*Update: Here is my new process for washing my now 4-year-old’s waist-length mixed hair*

My daughter has extremely curly hair. People always comment on her hair, and when we’re out people ask me where she gets her curly hair (me) and if it’s naturally that way (No, I permed my 1-year-old’s hair… Who are these people?). The most common question I get asked in emails from blog readers is how I manage Lil’ J’s curls. What can I say? It’s a hot topic in our lives.

 

I have written the same response over and over again so I figured I should just write a blog post about my routine for washing biracial hair, that way I can link people here from now on.

First off, I don’t wash her hair very often. Usually once a week to every 9-10 days. I use It’s a Curl conditioner which I buy from Amazon. You can get the whole line here. I like it because it’s organic, and gentle on her head. I haven’t ever died or relaxed my hair and I want to be equally as cautious with hers.


I bought the entire line (twice), It’s a Curl Shampoo, Conditioner, Moisturizer and Leave in Conditioner. A long time ago I read a post by my friend Melissa and her hair washing routine for her little curly head. I couldn’t find it for this post but I’m hoping she’ll read this and share the link. I think our routines are pretty similar if I remember correctly.

For washing her hair and getting her curls “set” I use the shampoo and conditioner. I also use a big-tooth comb.

I’ve tried many variations of these steps and I think I’ve found what works best for her hair so hopefully this will help for many of you.

Before

1. I wet and wash her hair with the shampoo. I don’t use a ton of shampoo, just one squirt. Again, I don’t shampoo it often, maybe once a week or week and a half. A lot of shampoo tends to dry her hair out more so I try not to use a lot.-Just enough to clean her hair, and rinse. Make sure you get all the shampoo out, no bubbles left.


2. With conditioner I’m very generous. This is what will get the tangles out so I use a lot and literally cake it in.

3. Comb those curls. I start with the wider-tooth part of the comb and comb through it, then switch to the other side, where the teeth are closer together to get more tangles out. This combs the conditioner through the hair too. I hang tight closer to her scalp while tugging at the ends so she doesn’t feel it. She’s usually playing with her toys and not minding what I do.

4. Rinse out all the conditioner.

5. Comb again with the wide-tooth end.

6. Don’t towel dry or blow dry. Let your curly head run around until it’s dry. This is important because a towel will frizz it up, and if they go to sleep with it damp they’ll wake up with their hair sticking out and squished in weird places. Another tip: Use a satin pillowcase when they sleep to keep tangles at bay.

Here’s a morning where I let her go to bed a little too soon before her hair was totally dry.

Here’s an afternoon where I washed her hair mid-day and let it dry outside while she was playing.

Between washing sometimes I”ll use her leave-in moisturizing and conditioning products to keep the friz down and the curls cute.

Hope this helps! Any other questions about washing biracial hair? Leave it in the comments and I’ll get back to you! And if you have a similar post or tips feel free to leave a link in the comments, different things work for different people.

*Update 11/24/2014* Here is my updated process for her now waist-length hair.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids


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Rebecca says:

Funny, I just bought the curly q’s line from them last week for my little curly head. She is biracial too, although her curls aren’t quite as tight as Journey’s. I’m feeling like my daughter is starting to lose her curls the longer it gets, which makes me sad! I have stick straight hair, which I, of course, hate. 🙂

fizzyhog says:

Her daughter isn’t actually called journey! Hehe. Would be a cute name though 🙂

Rebecca says:

Really? Lol I swear I thought it was and saw other people call her that! Haha, it is a cute name! My kids all start with J’s and I told my fiancé Journey would be a good girl name.

Olusola says:

What do you mean you’ve never dyed or relaxed your hair????? Wow! I would love to see a post on how you care for your hair and the products you use. I know it’s probably a bit off topic but if you’ve never “messed” with your hair and it looks this good, you need to share girl 🙂

Wow! Thanks for the tips. My biracial daughter is now 12 with curly thick hair down her back. I just let her detangle it herself in the shower. Its a chore to say the least. I do believe that Ill be picking up those Its A Curl products.

