Hair help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-12-2010, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Realizing that race is a touchy subject that some people get more worked up about than others, I want to clarify right now that I have no idea of the politically correct way of refering to "people of colour". So my apologies in advance if I use an incorrect word in this post that offends anyone. I do not intend any offence at all!

My husband is a black African, I'm white. We're expecting our first little one in a couple months. I have done some research about handling the difference in hair (I'm horrible with hair anyways, and have no experience whatsoever with "black" hair, other than helping my neices take out their braids a few times), but I figured I had at least a year before I had to start worrying about it, and then only if Baby is a girl. Then I realized the other night that my baby's going to have hair from the beginning and whether it's a boy or a girl, I might need to do something with it right away. Times like these I wish my sisters-in-law were closer! So I guess I'm asking for any advice on what to do/not to do from newborn on up to toddler. This will likely be a bigger deal if we have a girl, as my husband will know about dealing with boys' hair. We live in northern Canada where it's VERY dry; do I need to be thinking about special oils/conditioners? Washing too often? I already know that until our children get old enough to make the decision for themselves, we'll not be using chemicals/straightners/etc. Any advice those with experience can throw out for me would be VERY much appreciated!
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#2 of 7 Old 02-13-2010, 12:51 PM
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My DH is Black and I'm White and we have a little boy. His hair, when it was longer, was very dry and I used a couple of leave in conditioner type products on it. There is TONS of stuff for mixed hair on the internet so you shouldn't have much trouble getting products.

Now as far as styling if you have a little girl, well I have no advice, sorry!

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#3 of 7 Old 02-14-2010, 04:38 PM
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Dh is black African and I'm white. Our three little boys came out with *lots* of hair but it truly wasn't a huge problem. We keep boys hair pretty short anyway. Of the three, my oldest has the most "African" hair, very wiry and dry. He had a little Afro when he was an infant, so cute The issue we have is not so much with dryness or damage but looking neat. His hair gets very untidy looking as it gets longer, so he gets the most frequent haircuts. The other two have loose curls and so they can go longer between haircuts and still have tidy-looking hair.

We have never washed hair more than once a week. Years after we started that, I realized that it was definitely best for their hair. When I grew up, we did baths and hair washes 3-6 times a week! I've never used anything on their hair except your basic baby shampoo, and occasionally coconut oil (which is a wonderful natural oil, moisturizer, and healing agent Also good for ashy skin and dry knees/elbows)
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#4 of 7 Old 02-15-2010, 01:31 PM
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For DS (black/white) we use Circle of Friends products and some deva curl leave in conditioner. He has loose curls and it is very easy to manage. I wash ~2 times/week and always condition when I wash. In the morning, I usually spray with leave-in conditioner and rub my hands through his hair. Very easy.

For our DFD, I am struggling to get into a routine, but she is black, not mixed and tons of hair.

Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
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#5 of 7 Old 03-03-2010, 12:42 AM
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While it's helpful to research it now while you have some free time, I wouldn't stress over it yet. My ex is Black and I am White; our DS has my hair though he has his father's other physical features. HTH and congratulations!
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#6 of 7 Old 03-16-2010, 04:08 PM
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I'm pretty sure there are a few threads here about hair. But really, you might not need to do much with your baby's hair until closer to one. You never know.

What about your DH? Does he know how to do hair? I ask because I usually default to mine on the trickier things. He grew up learning how to press hair, braid it, all that stuff. Maybe your DH knows a thing or two?

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#7 of 7 Old 06-12-2010, 03:26 PM
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I would first like to say how impressed I am that you are seeking out this information. I am multiracial (with coarse, dry, very curly hair) and my mother is white. Dealing with my hair growing up was sometimes painful (both physically and emotionally) and I am very glad that the internet has provided people with much needed support and resources.

The above link is for a site that talks about the benefits of "natural" black hair. The chemicals used to straighten hair are extremely toxic and especially dangerous for developing bodies and brains (meaning for children and teens). Depending on the level of coarseness I would recommend braids or even dreadlocks (which can be beautiful when properly cared for) for easy styling and maintenance. For girls, I have found that either very short or very long hair are most manageable and attractive (and you daughter will most likely prefer long hair to reduce the stigma that will most likely already be attached to her textured mane).

For products I love Mixed Chicks which is a great line designed for multiracial people who have varying degrees of coil. It is also important not to wash more than once a week and to keep the hair moisturized with things like hot oil treatments (use warm oil on smaller children) which can be made inexpensively at home using olive oil and a couple of drops of lavender for improved scalp circulation.

Keep in mind that hair in is a huge racially charged issue and that the more you know the better you will be able to help your child navigate what may at times be a challenging journey.

I would also watch the documentary "Good Hair" :
As a way to better familiarize yourself with the history of hair straightening and racism within the beauty industry.

Best of luck and please let me know if you have any specific questions or need anything else.

Mama~Blogger~Artist~Homemaker. Family = DH (married 6 years), baby Elinor, and our puppy Frances.
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