If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you’ve probably seen me share about my daughter’s hair growth disorder. We’ve been really open with talking about it, knowing that other families are going through the same thing. With her permission (and her excitement to help others!) I want to share her story, the knowledge we’ve gained, and which interventions have been the most beneficial for her.
When Mabel was about three, we noticed that her hair still wasn’t really coming in, but we didn’t think much of it. One day I received a DM from a woman saying her daughter’s hair looked the same at that age, and that she had Short Anagen Syndrome (SAS). This is where hair does not grow beyond a short length, due to an unusually short duration of active hair growth. She included a link to this Facebook group for more information and support. We went to a dermatologist to get her tested for SAS, but he wasn’t super familiar with the condition. The results were that she has super brittle hair, and mild SAS. Now that we had some direction, we were able to begin researching the best ways to help the situation.
Justin and I have always felt it was a priority to keep things positive for Mabel. We never make her hair a big topic, we compliment her often, and we redirect her whenever she compares her hair to others. We remind her that everyone’s hair is different! And all types of hair are beautiful. These practices are key in maintaining her confidence and avoiding any complexes.
On top of already fragile hair, Mabel was in the habit of twirling her hair when she was falling asleep. We tried several interventions, but found that the only thing that was effective was to have me lay next to her while she falls asleep and move her hand away when she starts to grab at it. We’ve continued to do this every night—and I’ve loved having that extra quality time with her.
In the beginning, I would wash Mabel’s hair everyday, but we learned this exasperated the breakage. We switched to only shampooing 1-2 times a week, but conditioning at every bath time. This made a noticeable difference. After every bath we follow up with a scalp massager to stimulate growth. The tool we use is inexpensive and gentle on little heads. A lot of what we read recommended a daily vitamin to fill in any nutrient gaps. Mabel really doesn’t like chewable kid vitamins, so we started putting 1 Tbsp of @maryruthorganics liquid multivitamin and a half droplet of liquid biotin (great for hair) into her chocolate milk in the mornings.
Recommended Hair Products
Shampoo/Conditioner—As far as what we use to wash her hair, we tried SEVERAL different brands before finding the right one for her. My good friend Mindy McKnight has a line of products called @hairitagebymindy which has been incredible in keeping Mabel’s sensitive hair healthy and strong. For the shampoo we use the Gentle Daily cleanser. It’s It’s an extremely clean product that works specifically well for thin hair. We use the Deep Moisture and Restore Conditioner to prevent any breakage. It is jam-packed with moisturizers that leave her hair feeling silky, and eliminate snarling.
Leave-in conditioner—Anytime her hair gets wet (swimming, rain, sprinklers, etc.) we apply Pureology conditioning spray and brush through her hair to prevent knotting.
Hair brush—Without a doubt @bathpack_ brushes are the best for thin or breaky hair. We use them exclusively in our home. You can always use my code ASHLEYROSE for a discount!
Elastic remover—Anytime we would take out her ponytails, several strands of hair would fall victim to the rubber bands. We found this amazing product that carefully cuts through the elastic so you don’t need to pull it out to remove it. Game changer!
Taking the extra time and effort to ensure the health of my daughter’s hair has been a good reminder to me that all bodies are different, and each requires different care. It’s our unique traits that make us who we are.