Another Endurance Event

When I am not spending my weekends racing I frequently engage in another endurance event: combing my son’s hair.

(And yes, I am admitting that he doesn’t get his hair combed every day)

(He also doesn’t get a bath every day. Please don’t call the authorities)

I should start out by saying I love my son’s hair. Love it. We gave him a super short buzz cut once and I was devastated. He looked like a little man instead of my little baby. My husband would be fine with keeping his hair super cropped but I prefer the curls so the deal is that we just have to be able to get a comb through it without hurting the kiddo during the combing process.

So the first step is always squirting a healthy amount of de-tangler on his hair. The second step is turning on Thomas the Tank Engine for distraction. Then we gather the tools:

I use a combination picking and brushing. His hair has a variety of textures. There are looser curls on the top and tighter curls that are more apt to get matted on the back so the brush works better in some areas and the pick works better in others. The brush belonged to his grandfather, a man he’ll never get to meet (he passed away before I met my husband) which always makes me feel a little wistful.  

There are always multiple picks involved as he tends to want to try to do it himself.

Sometimes it works better than others

There are two goals to the hair combing process: de-tangle the hair and trying to get it to look somewhat symmetrical.

This, about halfway through the process,  is not quite what we are going for:


This is the final product: soft, untangled, nice and fluffy.

This of course lasts about 10 minutes because he is a little boy and I am regularly combing sand and bits of paper and the occasional booger out of his hair.

I suspect that as he gets older and becomes in charge of taking care of his hair himself he might opt for a shorter haircut but until then I will happily keep my fuzzy headed little boy.


6 thoughts on “Another Endurance Event

  1. Gretchen says:

    He looks like such a happy kid. I know most people aren’t going to take pictures of their kids at their worst, but he has the best smile! And I’m not known for complimenting kids! 😉

  2. J says:

    It’s a bit hard to tell from pictures, but I suspect that I have hair textured rather like your son’s. I don’t know how much your husband knows about caring for longer hair (so many men have never let their hair grow out at all, and tend to ignore all women-related hair stuff), but the key really is to keep it moisturized — like every day. I use coconut oil, and I have a lot more hair than your son (since I’ve been growing it out more years than he has been alive :)), and it works great. The other key is to start the combing/picking from the end of the hair, rather than the roots. It looks like he has enough hair that if you put your fingers at his scalp to hold the hair, you can start at the ends. I know a lot of Asian/white/Native folks who don’t have our hair texture think that sounds crazy, but it helps keep the hair from breaking and makes combing a lot less painful.

    Oh, and as you already know: distractions are key!

    • Wendy says:

      @J, thanks for the tips. I’ll have to try the coconut oil. My husband did clue me in on the starting from the top of the hair and working down, which is when my son stopped crying at hair combing sessions (ugh, feel terrible I was doing it wrong at first).

      Out of curiosity, have you ever had your hair braided? I think about that as option when he gets older/hair gets longer but one of my step-son’s had his hair braided for a while and it was almost like he didn’t quite have enough texture to get the braids to hold well. I don’t want to put the little guy through the process of braids if it wouldn’t stay in for very long.

      • J says:

        I love braids!

        I had braids when I was a little girl, and they held just fine (3-5 weeks). They last longer if you wrap your head before you go to sleep, so if you can get him to wear a ‘do rag to bead, it will help. I wasn’t good about doing this as a girl, but when I was growing my hair out over the last several years (decided to grow it out natural) and had cornrows, I did wrap my head at night and it helped them last even longer. I don’t think texture is a big deal if you have a good braider. But out here (South Bronx), now even little mexicano boys with straight hair are rocking braids!

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