I need to confess something: even though I write here at Beauty Hacks, I'm not so accomplished in what I call the "Girly Arts." I cannot wield a curling iron or use hairspray. Lip liner, French braids, manicures -- they all sort of scare me.
The other night as I was giving my daughters a bath, they asked if I'd wash their hair and then roll and tie it up in rags so they'd have curls the next day. We'd never done that before, but the mom in the book I'm reading to them did it for her daughters, and my girls were fascinated, especially after I told them my mom had done that for me lots of times when I was little. And not so little, too. So I washed their hair, put in a bunch of conditioner, and started combing.
The idea behind the rag curls is that you section the hair while it's damp (not soaking-wet) and roll it up in strips of cloth, then tie the cloth ends in a knot to hold the hair in place. The hair dries overnight, and when you untie and unwind the cloth in the morning, you have curls. Super curls.
I'd never actually done this myself, but I went for it anyway, sacrificing an ugly old peach pillowcase to make our rag strips. I cut them about six or seven inches long, and a couple of inches wide. Next time I think I'll make them wider so that I can fold the strip lengthwise over the end of the section of hair. With the strips as narrow as they were, I had a hard time getting the curl started -- almost as hard a time as my six and seven year old daughters had sitting still while I worked. Once we were done, they looked really sweet, like they had rosebuds all over their heads.
They were able to sleep just fine (I was worried about that) and it was way easier than usual to get them up for school the next day. I untied and unrolled the first strip, crossing my fingers that I'd done it close enough to right for them to be happy with the results. I was honestly amazed by how tight the curls came out. My six year old was alarmed that her hair was now short, so I pulled down the curl to show her that I hadn't cut her hair.
We were all happy with the results, especially me, because I've been dreading the time that my girls will want more than pigtails and simple braids. Now that I've got curls in my back pocket, I might try pedicures again. Maybe.