A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

How to Revive Your Child’s Limp Curls

In honor of relaunching The Bearded Iris, I would like to re-institute my “Just the Tip Tuesday” column. In the past, I’ve shared tips on a variety of things like how to stay on track with an antibiotics schedule, how to harmlessly carry an uncooperative toddler with one hand, and how to naturally combat Seasonal Affect Disorder. This year, I’m hoping to widen my range of useful tips and prove just what a helpful Jill of All Trades I truly am. Like the MacGyver of Motherhood, I’m going to use a Bandaid and a wad of ABC gum to unclog a drain, balance your checkbook, and entertain your children at the same time. And if I can’t pull that off, I’ll at least have fun trying (and hopefully so will you). So let’s get to it, shall we?

Today’s topic is about managing curly hair.

My youngest son, Bucket Head, has an absolutely glorious head of blond curly hair that makes women of all ages swoon.

If you sneak up from behind him and gently pull and release one of his many ringlets, you can actually hear it go “BOI-YOI-YOI-YOI-YOING!” Don’t let him catch you though, or he’ll give you a look like this:

So worth it, though.

This is the kind of hair that people in public reach out and touch. Older women in particular seem to get sucked into some kind of gravitational force that propels their hands toward his head. I cannot blame them as I share their inability to control the hands whenever I’m within 25 feet of this child… hence the constantly tousled look. Nobody in my family seems to know where he got this hair, but they all agree that the mustache comes from his mama.

The hair is particularly shocking to us all because he was SO bald for such a long time as a baby.

I know, right?

That shot was taken when he was about 5 months old. My dad later told me that he was SO relieved when Bucket Head finally grew some hair because it made him look “less like an alien.”

The man had a point there.

When the hair did start to grow, it was pretty typical baby hair… fine and wispy.

Of course Laura took that picture. Damn, that girl has skills.

Fine wispy hair doesn’t do much to keep a baby’s head warm. That’s why most mothers keep cute little hats on their babies all the time. If you don’t have a hat on hand, I’m here to tell you that a pencil case will work just fine.

Also, buckets are warm, waterproof, inexpensive, and great for protecting those soft keppies from all the sharp corners of the world.

But back to the hair.

This poor child was a cue-ball until well after his first birthday. However, when his hair finally did start to grow, it burst onto the scene like a pimple on prom night, practically shouting “LOOKIE HERE, PEOPLE!”

I call this look “The Cockatiel.” It always got us a lot of sympathetic stares at the grocery store. Especially when it was combined with the runny nose and the jelly face.

And that’s pretty much what he looked like until he was 2 and 1/2 years old and I finally took him for his first haircut.

I had gotten really tired of strangers mistaking him for a little girl. Imagine what they would have thought if they saw the kind of outfits this kid was putting together at home…

He likes to play dress up with his big sister. So what?!

But again, I digress. My point is that this boy has some seriously cute and curly hair these days.

Well, most days.

Which brings me (finally) to my tip…

Remember the other day when I posted a picture of Bucket Head drinking a green smoothie?

Notice the lack of spring in his curls?

Apparently, that is the result of going too long between shampoos, according to one of my favorite aunties who immediately emailed me to “WASH THAT CHILD’S HAIR.”

Thus, my friends, I am sharing with you my new found knowledge, that indeed, all it takes is a little shampoo, warm water, some elbow grease, a few dry towels, the ability to wrestle a greased pig, some Bandaids, 4 extra strength Advil, and a lollipop, and you too can revive your child’s limp curls. It’s as easy as that.

A happy, springy, and fresh smelling Tuesday to you all!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris


  1. MamaCloud

    Oh Spidey…I love you…No Matter how greasy your hair is…and Iris please do divulge if you ever discover any realistic quick tricks cause you know I am experiencing this same issue with “pip’s” curls or most days his rats nest!!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      So frequent shampooing isn’t a realistic option in your house either? Oh my auntie will be so relieved that I’m not the only one… either that or she’ll encourage me to make some new friends.

      • Melissa

        Our pediatrician said waiting a few days between shampoos is good because the natural oils protect the kiddos’ scalps and other stuff that makes for a good, doctor-approved excuse. ^_^

  2. laura lee

    that orange shirt, he is SOOO cute. spiderman? i remember he loved our batman playhouse. we are all straight as a board over here. send him to me.

  3. GypsyFox

    he’s soooo adorable, LOL & I love how my youngest son is not the only one who plays dress up with their big sis!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Glad to hear! I hope you take as many blackmail pictures as I do!

  4. Meghan

    Bucket Head has some seriously beautiful hair! And the dress up picture just made me wet my pants and snort yogurt out my nose, simultaneously! Well done!

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