Happy Girl Hair! (interview)
I don’t have kids (nor do I have any plans of having them anytime soon), so when I stumbled onto a blog about kids’ hair, my initial reaction was to click away. But I decided to take a little scroll through and found myself blown away by how phenomenal the hair of these two little starlets looked. Scrolled a little bit further, found out they were adopted 5-year old twins who were born in Ethiopia….[more scrolling]…..discovered that their Caucasian Mom, Katie, was responsible for not only the creation of this blog, but also the maintenance and styling of their beautiful, healthy hair.
I don’t know what impressed me more, the fact that a person of non-African descent was doing such a bang up job of styling African hair or just how darn GOOD Little B and Little R’s hair looked!! I mean, we’re talking some knots, twists, fro’s, and rows—all looking exceptionally well done! Either way, it was truly inspirational and beautiful to see!
Despite my lack of children, I think that I felt a connection to the blog in several ways:
1. I was a little girl rocking twists and braids once upon a time
2. My mom spent a lot of time doing my hair in these styles too
3. I am currently going through the same learning process that Katie underwent with her daughters: learning how to make natural hair thrive
Katie was gracious enough to do an e-terview with me about her experiences with her daughters’ hair…I also snuck a styling question in there so that maybe, just maybe, I can become as good as she is 🙂
Read the full interview after the jump!
Me: Your girls’ hair looks so healthy and the styles are really cute and creative! Where did you learn your techniques?
Katie: Thank you! I learned so much from reading forums and natural hair sites, watching You Tube videos, and experimenting. Little R’s first style was giant sections with little puffs. It took me forty-five minutes to make nine boxes with sloppy, crooked parts. Happily, things improved from there. One thing I’ve come to understand is that I can watch videos or look at photos of styles forever, but without practice, and failure, there is no learning.
Me: Do Little B and Little R have any input on how their hair is styled? Who gets to pick out all of the accessories?
Katie: A few days before hair day, I often ask if there is a style they would really like. If they don’t have a preference, I suggest something I’ve wanted to try, or choose a style based on how much time we have that day. When I chose the style, I always make sure they are on board with it before I start.
We share accessory choice. I do like accessories to match their clothes, so I often make suggestions or give them the choice between two options. Sometimes, I put something in and we both decide whether it’s working or not. I’ve heard, “That’s not really cute mom.” any number of times. I always make sure they are satisfied before we head out the door.
Me: My mom always stressed the relationship between a well-kept head of hair and the self-esteem of young girls of African descent. Have you seen any correlation between these two factors as a result of the stellar care you’ve given your little ladies’ hair?
Katie: I try hard to instill a sense of beauty, pride, and satisfaction with their hair because I know that as soon as they are exposed to pop culture they will see a beauty standard that does not celebrate their natural hair texture. I want them to have a strong foundation of identity and self-esteem when they encounter those experiences. I think your mom is right; it is critical that girls feel well-cared for, cherished, and worth our best efforts
Me: For many, the online hair community and blogosphere has played a huge role in their natural hair care process. How has this technology impacted your experience?
Katie: Technology has had an enormous impact on our hair care routines and styling. I can’t overstate it. It’s huge. Hair forums, hair sites, You Tube videos, and hair blogs are resources I use all the time. They provide instruction, inspiration, and information that would not be available any other way. It’s a lot of fun when hair bloggers do variations of each other’s styles and then share the results; it creates a great sense of community. Forums are also wonderful for the community they create, and as a place to listen to many voices share experience and wisdom.
Me: What have you learned in the process of learning to care for 2
heads that are very different from one and other, both of which are differently textured than your own?
Katie: I’ve learned that much of styling very different textures is about managing expectations. For example, my Little B’s coils hold a cornrow much longer than Little R’s. Little R’s hair is going to hang down, while Little B’s is going to coil up and out. I believe that realistic expectations, and understanding the nature of each texture are the keys to success.
I’m fond of telling the girls that our little family has almost every type of curl there is. I’ve learned so much about curls and coils that I’ve finally been able to understand how to properly care for my own hair. I’m thirty-six and just within the last year, I’ve come to understand how curly my hair actually is and how to treat those curls. It’s a joy to experience almost every curl type- all at once.
Me: I am still personally trying to figure out how to use Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme that you recommend on your site…any suggestions?? 🙂
Katie: Yes! I love this product for twists and braids. After hair has been sectioned for styling, I smooth some between my fingertips and then work it in to each slightly damp section just before twisting or braiding. I find that it helps keep the braid or twist neat and when I take the style out, the hair is deliciously soft.
Me: Anything else you’d like to add
Katie: Thank you for this opportunity to talk hair!
You can find the superb stylings of Katie, Little R, and Little B at Happy Hair Girls!