Archive for the ‘biracial’ Category

So this happened.

Biracial hair straightening fail

After months and months of Lil’ J asking to have her hair straight I finally gave in and gave it a go… Sorta.

We were on vacation (I won’t say where) and we had a free day from all the fun. We were just hanging out around the resort and Lil’ J noticed a blow drier.

“Mama, can you straighten my hair?” She asked me.

Well, we don’t own a blow drier at home, and we didn’t have any plans. Why not?

I agreed we’d give it a try, on low heat, and using no flat irons. I didn’t know how her hair would react to the change.

We already had a lot of pixie dust and hair gel to wash out of her hair, and I didn’t bring all of my usual hair-washing supplies, so detangling was a nightmare. I told her we had to make it through if she wanted her hair to be straight.

After I finished the preliminary round of detangling, I borrowed my sister-in-law’s brush to try to use to pull through while blow drying…Mind you, I’ve never done this before. Not to my own hair, or anyone elses’. I used a mixture of cool and low heat in fear of damaging her tresses, so it took forever to dry a single section.

Biracial hair straightening failLil’ J whined and cried basically the whole way through as I tugged, trying to find a way to maneuver the brush and blow dryer seamlessly. I never found that groove.

This doesn’t seem as easy as it is when I go to the salon. I thought to myself. Maybe that blow dryer with the comb attachment is key!

It seemed to take forever, and we were still just on that first little piece of hair.

Once she saw how long and straight her hair was getting she got excited and said I could finish the section, but by the time we started on the next, she said she was done, and that she liked her curly hair.

I totally flipped the script and I didn’t even mean to. I unknowingly reverse-psychologied her into appreciating her curly hair.

WINNING!

Since then I’ve felt a little guilty. I don’t want her to be terrified of blow dryers forever. And as much as I want her to love her curly hair, I don’t at the expense of her having PTSD from her hair-straightening experience.

I told her we could try again some day when she is older and she seemed fine with that idea.

We have a nightly moisturizing and detangling routine that we do before bed. She used to dread it but now that it involves a tradition of popcorn and a new Disney movie, she looks forward to it every evening after her brother goes to bed. Her hair is getting longer and longer by the day and she loves to play in it and “help” me.

Biracial hair washing styling upkeep

She uses her pretend hair straightener and blow drier. As I work on combing out one section of hair, she sprays and “straightens” another.

“Don’t worry, it’s just pretend mom,” she reassures me.

I’ve been bouncing a new blow dryer in and out of my Amazon shopping cart, debating if I’m ready to re-welcome heat straightening back into our home. Are we ready? Or should I stick with our curly styles a bit longer?

Part of me just wants to make up for our terrible first experience–Prove to myself that I CAN DO THIS TOO!

But another part of me wonders if we should save it for special occasions and leave it to the pros at the salon.

Yea, that’s probably a good idea.

Have you ever had a bad-hair experience?

A couple weeks ago we had a “snow day” and school was canceled here the right before expected freezing temperatures would be rolling in. I think it ended up being in the 50s the next day.

Anyway, we made the most of it. It’s rare I capture a cute picture with the both of them together. They were having so much fun when I got this adorable moment.

Read the details and see more of this cuteness over on my new Tampico is Color photo blog.

A beautiful and colorful lifestyle blog featuring an interracial family with stunning biracial children. Inspiring parents to document life's little moments  and make beautiful memories with their beautiful babies.

Occasionally… VERY occasionally these days, I’ll get a hateful comment on my blog. Even less often someone will say something rude on Instagram, Twitter, or some other form of social media. After watching Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segment, I thought I could do my own “Blogger Reads Mean Comments” video, but I really don’t get that many anymore, and we could be waiting a while so I’m just going to tell you about this one.

Showing a white dad with a biracial son is totally normal too.

A couple of weeks ago I shared this precious photo of my husband and son on Instagram. Shortly after I got a comment from someone I don’t know that said: “Lol I don’t think he’s the dad, guess mom cheated.”

IMG_1540

My first reaction was confusion… HOW DOES HE KNOW? (Don’t ask me why I’ve assumed this person is a he, I’m not sure.)

I was so confused at how is it possible to tell that I cheated based on this photo. How in the world does it give away that information? I mean, just because a kid doesn’t look like his dad doesn’t mean he can’t look like his mom right?

