Hair Help - Mothering Forums
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Multicultural Families > Hair Help
lovinannah's Avatar lovinannah 02:47 PM 02-14-2008
My DD is half white and half Nigerian. I have never liked to do my own straight hair, just brush and go. DDs curls are amazing and lovely, but so dry. What natural products can I use? I've used California Baby leave in conditioner. But even when I put in a quarter size dollop on her little head of hair, it barely helps. I've read that using straight oil, like apricot or almond oil isn't a good idea because it blocks the hair follicle. Her hair is still very short so not long enough for braids yet. Although at 2 1/2 she doesn't have the patience to sit thru it yet, not to mention me. Any suggestions? I love the wild and free look of the spiral curls, but is it far more work and more hair products to get there?

Bad Mama Jama's Avatar Bad Mama Jama 06:59 PM 02-14-2008
When going the natural route, I use Olive Oil for my dd's hair. It softens and is light and lets the scalp breathe. But I also found a nice detangling lotion at the black beauty supply. I have never looked for it outside of my neighborhood. I will report back when I get home the name of it. But I love it, it is relatively inexpensive and smells great!
kateena's Avatar kateena 07:09 PM 02-14-2008
ahh, hair...just my topic

I'm going to start using olive oil, but it's my first try with anything else than shampoo. I bought a vaporizer today, I'm thinking that might be a bit easier on her hair (and scalp) than massaging it in. In any case it sounds a lot nicer than the things I could get at the local African store- right now I want to try and use more natural stuff.

But if anyone has other good ideas, I'd be very interested as well!
ajv's Avatar ajv 09:56 PM 02-14-2008
first, you know to only shampoo once a week right? then try organic root stimulator carrot oil. use it as a leave in conditioner. you can get it online at texas beauty supply. anyway, after shampooing her hair rinse but dont towel dry, add generous amounts of carrot oil, partition her head in to 4 or 5 sections, doing one section at a time just twist with two strands of hair. let air dry. if she cant sit still for this long then try three braids, till she gets used to the ritual, add additional braids each time you redo her hair.

you can use the carrot oil as a leave in conditioner when ever you comb her hair. combing hair can be such a nuturing ritual between mothers and daughters. i hope this makes sense.
Joyster's Avatar Joyster 12:29 AM 02-15-2008
My hair is fairly curly, I take care not to wash it too often, a few times a week, so it doesn't dry out. I do wet it every day to style it. I use leave in conditioner, and for the most part for convenience, I put it in a ponytail. I also sleep with a high ponytail on my head so I'm not smashing the hair. Never brush the hair dry, in fact try to use a wide toothed comb.

My hair was a disaster until I found a hairstylist here who specialised in curly hair and developed (not natural, but very gentle) products and specific haircuts to minimise bulk. Ironically the person who developed the technique is white and has super straight hair, but he knows curls and so do his staff.
Paddington's Avatar Paddington 12:51 AM 02-15-2008
ajv, Love how you threw that shampoo thing in first.
Bunnybee's Avatar Bunnybee 02:03 AM 02-15-2008
I'll have to agree with pp about washing the hair only once a week. My DD has super dry hair and skin. We only bathe her every other day to begin with! I also found some "baby oil" from Whole Foods, but the main ingredient is olive oil! It seems to help. I make parts in DD's hair and skirt the oil in then massage it and comb it through. Her hair is not quite long enough to braid all over, but in some sections it is. I kind of prefer the "natural" look myself as I have never been a "girly girl" or into doing my own hair (which is super straight, lol). I love what ajv said "combing hair can be such a nuturing ritual between mothers and daughters." How true! I never really thought about it since I'm not into doing my own hair but you are so right!
grumpybear's Avatar grumpybear 09:25 PM 02-15-2008
Hello,
I am not very well experienced in curls as I have super straight hair but I've read in various books and articles that dry hair and skin could be a symptom of omega-3/essential fatty acids deficiency. So maybe you'd want to look into that as well?
HTH
Bunnybee's Avatar Bunnybee 12:52 AM 02-16-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
Hello,
I've read in various books and articles that dry hair and skin could be a symptom of omega-3/essential fatty acids deficiency.
Interesting. I will look into that. Thanks.
LaffNowCryLater's Avatar LaffNowCryLater 11:00 AM 02-16-2008
I have two sample kits on their way to my house.
One is from www.oyinhandmade.com
and the other is from www.curls.biz (I ordered the kids line, but when I have the baby I want to try their organic baby line).

