I swore I’d never be that Mum. The white mum whose kids’ curly mixed race hair looks like the Mum has no clue and her only attempt at ‘doing’ her daughter’s hair is to brush it– down.
Three daughters later and with all three sporting completely uniquely textured hair, I quickly learned that wash, brush-and-go would not work with my girls’ curly hair. A mountain of research, plenty of questions to friends and family and a motto to ‘learn as we go’ is the only way we’ve gotten this far. Now, with a 3 step routine every morning with each daughter, it’s gotten slightly easier but no less complicated.
So, I feel your pain. Not the pain at having curly hair. Truly, I love their curls. I love how it looks, how it feels and I love that each one is unique in how her hair falls- a lesson I am constantly reinforcing. Curls are amazing.
But what I don’t love is how little I know about how to do it. I have straight hair and before having kids, I’d never heard of co-washing, could never imagine sleeping on satin pillowcases and putting ‘oil’ in my already oily hair was the last thing from my mind. So I’ve done my homework and then some. But if you love your kids, you’ll only want the best and time is nothing when it comes to doing it right. We’ve now gotten it down to a 20-30 minute routine, depending on how cooperative my girls are and the hairstyle they choose. (I definitely hate braids).
So here I am offering some helpful tips– not as an expert but as a person who has scourged the internet for the best websites that can help all of us parents that start out with no clue.
- Figure out their hair texture. I figured out early on there is a whole school of thought about curly girl hair type which, once identified, can open up all sorts of doors in terms of products recommendations and what would likely work on your child’s hair. So, to identify your child’s hair type, check out these sites:
2. Follow naturally curly hair blogs. There are so many out there! With so many helpful articles, blogs, styles and tips for toddlers, girls’, boys’, long, short and all kinds of curly hair. Here are the best I’ve come across:
- For products, hairstyles and style ideas, visit: Naturally curly
- For morning routine tips and knowledge from other parents who can sympathise, visit: Curly Nikki
- This Mama of biracial kids features curly girl hairstyles of the week and regular hair tips. Visit: Weather Anchor Mama
3. Get tips! I’ve gotten so many helpful tips from blogs and articles I’ve read online about hair care. From co-washing to leave-in conditioner, to wetting my daughter’s hair every morning to activate the curls, start with these and you’ll feel like an expert in no time. The best part is that they’re not written for hair experts but cover the basics and give real, non-judgemental advice.
- From detangling, hair regimens, and top styling tips for doing toddler hair, the UK based (hurrah!) British Curlies has it all. Not one to miss!
- One of our mixed race mother bloggers from over the pond, De Su Mama often features curly hair tips from a mum’s point of view.
- Perhaps the biggest website out there for naturally curly hair, you can’t miss this site if you want insight and tips, visit Naturally Curly Kids Hair: The Basics
- For more home grown tips for mixed race curly hair, the London Mums magazine features a top 5 tips for curly mixed race hair.
- With more from a real Mum about her daughter’s morning hair routine and reviews on which products have worked for her. Visit Baby Making Machine.
4. Use YouTube for hair tutorials! If you’re more visual and crave that hands-on lesson, try these Youtube channels. (And of course there’s a load more links on the right side for you to browse:
- How to Cornrow Naturally Curly Children’s Hair
- Mixed Hair: Moisturising and Detangling
- Curly Kids Night Routine
- How to Maintain Curly Hair for Kids: Wash Routine
- 7 Curly Hairstyles for Kids
5. Try different products. Although we all wish it was just about the amount of research you do that equals success, it is actually about trying, trying and trying more… And, then, just because it works on one child’s hair, it may be different for your other child. Because it will depend on the season, the weather, the thickness, length and curl size of each hair type- not just their hair texture. For reviews and recommendations for different curly girl hair products, go to:
6. Ask around. Nothing beats a recommendation from a friend or someone you know. Every time you see another child with curly hair and you like what you see, ask the Mum what their hair regime is. Mums love talking about curly hair as do curly haired girls themselves I’m learning! Particularly if the child has hair similar to your ds or dd, make sure you ask them what products they use, what kinds of hair styles they do and what hair dresser they go to (it’s not every black hair dresser that can do mixed curly hair and the same goes for upmarket European hair salons- they may be expensive but curly hair has its own rhythm and texture).
7. Finally, and most importantly: Embrace the curls!
“I embrace my kids’ curls through praise and curly hair education. It is important to me that they love their hair, so I constantly tell them how beautiful and amazing it is. I never speak negatively about their curls or allow myself to show any frustration when I’m doing their hair. I make it a point to teach them about the products I’m using and why I am using them, as well letting them help me add their conditioner and styling products in anticipation of them one day managing their curls by themselves.” – See more at: https://www.ouidad.com/blog/curly-genes#sthash.isxITl2R.dpuf
Oh, and good luck! Join the Mixed.Up.Mama parent community today!