Then it dawned on me… He thinks I’m white. Even if I was, that comment is no less offensive. There are such things as recessive genes and you know… And adoption. Goodness, adoptive parents I have a new respect for you!

Next, I was baffled that this person didn’t take the time to glance up at my profile picture to notice… Oh hey, his mom is black, and quite attractive, that totally explains the freakishly adorable kid.

I wasn’t ever angry, well… Maybe just upset that I didn’t think of a great comeback.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

When Lil’ J was younger I used to get asked quite often if she was mine. Now it seems my husband gets stopped with the questions… “Does her mom have curly hair?” or “Is his mom Hispanic?” It doesn’t bother him like it used to sometimes bother me. “People are just curious,” he tells me, so I don’t let it get to me. But I wish it wasn’t so hard for people to imagine a family like ours.

On a normal day do you know how many times I think about being in an interracial marriage? About zero. Seriously, it’s not something we think or dwell about any more than someone else ponders about their hair color differences on any given day. Sure, occasionally discussions, an encounter, or news will come up that reminds us, but it’s not nearly a constant thought in our lives.

Hopefully someday we will seem just as normal to everyone else too.

A first reaction shouldn’t be “OH DAYUM… You know he aint the baby daddy!” But “What a cute kid!” or “Genetics are awesome!” or “Oh man, his mom must be smokin hot!” … I’d be ok with any of those.

The most common question I’m asked isn’t about breaking into my broadcast career, how I met my hot husband, or even “how are you today?” it’s “how do you do your daughter’s hair?”

Ok, one of those questions may be a little more popular, but not when it comes to my blog. Biracial hair care, mixed hair care or natural hair care especially has become a hot topic. I can’t believe I haven’t updated my process since Lil’ J was a toddler. I’ve been meaning to do it but really wanted pictures of the process to make it all flow. I finally took some yesterday (Sunday is typically our hair-washing day). It’s going to be picture-heavy so get ready!

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, hair washing, 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

It’s been a learning process for me as I only recently began to wear my hair in its naturally curly state all the time. Before that I kept it flat ironed with salon visits. I’m embracing my natural hair in all of its curly beauty now that I have a little girl who has gorgeous curls of her own. It can be hard to think curls are pretty when we’re bombarded with society’s standard of beauty that often overlooks us.

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

I’m going to be filing this under my new “making strong roots” section because this topic fits in more way than one.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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 So, first off, FYI, I try not to let her hair get this crazy but let’s face it—Life gets busy. I avoid letting her out of the house like this though.

Typically I’ll wash Lil’ J’s hair when Big T is napping, or already in bed. He loves splashing in water and if he knows his sister is having all the fun, it becomes a challenge trying to entertain him too.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

I clear off the kitchen counters give the sink a little extra scrubbing—Yes, you read right, the sink. I could do her hair in the tub but dumping water on her head over and over with a cup just isn’t cutting it. I’ll probably eventually invest in one of those bathtub sprayer adapters but I feel like I’m conserving more water in the sink, and it works for us. It’s also how my mom did our hair at home, and I have fond memories of those nights so let’s just say we’re carrying on the tradition.

I get her set up with an iPad or phone, and let her watch a show while I do her hair, but usually we end up “talking to the knots,” which I’ll explain later.

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

I have a bathroom caddy that I lug all of our hair supplies in. Between three different curly hair types, we have a variety of products. These are typically the ones I use most often, but not all at once. I didn’t use all of these when doing Lil’ J’s hair this time. But here are my go-tos:

Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner: I use this to get her hair detangled because I need to use a TON of conditioner and would use my nicer and pricier conditioner right up if I used the same amount. I love this because it has a lot of slip.

Curly Q’s Coconut Dream Conditioner: LOVE the smell and it hydrates her hair so well, and leaves it silky smooth. I use this EVERY time.

Shea Moisture Cleansing Conditioner: I use this instead of a Shampoo.

Curly Q’s Custard: I love this after washing when I’m styling or twisting it up for the night. I’ve tried various similar products but keep coming back to this.

Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Style Milk: Similar to the custard above, I also buy this a lot.