Anyways, I rarely rarely ever shampoo. Then I put a generous amount of conditioner in her hair and comb it in with a wide toothed comb and let it sit for a while while she plays in the tub. Then I rinse it out and comb it again. When its still wet a little I add some creamy leave-in conditioner and scrunch her curls.

Sometimes I 'wash' it but skip the shampoo part.
mom2tatum's Avatar mom2tatum 07:01 PM 02-16-2008
We started using some oyin products, too, about six months ago - and boy, have they helped our ds hair grow and be softer and not so dry, matty, and stringy, wild, breakable, etc. I love the greg juice for quick moisturization which I use before we leave the house, and love the honey hemp conditioner they offer in the sample pack...we use the cond. after baths and just leave it in and use a wide toothed pik to comb out any knots. Not quite ready to dread it yet, although parts of his hair are ready I think. OUr ds' hair is really really crazy. I know lots of mixed kids and have seen plenty of the different heads of hair and still have yet to see any like ds' AT ALL.

It definitely depends on how recently it was washed and if there is any cond. or greg juice sprayed in, but for the most part - the top/back area of his head is super curly and coarse. The front is almost totally straight, with a little wave sometimes and as you move back on his head it gets curlier. The back/bottom is half bald and easily breaks and the other half is a total mix of curly/coarse and straight and soft. The sides are usually sticking straight out and very dry and coarse yet with no curl. He's got it all, I swear! Its sometimes a pitb, but mostly we just smile and let it go however wild and weird it looks...Most people comment on his hair before anything else and I don't know if they like it or not, but always something like, "whoa, look at that hair!" or closer friends will say, "That hair is crazy, kiddo!" Whatever. I guess we'll figure out what to do with it at some point.

I know how to comb, separate, and braid (cornrow, I should specify) because dh has 2 little sisters who have spent many weekends at our house with us over the past 7 years - so I HAD to learn, basically. And, not that I would want to braid ds' hair ever, but I am glad to have had the experience with both of their hair types because yes, the care and maintenance is SO different than with us with typical "white" hair. And, I've learned (after working as a teacher in the inner city and knowing dh's family's ways) how many black women mismanage their own children's hair - mostly because of what types of products are sold in their beauty supply stores (cheaper and many petroleum based oils/grease, and hair ties that damage, etc.) So, wanting to manage and care for coarse curly hair is not always easy to discover - if you want to do it naturally. ykwim? So many women in dh's family have such broken and damaged short hair with hair lines completely pushed back further and further (from long term micro braids and lots of chemical treatments, etc) that now has to be covered in wigs because of how they wore it over so many years. Some of the more rasta or non urban type ladies in his family never got into the braiding and wear their hair naturally or in dreads, and it seems more the way to go if you want your hair to last and stay strong and beautiful. Just takes more work, I guess.

I always took for granted that I can wake up in the morning and throw my hair back in a ponytail or not and not worry about it for days on end. I can't even remember the last time I used a comb or brush. I do own one, but don't know where it is - I'd have to search. Just ONE of the things I took for granted until going to college and meeting people different from myself.

sorry for babbling. :
QueenSheba'sMom's Avatar QueenSheba'sMom 11:16 PM 02-16-2008
We use oyin, too, but in it's absense ($$), we're using coconut oil & detangler
stacim's Avatar stacim 11:39 PM 02-16-2008
No shampoo here. I'm AA/black and my kids are black/white mix. I wear my hair natural and haven't used shampoo (except a few times) for about two years. I use conditioner and massage it in and rinse once a week or so. On the other days I wet it and either put in Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade, or a little Bed Head Ego Boost mixed with conditioner and then the PMFP. While this combo works really well for me, I want to change b/c of all the SLS and other stuff in there.

As for dd, no shampoo for her either. She has slightly curly hair, that doesn't tend to be too dry, but the shampoo would probably dry it out more. I do the same for youngest ds.

