Hello everyone! Today we have an awesome interview for you. I checked out Rae and Syd's blog at TweenyHair! The minute we saw this blog and the photos of Syd's stunning hair, we knew we HAD to feature her! This is what we all aspire to as our little girls approach teen-hood. Syd is an inspiration! Here we go....
(For the record, this here is the most epic twistout Steph has ever seen! Wow!)
Hi, I’m Rae and I’m the mother of 11 year old Syd. We both love Syd’s natural curls and coils and we agree that relaxers have no place in the future of her hair. The number of girls at school with natural hair is slowly dwindling as they choose to go the relaxer route. Syd knows that her natural hair will stand out more and more as she gets older, but she’s ok with that. She actually thinks it’s fun to stand out. Our challenge recently has been trying to find creative styles that fall somewhere between looking too baby-ish and too sophisticated. We’ve also begun to make the transition from mommy doing all the hair care to Syd learning to do it herself. We’re still in the middle of that transition now, with Syd doing more and more on her own all the time.
Syd says: I love my hair. Especially when it’s big! Sometimes it’s hard to do my hair because I have a lot of it, but I’m getting better and my mom is always here to help.
Here are Rae's answers to our KMC questions:
1. How would you describe the thickness and texture of Syd's hair? What was it like when she was young and it was shorter? How did you used to style it then?
Syd has very thick hair. Most of it is tightly coiled fairly tightly (4a) but there is a section of thinner, more loosely coiled (3c) strands up by her face. It has always been super thick, even when she was a baby, and it was several inches long by her first birthday. When she was younger, she mostly wore cornrow styles or various amounts of braided or twisted ponytails with beads or barrettes on the ends.
2. At what age did she stop wanting all the beads and barrettes?
She was done with barrettes by about second grade. The beads lasted a couple years longer. She is still ok with beads every once in a while, as long as they aren't the brightly colored plastic ones. Wooden beads at the ends of some cornrow styles can still look very age appropriate.
It wasn't as hard as you would think. For the cornrow styles, I did her hair the same as I always had and simply stopped added things to the ends. To replace the styles that consisted of lots of braided or twisted ponytails, I just removed the ponytail aspect and put her hair into box braids or twists instead.
4. How has the transition been into this "older age" with regard to how she feels about her own hair?
A few years ago, she was very self-concious whenever her hair was a little bit frizzy. Twist outs and braid outs could only be worn for one day because she didn't want anyone to see her hair after it started getting fluffy. Then around her 10th birthday she started to embrace her curls. She's now 11 and her favorite style is "big hair." (see photo at right...BIG!) She wears wash and gos, twist outs, and braid outs all the time.
She washes, conditions, and detangles her own hair. I usually help her with the detangling because her hair is so thick and it takes her a long time to get through it all on her own. She can also remove braids and twists for the "out" styles and she can do her own 2 strand twists. I normally let her do the front and I work on the back section that she can't reach very well. She's learning to cornrow by practicing on my head. Eventually, she'd like to be able to put the front of her hair into cornrows by herself, but we're not there yet. She's definitely interested in learning how to do her own hair, but she still likes that I do most of the actual styling.
6. How active is she and how does that play into her hairstyles. Do her styles hold up well?
Syd is a VERY active young lady. Right now, she's on the cross country team at school which means she has been running 4-5 miles a day in 80 - 90 degree weather. Needless to say, we're dealing with an abundance of sweat right now. Box braids hold up pretty well. Lately, we've fallen into a routine where she wears twists one day, a twist out the next, and then we cowash that night and twist her back up again. It's more time consuming, but it gives her the big hair she loves so much.
7. What are her 3-5 most favorite styles?
Wash and gos and twist outs to give her the volume she loves. She also likes small box braids and twists because she can style them different ways every day before school. Being able to go a few weeks without detangling doesn't hurt, either.
Syd's haircare routine is constantly evolving. We shampoo every week or two. It just depends on how dirty her hair seems, when we're going to do new styles, etc. Our products are always changing. We always have Bee Mine products on hand, but we use plenty of other products, too.
9. What do you do after washing when it's wet, are you able to preserve the awesome curl definition after conditioning and detangling and just let it dry like that, and is it good to go? Also, how does she keep her hair at night?
If she wants to wear a down and out style, we can't just add product and go. We have to use Teri Laflesh's Tightly Curly method and define each individual curl one at a time. When she wears it down and we want to preserve the style for the next day, we make a part down the center of her head and very loosely put each side into a banded ponytail. We use one band at the base, one in the middle, and one at the end of each ponytail and we are sure to keep the bands very loose. It's really just to keep the hair from tangling up too much. She usually wraps a satin scarf around her hair at night and she always sleeps on a satin pillowcase.
10. I have to comment on how gorgeous these all-natural box braids are, in the photo at right. How long, and how long? :)
The box braids in that picture took about 5 hours to do and they usually last around 3 weeks, sometimes a little longer.
11. What are her thoughts about her hair and does she have any opinions on straightening or chemicals?
She loves her curls and swears that she will never use chemicals on it. She has had it straightened with a flat iron a couple times in her life, but she hasn't asked for that at all since she started embracing her natural hair. She actually notices how damaged some of the girls' hair is at school after they use relaxers and says she wishes they would keep their hair the way God made it.
We want to thank Rae and Syd for appearing on our blog, we will be following TweenyHair to see what kind of fun we have in store for us as our girls get older! We sure hope they have the confidence and spunk that Syd has, and will love their natural hair as much as Syd and her Mom!