The Family Hair

It’s not straightforward

Hair is a highly fraught topic in our society. It’s evident in the classification of “ethnic” hair products against an accepted standard of normal hair. This is, of course, completely made up. (Made up by centuries of colonialism, othering, capitalism and lots of other complicated stuff which I’ll happily rant about in this blog from time to time.) It’s because we see things in quite a different way around here. We never want our girls to feel like their hair is anything other than normal.

In a word, the hair in this family is a bit complicated. Between my people and Burgess’s people (and that’s only going back to our grandparents’ generation), we have the blood of five continents running in our children.

Burgess wears his hair in locks. He has for about 10 years now. I’ve got very fine, thin hair which I used to wear long, but have recently had a conversation with a pair of scissors. I’m loving my new messy cropped short hair, actually. But it was a big change.

We are not lifelong healthy hair people. Not by a stretch. But we’ve come a long way. I wore gold and bronze highlights in my twenties and was guilty of using a cocktail of Pepsi and lemon juice in my hair as a teenager, though I can’t remember why now.

And he recently confessed to having a jerry curl in the 80s. Uh huh.

Our girls have got a mixture. Both have a lot of lovely, beautifully curly, but tangle-prone hair which needs the right kind of moisture to stay soft and healthy. One has perfectly symmetrical curls all over her head, whilst the other has at least three different hair textures and curls. So a little more challenging. For Mimi’s hair, we use the muru muru smoothie and the hair + scalp oil.

Our younger daughter’s hair has the most amazing bouncy spiral curl, but it tangles very easily. We’re working on a lighter conditioning aloe spray to keep her curls curly, not frizzy. It also refreshes everyone’s hair in between washing days. I love it on my skin instead of lotion.

To make my wispy cobweb hair a little interesting, I’ve made a texturising and conditioning hair spray with sea salt and aloe water . . . and a few other things. OK, seaweed! I promise it doesn’t smell like . . . whale butt. . .

Both of these very lovely smelling concoctions will be offered in at least two bespoke natural scents, SeaFlower (sweet orange and rose geranium) and Windward (lime, ylang ylang flower and bay), and will be with you as soon as our chemist has put them through the necessary tests for safety and efficacy.

For Don’s mucho plentiful locks and to keep the girls’ plaits, twists, or ponytail ends tidy, I’ve mixed up a natural wax and butter paste that nourishes hair and adds shine whilst holding it in place. I use a little to define a side part sometimes, to keep the annoying bits from sticking out (often), or when I’m in the mood for a sleeker look. It also washes out easily. Because it has to!

The main challenge though, and reason even for making these products, has been the girl with the “hair of many ancestors.” She was the toddler with a mohawk, the one who hated getting her hair combed, the kid who ran away screaming at the sight of a comb, and the beautiful child who her dad called the kid with the “dynamite hair style.”

We’ve developed and trialled our own products for more than five years now. They work. They keep our family hair healthy and easy to manage, which gives us more time and energy to stay busy and keep up with our adventures.

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