Mini-Hairscapader: Kayla-Iman’s HairStory

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as told by Ahava Felicidad

What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her.
My daughter’s name is Kayla-Iman (pure magnificent vessel of faith) and she is 11 years old. Kayla is an artist, a developing athlete and nature girl all wrapped in one hilarious package. She is known to be very entertaining and keeps those around her laughing when she gets to know them. I’ve heard this the mostly from her art teachers at the museum who also call her sweet. Shes loves to work with clay, does pottery on the wheel, paints, makes art out of recycled anything, is a fabulous cartoon artist and I am amazed at her artwork and fashion designs. She comes up with great ideas for jewelry and hair adornment, although she prefers to keep it simple -not even wanting to wear earrings unless they are stick-ons.

She is serious about her school work and will keep me up late finishing a project, especially one that gets her a treat if it is handed in before the due date *LOL*. She loves little kids and reads to them two to three times a week at her elementary school in the role of Book Buddy. She is also a Take Back the Kitchen cooking contest winner, soon to be on local tv, and makes the best deviled eggs, homemade pasta sauce, pizza, hot cocoa and popcorn in the world. I am very proud of her.

How do you care for her hair? What products do you use, how often do you wash/condition, what techniques do you use (i.e., how do you detangle), etc.?
I do Kayla’s hair about every two weeks. We condition wash sometimes at the salon, most times at home. When we do hair at home, she has to co-wash it herself. I help by lining her scalp with conditioner and rubbing it in and making sure the conditioner for her hair is at her fingertips for shower cleansing. We have a bathing suit technique as well that involves showering only to wash the hair in cold water. I have video on that. She has been taught how to work through her hair in sections and I give her the clips, but she doesn’t always use them. My signature technique is sectioning hair in 9 or more sections with my fingers and holding those sections in place with butterfly clips. To saturate every strand, it takes me about 20 minutes, but can be done in a shorter time with well-hydrated hair. Somehow she does a great job and I can section to blow out or braid.

During the two weeks, I do check in with her on her scalp, which stays fairly clean and clear. We or she adds grapeseed oil or one of my custom oil blends (Marama Lempi is her favorite) to lightly line her scalp. She sleeps on a satin pillowcase. Wraps don’t stay on her head and we haven’t tried a bonnet yet. Will only get that from PrettyAnnToinets. Until just recently, I would pin curl her blow out and ceramic press. She has now been given the responsibility to do it on her own. She chooses to ponytail or bun it. Guess I’ll have to help with the pin curling again, but she gets the job done and her next day hair has been looking good.

Do the same products that work for you work for your child’s hair?
We do use the same products. Her hair is thirstier than mine as she is really all one kinky curly texture and I have three mixed textures. We both drink Dr. Brown’s Healing Water, so she no longer has a flaky scalp and both of us have thick hair. We use conditioners like Giovanni Smooth as Silk, Giovanni Tea Tree conditioner, Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle and Pure Unrefined African Black Soap. Styling with Andalou Styling Cream, Giovanni Leave-in Conditioner and Curl Prep Sweet Buttah. I also make my own leave-ins with water, oils, vanilla extract, essential oils and teas. We have used the Curls Products, the Curly Q Custard, which I Iike a lot for three strand twisting.

What is a typical style?
Her typical style is a blow out and ceramic press.When we do anything else nowadays it’s her doing me a favor for pictures but sometimes she actually likes it and when her friends compliment her I get big smiles afterschool. Do you employ protective styles? Protective styling to me is a contract job. Only working when you need it for something specific. I don’t believe in what people call protective styles. If your hair is in braids or a weave or bun, most times its for lower or less maintenance reasons, styling and fashion. Having fibers on top of your hair is not necessarily protecting it and you have to make sure that you give additional moisture that will penetrate to the natural hair underneath and deep treat no matter what. She mostly wears her hair out. Though, she may have braids with extensions a few times a year.

What challenges do you face with your child’s hair?
My greatest challenge with my daughter’s hair is not her hair. It’s her wanting to have it straight more than curly and working with her daily to embrace her kinks and curls. She doesn’t like to get it cut, even though we all know that hair grows from our scalp and not our ends. When the ends get damaged from being dry, it’s totally necessary. She had to get three inches cut at the beginning of the year and it took at least a month for her to stop talking about it because she wants it down her back. Having it blown-out shows her the length, so she can really see how it’s growing.

Crochet-weave w/ribbon

Have you ever relaxed/texlaxed your daughter’s hair Why or why not and, if you relaxed her hair, what prompted the decision to return to natural?
No. Never relaxed. Chemicals are too harsh and cause potential cell damage in the body. We have enough from the toxins in environment and some foods we eat. I am not adding to it by purposely slapping lye in my daughter’s scalp. Who would I be as a holistic practitioner specializing in natural hair care and having a daughter with a perm? That just doesn’t work *LOL*. We have to educate each other and our daughters and remind them of their options.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Love your site! It’s another source of inspiration and great platform for women and children who are on the journey.

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