THE mom says:

My littlest dude (3) has curly crazy multiracial hair (Asian, Hawaiian, black, German). His hair care routine is very similar. And the air drying is what keeps his curls intact for days! Conditioning his hair is key! His ends get soooo dry. I use oyin Greg juice in between washings

LookingUp says:

I wish my mom knew about this! I was the only curly haired girl in my family, and no one ever knew what to do about my curls. My nickname was “wild and wooly.” It wasn’t until the Internet started teaching me what to do about curls that I learned about stuff to keep my curls from frizzing. Lil J’s curls are beautiful, and you do a wonderful job with them!

Thanks so much for writing this. On your advice, I’ve been using it’s curl for the last few weeks on Princess’s hair. She hates having her hair done but I’m able to do it pretty quickly. She was born in the summer and I used to wash her hair a few times a week cuz of the heat-huge mistake! Now it’s once a week, I also condition it during the week too. The more moisture, the better. Plus, the chlorine from swimming tends to dry her hair out too.

Funny thing- on my quest to find gentle products for her hair, I realized I was damaging mine. I’m in the process of transitioning back to natural. I don’t color my hair either, but wonder if they have anything gentle enough for when I’m ready hehe. Your hair is also beautiful. I would also love for you to post your regimen too!!! Lol Keep doing what your doing. And lil J is a doll. She seems like such a good baby.

Faith says:

her hair is beautiful! you have done an incredible job on her gorgeous curls!

after reading this I just went and bought the kit but now I have a question. If you only wash the hair every 7-10 days what do you do if she gets food in her hair? My daughter always touches her hair at dinner (which we don’t usually mind because she takes a bath afterward) So in that situation should I wash with her regular shampoo/conditioner or will that ruin what the Peek-A-Boo and Patty Cake are doing?

Haha, yea Rebecca, Journey is her “stage name” for her modeling listing pages. I usually just call her Lil’ J here.

Double Duty Mommy, I will wash it if stuff gets in it. If I get it wet I’ll condition it though because if I don’t, it’ll get dry and frizzy. I usually will skip shampoo if i can get it out with water and conditioner alone. Hope that helps!

Quiana says:

What gorgeous curls! That’s awesome she lets you do her hair. Nia screams bloody murder when I rinse the conditioner out. She has a tighter curl and the shea butter souffle at Target is amazing for definition! It’s all natural too and smells so sweet that Nia tries to eat it. DH even tasted it once to make sure it was ok. LOL! Thank you for sharing your routine.

Aw her curls are so cute.

May I suggest:

The curly girl method for curly haired folks

And also: using a moisturizer straight away after washing/conditioning

Dani, I was hoping you’d chime in with your suggestions. You’re a pro at this stuff! Thanks! I’ll try that and see how it goes. I like her leave-in conditioner more than the moisturizer we have right now. The leave-in is soft and smooth, the moisturizer feels stickier in my hands. Her hair doesn’t get sticky from it, I’m just not very quick to grab it unless it’s a frizzy mess and we’re going someplace.

Kathy C. says:

This has been a question I’ve been meaning to ask you this week… so glad you posted it! I’m still waiting for my lil one to be born in May but I wanted to get some research in. Dealing with the hair is my main concern. lol I have no idea what to expect with an interracial baby. 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!

Megan says:

She is SO adorable and has amazing curls, ones that I am certainly jealous of! My little will most likely have curly hair, my husband and I both have curly hair, and it’ll be interesting to see what works for us!

I too use the curls system for Colston. And I have been known to yell at my husband for washing his hair when it was not necessary. He shampoos his every day, so you see where he didn’t get it at first. I will try not towel drying his hair though. My husband usually does bath time, and when he is done rubbing that towel everywhere Colston usually has a fro! We use the baby shampoo for the “tear free”, the conditioner in the kids because it is a bigger size, and the Curls Milkshake. People always comment on his hair, and are always surprised at the lengths I go to keep it looking good. Funny enough, I love it though. Call it my therapy. Haha.
By the way, I was at target and saw a few Curls products in their hair care section.

