This is a picture of the back of Lorelei’s head Monday night before I started attacking her tangles.  That whole wad of hair at the end of the ponytail was one giant rat’s nest.  I have never seen anything like it in my life.
Now, I am very fond of baby curls.   And I am thrilled that Lorelei’s curls seem to have survived babyhood.  But something about the texture of her hair makes it particularly prone to tangle.  Her hatred of hair washing and brushing doesn’t help.
I had my own struggles with tangly hair when I was little.  I remember large untangleable rats under my hair at the base of my neck.  I remember my grandmother cutting them out with scissors and my father coming in and saying, “I can get them out!”   He could, too.  But I am very tender-headed and my neck would be sore for days!  I remember soaking the rats in conditioner hoping I could get them out myself so that I would not have to undergo this torture.  I think I outgrew tangles around adolescence and I was so relieved!
Emily has long, extremely thick, wavy hair.  I’m sure she must have had tangles sometimes, but never ever anything like what Lorelei has.  Because dealing with her hair is so unpleasant we tend to avoid it, putting it up in buns to hide the worst of the mess until we have the hourss involved to get the job done.   When she woke up on Monday morning she looked like this:   (Brilliant casting, by the way.)  When we started calling her Bellatrix she made an evil face to match as well!
So for school on Monday we improvised (put the hair in a ponytail doubled over–with the rat in the middle it is nice and poofy and the curls falling down can look either artful or messy depending upon your interpretation.).  And Monday night we got down to business.  Jake helped me by washing and conditioning her hair.  When she came to me for the detangling part, the hair did not look one bit better.  We had to section it off (literally ripping through tangles to do so) and comb it out bit by bit with the aid of half a bottle of detangler.  They say you don’t have to wash it out, but her hair has a tangible residue on it.
This operation took TWO HOURS, and it was clear as we went along that surgery was going to be required.  It wasn’t a matter of cutting the tangles OUT–had I done that she would have been left with no hair at all–but rather cutting THROUGH the worst of them.   Here’s a shot of what was lost: 
I went ahead and trimmed an inch off when I was finished for good measure.  It feels a little thinner to me but you cannot tell that it has been butchered by looking.  I’m not sure what all this did to the curl–at the moment it is all weighed down by the detangler residue and neither Lorelei nor I feel like washing it again quite this soon.  So for now, it is being braided every night before bed to keep this from happening again.


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