Heya, cats and kittens! Has a week flown by already? Time seems to scoot by this time of year: it’s darker earlier, and that chill in the air makes us all a little less social than usual. As I try and snuggle myself warm, Ive been thinking about family type things. Thanksgiving is just past, and the holiday season will be here before we know it! The Were-Husband and myself are expecting our first scissorkitten, and there are lots of family occasions and all sorts of things popping up in the next few months to keep most of us occupied.
Which has me thinking: There are certain “milestones” in hair that are the subject to all sorts of questions and debates! Lets see which ones we can set to rest.
Babyhood: “Oh no! I cut off those baby curls! Now my darling munchkin is doomed to straight hair!”
Okay- this is a common stress amongst parents, and something easily answered. Think of a baby’s head- although it seems ginormous in comparison to their bodies at first, that head isn’t yet full sized. It has ALLLLLL the hair follicles it’s going to have as an adult (all those little holes that hair comes out of), yet they are all squashed together and moved around, not yet in their permanent hairline places. Hair is curly when it has an OVAL follicle- the pinched ends cause a curl or wave much like curling a ribbon with a pair of scissors. Straight hair has a ROUND follicle. ALMOST ALL BABIES have OVAL follicles, simply because their head is smooshed! So, as they grow, some kids have those follicles round out a bit, and their hair naturally gets straighter. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to “cut hair straight” or “cut hair curly”, that’s nature’s job (and perms, but lets not get into that mess!). Some parents let those darling baby curls hang on for, lets face it, waaaay too long, in the hopes of preserving that curly mop of babyhood. I hate to break it to people, but letting your little one grow a mullet will NOT necessarily gift him or her with curly locks later on! All it does is make people wonder where your trailer is parked. (Luckily, with Hallowe’en around the corner, that “Joe Dirt” look is a cheap costume fix!)
Little Kid Hair: “Oh no! Junior has the WEIRDEST COWLICKS EVER!!!”
Yep, this is also common! Like the babies above, Junior is just starting to come into his “full sized head”, so those follicles are filling out and moving around to create his permanent hairline. Little ones often have multiple “swirlies” on their heads (called “crowns”), which create all kinds of interesting shark-like effects and weird hair poofs. No worries! Some of those will stay- look around your adult family members, ’cause cowlicks ARE inheritable!, but most of them will settle down as their heads achieve full size. Also, hair is starting to transition from silky soft baby hair to slightly coarser and stronger “real” hair- that causes all sorts of interesting tangles and textures. My advice is to be patient, invest in a good detangler and a nice natural bristle brush (the smoothing wonder!), and have some fun! A faux-hawk style is a great choice for a little guy with a lot going on, and there’s nothing that a nice braid or some fun hairbands can’t fix!
Teens: “Ah! I am SOOOO greasy!”
Ah, puberty. Remember those curls that disappeared as heads grew up? Well, the puberty-fairy can bring them all back with a vengeance- along with a case of the greasies! Those little oil glands in your scalp that help to fight dandruff and keep things soft and smooth- with a good dose of hormones, they tend to get a little (or a lot!) overactive! It’s the same reason Susie Goodskin suddenly wakes up with a case of Pizza Face… your body is struggling to adapt to a bunch of new things. If you’re headed into a growth spurt, expect your hair to follow along- don’t wait too long between trims! There’s a reason all those teen guys are wandering around with Bieber shag cuts…. they might have had shaved heads last week! Try and ride this stage out as best you can. Unless you’re having serious scalp issues, stay away from super clarifying shampoos or dandruff treatments. These can just mess with an already messy situation! Instead, try and use natural things without a lot of silicones or waxes, and remember that LESS IS BEST! Just like your skin is having a hard time handling makeup and oils, your hair also needs a little TLC. If you CAN get away without shampooing every day, you may find the greasies settle down faster. If that’s not a possibility for you, just try not to be too vigorous, you don’t want to stimulate those oil glands even more! And remember to use conditioner from your earlobes down, only! This will stop any additional oils getting added up top.
Grey Hair: “Oh my god! I’m the Crypt keeper!!!”
Remember that guy? If you do, we’re all headed into Grey territory anyway! *lol* But not to fear. Grey hair happens when a hair has lost its ability to produce pigment. Think of it as drinking straw that no longer has any pop inside! Grey hairs aren’t actually grey- they are CLEAR! What causes the grey illusion is the fact that you can see darker hairs THROUGH the now-clear hairs, causing the appearance of softer darks- ie: grey tones. There’s nothing wrong with you, there’s nothing you can help to stop them coming in. There are all sorts of fairy-tales and superstitions regarding the growth of grey hair. I know that it seems to be inherited: if your mom went white early, if your dad did, well… you might as well. OR, you might be the only one out of your siblings who DOESN’T grey early! And kudos for you, if you are! Either way, it’s a natural thing, and with today’s colour technology, you’re only as grey as you want to be, either way! Just be sure to step up your conditioner, as grey hair loses its ability to hold onto moisture, as well as pigment. Also, DON’T PLUCK THEM OUT! If you do, you’re just pulling off the last soft, silky, coloured part of the strand. Once grey, that hair follicle is ALWAYS going to grow grey- if you pluck it, it’s just going to come back WITHOUT any sort of soft, moisture-holding “tail”, and you’ll have a coarse little grey spring to deal with!
Okay, guys! That’s enough info for now! My hands are getting tired, and there’s coffee calling in the pot. Have an amazing week, and talk to you soon!
Morgan Brittan van Wyk