I have a beautiful daughter who is mixed-race, and one challenge was figuring out how to let her natural hair shine through with all of its potential. It was definitely trial and error figuring out what worked best for her, but this is what I have learned, and I would like to pass it along!
-Use products specifically for your mixed-race child’s hair. Black hair products tend to be too oily and European products tend to be far too drying. Use products specifically for mixed-race hair. Curls has a children’s line called Curly Qs, and Blended Beauty has a children’s line called Blended Cutie – they are a fantastic organic range of products specifically for mixed-race children’s hair. Mixed Chicks is a very good one, as well.
-The curlier/frizzier the hair, the less often you should wash it. Black hair tends to be very dry and shouldn’t be washed as frequently as straight hair. How often you wash the hair really depends on how curly the hair is. What I do is wash her hair with shampoo only one or two times a week. I also keep a spray bottle with a mixture of conditioner and water handy, then when her hair starts to get frizzy I spray it and use a wide-toothed comb to pull through her hair. It refreshes the curls without over-drying it with too much shampoo.
-Comb the hair while conditioner is in it. Always condition your child’s hair after shampooing, as it needs more moisture than straighter hair types. Conditioner makes the hair very slick, so this is a good time to use a wide-toothed comb to get knots out of your child’s hair. Gently rinse all of the conditioner out of the hair, taking great care not to create more knots; black hair breaks easier than white hair, so you have to be gentle. The more you pull out knots the more damaged it becomes, and the more frizzy it will look.
-Use a moisturizing cream or spray after towel-drying. Make sure that your child’s hair is maintained in a (slightly) damp state using the moisturizer. The hair must not be allowed to get to a dry/brittle state as this encourages breakage, and breakage leads to frizz.
-Once every two weeks I will take coconut oil, warm it up, spray her hair down with warm water and saturate the hair with the oil. Then I put a shower cap over her head for 15 minutes to keep the heat in and let her run around and play. After that, I rinse it out and follow with conditioner. This works SO WELL! For the next 2-3 days the hair looks amazing, and the curls are very defined.
-I have straightened her hair twice at her request. However, be very careful with this; if you use too much heat you will break the hair. I section it off and put a heat protectant on it. I use a large round brush and blow-dry it on medium heat. That works for us because the hair is still “baby hair,” as I like to call it, and it isn’t super thick yet. I refuse to put any sort of flat iron to her hair yet, but if you do, be careful and don’t put the heat up to high, or linger in any place too long. After I straighten her hair I use a bit of her dad’s gel/oil just around the edges because it really cuts down on the frizziness.
-She also sleeps on a silk pillowcase. I have found cotton pillowcases take way too much moisture out of her hair, so I invested in a silk pillowcase for her. If you do this you will see a HUGE difference.
I really hope that you find some of these tips useful, and can incorporate them into your routines. Sometimes it takes a bit of experimentation, but once you find out what works best for your little one, their hair will thank you!