A Blonde, a Redhead, and a Brunette

June 4, 2015
Helping girls with curly hair love their look

When I was growing up, my sister Merrick and I looked (apparently) a lot alike.

We got asked fairly frequently if we were twins, and I remember one memorable time that we played a little trick on our piano teacher and I started Merrick’s lesson as if I were her. Our teacher couldn’t tell us apart, but the prank fell apart pretty quickly once I started playing because Merrick was a more advanced pianist that I was.

When Merrick went to BYU, she ran into people fairly often who I’d known casually that thought she was me.

My girls? Will not have that problem.

From the moment Ani was born, it was clear that she and Ella did not look much alike at all.

Ella is blonde with gray blue eyes. Ani has super blue eyes and red hair.

Ella’s hair is pretty straight, while Ani’s has a lot of natural curl.

They have different face shapes, and Ella has a tiny little mouth while Ani has more full lips with a Julia Roberts smile (several people commented on their different lips in this recent Instagram snap).

And Star has her own look, with brown eyes and yet another face shape and hair that, so far, has stayed pretty brown.

I think – in the most biased parental way possible – that they are all ridiculously darling, even though they hardly look related. And I hope they grow up feeling happy with the way they look and not comparing themselves to each other.

Helping girls with curly hair love their look

And I hope Ani never feels unhappy that she has curly hair because I basically cannot get over having a curly haired child. According to a 2014 hair study, only 4 in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful. I want Ani to be one of those four.

Dove put together this beautiful book called Love Your Curls full of poems – some funny, some sweet – about curly hair. Ani loved looking through it, although when I asked her what it said, she got this very distressed look on her face and said “I not know! I not know da letters.” If you do know letters, you can download a free e-copy, personalize it, and share it with anyone you’d like.

Helping girls with curly hair love their look

You’d think because I have the world’s straightest hair (one time a few years ago, a friend asked me how I got my hair so straight and I laughed like a lunatic because. . . my hair is this straight all on its own. I have 0% curl to my hair) that Ella’s hair would be easier for me to deal with, but I actually find Ani’s hair simpler because I never have to curl it and I can put a little bow or clip in and it looks fantastic.

But her hair also tends to get tangled and dirty faster and she can’t stand it being brushed (I’ve heard that redheads are more sensitive to pain than others and, at least in our house, that seems to be true).

For the last few weeks, I’ve been using Dove Quench Absolute Ultra Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner on her and her hair stays so much cleaner and less greasy looking. When I got home yesterday after a quick trip to Arizona, I asked my mom if she’d given them baths while I was away and was surprised that she said no – even after five days, Ani’s hair looked fantastic.

I will say it’s very weird to snuggle Ani and have her hair smell like a grown-ups hair rather than baby shampoo. It’s a nice smell, but it’s just so different from what I’m used to.

And I also have used the Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crรจme Serum on my hair even though I have no curl at all and I love how smooth and manageable it makes my hair.

Sadly, it won’t make my straight hair curly though. I’ll just have to live vicariously through Ani.

Helping girls with curly hair love their look

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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  • Reply Kristin @ Going Country June 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Oh man. My mom definitely has less than fond memories of combing and brushing my thick, veryvery curly hair when I was a little girl. And actually, I was kind of relieved that I won't have to deal with that, since I have all boys. I don't dig long hair on boys, so as long as I'm in charge of their hair, it'll be short. Not sure I have the patience to do anyone's hair but my own every morning. I bow down to the mothers of multiple girls (like, well, you).

  • Reply rebeccalately June 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    She is such a cutie! My daughter's hair is curly/wavy, and she hates when I brush it. I have to go so slow, it takes forever! Adult hair products work better for her hair, too.

  • Reply Anne June 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I have no sisters and always wondered what it would be like to have one. Would we look alike? I have three girls now and they are all blondie blue eyed beauties and look a lot alike. People mix them up and I catch myself resorting to clothing details to quickly identify them in pictures.

    One of my girls has very curly hair as a baby. I highly recommend the wet brush and Biolage shine milk spray as a detangler and defrizzer. It also rejuvenates bed head like nothing else. My best friend is a stylist and recommends it for all hair types. I tell her she's like a shine milk drug dealer and likes to get people addicted. It is just that amazing. She also skips all baby products and uses real hair products on her babies from day one.

  • Reply Paige Flamm June 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I noticed the other day just how different Ani and Ella are from each other. I love her perfectly plum cheeks! They're my favorite!

  • Reply Stacy June 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    You should try the The Wet Brush. I got one for my sister and she uses it on her little girl's curly hair. I don't have any curly haired children but my oldest has thick hair down to her bum and The Wet Brush is a miracle worker. I own FOUR of them.

