Now that I’m natural, I have a newfound confidence that I can’t explain. It’s kind of exciting that my hair enters the room before I do and incites conversations. Now that I have conquered the curls on my head, I have become the curly girl, with curly haired baby girls. I like to think of myself as the mixed chick hair whisperer.
It has been trial and error figuring out what works in my hair, and so it made the journey with my girls a tad easier. Melody has the texture of white hair, but the maintenance of black hair. Since I’m a product junkie, I don’t feel so bad when a product from my Onyx box or Birchbox doesn’t work in my hair. I try it in her hair, and if it doesn’t work, then my friends get lucky when I pass products on to them. Right now my staples for her are Kinky Curly Knot Today Detangler and NuNaat Garlic Leave in conditioner. Her hair gets frizzy by the end of the day at PreK, so I like to use Cantu for Kids Curling Custard or Curly Kids Gel Moisturizer for some extra hold when I pull her hair up into a ponytail or just a simple wash and go. Here are a few tips to help when styling a biracial child’s hair:
1. Understand that Biracial actually means multiracial. Don’t make assumptions about the hair. The gene pool is an interesting place to be. Just because the child is mixed with two races, doesn’t mean that their hair isn’t infused with all the other genes in their bloodline.
2. Detangle, Detangle, Detangle (while wet). I cannot say this enough. Curly hair loves water. Never try and detangle curly hair while dry (ouch!!) Often naturals talk about finding a conditioner with good slip. Slip means that the conditioner aides in detangling and glides through the hair.
3. Wide tooth combs are a must. Wide tooth combs assist with detangling.
4. Night time routine. Curly hair tangles easily. At night, braid hair, put in a pineapple (basically a high pony), or sleep with a satin cap.
5. Find a good conditioner (leave in and wash out). Naturals talk about co-washing. This basically means washing hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. I still love the way shampoo cleanses and makes my daughters’ hair feel clean, but there are several days in the week when I simply co-wash.
6. Don’t fight the curl, embrace the curl. I have heard of many women who are at a loss with their daughter’s hair. (mainly white women raising biracial girls with predominantly black coarse curls) Find products that make the curl do it’s thing naturally instead of finding ways to straighten it. When you find a good conditioner, the curls will respond by spiraling.
7. Add gel. Adding the right gel keeps the curls from frizzing out of control and maintains the soft texture. The wrong gel will flake and make the hair hard. My favorite is Shea Moisture Curling Gel Soufflé.
8. Don’t be afraid to experiment! What works for one person, will not necessarily work for your child. There are a ton of products on the market and it’s often hard to make a decision. Check out Youtube for videos and tips. Beauty by Lee is a great one to follow.
9. Subscribe to beauty/hair boxes. There are several companies that make monthly boxes that include a variety of products in full and sample sizes. This allows you to try different products for $25-$30 a month without going broke buying a ton of products that don’t work. CurlBox, Onyx Box**my personal favorite, Curl Kit, CocoTique.
10. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize. Try a good deep conditioning once a week. I love Crème of Nature’s argon oil line. I’m also a fan of Aussie’s 3 minute moisture. Thanks to my subscription boxes, my list of favorites continues grow.
So, curly girls…What are your favorite products? Have you found a routine that works that you’d like to share?
Diedre aka Mixed Chick Hair Whisperer