Those Curls! (And Free Giveaway)


There is not a day that goes by that someone does not comment on how beautiful Lucy’s curls are.  I agree.  In adopting a daughter from Ethiopia, I was terrified about the hair.  And I feel like I won the lottery with this one!  (In many ways…not JUST the hair.)  I have gotten a few requests to share how we get her corkscrew curls, so here’s my best effort to explain it.

Disclaimer #1: I am not a hair professional.  I do not know anything about hair.  I didn’t know much about my own hair, and knew absolutely nothing about African-American hair until about a year ago.  What you will see here is the result of lots of trial and error.  If you want some helpful advice, tips, or styles, I strongly encourage you to visit Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care.  She knows a lot more than me and is WAAAAAY better at braiding.

Disclaimer #2: I don’t think this hairstyle will work on most African babies.  Lucy’s hair, while curly, is very fine (not course) and absorbs water very well.  Although her hair is drier than mine, it is not brittle and doesn’t break (much).  Sorry, but I can’t guarantee results on any other hair type.

Here is what we use:


Here’s what we do:

  • Wash with Shea Moisture shampoo on Saturdays.
  • Co-wash (wash only using conditioner) with Shea Moisture conditioner every night.
  • Apply Shea Moisture Smoothie after conditioning every night and comb through the tangles.  (Yes, we comb out every night.  Only takes a few minutes.  See disclaimer #2.)
  • Sleep with a sleep cap.  (Visit Africa Sleeps – you’ll see Lucy modeling her cap on the home page!)

And here’s how we get those gorgeous curls:

Those Curls! from Kristin W on Vimeo.  Videography by Sam (who apologizes for the momentary thumb over the lens).

This process takes about 5-10 minutes in the morning, depending on how squirmy she is.  I consider that within the acceptable time frame of what I’m willing to spend on her hair.  As her hair gets longer, it may take longer, which may be a deal breaker for me.

Like I said, this routine is currently working for us, but it took a lot of trail and error to get to this point.  That’s where the giveaway comes in.  I have the following items in my “tried it and didn’t work for us” cabinet, which I will give away to one lucky 2 plus 2 reader.

DSC_4422All of these are at least half full, some were only used a few times.  To win, leave a comment about why you’d love to have all these products to try.  Leave your comment by Wednesday, April 10 at midnight.  Winner will be randomly selected on April 11.  This is a great way to get some really expensive products and not have to worry about whether you are wasting your money.


10 responses

  1. Umer’s older brothers have convinced him to grow his hair out (by pointing out all of the professional athletes with cool hairdos). His is rather dry so we continue to look for the right products! I never dreamed I would spend so much time and thought on a boys hair!

  2. How funny! We use the Shea conditioner too and I’ve been meaning to write a hair post! How old was Lucy when you started putting a sleep cap on her (and/or: how old was she before she would leave it on?).

    LOVED the video – those curls are unreal. Drinking from the water bottle was hilarious.

    So just to clarify: you leave in that conditioner before adding the Shea Smoothie, or are you rinsing it out in the tub and then adding the Smoothie?

    • She started with the sleep cap at about 14 months. There are still many days when she wakes up in the morning without it, but it is usually still on when we go to bed about 10:00. For the conditioner, we do about a half-rinse…I get some out so it’s not thick, but I don’t work hard to get it all out.

  3. Help….me… =) I LOVE kinky curly knot today! We’re still in the experimental phase of figuring out what works best for us–I see some products we haven’t tried before =)

  4. I would LOVE to try these products. We live on an island in Alaska so our product selection is non-existent. My two year old hair’s texture is continuing to change and I am continuing to try to find what works best. i would love to try some of these out.

  5. Thanks for sharing your tricks of the trade! I just started using the Shea Moisture Smoothie (on your recommendation) and I now understand why you said you wanted to eat your baby – it smells soooo good! I love the way you have her sitting with her feet in the sink; that is not something I would have thought of, but I will try it when Kiya’s able to sit still a bit better. Her hair is so uneven in length with some relatively bare spots; I’m eager for it to fill in a bit so I can try to work with it some more. I just ordered her sleep cap and am curious to see how she reacts to it.

  6. I am a clueless (when it comes to hair) mom-to-be of a curly haired (almost) one year old. I have to take lessons from my ethnically diverse middle schools students on where to even start w/ hair. I could sure use a start up package ;]

  7. Pingback: And the winner is… | 2 + 2

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