  • Reply JoLee June 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I love my curly hair, but it's definitely taken time to figure out how to make it looks its best. (I didn't really realize my hair was as curly as it is until I moved to Kansas and humidity–I grew up in Colorado and Utah where it's super dry.) My son has the most amazing curls, and I think he's lucky to have a mom who knows curly hair. If you can make those curls shine now, it will go a long way to helping Ani love her hair. I recommend the Curly Girl method. I checked it out from the library. Less brushing and more conditioner is the way to go.

    • Reply Amanda W June 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      I was also going to suggest Curly Girl! My niece has curly hair and it had stopped growing and started just breaking off. A friend gave her Curly Girl and now her hair is gorgeous and really healthy.

  • Reply Virginia Prescott June 4, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I second the Curly Girl method (I love the book and pass it along to my friends all the time!). It took me 25 years to really understand my curly hair and get it in its best shape, but that book was the solution to so much money wasted on products and elixirs. Curly hair is awesome.

  • Reply Helen June 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Only 4 out of 10 girls with curly hair like their hair?! Really?! ๐Ÿ™ That makes me sad…
    As someone with stick straight fine hair, who has tried curling irons, deep wavers, sleeping in wet braids, and even perming my hair (twice! but only in my teens), I really can't understand that… Curly hair is beautiful!!!!
    All of your three little girls are incredibly adorable and cute, but I must admit that the only one whose hair I'm deeply jealous of is Ani's: that color, those curls!!! (And yes, I realize it's just a tad pathetic to be jealous of a 2 year old's hair ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Helen June 4, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Oh, for tangles (particularly tangles on fine hair), I would recommend looking into a tangle teezer brush. Best brush ever!!! I use it regularly on myself (and my 18 month old, who inherited my straight, fine hair) and it's amazing. Easiest way to detangle hair, with no pain.

  • Reply Michelle June 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I'll add my Curly Girl endorsement, as well! (The book is full of great content, you just have to look past some truly obnoxious hair puns.) I'm a curly redhead who also spent years screaming when my mom tried to brush my hair. Now I don't ever even use a hairbrush. I bet Ani will like her hair, especially since you are so positive about it. I remember watching Anne of Green Gables as a little girl and thinking, "What is her problem? I love my red hair!"

  • Reply Erica June 5, 2015 at 2:57 am

    My younger sister (14) recently straightened her hair, and it makes me so sad. Admittedly, she has INSANELY thick hair with super tight curls (not ringlets like Ani), but I wanted her to love her hair as it was. I'm pretty sure the reason she didn't love it is that my mom has no idea how to do curly hair (even though her hair is also super thick and curly), so my sister's hair was always frizzy and frumpy. If only they had followed Curly Girl!

  • Reply preethi June 5, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Kina's curls just kill me, they're so darling. I've started using my nice shampoo and conditioner on her and it IS weird to have a adult smell, but so nice that it is way less tangled. People ask me all the time if I curl her hair and I just want to say, can YOU imagine trying to curl a two-year-old's hair?

  • Reply Jodi June 5, 2015 at 5:42 am

    They are ridiculously adorable. And that's sad so many don't like their curls. I've always thought curls were to die for. I know they are harder to manage, but I love them! Of course I've always hated how straight my hair is so…I guess it's all the same.

  • Reply Jennifer June 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    My sister and I are like your daughters! I'm very pale, with very blonde straight hair and blue eyes. My sister can tan and she gets pretty dark, with brown curly hair and hazel eyes. We have a very uncommon last name; it is German, but they wrote it down wrong when my dad's side came through Ellis Island. Everyone in the US that has it is actually related to me. Even with that, people in our high school had no idea we were related at all. When we told people that we were sisters, they would actually ask if we had the same mother, and then if we had the same father! It was crazy, but we laugh about it now ๐Ÿ™‚ I was always jealous of my friends who could pull off the switch trick though!

  • Reply Rachel June 5, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    My 2 year old has curly hair and I've been trying to figure it out. (Though her hair isn't nearly as long as Ani's.) I'll have to try this out. And Curly Girl it sounds like.

  • Reply Simone June 6, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Me and my sisters all have different hair colors as well! Growing up nobody ever believed we were sisters. I always found it very amusing that people thought we were pulling their legs when we weren't.
    My middle sister has dark straight hair, she is the female version of our father. My youngest is blond straight haired and looks most like our mom. I had curly ginger hair. The ginger apparently wears off as soon as you are ok with it in your late teens. And now nobody believes it if I tell them I got teased a lot as a kid for my hair. Ah well, that is life…
    Btw I second the tangle teezer brush tip! I bought it for my redhead daughter a month ago and mornings have been much easier. I haven't had to drop her off with a birds nest on the back of her head ever since and she gets to have the long hair she's been wanting forever (because, of course, she wants an Elsa braid). Win win!

  • Reply Katie June 8, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    If she is anything like me, that red hair will be more a part of her identity that almost any other part of her look. It is the first thing people will comment on and the only thing a lot of people will remember about her.

    She'll hate it and love it at the same time. It gets a lot of attention…and that can be simultaneously hard and awesome.

    I love being a red head…but I haven't always…

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