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Brown Baby Hair Diaries 2 – African American Baby Hair Care

african-american-baby-natural-hairIt’s been a year since I’ve shared any details of my baby girl’s natural hair journey. I’m happy to report that my daughter’s hair is growing and thriving phenomenally well.

When I allow her hair to flow free, showcasing it in all its glory, I find myself bombarded with questions regarding how I care for her tresses. Her hair is gorgeous. What can I say? The thickness is borderline excessive, and her “4-a” curl is to die for. For all of you brown baby beautiful hair hopefuls out there, I have to admit that my little girl’s hair is 70% just simple good fortune.

Like most African Americans, my daughter is a mash-up of many wonderful ethnicities. Her father’s Irish routes, and my pinch of Indian heritage (although any attributes of that have apparently skipped over yours truly) have produced a mane that is thick, curly, and multiculturaly fabulous.

With all of that being said, there are, what I believe to be, universal steps that, if utilized regularly, will insure your brown baby’s hair is placed in the best position to grow and flourish. My daughter’s hair, just like any other African American’s, is prone to excessive drying and breaking. (I learned that the hard way after having lost a bit of hair from a particularly stubborn dry patch on the back of her head.) So a regular routine is necessary to ensure health and growth.

Here are eight steps that I take regularly to insure that my little brown baby’s hair remains healthy and retains its length.

 

1.) Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! And I Never Forget those Ends!

1.) Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! And I Never Forget those Ends!

The ends of your hair are always the most sensitive. Why? Because that’s the oldest hair you’ve got. I use a water-based moisturizer on my little girl’s hair, (that Carol’s Daughter leave in is wonderful); and I always pay special attention to her ends. After moisturizing, I swipe the ends with a natural oil or shea butter to seal in that moisture.

Learn more about Carol’s Daughter, Black Vanilla (Moisturizing) Leave-in Conditioner

2.) I Protect the Hair At All Costs, Especially While She Sleeps

2.) I Protect the Hair At All Costs, Especially While She Sleeps

That cotton princess pillowcase may be super cute, but it could be doing a serious number on your brown baby’s hair. Cotton is a super absorbent material, which is great for a summer t-shirt, but awful for a pillowcase. It snatches the hair of that vital moisture that your brown baby needs.

I’ve had my little girl sleep on a satin pillowcase as long as I can remember. I’d use a satin hair cap if I knew she’d keep it on. (At two years of age that would be impossible) A satin pillowcase works perfectly at reducing friction and creates a perfect moisture encouraging barrier for her hair strands to glide.

3.) I’m Pro Protective Styles

3.) I’m Pro Protective Styles

Any hair style that keeps the ends tucked away and that can be left in for a week or so with little maintenance is always ideal. That includes braids, twists (which I’m partial to), or any other secure updo. The less I have to fool with my daughter’s hair the better. Daily styling and tons of combing and pulling tend to put a lot of extra stress on her hair which isn’t ideal for growth.

4.) I Create Secure Styles… but Not Too Tight

4.) I Create Secure Styles… but Not Too Tight

Secure styles are great, but if they’re tight to the point of causing your brown baby bumps around her edges or outright headaches, you’re kind of defeating the whole purpose. Overly tight styles can lead to dreaded hair loss and breakage.

5. I Use “Snag Free” Everything

5. I Use “Snag Free” Everything

I love hair accessories. Now is the time my daughter can get away with wearing cute clips and colorful rubber bands. Whatever hair accessories I buy, I try and make sure it boasts being tangle free on the packaging. I also trash any hair combs with missing teeth or barrettes with jagged edges. Things like that can very easily rip hair out. That would be bad news.

6.) Gentle Detangling Is Key

6.) Gentle Detangling Is Key

Yanking, tugging, and pulling out the tangles in your brown baby’s hair is bad news all around. I always spray a detangler or use a moisturizer in my daughter’s hair before beginning to fight the battle (Check out the one from the KoKo du lait line); and I only use a wide tooth comb. I start from the ends and move down gently, and in no time her hair is detangled with very little shedding.

7.) I’m Not Afraid to Trim, Trim, Trim

7.) I’m Not Afraid to Trim, Trim, Trim

If you’re afraid to trim off your daughter’s split ends for fear of “losing length” please get over it. Split or dead ends need to be annihilated quickly. Split ends will only split more and can travel all the way up the shaft. Have you found a miracle split end mender? Don’t believe the hype! Once an end is split, it’s split. The only way to fix split ends is to never get them at all or to cut it off.

8.) I’m A Firm Believer In Conditioning

8.) I’m A Firm Believer In Conditioning

Yes, even a 2-year-old needs some deep conditioning from time to time. I wouldn’t suggest buying anything fancy with tons of proteins and chemicals. I simply use an all natural olive oil conditioning treatment once a month or so and it does wonders for my daughter’s hair. (Especially on her pesky dry spot.)

Learn more about Isvara Organics Rosemary Thyme and Olive Oil Conditioner


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6 Comments

  1. destiny
    June 4, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    This is a great read and useful information for my 20 month old. I am natural but I am still searching for what products work best on her hair. Any recommendation on shampoos or cleansing conditioners ?

    • June 4, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      So glad you could find this a bit useful! As far as products, if your baby is around a 4-a/b hair type I think that the Shea Moisture line would be perfect. It’s what I use on my little girl and I’m in love with what it does for her hair. They’ve got a Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Shampoo that works from head to toe. Try that one out and tell me how you like it. I’m still playing around with conditioners myself, so I don’t have much on that end. I’ve actually been making my own moisturizers/conditioners which may be something you want to try.
      Hope I helped! 🙂

  2. March 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

    […] was overwhelming and the preaching was convincing: One girl said, “Let it be in its natural state. That’s how it’s supposed to be.” Another proclaimed, “It’ll be so […]

  3. March 14, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I agree with all of these. Since I'm now a natural, I have since started taking better care of my daughters natural hair so that it grows and flourishes as well! Now..the same products I use in mine, I use in hers. I moisturize it a lot more (daily) AND seal She has 4B hair and it gets really dry. Before I would just let my mom put some braids in it to last the entire week, but I see myself doing more styles in her hair now (twists outs, braid outs, twists, etc.). Definitely a learning expreience! Your daughter's hair is beautiful! 🙂

    • March 14, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Thank you! Yes girl, being natural is a ton of work. I did it back in college before it was the "it" thing to do. lol. Shaved the whole thing off and started from scratch. Wish I wouldn't have given in to that creamy crack. Now I have to start again. Don't want to make the same mistake with my daughters hair. No chemicals over here.

  4. […] Want the inside scoop on the best ways to take care of your African American baby’s hair? Curious to see how my baby’s hair has fared thus far? Check out: 8 Tips, Tricks, and Cheats to Help You Care for Your African American Baby’s Hair […]

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