The Joseph Family with Myles (far right).
Today I’m excited to bring you a new feature on a pint-sized friend, Myles! I recently caught up with Myles’ mother Rebekah to talk about Myles’ awesome head of hair and how she keeps it looking great even though it is very different than her own. Check it out below!
MM: First off thank you for agreeing to do this. I’ve admired your son’s hair for a while now (I mean look at it!) and I know that we’ve talked briefly about it. Do you feel like it’s been a challenge learning to care for his hair as it is so different than yours?
Rebekah: Thank you! It really is an honor that you even asked! This has been a journey I never really gave much thought before having children, but now that we’re here, 3 years in, I’ve learned a lot! I would say that it has been a bit of a challenge learning about his hair. My hair is pretty much wavy/curly hair that you would expect a white woman to have. I wash mine about every few days, blow dry, straighten (when I have the time with a 3 year old and 5 month old) and generally throw back in a rubber band (the basic Mom look, really glamorous). But, Myles’ hair has a different story. When he was younger, maybe until about 18 months, his hair texture was more like mine, just a bit more curly, and slowly, his texture began to change, and his curls got tighter, and tighter. I started looking for resources and help. I looked first to family, my husband was no help, my mother in law was really used to doing a different texture of hair and she braided both her sons’ hair at an early age, friends had some suggestions, but what I found to be the most, in depth help was a blog/facebook page called Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care written by a white mother who adopted an African American little girl. She broke down a hair care regimen that made it easy to follow, and helped me to understand the basics. And once I had the basics down, I knew where to go from there. I really liked her style and the CHVC community on Facebook, they are diverse and supportive. It can be a bit challenging to not know what you’re doing and a bit intimidating to ask. (I’m not exactly going to go up to some random lady at Target and ask about her hair care, maybe that’s just me though).
Myles, with his curly hair.
MM: I think that some parents may worry about their little boys having too long or “girly hair”. Was that ever a discussion or concern in your home?
R: I don’t remember ever really having a discussion with my husband about Myles having “girly hair”. We knew early on that we weren’t going to cut it for some time, but we would revisit the cut/not to cut situation over time. There have been many times he has been called a girl, and it has not phased him, probably due to his age. I know that people don’t mean anything by it; however, sometimes I have to question their reasoning. He will be decked out in obviously boy clothes. But, oh well. If his hair becomes an issue for him, or if he wants to cut it, we will.My husband cuts his own hair, so he would be the one doing it. And in all honesty, I think my husband is just as attached (if not more) than I am.
I will say that both my husband and his brother had longish hair past their first birthdays, so for him, this is normal. Since Myles is a boy, we have avoided more protective styles (well, being a boy, and the fact that I’m 100% sure he would not sit and let me braid or style it for more than 10 minutes, max!). I think that some protective styles may make him look more feminine, but we have yet to have to deal with that. Seriously, the only time I’ve been able to pull it back it was to put a Batman mask on, and he made me take it off as soon as the mask came off.
MM: I know from first hand experience that hair care regimens are important when you have curly or kinky hair. How do care for your little guy’s mane on a daily or weekly basis? And what products do you use?
R: We wash one time a week, unless he gets it exceptionally dirty, which happens quite a bit. He is a very active boy that likes to roll around in dirt/sand/grass/etc. I’ve picked out countless pebbles, sticks, moss, and wood chips from his hair. In the summer, if we should go swimming or go to the beach (or if he gets any kind of chemical in his hair) we wash more often. Daddy does the washing about 98% of the time, he does Myles’s bath, so it just kind of works out that way. As he washes, he tries to detangle by hand as much as possible and we do a leave-in conditioner and a good spray down with detangler. (We wash with Curls Unleashed Shampoo, we started using Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner and Detangler for kids, although I like their adult line better, but would purchase Shea Moisture or Curls Unleashed when we run out of these) Then we comb (with a wide toothed comb), from tip to root, that was a big change for me, since I comb the opposite direction. After that, I moisturize (with Shea Moisture Hold and Shine Moisture Mist and Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk).
Daily I spray with water, then with a detangler/moisturizer (Shea Moisture), then moisturize with a combination of Moroccan oil (Garnier Fructis) and a hair milk (Shea Moisture brand). I let it air dry and try to keep him off the carpet while that is happening. I guess this seems like a lot, but it works for us. And, getting a 3 year old to sit still while this happens isn’t always the easiest of tasks. There have been times I’ve run behind him, as he laughs, trying to evade the hair ritual, and I’m just trying to do whatever I can and call it a day.
Our biggest struggles with already styled hair are the carpet (he loves to lay on the carpet), the carseat, and his pillow. We will be purchasing some silk pillow cases to go on his pillow and over the back of his car seat to hopefully help retain moisture/style.
MM: And how does Myles feel about his hair?
R: I think Myles likes his hair. It’s him. Every now and then he tells me he wants a hair cut. I tell him that he will then have short hair like Daddy, and then I ask him if he wants to have short hair like his Daddy, he laughs and says “No, that’s silly!” Recently, he has been pulling on his hair more as well, because it is longer, but not in a disruptive way.
I will say that we LOVE his hair. It really reflects his personality to me. (he is a bit wild and crazy at times!) But, if he really wants to cut his hair, and can understand what that means, we will arrange it, and cut it. He will look completely different, but he will still be a handsome guy!
MM: Finally, are there any other tips or things you would like to share with the readers?
R: I think that being the parent of bi-racial children, with hair very different from my own has been a bit challenging. I never wanted to get ‘those looks’. You know those looks that people give when a mother when her child’s hair looks a mess. I wanted to know how to do his hair (and now, his sister’s hair, whenever it finally grows in). I have joked that I’m only keeping it long to train me for how to do her hair, but that isn’t altogether the case. I love his hair. To me, it is him, and I don’t keep his hair long for other people, it is just what we decided to do. I am very glad that we haven’t listened to the people who have suggested, or flat out told us, to cut his hair. Even random strangers have told us that his hair needs to be cut, “Hello, none of your business.”
But, I think that with anything that we do to or for our bodies, we have to find what works for us, and we are still figuring it out. I’m sure that our daily routine will change with time. Maybe we’ll find products we like better, use less products, or be able to do more protective styles, or maybe we’ll cut his hair when he goes to school. Who knows. But, we do what works for now, and adjust as time goes on.
There you have it! Special thanks to Rebekah for sharing her little mane man and her family’s story with us. Be sure to comment below!