Little M has big loose curls, very different from any hair I have worked on before. So I am learning as I go here. Little M is adopted like my girls and similarly has a white momma who had little experience with curly hair prior to becoming her mom. The difference is that Little M's curls are pretty easy to care for even for someone with little experience. To this point they had stuck to ponytails and french braids without a huge need for learning to cornrow or do other protective styles. Until recently when they began to tire of the constant ponytail (M doesn't like wearing her poofy hair down, and it becomes quite messy and tangled if she does) so a mutual friend made the connection for Momma Kara and I.
After looking through my blog, Momma Kara decided she liked the versatility of box braids. So that was the first style we would try. I put one cornrow in the front and then Kara and I worked on the braids together. This style is something that Kara will be able to duplicate on her own, but just needed to be pointed in the right direction. As we worked I gave her some tips and tricks to doing protective styles and keeping M's GORGEOUS curls healthy. I am not sure she needs help with that though, because M's hair is already long and beautiful! I also showed her a few blogs of kids with looser curls that she could gain some inspiration from. It is so fun for me to help inspire a mom in person and get my hands into some sweet little girl hair!
By the way, you would never know that this was the first time M had her hair done. We worked for at least 3 hours to braid and bead her hair and she sat as still as a statue!
I learned something really interesting from this experience too. I am not sure if this is true on all hair types but it was certainly the case with Little M's looser curls. When I do hanging braids I braid pretty tightly, and I don't mean near the scalp - although I do make that as snug as I can, but I mean that each stitch of the braid is very close to the next, I have many many stitches per braid. Kara was braiding a lot looser than I was, fewer stitches per braid. On her side of the head, M's individual braids were making big loopy, curls as though they had been curled with soft spikes! On my side, the braids pretty much just hung straight down. They were more stiff. Neither way was wrong, or bad, just different. The curly braids were actually super cute! But we ended up putting beads on the braids and that weighed them down and took a lot of the curl out.
You can see on the right some of the braids curling up a bit!
Since I am new to the loose curls I was unsure of how long these braids would hold up for Little M. I have heard from Momma Kara, and they easily lasted a week! The whole family was thrilled with M's new look and her little straight haired sister wanted in on the fun! So both girls ended up with beads and new sleep caps!
What a GREAT experience! I can't wait to do M's hair again! Who's next????