hair had no curl to it until he was 10 months old. At that point, it started to become wavy on the top. Over the last year, his hair has changed a lot. Now, he has coarse, wavy and straight hair on the top. The sides and back are soft and curly. His hair is still changing.

I can cornrow Scholar's hair even when it is only 2 inches long because it is so curly that it will hold even at that short length. I had to wait for Explorer's hair to grow out so that I could cornrow it and have a chance of it holding for more than a few hours. His hair is about 7 inches long now, so I gave it a try. I was not sure if it would stay in, or if he would leave it in, so I only did four rows (about half his hair) at first. When those survived the night, I decided to do the rest of his hair. He has been wearing the rows for 3 days and, though they are not as tidy as when I put them in, they are still in and holding very well.

I was concerned about how much the straight and wavy hair would pop out of the cornrows. Straight hair has a tendency to stick ... well ... straight out of the sides of braids. This has happened a little bit in some places, thus the less tidy look after a few days. Yet, overall, I have been impressed with how well they have held up.

The cornrows even survived bath day today. I made a conditioner rinse for his hair and then rinsed it out and used a mixture of oils to seal in the moisture. I did not want to agitate the hair at all because that could cause it to pop out even more. We successfully cleaned and conditioned his hair without causing the rows to come apart.

For the conditioner rinse, I mixed about a cup of warm water with the amount of conditioner I would normally use for his hair. I used Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner. I poured the mixture over his hair and gently patted it into his hair. After a few minutes, I rinsed it out.

After bath, while the hair was still wet, I sprayed it with a concoction of oils that I had made up to soothe an itchy scalp. It works to seal moisture into the hair, too.

4 Tbsp sweet almond oil
1/2 Tbsp vitamin E oil
4 tsp tea tree oil (stops itching and kills bacteria)
1 Tbsp aloe
10 drops lavender essential oil (soothes skin)

I put the oils and aloe in a spray bottle and shook it up to mix them all together. A little bit of this mixture goes a long way. A few sprays are enough for a whole head of hair.

So, now for pictures of Explorer's very first ever cornrows!

The first two rows

Look at all that hair!

Four rows complete.
You can notice a bit popping out at the side only a few minutes after completing the row.

Finished!

From the top

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