January, 2011

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Tightly Curly Technique, 6 Months Later

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

It has been six months since I started using the Tightly Curly technique on my toddler, developed by Teri LaFlesh and written about on her website and in her book “Curly Like Me“. I had no idea how to manage Esther’s hair and this technique seemed to be a good place to start. All this time on the method and we are still going strong. Having a child with super-curly hair is no picnic, you are going to have to spend time on it no matter what. However, the tightly curly method definitely gets you the best results for the least amount of time and for the lowest price. To see the step by step instructions you can read my first blog post on the subject. Here are a few lessons and photos to show how things are going now.

1. I have switched from the Tresemme conditioner to Aussie Moist. I like the smell a little better and it is a little thicker. Good hold with her hair. Both are really cheap and can be bought everywhere.

2. I can’t emphasize the importance of satin pillow cases enough! We have them on her bed pillows and on the car seats. It really helps prevent the matted fuzz on the back of her head.

3. I braid her hair most nights but lately have been lazy and not prepping it for bed. There is so much conditioner that builds up over time, it usually can be fixed in the morning.

Esther's bed head when she didn't get braids the night before

Esther's bed head when she didn't get braids the night before

Whether I use braids or not, I either spray it  with a water bottle if she isn’t getting a morning bath or lightly wet it in the tub.

Esther's hair lightly wetted

I then add a good glob (but not a big handful) of conditioner to it.The big handful is reserved for the twice a week super-condition and comb out.

A small amount of conditioner to spruce up the hair in the morning

If the hair managed to get frizzy overnight I have to brush it out, but if it stayed relatively intact then I just run my fingers through it for a few minutes to separate all the curls and break a few light snarls.

Esther's hair with the conditioner finger-combed in

Then I leave it alone. No touching it!! If you tinker with it while it is drying  it will become frizzy. With putting in braids overnight there is a benefit of being able to use less water with the conditioner because the curls aren’t as nappy in the morning and they are easier to style. This is a plus in this cold, damp city where it takes forever for hair to dry. When we were in Tanzania it was fantastic! Her hair dried in minutes. The other benefits of braids overnight is that the hair is a little softer looking when it dries after restyling it since you are able to use less water and conditioner.

Here is the hair about halfway through drying. Again, no touching! :)

Esther's hair about halfway dry. It looks a little jeri-curl but don't touch it! Wait to lightly fluff itafter it dries

Finally, here are pictures of her hair after a full day of playing, riding around in a car seat etc. The car seat does have the satin pillow case where her hair rests which helps prevent the rats nest in  the back. I also have been using barrettes a lot more these days. Nothing screams “I’m a Girl!” like a couple flowers pinned in in your locks. I am amazed at how pink her outfits can be and still have people think she is a boy.

Esther's hair after a full day

Esther's hair after a full day of abuse. Looking pretty good!

Another photo of Esther's hair, using a flash to see the details in the curl