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Hair battles

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

At almost four years of age, Sunshine has yet to have her hair cut. Her birthday is approaching, and she and I have agreed a hair cut will happen then. It's overdue.

For the first two years of her life, Sunshine didn't have much hair to speak of. She was bald, then had peach fuzz, then had little white wisps. Around her 2nd birthday I was first able to start putting little barrettes in her hair. Her hair wasn't falling in her eyes or anything; the barrettes were just for decoration.

 

By Sunshine's third birthday, her hair went into cute little pigtails, and overall, it was still easy to manage. Easy to comb out (gently) after baths, quickly gather into pigtails or a foufy bow. But slowly since then, her hair has become more and more unruly.

It's my fault, I know. I am so in love with the wavy spun gold on my girl's head that I haven't been able to bring myself to have it cut. She comes with us when I have the boys' hair cut, and I always say to Kathy, the stylist, "Next time." Kathy always looks at me funny and grins. "I'll believe that when it happens," I'm sure she's thinking.

In the last six months, Sunshine's hair has become nearly impossible to comb out after a bath without copious tears. The mornings after non-bath nights, she often has a birds nest worth of bed head to try to deal with. If I don't get her hair pulled back first thing in the morning, it gets in her food. Sunshine protests strongly when I try to deal with these hair issues. Strongly.

But her hair is so, so pretty.

Sunshine's hair is the color and texture mine was when I was little, with the waves from my husband. It's the hair I have sought in far too much money and hours in stylists' chairs over the years. To no avail, I might add.

I've come up with strategies to reduce the hair battles, but they are still there. I had her help me choose the brush I use on her hair, and I only ever use that one. Sure, it's stressful when I misplace the brush because she won't let me near her with any other, but it's better than it used to be. When I wash her hair, I use a very light conditioner, very lightly, at the end, and then don't try to comb it out afterward. I can brush it out in the morning more easily. On non-bath nights, I braid her hair, one on each side, to keep it a little in control. She still has some bed heads on mornings after she's been particularly restless nights, but it has reduced the morning hair routine to mostly acceptable. And Sunshine likes the waves in her pigtails.

I'm going to have to just do it, I know. I really do need to get that hair cut. It's long-since time. I'm going to miss it, though.

It's the last bit of the last baby finally going away. Accepting that seems to be the biggest hair battle of all.

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