The older boys do use shampoo w/conditioner mixed in, but they all have hair that is more on the "white" side, so mine is probably a closer match.
earthgirl's Avatar earthgirl 05:09 PM 02-19-2008
I use this stuff and love it. I'm biracial, btw, sounds like your DD has my kind of hair. You should also check out this site, though it can be overwhelming w/ the amount of info and products.
mom2tatum's Avatar mom2tatum 05:47 PM 02-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajv View Post
first, you know to only shampoo once a week right? then try organic root stimulator carrot oil. use it as a leave in conditioner. you can get it online at texas beauty supply. anyway, after shampooing her hair rinse but dont towel dry, add generous amounts of carrot oil, partition her head in to 4 or 5 sections, doing one section at a time just twist with two strands of hair. let air dry. if she cant sit still for this long then try three braids, till she gets used to the ritual, add additional braids each time you redo her hair.

you can use the carrot oil as a leave in conditioner when ever you comb her hair. combing hair can be such a nuturing ritual between mothers and daughters. i hope this makes sense.
where do you get the carrot oil? I'd like to try that as well...Is it a strong smell? Ds seems bothered by that...but I'd still try anyway just to see.
Bunnybee's Avatar Bunnybee 05:51 PM 02-19-2008
I saw some carrot oil in CVS the other day but didn't buy it. We're using the olive oil/baby oil for now. Here's a link to what I saw at CVS:
Bad Mama Jama's Avatar Bad Mama Jama 10:35 PM 02-19-2008
Kids' Organics is what I use, sorry it took me a minute to confirm the name and I couldn't find a website for the actual product, but here is what the detangling lotion looks like and they have a super gro that smells great, too... Hope this helps! I buy it at the beauty supply up the street from my home and both products are $2.99 apiece.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...&id=prod399965

http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...id=prod1083831
Bunnybee's Avatar Bunnybee 01:08 AM 02-20-2008
I noticed those have BHA in them. I'm not too savvy about this stuff, but I thought BHA wa a not so good thing?
Bad Mama Jama's Avatar Bad Mama Jama 05:09 AM 02-20-2008
ah, i had not prior seen it on the list and honestly, wasn't aware of what it was, but now, i am mad as hell. how could they be allowed to market it? darned FDA! : i will be switching to something else. back to square one. :
happyhippiemama's Avatar happyhippiemama 06:53 PM 02-20-2008
The pics are huge, sorry.

Okay, DD is triracial (AA/Hisp(Mex)/white) and I am white with straight-ass do-nothing-ever hair. Her hair length now is approximately:
*just-past-the-shoulders when allowed to air-dry and all springy-curly
*mid-shoulder-blade when brushed while dry (read: frizzy)
*to the small of her back when brushed straight while wet

I know logically what I'm supposed to do with her hair, but just can't do it. For example, brushing/combing her hair.

I know I'm not ever supposed to brush her hair dry, but I also can't spend upwards of an hour every single morning getting the tangles out. We have one of these brushes (DD prefers the soft side) that we use to smooth the surface hair back into a ponytail pretty much every morning. Am I destroying her hair?

When her hair is wet, I simply cannot comb it. Everyone says, use a wide-toothed comb, right? It does not work. It tugs and it hurts and it sucks. Usually what we do is this: at bathtime, with tons of conditioner gooped on and soaking in, I sit with her for over half an hour and using my fingers slowly separate out every single strand of hair from the knots they live in.

If I do this routine, and then just let her hair air-dry with a leave-in conditioner in it, it will look like this (styled with curl-rejuvenator stuff) or like this (unstyled, two years ago, and about 6 inches shorter). It will look like this for 3 hours, tops, until it starts to tangle up all over and dreadlock in the middle.

I admit to being a bad triracial-hair-doing-momma and using DP's brush to *gasp* yank the tangles out while her hair is dry, which completely frizzes her hair out to its full frizzy potential (which is damned cute, btw, but probably not the best for her hair) and leaves her looking like this (upside down, but it looks pretty much the same right-side up, anyway).

I am not skilled enough to do even relatively small braids or french braids or anything. I have tried to braid her hair back in four or five sections at the back of her head before bedtime. By morning, the ends of the braids have curled up and over the rubber bands, wormed their way into the braids proper, and begun to take root up near where the braids start at her scalp.

DD will not tolerate anything on her head at night (no scarves, covers, hats, wraps, anything). She also will not tolerate her hair down and loose, as it gets in her face all night and she can't stand it when her neck gets sweaty. We usually just pull it back in a ponytail - and end up cutting the ponytail holder out in the morning, because so many hairs curled around and under it that it's impossible to remove.

HELP!!!
QueenSheba'sMom's Avatar QueenSheba'sMom 07:25 PM 02-20-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhippiemama View Post
The pics are huge, sorry.