It’s important to remember that it’s about the process not the products. So what works for my daughter’s hair may be totally different for your child’s hair. For my natural curls I use the Shea Moisture products most often and I’ve recently started using them on my kids. I haven’t noticed a huge different from product to product, but I do see a big difference if I change up the process.

Alright, enough yapping, here we go…

Step 1 Shampoo (optional):

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

Rarely do I use shampoo. I usually go straight to conditioner. Today I used a cowash by Shea Moisture to cleanse her hair before going on to condition some more. I get her hair soaking wet, wash, massage, then rinse. Simple enough.

Step 2: Condition

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

I load her hair up with conditioner. I currently have been using the Hello Hydration by Herbal Essence. It’s inexpensive and exactly what I need to get her hair slick and easy to detangle. I use a TON of this stuff, I just keep caking it in, and let her hair soak it up. Since I use so much of it, I don’t use a pricey conditioner for this part.

Step 3: Separate

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

I part her hair into a few sections and tie them apart. Sometimes I’ll use clamps. It just depends what I have on hand.

Step 4: Detangle
Dang, I forgot a photo! But I needed all hands on deck for this. I go to work section-by-section and detangle using possibly the most important item of this whole process: A good wide-tooth comb. I start from the bottom and work my way up until the entire section is detangled. This process can be a breeze if you stay on top of it, and use A LOT of conditioner while detangling. Be extremely generous with a good conditioner and it helps the tangles slip right out. If it starts to hurt, Lil’ J will tell her knots they’ve gotta pack up and move out of her head, and I’ll talk her through what they’re saying as they leave. It keeps her smiling through the process and she actually looks forward to detangling because of this strange tradition we have. But lately, when I wash her hair in this order detangling is a breeze.

Step 5: Deep Condition

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

As I complete each section I rinse out the conditioner then add a nice deep conditioner. Right now I really like the Curls Coconut Dream Conditioner for kids. I used to only use this for detangling and conditioning but I was going through it so fast, and believe it or not, it’s not the best for detangling and doesn’t have as much “slip.” But it smells great and is an awesome moisturizer. I add this conditioner to the section I’ve just detangled before moving on to the next section of hair and then put it in a loose braid.

Step 6: Repeat and Rinse

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

I repeat steps four and five until her whole head is detangled and up in lose braids. Then I rinse her head with cold water to close the pores. I don’t take the braids down just yet, because it’s ok if some conditioner is left in. It’ll help keep in extra moisture.

Step 7: Moisturize and Style

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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
Are you getting the idea yet? The key is hydration and moisture retention. For this step I take down her braids and add some moisturizer cream section by section using my hands. I usually use the Curls Curly Q Custard Curl Styling Cream, but I’ve also started using my Curl Enhancing Smoothie by Shea Moisture and it seems to be doing a good job too.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

If it’s the middle of the day I’ll leave her hair down, let it air dry and she can run around and let her curls dry in a couple of hours. If it starts to frizz and I want to freshen it up a bit I’ll spray some Shea Moisture Kids Extra-Moisturizing Detangler and run my fingers through to freshen them up.

If it’s right before bed I’ll use the styling cream while I twist it up either into bantu knots, or braids (tighter than the ones from before when we were detangling).

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

The final key is having her sleep on a satin pillowcase. It keeps her hair from all the friction and frizzes caused by regular cotton pillowcases.

To keep it fresh the following days I use a water bottle to spray her hair and get it damp section by section, then use the moisturizer to re-style before bed. Take it down in the morning and BOOM! Gorgeous curls day after day.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

Big T’s routine is similar but much faster because he HATES getting his hair detangled and it’s a struggle. Luckily his curls seem to be staying so cute and hold their natural ringlets for awhile. Hopefully he’ll get used to our routine in a couple more years because I’d like to keep it about this length (and get trims back to about this length in the future). Excuse this blurry picture of my little tornado. I may post a guide for how I do his hair soon if there’s interest, though it doesn’t seem like there are as many boys rockin’ their fros lately.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, 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

For my babies, when they were babies, I used Curl’s baby line. You can find that tutorial here.

Have any questions or comments about biracial hair care? Shoot! I’ll be happy to reply below.

Oh, and because I know someone will ask… No, I didn’t make this dress. I bought it from Adelaide’s Boutique.

