Written by: T.M. Brunson
A question I get asked often, being a mom of six girls—how do you handle all of their hair?
My answer: I do what I can do when I can do it.
My mother wouldn't like that answer because she would make sure to have my and my sister's hair on POINT all of the time. But there were only two of us (and my brother). Plus, my mother permed by hair and out a Jheri Curl in my sister's hair so that our hair would be more manageable.
All six of my daughters have natural, chemical-free hair. They also all have different textures of hair. And, being African-American, there are certain products that I use to make it more manageable. I'm sure I will delve deeper into this topic at another time; but, just to give you a brief synopsis…
It took me 8 years to learn how to cornrow. Literally. My sister-in-law gave me a tutorial for about a week when she visited us in California. The girls were still young, but they had hair. I wasn't forced to learn how to do it right away—not until the girls had gotten older and multiplied in numbers.
Why I needed to learn how to do cornrows?
This style, I learned, would last the longest (if wrapped properly at night in a silk head scarf) and I wouldn't have to do hair every day. I wash the girls' hair anytime between two to four weeks. I make sure to moisturize it with different products.
Their hair ranges from woolly and challenging to manage to soft and somewhat curly. The picture above are just a few of the products that we use. All of their hair gets dry, so I have to make sure to moisturize it, at least three times per week, if not more.
One necessity is a spray bottle of water. (Don't tell my mom because she would not approve of wetting anyone's hair to style it!) The water helps me comb through it. I wouldn't have them go outside in this east coast weather with it wet (during the winter), but if I'm doing hair at night, this is the way to go.
I use Edges (or a kiddie gel, such as Dream Kids Olive Miracle Smooth Edges) to brush down the stray edges around the edge of their hairline. If I want #3 to have a curly afro, I wet her hair and towel dry it. Then, in sections, I add Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator to her hair. I don't know who Uncle Funky is. And I, certainly, don't know his daughter. But what I do know is that it makes her hair super curly and cute.
I use Cantu Leave-In Conditioner or Shea Moisture to comb through their hair. For the kids that have more woolly hair, I try to use a more grease-based conditioning hairdress such as Mizani Rose H2O. These products add a nice sheen to their hair that Cantu doesn't. However, for the girls who have soft, thick hair, the Cantu or Shea Moisture work well to make it easy to comb through and it also gives it a nice sheen.
As you can see with this messy bun on the left, just wetting her hair, adding a little moisturizer or leave-in conditioner, goes a long way in a pinch. She went from that picture at the top to this in less than 10 minutes.
These are little tricks that I use when I don't have a whole lot of time to do a whole lot of hair. When I do have time to do hair, I make sure to wash it, dry it, moisturize it, and do several ponytails for the younger crew. For the two older girls, it gets a little tricky because they don't want to look "baby-ish." So, my sister-in-law has blown out their hair, or I do cornrows, or two-strand twists.
No matter what, I don't let my kids go out with their hair looking dry and knotted. We try to teach them to care about how they look. And we show them by taking care of our own hair (my husband shaves his head).
I used to have long hair, but I have had the same hair (and pretty-much the same hairstyle for over 20 years). It was time for a change.
I told my hairdresser that I wanted to cut it all off. She wasn't too happy to do it, but she listened to me.
I decided to cut it, color it purple, shave it, and eventually get a curly mohawk. It started one way and evolved into something that I have owned.
It took a while to get used to. But I love how manageable it is and it only takes me getting a shapeup once per month.
And I ended up with this style. (Please excuse how tired I look.) Despite me looking tired, people told me that this hairstyle made me look younger. I get compliments every day on the cut and the color—even from people outside of my race.
I may drive a minivan, but I'm the "cool-looking mom" now.
Short hair, don't care.
I've got six kids and I'm rockin' it!