Okay, DD is triracial (AA/Hisp(Mex)/white) and I am white with straight-ass do-nothing-ever hair. Her hair length now is approximately:
*just-past-the-shoulders when allowed to air-dry and all springy-curly
*mid-shoulder-blade when brushed while dry (read: frizzy)
*to the small of her back when brushed straight while wet

I know logically what I'm supposed to do with her hair, but just can't do it. For example, brushing/combing her hair.

I know I'm not ever supposed to brush her hair dry, but I also can't spend upwards of an hour every single morning getting the tangles out. We have one of these brushes (DD prefers the soft side) that we use to smooth the surface hair back into a ponytail pretty much every morning. Am I destroying her hair?

When her hair is wet, I simply cannot comb it. Everyone says, use a wide-toothed comb, right? It does not work. It tugs and it hurts and it sucks. Usually what we do is this: at bathtime, with tons of conditioner gooped on and soaking in, I sit with her for over half an hour and using my fingers slowly separate out every single strand of hair from the knots they live in.

If I do this routine, and then just let her hair air-dry with a leave-in conditioner in it, it will look like this (styled with curl-rejuvenator stuff) or like this (unstyled, two years ago, and about 6 inches shorter). It will look like this for 3 hours, tops, until it starts to tangle up all over and dreadlock in the middle.

I admit to being a bad triracial-hair-doing-momma and using DP's brush to *gasp* yank the tangles out while her hair is dry, which completely frizzes her hair out to its full frizzy potential (which is damned cute, btw, but probably not the best for her hair) and leaves her looking like this (upside down, but it looks pretty much the same right-side up, anyway).

I am not skilled enough to do even relatively small braids or french braids or anything. I have tried to braid her hair back in four or five sections at the back of her head before bedtime. By morning, the ends of the braids have curled up and over the rubber bands, wormed their way into the braids proper, and begun to take root up near where the braids start at her scalp.

DD will not tolerate anything on her head at night (no scarves, covers, hats, wraps, anything). She also will not tolerate her hair down and loose, as it gets in her face all night and she can't stand it when her neck gets sweaty. We usually just pull it back in a ponytail - and end up cutting the ponytail holder out in the morning, because so many hairs curled around and under it that it's impossible to remove.

HELP!!!

Aaaak!
TOSS the brushes! Her hair shouldn't be brushed.
You can get a wide toothed comb and a comb with all different sized teeth (large to small).

First- in the bathtub- make sure that you're using shampoo & conditioner that are good for her hair (e.g. pantene contains wax, which is horrible for curls). I like the nature's gate hemp or the circle of friends. My favorite conditioner is the oyin (http://www.oyinhandmade.com). She or you can detangle in the tub without any fussing or pain.

Second, when she comes out of the tub, put something on it, e.g. coconut oil, and massage it through. Then comb it, and either put it up in a ponytail or a pigtail or braids or whatever you feel comfortable with, making sure to make your parts with the comb.

Beware that hair that is not braided will tangle quiclkly, and just about any braid will keep the hair separated and manageable.

Now, you only want to wash her hair 1-2 times a week.In the meantime, you can take it down, oil it or spray it up with greg juice or use a detangler or whatever (water, too). Comb it through well, and re "do" it.
ajv's Avatar ajv 05:06 AM 02-21-2008
sorry i have been out of town., i get my carrot oil at texasbeautysupply.com. and i do this b/c i have not consistently lived in or near an african american community. it doesnt smell, i am the only one of my relatives who uses it, but i think the cost is prohibitive for my sister and mom...tho they take a jar of mine when they visit ( i order them 6 at a time).

i dont mean to be critical but i think the triracial mom with the beautiful daughter is trying to control her daughters head/hair ALL AT ONCE. really you have to partition her head. so if you can section off (not even with straight parts) one fifth of her hair, then then pin the rest back, comb and moisturize the 1/5 only. put hte one fifth only in a braid--no rubber bands, dont worry if it comes apart at nite. then move to the next 1/5, then the next 1/5. okay i kno her hair dries quick, but do all of this while it is wet even if you have to squirt her hair with a water bottle. do this on a weekend, while she is watching her favorite dvd (something she has seen before so she can put her head down if necessary).

having thick curly hair is very high maintenance, but such a blessing, make sure you are communicating the latter, she will be stronger if you love her hair.

hope this makes sense.
QueenSheba'sMom's Avatar QueenSheba'sMom 12:18 PM 02-21-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenSheba'sMom View Post
Aaaak!
sorry to aak at you, by the way. you wouldn't believe the crazy head of hair my dd went to scool with today.



by the way, mamas, do you know bell hooks' book happy to be nappy?

ajv made a great point. sometimes kids grow to resent these gorgeous curls...
happyhippiemama's Avatar happyhippiemama 01:29 PM 02-21-2008
thanks for all your advice mamas!! we love happy to be nappy.

