Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Would You Trust Your Partner To Do Your Child's Hair?

There are always pictures and videos making the rounds on the net of dads styling their daughter's hair. They're all super cute and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside...until it happens to you.


My husband and daughter recently planned a two week holiday to go and visit his family. I was freaking OUT for probably a month before the trip because although he has watched me do her hair hundreds a bunch of times, he's never really paid attention to the intricacies of her hair regimen. You know what I mean. It's not just whacking on any old conditioner and off you go. Nooooo. The devil is in the details. Now in fairness, he has attempted on a few occasions to wash her hair but she never lets him. I mean, she's 2, she doesn't like anyone do her hair. Hair time usually consists of threats, pleas, bribes, coercion, distraction and good ol' mama-isn't-playing-anymore face. But Daddy is too soft and she sees him coming a mile off.

My mission for the weeks before their trip was to get them both acquainted with Daddy-Daughter hair time. For him, it was a steep curve. Cowashing instead of shampooing, more leave-in conditioner than he's used his entire life and NEVER, EVER combing hair dry. The whole time he was like 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' and I was like 'Dude, I need you to focus!'.  The closer the travel day got, the more like a broken record I became. 'Don't forget to use lots of conditioner'. 'Doing it in sections makes it easier to manage'. 'Stay on top of the tangles'. 'Start at the tips and work up to the root'. I'm surprised he didn't smother me in my sleep. 

Many people, hubby included, assume that my daughter's hair is easy to manage because she's mixed race. It's not. It is almost as prone to dryness and tangling as mine and it has it's own hair-care needs that must be met to keep it looking good. I kept trying to explain the importance of her hair routine to hubster and what slacking off for even a few days would mean but he was all 'Don't worry, I can do this, how hard can it be?' How hard can it be???? At one point he even said 'I'll just do it my way.' I had to be physically restrained from calling the travel agent and cancelling her ticket.

dry, tangled morning hair after just two days

All too soon, travel day came and my two precious lambs were off on their great adventure. Every time we Face Timed, she looked like she was having such a fantastic time that I didn't have the heart to keep going on about her hair. I asked about it once or twice and he said it was going well. It actually looked alright on the videos (damn you deceptive lighting!) so my worry slowly subsided and I was able to enjoy my mummy-time.

Those two weeks flew by and I was so excited to see them that I completely forgot about the hair situation. Until they walked into the house, tired from a long flight.  I laid one eye on my daughter's hair and...burst into tears! My poor exhausted husband stood there gawking at me while I ugly-cried my way to the bathroom. I know. Total drama queen. But I couldn't help it. Her hair was one giant dreadlock in the back of her head. It looked like this dude right here.

Ok. Slight exaggeration. It was more like this.

Look, you get the point. It was basically just one big beaver tail in the back of her head. And the weird thing was, he said he got loads of compliments on her hair. I was like 'how?????!!'

After the sob-fest ended (actually during the last part of it), I set to work trying to salvage what I could of her hair. I drowned her hair in coconut oil and then, in a fit of madness and despair, conditioner, which actually made the whole thing A BILLION times worse, because of the moisture. I was so stressed out I completely forgot to take pictures of her hair until hours later. 

5 hours in...broke the big loc down into little locs like these two to make it easier to detangle

9 hours later... after three ice-lollies (her), Dora and Paw-Patrol tag-team (her) one nap (her) one pizza (both of us) and lots more tears (me), I had managed to finger detangle my way through her whole head. The ends were dry and raggedy as hell and I had to cut off some bits that were just too matted but I saved most of her hair and a wash, deep condition and trim later, we were done. She lost about 3 inches in length but it could have been worse. 

Although I'm able to laugh about it now (not we, me. He may never laugh about it. Ever.), I've realised that I need to involve my husband more in doing Miss A's hair. For a control freak like me, this will be tough, but he's her dad after all, he should know.

So, do any of you have any hair horror stories? Or successes? 

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