After my last hair post I spent some time on natural hair care websites and emailing with some girlfriends who know what they are doing with hair.
The conclusion I came to is that Carol's Daughter products are just too harsh on Ariam's hair. So we returned everything (except for our Mimosa Hair Honey) to S.ephora. They were incredible about taking it all back, no questions asked.
I found very positive Alaffia reviews on Happy Girl Hair and other blogs and bought it at my local organic grocery store. We are trying out a whole new hair routine and it is working wonders!
1. Wash with Alaffia shampoo and conditioner once/week
2. In mid-week we do a co-wash (that means we just wash and rinse with conditioner, no 'poo)
3. After a wash or co-wash I add Alaffia hair lotion and use it as a detangler, then I add a pea size amount of Mimosa Hair Honey and run it through her hair with my fingers (it defines the curls)
4. Daily I wet Ariam's hair with a spray bottle and add just a dime size of Alaffia hair lotion, rubbing it in all over her head and finger detangling and fluffing
5. Twice/week I put her in the highchair in front of Baby Einstein's sign language video, wet down the hair, part it into several parts pulled back with clips, rub a little mix of pure aloe vera and coconut or jojoba into her scalp, and put pure coconut oil in her hair (I do this the day of her hair wash to make sure her scalp doesn't get dry and also the day before her mid-week cowash.)
Also I have mastered a good center part for double puffs, the single puff with a ribbon, and am now moving on to tiny puffs in the back of her hair.
Tonight Ariam and I attended our trans-racial adoption group dinner. The hostess brought in an African American hair stylist who specializes in children's natural hair. She gave us an individual consultation and proclaimed Ariam's hair "very healthy and soft!" She gave us a VERY wide tooth comb and told me to wet the hair daily and detangle when I add the hair lotion or leave-in. I had not been detangling well enough which is why the tiny knots were forming. But to be honest, as soon as we stopped using Carol's Daughter products and changed to Alaffia the knots disappeared anyway. I haven't had a knot or a breakage in two weeks.
We're feeling very confident now in our hair routine. There are still several products out there that I'd like to try including Darcy Botanicals Hair Jelly and Aubrey Organics conditioner. But the hair is looking much healthier and is starting to grow.
Thanks for all of your comments and emails!