Intro to Natural Hair Care for Parents of Biracial Children
I have recently embarked on a hair care journey with my biracial daughters natural curls. D is Caucasian and African American. Her hair was never an “issue” per se, but through trial and error we are learning what works, what doesn’t, how to properly care for these fragile curls and what to avoid. I would like to share our hair journey with other parents out there in hopes of providing information to help them learn how to properly care for their children’s natural hair. I’ve heard of many instances in which parents didn’t know how or what to do with their kids natural hair and ultimately resorted to chemical relaxers, which are not only harmful to the hair itself, but also to the child. Chemicals in these relaxers can cause burns on the child’s scalp and seep into their bodies affecting their immune system and potentially causing other problems in the future. So, it my mission to provide information and resources needed to properly maintain and care for natural hair.
Natural Hair Care Products
When D was a baby, we used what most parents use on their babies, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. This shampoo is formulated for babies who have cradle cap, which is caused by overactive sebaceous (oil producing) glands. This shampoo strips those oils away, in fact this “gentle” shampoo is pretty harsh, and not something I would use today, knowing what I know. Once we moved passed the baby products I began using my hair products on her. I also detangled her hair with a brush I used for my hair. I have wavy, normal hair, and use gels and scrunching sprays to make mine curly or a flat iron to get the “waves” out. These gels and sprays dried little D’s hair out badly, they are not made for her hair type. Upon some (bad) advice I started using “hair grease” from a local retail store. I must have went through every brand they had, nothing provided hold or curl definition. They made her hair shiny, but they weren’t giving her thirsty locks the moisture it needed. I discovered that the main ingredients in all these products, petroleum and mineral oil, were, in fact, not at all moisturizing and could potentially clog pores and stunt hair growth. These days I only use products that do not contain those ingredients. Our hair care routine now consists of natural, sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and holding products, with ingredients such as shea butter and natural oils including extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil and essential oils. The products we use vary, but some of the brands that we have fallen in love with include Bee Mine, Created By Nature, and CUSH. More specifically our favorites are:
- Bee Mine’s Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer (an amazing moisturizer), their Curly Butter (for hold), and their Avocado Cream Conditioner
- Created By Nature’s Hair n Body Wash, and their Hair n Body Pomade (for hold and moisturizing)
- CUSH’s Uncoiled (detangler, light conditioner)
- We also use Kinky-Curly, which can be found at Target and SheaMoisture, available at Target and Walgreens.
Natural Hair Care How to’s
I shampoo her hair once a week, shampooing it too often can dry it out. I only wash her scalp, massaging the shampoo in with my fingertips. After I thoroughly rinse her hair, I apply a generous amount of conditioner and let it sit for about 5 minutes (sometimes longer). Once she’s out of the shower, I squeeze the excess water out of her hair with a towel (never rub the hair with a towel). I then apply some detangling lotion and begin finger detangling. Finger detangling is simply using your fingers to gently comb and work out the knots and tangles, never breaking or ripping the hair like combs and brushes can, I also use a wide tooth comb to detangle. Once her hair is detangled and moisturized I either begin styling or put it in 3 braids (2 in the front, 1 in the back) to keep it from tangling up as she sleeps. This routine has made a world of difference in the health and manageability of D’s curls, her hair is soft, moisturized, and has less breakage.
Through learning proper techniques, maintenance and what products to use we are no longer faced with the hair challenges we dealt with in the past. We love D’s curls and the journey we are on and we hope to reach out and inspire others who have similar hair struggles. Follow our journey and stay tuned for more great tips on natural hair care.