Monday, July 16, 2012

A Hair Milestone!

Des and Bri have almost been home for 2 years.  And in that time, I've learned a lot about caring for and styling their hair.

When I went to Ethiopia to meet and bring Des and Bri home, their heads had been shaved.  They were totally bald for a few days before they got some stubbly growth.  (I remember thinking that it might be a bit awkward having to explain to Scott why my chest was covered with stubble burns (which was due to the girls snuggling on me all day and night).)

For the first 10 months home, we left their hair loose. And then, due to it's length and my desire to change things up, we decided to start styling it.  Because I have carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes in both hands and I had no idea what I was doing, I had a hard time getting anything to resemble a "style."

For a few months, I took the girls to a weekly hair appointment.  It was a good opportunity for them to get used to having their hair done without me being the "bad guy."  They hated having it done so I would hold them and comfort them and let them watch videos on my phone.  And at the end of each session they seemed to like the way their hair looked.

Eventually, after having surgery on one of my hands and arms and getting tired of dragging everyone (sometimes even Jack and Logan) to weekly salon appointments, I started to do the girls' hair myself.  I've come along way...and still have a ways to go.  I think when I can cornrow, I'll consider myself fairly competent.

And ...after 1 year of hair styling, the girls finally sit for decent lengths of time and almost seem to enjoy getting their hair done.  This is huge for us...for quite awhile the girls and I would cry during hair was painful and boring for them and frustrating for me.  We've all come a long way.  Des' current style took about 6 hours to complete from wash to detangle to style.  This was broken up into much smaller increments but is still a huge deal for us considering where we were 1 year ago.

Here is a bit of the girls' hair history in photos:

June 2011, 10 months after having heads shaved
 Their 1st style: the front section is parted in the middle and braided close to the scalp.

First teeny tiny short braids

More little braids with different parts

At the salon, two women working on Bri at the same time so it would be faster

 First cornrows

Finally Mama starts doing their hair; Des in braids and Bri with some unidentified half style

September 2011, More braids...the only things Mama is semi-comfortable doing

"Uh, need work on getting these things to not stick straight up!"

Bri in smaller braids and Des in what became her signature style, puffs

Bri with a braid-out and Des still in puffs (six in total)

December 2011, finally giving twists a chance with lots of colored bands

Bri's bantu knots upfront and loose hair in the back and Des' puffs

Braids again on longer hair but still sticking up every which way

Bri's loose hair, big and beautiful

Almost getting those braids to behave

 Des wearing our "just washed and stretching" style, though this is supposed to be a transition from wash to style it often gets left in for weeks

May 2012, Bri in twists with no rubber bands and Des in puffs

Des with approximately 75 twists with colorful snaps and Bri with probably 50 twists with black snaps, the girls call this their "clickity-clack hair" because of the noise it makes with the swing their heads

Looking forward to see what I can do a year from now!


  1. You're doing great, momma!!! Beautiful girls!

  2. Good job! And what beautiful girls - those eyes and those smiles just make me melt. I love Bri's loose, big and beautiful hair. Those braids and twists are all so cute. Clickity-clack!

  3. That is really cool to see. Amazing how much work hair can be. You are a good Momma!


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