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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-05 10:46 AM
Original message
AA hair care
Hi all -

I have a just turned 7 yo AA boy (adopted) who has decided once again to "grow his hair out". He'll get cornrows when it's long enough, until it's long enough for braids which is what he really wants.

So it's in this sort of Afro stage - just long enough to make picking it out every day a real challenge. He says it hurts no matter how "easy" I try to be with him! I've used wide toothed combs, plastic picks, metal picks, etc.

Here's the big problem - product. He seems to be allergic to nearly every AA product on the market. I've figured out some of the culprits - cocoa butter definitely - and either shea or jojoba. (Of course for his body lotion, ONLY the most expensive brands will work. :) )

I tried going just the OIL route for his hair. Olive oil is okay and African 8 oil - at least he doesn't break out - BUT - it makes his hair "sticky" not to mention it gets all over everything.

Did I mention he can't seem to keep a cap on his head? I've tried every style I can find - no luck, by morning it's off.

Infusium - a water based product - at least helps with picking it out some, so do some Children's DeTanglers - BUT they don't seem to do much to keep his hair soft and healthy feeling if you know what I mean.

So - any helpful hints?

Oh yeah - he has a tight curl. I've also wondered about "relaxers" for children, would that help the knotting?

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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. Motions makes some great stuff
and I think, but am not sure, that their products don't contain cocoa butter, shea or jojoba. I know they make a kid's line and the only real difference between it and their adult products is most of the children's products have detangler in them. Instead of going the just oil route try a hair lotion or something oil based with a creamy texture. Since he has so many allergies I'm guessing he'd have a bad reaction to relaxer so I wouldn't recommend it. Even the no-lye and children's brands have very strong chemicals in them. Besides I've always preferred the way braids look on un-relaxed hair.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. thanks
I'll have to go check the labels.

I've tried so many products over the years I can't keep track of what we've tried or not. To add to the problem, he's allergic to the fragrance of some products.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. It's a problem if he's allergic to everything.
I say keep it cut short to better manage it.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Hi mzteris
Edited on Sat Dec-10-05 07:13 PM by bliss_eternal
I'm very late to this, sorry I didn't see it sooner.
The first thing that came to mind, because he wants braids at some pointis locks. Locks would completely alleviate the issue of combing for both of you. Locks are very stylish these days and easy on upkeep. A lot of the AA entertainers have them, and I see men getting them done at my hair salon frequently.

I've always said if I ever decided to get dredlocks I would get Sisterlocks. They are so beautiful to me. They look like braids, but it's your hair.

I've seen men and boys with locks and they look really handsome. The only thing is, they aren't 'reversible' like braids are. Once you get them--you've got them. LOL! But you can always cut them out(ala' Lenny Kravitz)--and for a boy/man that's not a problem---far more tramautic for a woman.

Speaking of Lenny, I really miss his dredlocks. They were so cool on him. Then again he's hot no matter what he does to his hair. LOL!

For an active, little boy locks could be empowering and free him from the daily hassle of 'combing.' He'd have to keep them clean of course, but no more combing.For little boys, that's huge!

When my younger brother was that age, he and my mother fought constantly about his hair. He hated combing it or doing ANYTHING to it. So my mother frequently took him to the barber and had it ALL cut off. That would defeat the purpose for you, as he wants braids.

For more information on them(sisterlocks), you can visit this site-- /

There's lots of information about the hair system there, and links to information on consultants in your area.

If he isn't interested in locks, I'd try to find an African American barber shop in or near your community. They would be able to help you with product and possible tips on combing, etc.

Sorry for the long reply. Hair is one of the areas I used to obsess over, and have a lot of information
on. LOL!

Let me know how it goes--if you have more questions, feel free...

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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-14-05 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Braids v locks?
I didn't know they were different. :(

They look really cute, I've seen that type before and I like them. Better yet - HE likes them, too.

I couldn't figure out how they "do" them, though.

As for being reversible - I don't think that'd be a big issue anyway. LONG "braids" are pretty difficult to undo anyways, right? (He has one braid at the nape of his neck - long story! - that I have to frequently undo and rebraid. What an ordeal that is.)

I just need to find someone in the area who can do them, and cost is a factor. Though if I don't have to worry about them falling out - like braids - then I'd be willing to pay a bit more.