Oct
13
2014

Coming soon…


Tips for washing biracial hair
First off, if you’re reading in an email or reader, pop on over to my blog and check out my new digs. I decided a redesign was in order and hired Sarah to help me spruce up the place once again. I’m also loving my new slogan if I say so myself. I’ve added new tabs and pages that hopefully will keep things a bit more organized. Let me know what you think!

Next, I knew from birth that both of my children were going to be a handful.–When it came to their hair that is. They each came out with a head full of hair and it keeps growing at what seems like a super-human speed.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a post about my kid’s hair routine and now that my daughter’s hair is past her waist (when wet) and my son’s is down to his shoulders (when wet) I’d say it’s about time for an update. I normally use Curls products but this week I’m going to try experimenting with my Shea Moisture products on them (because it would be so nice if we could all share) and I’ll post another step-by-step tutorial with picture, and maybe a video. If you have any specific questions before then let me know and I’ll be sure to include it.

Have a happy Monday!

Just a couple days ago my daughter said her daddy was “blue” because the shirt he was wearing was blue. Apparently I was red because that was the color of my shirt. I was beginning to think perhaps it is true what some people claim to believe… Kids are colorblind to skin.

I’ve never honestly felt that way; that children, or people in general are colorblind to race. It’s natural to recognize someone looking different than you, or out of the ordinary. Whether it’s someone with red hair, blond hair, brown skin—whatever. We aren’t blind, and it’s ok to notice these things. But do children?

happy-little-girl-with-fall-leaves

Tonight, my daughter dropped a bomb on me: “Mom, why are you brown and I’m not?”

“What?” I looked down at my shirt, to see if that’s what she meant. But she clarified just as I was checking.

“Your skin. Why is your skin brown, and mine’s not?” She asked.

“Yours isn’t?” I thought it might be best to answer her question with questions to see where she was coming from.

“No. See?” She held up her arm for me to inspect.

“Well, who told you that?” I immediately became suspicious of kids at school. Kids at school are always bringing new things to her attention. She just started a new preschool, and maybe someone said something about us after drop off.

“Well, Daniel Tiger says…” (She broke out in a tune) “In some ways we are different, and in some ways, we are the same.”

Damn that tiger.

No really, it’s not his fault, or any fault at all. In the episode on the PBS show the differences they highlight are a kid walking using braces, and not everyone having a tail. From what I can tell, my daughter taking it to the skin color discussion was all on her own.

little-girl

“That’s right,” I said. “But what color are you?”

She wasn’t sure how to answer this either, she looked around the room, maybe for a comparison.

“Well, my kitchen is white…”

“Yes…” I said. Waiting to hear more. “Like you?” I questioned.

“No.” She said.

“Oh ok, well what’s daddy? Is he brown too?” I asked, trying to see where she was going with this.

“No, he’s yellow. Like me.” She decided.

“Oh ok,” I answered. “What about your brother?”

“He’s yellow too,” she professed. “Me, and daddy and [my brother] are yellow. And only you—“ she stopped to change her mind. “You and Snoop are brown.”

The dog and I are brown. I smiled, as I learned the workings of my preschooler’s thoughts of the world.

“Ok. And is brown pretty?” I braced herself for her answer. But I was really curious what she’d say.

“No,” she responded point blank.

“Why not?” I asked her.

“Because brown’s not my favorite color.”

“Is mommy pretty?” I asked.

“YES!” And she dove into my lap for a hug.

“Mommy?”

Oh great what now. “Yes?”

“Can we play with blocks now?”

And as quickly as that, the conversation was over.

exploring-the-world

Later, after she was tucked into bed, then came back out of her room sneaking some extra mommy time, she brought it up again while pointing to a photograph of herself against her daddy’s skin and said: “I don’t want my skin to be this color.”

This comment shocked me the most out of everything, but again, I tried to stay cool and keep with the questions, versus answers.

“Why not?” I asked her.

“Because I’m brown, and that’s not my favorite color.”

“Oh, well what color do you want to be?” Again, I braced myself for her answer.

“Purple.” She said.

I took a small sigh of relief. Apparently I’m ok with my daughter wanting to be purple. I just said “ok” (whatever kid!). It was late and she was trying to delay bedtime at this point.

