Hair care at FIVE: our routine

I just finished putting twists in Adelia's hair.  Nowadays I do twists way more than braids.  They're just quicker.  It took me awhile to figure out how to do them right, but I've got it down now: Take two strands, twist each strand tightly the same way (I go right) and then twist one strand over the other the OPPOSITE way (I twist left).  For a long time I didn't have the opposite part down so my twists looked terrible.

I haven't figured out how to manage the twist-out, yet (taking the twists out and separating the hair so that she can wear it down as a style), but I'm working towards it.

This is a blurry photo, but you get the idea:

This is in between two styles- the top half of her head is in twists, and the bottom half (see the beads?) is still in braids that I will take out soon and switch to twists.  I have a friend who is always trying to talk me into relaxing Adelia's hair, but I just love her natural curls, and it is so a part of who she is and I want her to embrace it and grow into it.  So I persist. 

I am so thankful for video tutorials on caring for natural hair.  Last night I searched for natural hair blogs and found this article that features seventeen women who blog or post videos on youtube about caring for their hair.  I searched some of the women by name and ended up watching several videos.  I'm such a visual learner that I LOVE being able to watch a video that teaches me how to do it!  Mark even watched a few with me.  It is seriously UNREAL the amount of time it takes to care for natural hair.  If you ever see a black woman with natural hair you should compliment her, because- wow-- the WORK

This is my general routine with Adelia's hair, five years in:

1. WASH: approximately once a month, using a natural coconut shampoo that I ordered a long time ago from Cornrows & Co.

2. CONDITION: Lather on leave-in conditioner after washing (lately I've been using Giovanni).  We're talking lots of conditioner, fingering it through her hair, when wet.

3. TOWEL DRY:  Scrunching up the ends of her hair with the towel- not scrubbing the towel on her head to dry.  The water naturally runs down her curls and drips off the ends, so I just scrunch those repeatedly.

4. SECTIONING: I didn't know which step to put first: detangling or sectioning.  I have to detangle it somewhat- mostly with my fingers- before I section it out (with a rat-tail comb), and then I clip each section and work on detangling the individual sections.

5. DETANGLING:  This (and sectioning, above) is everyone's least favorite step.  Ouch.  It hurts Adelia, and it takes forever to detangle and comb out those tight curls.  I use a deep conditioning mix of Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E oil and Olive oil.   Recipe here.

6. STYLE: Lately, I alternate between smallish twists like in the photo above (for one month) and then I'll wash, etc (steps 1-5, above) and for the next month, style with bigger, fewer sections: banded at her head and twisted out (fatter twists).  I style a couple hours at a time, over a period of days.  (Before ending Day 1: I'll keep the sections by putting in fat twists or braids.  On Day 2 (which may, in fact, be three days later) I spritz it with water and add more conditioner and detangle it all over again before styling.)

7. TRIM: Prior to washing the next time around, I trim the ends of her hair while they're still in twists. (Often just cutting off the rubber band at the end of the twist and the hair with it.)

What I do not do is moisturize her hair on a daily or even weekly basis.  I should really do this.  But I forget.  Every once in awhile, mid-month, I may rub some jojoba on her scalp or the ends of her hair.

If you're an adoptive mom and have tips on doing your daughters hair, please share.  I love learning more about how to care for Adelia's hair!


  1. Wow! So cute! If I ever get a baby like yours, I will know where to go for help! Good Job Mama!

  2. ...and this is just So Much Work, and since you don't really get much gratitude from the girl whose hair you do, let me say, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. You make her look good.

    Loving you!

  3. Hi Stacy, very nice post "Hair Care at Five". I really like your routine and your hard work.

    Hair Stylist Brisbane

  4. Yes! Great work. I do know how to do twists and that's about it...which is why Halle's hair is usually down, or in small or big "puffs". We too wash her hair about once a month. I use "Loma" deep moisturizing shampoo that I have. And we usually do a leave in conditioner. Right now, from the Co-Op Beautiful Curls by "Alaffia". They have some good products. We condition her hair at least once a week even if we don't wash. We spray her hair each morning and "fluff" the style. I have heard from others who have Haitian and AA children that you should NEVER relax their hair. At least not now, because once you start you can't stop. Kind of liking getting perms :) Though I have been tempted many's a lot of work! She does sleep in a sleep cap every night....and honestly, she HATES me detangling her hair, so...I don't do it often enough. I would LOVE to learn how to do braid. We should get the girls together sometime Stac!!


  5. Hello Stacy, just stumbling upon your Blog this morning and saw this post, soooo appreciate it. I am always searching out new ways to do Clover's hair.
    My go to trick with C is to use an old tee shirt as a towel when scrunch drying it, it reall helps cut down on the frizz!
    I so enjoy your blog. Blessings to you.

  6. Hello, sweet Tina. :) Super fun to see you comment on here. Thanks for the trick. I'm going to have to try that with a tee shirt! Love to you and yours....


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