Your daughter’s hair type looks just like my daughters hair…. except that your daughters is a bit thicker and a bit longer even though my daughter is 4.5yrs old…. But I have been debating on switching hair products and I think Im gonna try its a curl… I currently use VO5-split ends conditioner and only cowash her hair about every 9-10days, which works well, but I have noticed this past couple of weeks her hair just doesnt seem to be getting enough moisture…

I noticed people thinking Journey was your daughters name and to be honest its where I got the idea to name my daughter(due June 1st) Journey…. I thought it was so cute and went well with with my 4.5yr olds name Destiny!

Tara H says:

Your daughter is beautiful & so is her hair! You’re routine is similar to mine, my daughter is also biracial but she is 6. I also use & love curls products & have been for years but I use the curl cutie line for children & wanted to let everyone know they had products for older children. I also get compliments & questions everywhere I go & love educating people on natural hair care!

kristine says:

I also use Its a Curl Shampoo and conditioner for my daughter, as well as the moisturizer and one of their leave-ins. I love how her hair looks after we wash it (no more than once per week). My question is whether or not you have any suggestions for keeping the curls looking great between washings. Often the curls flatten out and start to look a little frizzy in the morning or after a nap. I do try to wet and condition her hair between washings, but do I need to do this daily to keep her hair looking nice or are there other products or “tricks” that might help…She is 2.5…thank you!!

Does her hair ever knot? I don’t think we could get away with washing every 9-10 days solely because of the knotting issue. Also, gorgeous hair!

toi says:

she has the most gorgeous curls ever. AOI’s curls is still on the baby stages but I am wondering how to take care of her hair when she is a little older.

at the moment I wash and use baby oil (vaseline for the scalp once a month), I then wipe the eccess off and then brush it and put a woolly hat on for some time and then it just stays down. this sounds crazy so i am going to try your tip.

did you use the same products for her when she was Miss AOi’s age – 3months?

Jessica says:

all the little ones have hair except for mine 🙁 lol i swear, if ONE more person compliments me on how cute my little “boy” (who is dressed in all pink with big white earrings and even carries her own purse) is…i may lose it!

{swank}mama says:

OMG the funny things people say! Your daughter has gorgeous hair. Miss S, my step-daughter, has similar hair but her’s is very fine. We have to tell her to condition, comb through with the fine toothed comb, etc etc too!

Mrs. Glam says:

Thanks for the heads up on the product line. I will be certain to try it once my little one gets here 🙂

YUMMommy says:

I’m seeing that all the great products for curly hair are online. This sounds like something we’ll have to give a try being that all of us have curly hair.

melifaif says:

Ah, I love it!!!! I got a shout out, whaaaa???? Thanks lady. I adore you both, you know this. Here is my link…..

http://melifaif.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-to-care-for-my-curly-girl-hair.html

Love,
Meli

Such a cool post! I love your blog…I have been an avid reader for a number of months now, though I mostly lurk.
I have Asian hair…not biracial, but still unmanageable and curly. Here is how I style it:
http://myadventurefortoday.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/curly-hair-stylin/

Love your craft sections too!

Sam

M says:

Lil J’s hair is awesome…but serious Jennifer if you’ve never relaxed or dyed your own hair you MUST share your tips with us all!!! : ) xxx Great job!

mmc67 says:

Ty for this post. I often use just a squirt bottle of conditioner and water if I am in a hurry to get the little guy’s hair done in the morning. This pic shows you what I have to deal with 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3358317598238&set=a.1011684693882.2001452.1277944347&type=1

Charleah Torres-Vega says:

I stumbled upon your blog this afternoon as I was trying to find reviews for the It’s A Curl baby products. I am the mother of a biracial daughter and have been in the dark about how to correctly care from my daughter’s hair. I heard about It’s A Curl and have been hestitant to purchase the products, but after your review and tutorial, I’ve finally purchased the products today. I can’t wait for them to arrive. Thanks again for the tips. BTW, the retailmenot.com coupons worked! Thank you! Thank you!

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I use a really great product called mixed chicks on my daughter, but I will definitely try its a curl

CurlyHairedMegan says:

I have curly hair too, and even though air drying is definitely best, when I’m in a rush or don’t want to be cold and drippy I’ve found regular cotton (like a beach sarong or pillow case) doesn’t frizz up my curls as badly as terrycloth–especially if I just scrunch rather than wrap.

twinbabes says:

Hi, I have biracial 2 yr old twin girls and their hair is very long and curly (tight curls) but I get a lot of shrinkage with their hair and I was wondering what you do to keep her hair from shrinking up? Also she is beautiful! And so is her hair! I wish I could manage my daughter’s hair so easily.