“You’re beautiful the way you are.”

As I suspected all along, kids aren’t colorblind, they notice things. Though it’s not always on her mind that “mommy is brown.” For some reason it came to her mind in this moment, and was gone the next. The same thing happens with conversations with my husband. I don’t constantly think about being married to a white dude… Or even dwell on the fact that I’m black. It rarely comes up at home because we’re just mommy, daddy, wife, and husband; adorable kids… A family.

Biracial-questionsShe’s exploring and learning about the world around her, in all sorts of aspects of her little life right now. I think. I hope. No, I PRAY it’s a long time before we have a deeper skin color conversation that deals with wanting to be colors other than purple. But who knows, maybe it will never happen. And if it does (because honestly, I suspect every child, every color at some point wishes they could look like someone else) I hope… No, I pray it will be as cool, collected, and humorous as it was tonight.

Dear Stranger:

I know my babies have the sweetest, most delectable looking curls you have ever seen. So enticing in fact, that you may find your hands wandering in its direction.

I’ve only recently began to notice just how frequently it happens. Last week we were waiting in line for a cookie at the mall when a little girl behind us started stroking my daughter’s head. Lil’ J looked at me like ‘Ma, who is touching my hair?’. I looked back at her and said “Oh, thinks your hair is pretty,” loud enough so the little girl’s mom would hear and maybe be prompted intervene. Yet she wasn’t.

I was torn between asking the little girl to stop, swatting her hand away, or just letting it go. I let it go.

The sad truth is, my daughter is pretty accustomed to people she doesn’t even known touching her hair. She used to frequently tell people “You can look at my curls but don’t touch them” but it’s not something I’ve heard her say in a while. I don’t know if she’s grown tired of telling people, or just gotten used to the attention, either way I still want her to know it’s not ok without her permission.

no you didn't touch my hair

I could go on about the psychological aspects behind a child understanding their body is their own. But I’ll stick to the main point here… You touch my kid, I’ll cut you.

I know these strangers aren’t ill willed–The opposite in fact. Some cultures actually believe touching a child’s head is good luck.

But here’s the thing… I don’t know where your hands have been. I finally reached my boiling point when I ran in to grab a drink at a convenient store, son on my hip and daughter at my side. We were setting out things on the counter when one of the store clerks walked behind us, and as he did he grabbed my daughter’s pony tail. He didn’t yank it, but just kinda felt it like ‘oh that looks soft, I want to touch it’. He gave me a friendly smile as he did it but I couldn’t contain my stink eye, and had my son been in my Ergo and not in my arms, I might have smacked his hand, or punched his throat.

In that instant it hit me how often I have let it go. People want to rub my son’s head just as often, though usually when he’s close to me people will at least ask, my poor daughter is the perfect height for wantering hands that just have  to know what her bouncy curls feel like.

IMG_1948-copy

Yes, they’re fabulous I know, but they also take a lot of work to get them that way and I have to start all over again after your grubby hands grace her sweet locks.

Yes, their curls are irresistible, but I beg of you, please, resist!

Anywhere I go with my kids I notice a wave of eyes staring them down. They’re friendly onlookers enchanted by their bright eyes and bouncy curls. At least I assume that’s what strangers are drawn to. Though I really like to think it’s their sweet spirits pulling them in.

mixed kidsIt’s been about three years since the last time a stranger asked if she was mine. My mom asked me if I get that much but I think she’s grown to look a little more like me–Or perhaps I’ve got the “mom look” down now, so no one assumes otherwise.

On my way back from Atlanta this week I stood in line waiting for my Chick-fil-a. The woman behind the counter asked me about my kids.

“What are they mixed with?” She asked me.

“What?” It took a second for her question to register.

“What are your kids mixed with?” She asked again.

“Oh. White…” I said it almost like a question. I was sure, but unsure if that’s what she wanted to know.

“Oh, I thought they was somethin’ else.” She replied.

O…K…

IMG_1523-bw-copy

I chuckled off the innocent comment but walked to the plane with my two kids wondering what she thought they might have been.

I rehashed the story to my husband who told me he always gets asked the same question.

I guess when we’re all together our family makes sense. Apart, and we’re a beautiful mystery.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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