I have always made use of braid extensions. Having had them installed on my own hair since childhood, kanekalon hair has always been sort of an extension or my hair care repertoire. I will not knock braids now because along with weaves, they have been instrumental in my length retention efforts over the years.
I of course assumed that Jasmine (my little girl) would also have a childhood littered with occasional braid extension installs, naturally coupled with a good reggie but something happened the other day that made me change my mind.
Jasi is a very girly girl. Even at her tender almost 4 years of age, she loves watching mummy put on her make up and she knows the names of everything from lip gloss, foundation and mascara to lipstick and nail polish.
It’s the cutest thing but on the occasion that I am putting on full make up, she stands in front of the mirror next to me with her blocks pretending that each one is an item of makeup and copies each of my actions! It’s heart-breakingly sweet of course but not surprising seeing as she is at an impressionable age.
Jasi loves her hair worn down and usually wants it to look exactly like mummy’s, a fact that I will remind her of when she is surly teenager who no longer wants to talk to me! She lost her hair at 6 months and it didn’t start growing back until she was around one so really she’s only been growing her hair for about 3 years now so it’s not quite at a length that I would consider to be long yet.
She has had braids with extensions on two other occasions the first of which went by without a hitch but the second time was a tad more eventful. After I was done braiding her hair, she was exhausted and frustrated at having to sit in the same place for hours on end. Yet she sprinted over to the full length mirror to see her style and shrieked in delight. ‘My hair is soooo pwetty mummy’ she said twirling and curtsying. She seemed enamored with the fact that her hair was so long. This was taken shortly after her braids were installed.
Of course me and Otis thought that this was adorable but I remember having a mild discomfort about the whole thing at the back of my mind. Life went back to normal and after 4 weeks of extensions she didn’t seem to mind when we took the braids down and we went back to her usual braid outs and curly fros.
Last week however I bought some kinky synthetic hair to do havana twists on my hair but I was totally not prepared for Jasi’s reaction. She was so excited to see the hair telling me that it was ‘So pwetty’ and was I going to do here hair in braids now? She seemed crushed when I told her that the braids were only for mummy this time round.
I am finding all this rather strange because I know for a fact that Jasi loves her own hair. She’s loves to help me style it and once it’s all styled and down like she loves she sprints to the mirror to take a look at herself. Still there is something about her reaction to the braids that I am not all together comfortable with.
I think that she is taken in more by the length of her hair when she is in braid extensions than the texture itself, although I could be wrong.
Maybe I am jumping the gun here but I feel that I would rather that she experienced only her own hair from now on working on the principal that once she has her own length she will lose the fascination that she has with braid extensions.
Which brings me to my own pursuits. Late last week I twisted my hair in largish sections figuring that I would wear my hair that way for a couple of weeks but the my fine strands make disgracefully scant and scalpy twists.
So I installed the havana wists which took me all of 2 hours, easy as pie and they looked great if I do say so myself. I even made an effort with slicking down my baby hairs.
So in Havana twists I thought I had finally found an easy way to protective style while looking fab but right now I’m not sure that I want to expose Jasi to hair extensions on either me or her any more. I feel somehow like I am sending her a message that ‘if you don’t like your own hair, just cover it up with shop bought hair’.
As pretty as these twists are I simply can’t have one rule for her and another for myself surely?