Our Hair As Ritual

Okay, this is BIG.  Hair. Our crown in glory.   At times, a definition of our beauty.  It’s serious.

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I had no idea that along with my ‘sweet brown child’s’ diagnosis we would experience some serious woes with Anabel’s mane.  She’s never been crazy about getting her hair done.  It might have even been fair to say that  it was among one of her least favorite experiences, at least until she realized the joys of insulin shots and changing infusion sites.   What brown child really likes to get their hair done?  Our kinks and coils, curls and the fact that it is sometimes prone to dryness makes it uncomfortable experience at times.

When diabetes entered our lives, uninvited I might add, we had some challenges ahead of us.  One we couldn’t have anticipated was the havoc this would bring to Anabel’s tresses.  Her hair thinned, falling out around her hairline.  I would brush her hair and the brush would be filled with her beautiful brown tendrils.  Everything I read about T1D did not prepare me for this.  No one mentioned this as a byproduct of our new normal.  To add to it, her scalp now looked like February in upstate New York.  Flakes everywhere!  I was obsessed.  What was going on with her hair and scalp?

Diabetes was not only impacting her blood and the sugar levels in it, but also her pH  and skin.   We needed a solution.  I went searching.  Now, it’s important to share something about me as her mom.  Your wouldn’t know it to look at me but I have some Bohemian tendencies.  I was a plant based eater for a while, use vegetable glycerine soap and try to avoid chemicals in my products, especially my hair products.  I went natural with my hair about four years ago and with that choice went a lot of the hair products I used to use.  When I noticed Anabel’s dry scalp (I hate the word dandruff)… dry scalp.  Someone suggested a  DRY SCALP shampoo.  Ever check the labels on one of those?  So many chemicals!  I tried it anyway.  It worked, but was not ideal.  I wanted a different solution for her.Anabel’s hair is long with loose curls that are prone to get knotted.  I avoid using gels or any products that have alcohol.  I also choose products that are paraben and mineral oil free as these increase the likeliness of drying her hair.  Some key products that I’ve found work to soothe her scalp and combat dryness:

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  • Camille Rose Naturals Kids Sundae Glaze (about $8.00)
  • Vegetable Glycerine (Put a few drops of vegetable glycerine in a spray bottle with water and a few drops of lavender essential oil)
  • WYN Naturals  bentonite clay shampoo bar (https://www.facebook.com/groups/wnynaturals/)
  • Argan oil (Shea Moisture about $9.00)

Each Sunday, usually in late afternoon Anabel and I engage in our hair ritual.  We wash, condition, style and love her hair.  It’s a time for us to talk about the week and ask questions of each other.  There are a few winces here and there but mostly smiles. In those times, as a I stroke my daughter’s hair I often think to a quote by Maya Angelou, “In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours.  In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”


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