Sandra says:

I would love for you to do a video or post on you hair regiment…I love your blog.

Baby Making Mama says:

You are sweet! Honestly, I don’t have much of one besides getting a press every few weeks BUT I’m working on that. I’m trying to embrace my curls while on leave. I had an appointment with my stylist but I had to cancel because of bad weather and ironically enough I got completely soaked, so my hair is in it’s natural state and I’m using some of my daughter’s stuff to condition my hair today. Gonna try to rock a curly style like her. As soon as I’ve got it looking somewhat tame, I’ll share some photos. But I’m no pro, so a tutorial will come as soon as I’ve got a clue. haha.

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kristi says:

I dont have a web site… however i do have a question. I just washed her hair for the last time for 10 days. I did a coconut oil treatment because it is incredibly dry right now. normally it is not. I am also considering going to “co-washing”. any advice for that. my daughters hair is about the same texture as your kiddo. I want her to have long hair so I am trying to be as organic as possible with her hair.

Christina says:

Hi,

My daughter is one and right at 11 months, I shaved her head to start off even because it was all over the place. I’m puerto Rican and her father is black; I have relatively easy maintenance hair, and her fathers grows in curly and thick.

At birth, she had stick-straight super soft hair; over the duration of this past year, it’s gotten a tad curly (pre-shave) and more coarse, another reason for the shave to start over and see how her hair grows in. Now, it’s very coarse and dry (and still pretty short); I just bought neutrogenas deep conditioner and have yet to use it on her hair. I know not to shampoo frequently in fear of drying out what hair she does have; any pointers? I want her hair to grow in nice and smooth, but, I want to make sure I have the right tools to get it that way. Thanks, love!

nicole says:

Hi. I found your blog via babycenter. I have two daughters, a two-month-old & a two-year-old. They are biracial. My oldest has very curly hair. It looks like about the same as your daughter’s in these pictures, but it’s a little longer. My question is what do you do on the days you don’t wash her hair (or what did you do when she was a toddler — I realize this blog post is a few years old). Do you give her baths in between? And do you put any sort of styling cream? I usually wet my daughter’s hair, put styling cream, detangle it with spray, & more cream. This usually works but inevitably gets frizzy later in the day.

Baby Making Mama says:

I usually just keep it in an “up do” or “protective style” at night then let it out the next morning. I’ll freshen up with a sprits of water with a spraybottle, and some shea butter styling cream if needed. Here’s an updated post on my routine 🙂 http://www.babymakingmachine.com/2014/11/mixed-hair-care-natural-hair-care-tutorial-kids.html

Marie-Lou says:

Hi! I have à biracial son. And his hair is ver Frizzy and try. The pics of your son curls looks almost like my sons hair. But dry. What routine do you have on boy? What do use? What do I do!? I live in sweden and I dont have the luxury of alots of good products. But heard of product names mixed children or something like that? I have you heard of it? Ps love ure blog:)

Baby Making Mama says:

Hi Marie-Lou! So with my son’s hair, most days I spray it down with a waterbottle and moisturizer. I then later it with some Shea Moisture product like the style milk or custard and lather it in and brush it in with the Wet Brush. It works great for his hair, and his curls bounce right back!

Thanh Smisek says:

Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

Fio says:

What did you do when your baby was 5 months old? I’m trying to find the right regimen for my son ( half Jamaican and half German). Any suggestions? I need something that is organic and tearfree.

Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been researching biracial hair care for months, and this is the best info I’ve found yet. I’m excited to try the “It’s a Curl” products!

I’m curious at what age you started using the conditioner and moisturizers on your daughters hair? Out baby is almost 2 months, and has a head full of hair. It curls when I wash it and will hold it for a day or so, and then it gets pretty straight. Her hair does feel a little dry and course to me, so I feel like I should be doing something different than just washing with shampoo once a week and water in between.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



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