Caring for Your African-American or Biracial Child’s Hair

Caring for your child’s hair can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be. You can master the art of caring for ethnic hair if you’re armed with the proper education, the right technique and — most importantly — the right products,

I have been fascinated with hair for as long as I can remember, maybe because my hair was easy to manage. I began styling my own hair at an early age. Using my long locks, I taught myself how to French braid and I soon became a styling expert (or so I thought). As I matured, my interest in healthy black hair peaked. I learned which hair care ingredients were good for my hair type and which ingredients were not. I learned how to shampoo, condition, and properly handle my hair. Most importantly, I learned to love my hair. With the proper care, your child will love his or her hair too!

Over the years I’ve read, seen and experienced unbelievable acts of ignorance regarding ethnic hair care. I hope these brief tips will encourage you to invest in the health of your child’s hair.

A Few Things You Should Know About Black Hair Care

Black hair is extremely fragile. A gentle touch is required to avoid unnecessary breakage and hair loss. Always use a wide-tooth comb or pick. Avoid fine-tooth combs because they snag and pull out curly/kinky hair. Invest in a quality brush — natural boar brushes are the best.
Curly/kinky hair needs moisture, moisture, and more moisture! Consider this when purchasing hair care products. Avoid drying products such as hair spray, mousse or holding gels. Opt for moisturizers, leave-in conditioners and styling lotions.
Just because a product claims it’s created for “curly hair,” this doesn’t guarantee that it will be suitable for ethnic curly hair. Products created for Nicole Kidman’s curly hair might not work for Angela Bassett’s. Caucasian hair tends to produce more sebum — an oily secretion created by the sebaceous gland — than black textured hair, so black hair requires more oil. Scrutinize the ingredient list. Look for natural oils and quality ingredients. Remember, the ingredients are listed in order of volume.

Necessary Tools for Black Hair Care

Keeping a good hair regime requires using quality salon-grade products.

Moisturizing conditioner
A daily moisturizer — this will add needed moisture and make for easy combing
Natural oils to apply to the hair — I recommend pomegranate seed oil.
Cream hair dressing for light control of frizzes
Elastics for securing ponytails