W hen doing research for this post I was surprised to find a little article (little being the operative word) containing hair care tips for African American babies on the mainstream website babycenter.com. From that I realized that women with little brown babies are interested in finding the best ways to take care of their delicate tresses. It often times becomes a trial that many have to face from day to day.
My little girl’s hair journey began even before she was born. I started buying hair accessories and researching what would be the best regime for her tresses early on. [*For my melanin impaired readers who aren’t sure what the big deal is, African Americans usually tend to have very thick, coarse hair that if not treated properly is prone to excessive drying and breaking.]
When my baby girl was born, she had the straightest silkiest hair you’d ever want to see. I hesitate in saying that her hair was “good” because I don’t want to imply that my straight from Africa brillo pad lambs wool mix of hair is “bad”… but my little girl’s hair was, for all intents and purposes, beautiful. I knew that this was only temporary. Inside the womb, there are all kinds of nutritious juices and berries floating around. It’s the optimum environment for a little brown baby’s hair to thrive. After being out of the womb and going through a few washes, I knew that her hair was going to change to its “true” state. My goal was to make that transition as smooth as possible.
And So the African American Baby Hair Care Journey Begins…
The first thing I did was to buy a good all natural conditioner. Lack of moisture is the number one killer of black hair, (and can kill a romantic night with the husband too. He, he). I’m not going to name products because I’ve learned that the most important part of taking care of African American baby’s hair is choosing products that fit your baby’s hair type. No one’s hair is the same. It’s up to you to do some assessing to determine what type of products you need for your baby. Extra dry hair that soaks up moisture (like mine) needs a moisture rich conditioner. Super oily hair may need a conditioner that’s more water based. Either way, you must take some time to assess what’s right for your little one.
I’m attempting to avoid using any bad chemicals on my daughter’s hair. No parabens, glycerins, or any ingredients that I can’t pronounce. Only all natural hair products for her. This should prove interesting because I had my first run-in with a chemical relaxer at the age of six. If my daughter chooses to put chemicals in her hair as an adult, that’s fine. Ultimately I want it to be her decision.
I will say, Eco Styler has a line of gels that I think is awesome. I live and die by the Olive Oil gel from the line. I use it on my baby girl’s hair and my hair, and it works beautifully at taming and smoothing those crazy edges. There are no flakes, no tackiness, and it even has anti-itch properties! It’s a gel that a lot of “curlies” live by, so be sure to check it out. Is it 100% all natural? Not exactly, but no one is perfect. :p
I regularly give my daughter’s hair a good washing with a moisture rich, all natural shampoo. I don’t do it once a day or even every other day. I wash Ari’s hair once a week. Now before you cringe, remember that African Americans in general don’t produce as much oil as our Caucasian counterparts. Over washing can strip away natural oils that we need to keep our hair from being dry, frizzy, and brittle.
We’ll see how everything progresses. Right now I think that my daughter’s hair is growing and thriving amazingly well; but I have to admit, by nature my day to day activities tend to be a little erratic. I’m notorious for having three or four projects going on all at once: cleaning out the fridge, writing a post…
Wait! My twins just did something cute! Let me grab my camera!…
I’m a free spirit. I just hope that I can take the time to give my daughter’s precious locs the TLC that they need. I’m praying that she’ll still have all of her hair by her 2nd birthday.
Check out the next installment! >>