Posts Tagged ‘biracial hair care’

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?

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.

*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

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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