This feature originally appeared in the May 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.
With a personality as fiery as her red strands, Madison rocks an updated take on classic pigtails. After a light blow-dry to smooth the hair, Ojeifo parted the hair down the middle, then sectioned off one inch on each side of the part. On the right side, starting a few inches back, she cornrowed a small braid toward and then along the hairline. She then did the same on the left. Afterward, she secured the braids into each pigtail, and then using tiny rubber bands, she created small puff balls down each side. Ojeifo added a few braid rings to finish the look.
This charming little lady has a strong sense of style. For this twisted hawk, Ojeifo did a light blowout to stretch the strands. She then parted the hair across the center and braided one cornrow toward the crown on each side. Using an alcohol-free gel and edge control, she neatly slicked the remaining hair back into two ponytails (one near the crown, the other close to the nape of the neck). For more volume and length, Ojeifo loosely twisted in additional hair and secured all of the strands with a rubber band. She placed twists around the crown and held them in with pins. She left the twists from the bottom ponytail loose to produce the tail.
We can seriously watch this double dose of cuteness and their viral videos all day. Ojeifo crafted two styles that reflect their similarities and individuality. Using Bantu knots as the common thread, she parted the hair from ear to ear, and with a lightweight oil and an alcohol-free gel, she made the knots in the front. For Ava (left), Ojeifo used a curl definer in the back, gently working in the product with her hands to enhance the curls. After letting the hair air-dry, she fluffed with a pick. Once Alexis's Bantus were set, Ojeifo drew a part up the back, then cornrowed two sections from the nape of the neck upward, tucking the ends of the braids into each other and holding in place with pins.
At age 6 and already possessing the poise and posture of a pro dancer, Heaven has dainty in her DNA. For this modern spin on a ballerina bun, Ojeifo first parted the hair down the middle. Using an alcohol-free gel and edge control, she slicked the strands back into low pigtails. Ojeifo neatly braided the hair, then crisscrossed the plaits and gathered them at the nape of the neck, anchoring with bobby pins.
Shampoo locks in sections. "Part the hair and make four separate twists. Wet the scalp, and shampoo and condition the hair by section," says Ojeifo. Doing this prevents tangles, which cause the most pain for kids when their hair is combed through. To detangle: Smooth each part with a wide-tooth comb and a conditioner with a lot of slip.
MINI MANE MARVELS
When it comes to products, it all depends on your child's curl pattern and texture. Stick with kid-friendly formulas, which tend to be gentler. Ojeifo suggests steering clear of items with sulfates or parabens, which can irritate tiny (and big) scalps.