We had a seriously rockin' New Year's Eve here at our house! I spent SIX HOURS putting yarn braids in Avé's hair. Now if THAT doesn't qualify as a party, I don't know what does!!!
Seriously though. SIX hours. I may never have a "I was in labor for you for three days!" story to hold over her head... but I'm gonna have plenty of "I was in labor (ON YOUR HAIR!) for six hours!" stories for her!!! ;-)
First I watched a video on youtube to learn how to do yarn braids. The video is great- very detailed explanation. Then we went to Hobby Lobby to pick out yarn. I'm so glad I took Av with me b/c I probably would have bought black yarn w/o really thinking about it. (because I'm a stupid white lady.) But when I held the black yarn up to her hair it just looked so weird! Her hair is NOT black. The best match we could find was a dark brown called "chocolate." Perfect! She also chose a pink and green yarn to do a few "fun" braids with. Then I went to Sally's to buy some little clippies to separate the sections, and then we went home and cut the yarn pieces and went to work! I should have taken pix as I went along, but oh, well. My camera has decided not to take good pix in my house lately so they probably wouldn't have turned out anyway.
The kids started watching a movie and I sectioned off her hair and got started on the back. It took THREE HOURS to do the back of her hair. Then we took a break to eat dinner and chill and I suggested to her that we just wait and do the front tomorrow. She went to look in the mirror and came back with a disgusted look on her face. "Mommy, this part not tyute (cute). Do more braids." I said, "Honey! You've already been sitting still for so long! Are you sure you want to keep on sitting still??? We could just wait until tomorrow!" But she was sure. And so my four year old daughter sat still for SIX hours while I put braids all over her sweet little head.
Vanity, thy name is Avé.
The video explains really well how to do them, so I won't go into any details here. The only thing I did differently was to really saturate each section w/ a heavy moisturizer before I started braiding. I don't think I was able to get the braids as close to her scalp as the video demonstrates, but it was my first time and I think overall I did a good job!
I left them really long at first, but as soon as I saw her with those long braids, I nearly DIED! She looked 7 years old!!! But... she loved them. So we left them long for 2 weeks. I did have to re-do the front braids once. While she was at the farm w/ Mick one weekend he put a stocking cap on and off of her so many times that the front braids got really fuzzy and looked terrible. (I usually put a sleep cap on under a stocking cap to protect her hair, or use our adorable Curly Zebra hat that you see in our pix from Colorado.) But other than that, her hair care this month has been SO EASY!!! Here's the routine we followed (most days):
Morning: spray braids with distilled water mixed with aloe vera juice. (Just sprayed the braids down as far as her real hair went- didn't spray just the yarn parts.)
Bath time: used EVOO or Bee Mine hair and scalp moisturizer on her scalp and worked it into the hair.
Occasionally: washed the scalp, hair AND yarn w/ gentle shampoo followed by either EVOO or heavy moisturizer on scalp and hair.
That's it!!! And I think she has had a LOT of new growth while her hair has been in this protective style.
The long braids were fun b/c we could do two pony tails, put the front up and leave the back down, buns, one pony tail, french braid the braids, etc...
After two weeks I cut the braids shorter and added beads to the ends. I think this length looks a lot more age appropriate, but it wasn't as fun to work with.So if/when I do them again I will probably do the same- leave them long for a while and have fun w/ them and then cut them off later.
I plan to take them out tomorrow, so that means that this one style will have lasted her an entire month! I could probably leave them in longer, but truthfully? I miss her afro!!!! I can't wait to see her curls again. She LOVES the braids, so I'm not sure she'll be happy about them coming out, but I will probably let her hair rest for a few weeks and then do them again if she wants me to...
...which I know she will. Little Sassafrass. ;-)