DD has been asking to cut her hair for a while now, but I'm reluctant to do it unless she really wants to and not because doing her hair is such a nightmare for all of us to do, yk? *sigh* it's just SO BEAUTIFUL.... once every ten days or so.
QueenSheba'sMom's Avatar QueenSheba'sMom 01:48 PM 02-21-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhippiemama View Post
thanks for all your advice mamas!! we love happy to be nappy.

DD has been asking to cut her hair for a while now, but I'm reluctant to do it unless she really wants to and not because doing her hair is such a nightmare for all of us to do, yk? *sigh* it's just SO BEAUTIFUL.... once every ten days or so.
One thing that is a godsend for us is the big locker room shower at the pool. They're happy to spend all day in teh shower, so I can really get them clean, combed and product-ed
Bad Mama Jama's Avatar Bad Mama Jama 04:59 PM 02-21-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenSheba'sMom View Post
Beware that hair that is not braided will tangle quiclkly, and just about any braid will keep the hair separated and manageable.
You can say that again!
Kajira's Avatar Kajira 01:34 AM 02-22-2008
very good advice has been given in this thread

here are my tips, moisture, moisture, moisture!!
After washing oil will lock in the moisture it's soo important to do that, to get that product on the hair asap while damp, section and comb while damp also.

Oyin, Carol's Daughter and a bunch of others all make great products (I should know I try everything I'm a product junkie) but some of the best products can be found in your kitchen/bathroom castor oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar etc

Be willing to change products!! if you try something and it's not working move on.

Also it's important to use clarifying shampoos to get rid of the product off of the hair so it's able to accept the moisture, not everytime you wash but it needs to be added to the rotation during the month.

NO rubber bands!! Add something like these barretts are better, there are much smaller ones that you can use at the ends of hair, I find them generally at the flea market and latino markets

Cotton strips moisture out of hair, using an old play silk or a satin pillow case/bonnet for older kids will help

Oh yeah accept the frizz, it's normal after a couple of days the best you can do is refresh it with a bit of moisturizer of your choice and covering at night will help.

hope that helps
kimiij's Avatar kimiij 01:41 PM 02-25-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhippiemama View Post
DD will not tolerate anything on her head at night (no scarves, covers, hats, wraps, anything). She also will not tolerate her hair down and loose, as it gets in her face all night and she can't stand it when her neck gets sweaty. We usually just pull it back in a ponytail - and end up cutting the ponytail holder out in the morning, because so many hairs curled around and under it that it's impossible to remove.

HELP!!!
Try putting her hair into three to four large braids or twists and then pinning them together at nighttime.
LaffNowCryLater's Avatar LaffNowCryLater 05:56 PM 02-27-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaffNowCryLater View Post
I have two sample kits on their way to my house.
One is from www.oyinhandmade.com
and the other is from www.curls.biz (I ordered the kids line, but when I have the baby I want to try their organic baby line).

Anyways, I rarely rarely ever shampoo. Then I put a generous amount of conditioner in her hair and comb it in with a wide toothed comb and let it sit for a while while she plays in the tub. Then I rinse it out and comb it again. When its still wet a little I add some creamy leave-in conditioner and scrunch her curls.

Sometimes I 'wash' it but skip the shampoo part.

Update now that I have tried both products.

The CurlyQ's stuff works far better in my dd's hair- I think b/c it is specifically formulated for biracial hair. The Oyin would be better for someone who has more coarser hair or kinkier hair, on my dd it just looks weighed down and greasy.
mom2tatum's Avatar mom2tatum 12:57 AM 02-28-2008
yeah, ya know, I actually only put oyin product into the back of ds' hair (coarse, kinky, super curly, sometimes frizzy, etc.) since the front/top is almost straight and fine, with a little wave - it'd just make that part look greasy.

I wish curly q product was also made for boys because I like the sounds of some of those products and how they classify by hair type. I don't think he needs to look/smell any more like a girl though (people ALWAYS refer to him as her or she or ask if he's a girl or boy) ugh. Although, now I see some ingredients on their lists that don't seem very natural or even healthy for hair...and it makes me wonder if the company is just trying to grab more clients (like us) by using product descriptions like "organic" and "natural", etc. Hmmm.
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