Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hair Evolution: Back to Reality

Well, our 2nd experiment with yarn braids/Jenie Locs has come to an end. Back to life. Back to reality! These braids were a tremendous success compared to our last experiment with them 6 months prior. The first time they only stayed in a few days. This time they stayed in 8 weeks and 2 days--and we could have gone longer!

I have seen a ton of pictures of kids during the process of braiding, and tons of pics of the final product, but not many of what the hair is like upon taking the braids out.

Honestly, I was very fearful that we were going to end up with a bald Kendi. One braid fell out a few weeks ago and there was barely any hair left to replace the braid with. The kids said Bright pulled that braid, so it's possible he yanked her hair out. Still...

I was somewhat encouraged once I took all of the braids out. Easy process. Less than an hour. I cut the yarn to the point where I thought the hair was mixed in. Then I unbraided just the stub that was left.

Kendi wanted to leave her hair this way!

Next step was to detangle the mess, and give it a good "bath" in moisture! As I wetted her hair and started working oils in my hands were COVERED in her hair. It was pretty unsettling to see! I had heard that there would be a lot of this because the hair isn't able to shed what it would naturally lose when it's in the yarn braids. Still, I'm not sure if this amount is normal or if some of Kendi's hair was pulled out from the weight of the braids. [Her hair is way more fragile than most other kids' hair.]

I forgot to take a picture of the mound of hair that fell out. It was probably 3 inches round by 2 inches tall. A LOT of hair considering how little she has to being with!

Here she is after detangling, but before final styling.
At this point I relaxed because I could see that, at the least, we didn't appear to have less over all coverage than before the braids.
Here she is after I added Bee Mine Curly Butter to define her curls a bit more. Yea!
Do you notice anything missing in this picture? The bald spot is gone! That bald spot that has been with her her whole life, and a constant bother to us for the past 16 months!
All in all, the experiment was a success, and I feel it's a good styling choice for Kendi in the future. The amount of hair that came out was hard to see, but I think most of it was the hair that would have normally shed out over the course of 2 months. I don't think her hair grew much (if any) during the 2 months BUT it does seem that she has more hair per square inch of scalp. I will take thicker hair any day!
It's back to headbands, scarves, bows and cute hats for us. All of the kids say that now Kendi "looks Ghanaian again!" We were all sure to make a fuss over how beautiful she is with her natural curls and I think she went to bed feeling good about things even though she would probably choose to always have "long Dora hair" if I let her. =-)


Heather 10:31 PM  

The hair loss always freaks me out too! But the short style works well on her. And no bald spot!!!! Yeah!

Rose M. Welch 10:42 PM  

She looks gorgeous both ways. :)

Rose M. Welch 10:43 PM  

She looks gorgeous both ways! :)

Cindy 11:07 PM  

It looks great! I think it looks like she has more then she did 2 months ago : )
Just for your info...we easily end up with a 4x3 inch pile of hair when we take out the braids....then we loose quite a bit more when we wash and condition. I know Mihiret has a lot more to lose but I do think it is normal.
: )

Kristin 1:40 AM  

Wow! I can't believe how much hair she has now. I remember meeting her over two years ago now-she has changed so much and looks fantastic! Way to go MOM!

the H family 12:45 PM  

We recently took efia's braids out, and she loses a LOT of hair every time. It scared me the first few times but as far as I can tell, she doesn't have any bald spots or sparse patches. I lose a lot of hair myself, so I know it is normal, if not unsettling. Every time we wash and comb out Efia's hair, I swear we could make a wig out of what comes off the comb,and I am very careful! Kendi is just as cute with or without her Dora hair!

Nadia 7:28 PM  

we loose a TON during the take down, wash, re style process as well..TONS...!! totally normal...just look at the hairs..are they short broken pieces, or are they longer with the root still attached??

Deborah 9:43 PM  

We, too, are using the curly hair look. JubiLee has had a bald spot for a while, and now it is covered,but thinner than the rest of her head. We do bows, and scarves and headbands. A friend of mine crocheted a headband with a flower, and it is really pretty.
JubiLee also has ringlettes, and they are so pretty. I really enjoy seeing Kendi grow up :)

Zimmerman family 7:26 PM  

Our friends from Cameroon, Africa told us that the hair grows much better when it is braided. I really didn't believe it till I had not braided Victoria's hair for a while and then did. It is true!! If you keep it braided for some reason it grows more.

Kendi is so beautiful!!

A. Gillispie 1:02 PM  

Yep Hilda, braiding is considered "protective styling." There is less breakage and the hair keeps more moisture when braided. Unfortunately, Kendi's hair is too fine and short to stay in braids. =-(