If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that question in reference to Julia's curls I'd be a very rich MamaBear! We discovered her very first curls when she was a wee babe and they only get better with time...NO we don't do anything to them. In fact we don't even wash them with shampoo anymore. I read a book called Curly Girl back in May and it was filled with the answers to my questions about how to care for Julia's unique head of hair. There are different instructions for different types of curls so if you have curly hair pick up a copy for yourself - I got mine used online pretty cheap. It's great to be able to refer to it when I have a question. For Julia, this is what works.
Every couple of days we:
1) wet hair under faucet and apply 3T of conditioner
2) work through hair for 1 min with fingers
3) using a wide tooth comb, starting at the bottom comb out the tangles 0ne by one. This part can take up to 10-15 minutes depending on how long it's been since I last combed through it.
4. Rinse half of the conditioner out but leave the rest in to moisturize her hair.
5. scrunch with fingers and let air dry.
That's it! She has the softest curls and surprisingly enough they look their very best after she's gone swimming and the curls have had a chance to put themselves back in order so to speak. Curly Girl talks about putting your head under the water and letting the curls do their thing. It's quite remarkable how they have a mind of their own.
If we hadn't discovered the Curly Girl method I don't know that we would have been able to let Julia's hair grow. She's patient in the tub while I work out the tangles with gobs of conditioner but if the curls became brittle and broken we'd probably have to cut it much shorter.
Instead they are growing more beautiful every day. They are past her shoulders now and are tipped with the lightest of blonde highlights from being in the sun. She's yet to have a haircut because curly hair needs to be cut by someone trained in curly hair. That's an expensive hair cut and one we will consider down the road if her hair starts to break on the ends.
The other comment people make is "She's going to hate it when she's grows up!" Really? I have a hard time agreeing with that statement. Other than those 10-15 minutes in the tub they are amazingly easy to throw up in a clip or leave down.
What's not to love about this sweet, funny, affectionate, smart, creative, fun loving, little girl who happens to be blessed with curly hair?