The one time we tried cornrows when he was four - it took forever, he cried, it cost a lot, and started falling out after two days. :(

Would I still have a "product" problem, though?? Do you have to keep them moisturized, etc?
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-14-05 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Hi mzteris--
Wanted you to know I've seen this. I'm doing a little digging on the internet for you of sources that may provide you with more information.

Yes, braids are a PAIN. I enjoyed them a great deal while I had them, but HATED the removal process more than I even care to remember right now. LOL! LOL! So I can only imagine what you both went through... :hug:

So I'll be back in just a bit... See ya' then!

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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-14-05 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Hi, I'm back!
Edited on Wed Dec-14-05 08:44 PM by bliss_eternal
Ok, as far as the process that is involved in getting the locks in, I'm not sure about, as I don't have them personally. But, thankfully the sisterlocks site provides information on that.

Visit this link:

Then on that page, click on the jpg that details the steps in the process--this will blow it up on your screen, so hopefully you can read it. If not, there's a phone number on that page--give them a call and request an information packet be sent to you. Edited to add: I just read the page I'm refering you to--only a few visits involved in the whole process! Very cool! Check it out at the site!

Someone in your area that does this, should be able to tell you their costs, what's involved (how many visits involved, how labor intensive, etc.). Follow this link, then scroll down the page to North Carolina for people in your area:

The consultants would probably be able to tell you more about upkeep in terms of products, etc. I can't imagine that it would require a great deal of product for maintenance, since locks are a 'natural' style option, which works with the natural texture of his hair. You won't be using products the same way you would for a braided style or even when he is wearing an afro. But again, I don't speak as one that wears the style myself--a consultant in your area should be able to tell you more about that.

On 2nd edit--I looked at those in NC, and there are several. Not sure what part of NC you are in, but one of the ladies has a weblink on that page. I cut and paste it below for you:

On her personal page, she features a gallery and there is a picture of a little one that she gave sisterlocks to--it was so cute I just wanted to give you the link so you could see it. That little face with all those locks. Too CUTE!

Best wishes to you and your son and his journey to find something more convenient for his hair--and please keep me posted! Don't hesistate to ask any other questions I may help you with, I'll do my best!


Let me know what you find out--I'm excited for both of you! This may help you both a lot--in terms of not having to fight what nature gave him, or in terms of taking out braids and such--painful and it gets expensive, too!


Don't be a stranger to this forum--we're all here to help!
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thanks for your help!
I really appreciate the time you took to find this. Ayana isn't really very close. There was one person listed who is a bit closer, but no website so I'll have to call and see if she's still in the area.

I'm also wondering if other people do this style - without the name Sisterlocks - and might be around here. I can ask the ladies who usually cut his hair, they might know. They're the ones who also told me his hair wouldn't "hold a braid" very well that it would probably slip out - they did say he has a good grade of hair, though. :)

There are some braiding salons in the area but when I called - whew! they were expensive. But again, if he can do it and leave it without constantly having to "rebraid it" - then it would probably be worth it. And I really want my son to have the 'do' he wants.

At least I have some point of reference - and pictures - to use in asking around if the lady listed isn't around here.

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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm sorry that Ayana is too far for you...
Hopefully the other listings are still around. I'm holding good thoughts.

Just a friendly warning in your search, though...

Some hair salons that do black hair can be weird about locks. Very weird. While they are 'cool' with the idea of braids, some have a less than accepting attitude of locks. Even though they are far more popular than they ever were before, some blacks are still not cool with locks. The history of this thing goes WAY back and it would take me far more time than either of us has to get into all of it.

I'm not trying to dissuage you, as you know how I feel about them. Just a warning so you know what you are dealing with and who to avoid. A salon may try to talk you out of it, even though it's what your son wants. Braiding salons *can* be very pricey. :wow: I know that some aren't always going to encourage you to pursue other options either, because they want your money. :eyes:

I know it's a long distance call, but maybe you could get a long distance calling card at a drugstore or somewhere and also call the number from the sisterlocks site, IF you call the local consultant and don't find her. They would be the best source for finding someone. If you explain the situation (that you are a mom to an adoptee, and seeking options for him), she may be able to tell you what to look out for and what to avoid. I heard she's very nice and she's done this a long time. As a woman of color she KNOWS what you may be up against in dealing with this stuff... (black hair industry, etc.)

Oh, and since they are for your son, they would be called Brotherlocks, I learned from my research. ;)

Thanks for the update--let me know how it goes with the closer ones! :hug:

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