A Beginners Guide to Growing an African American Child’s Hair (by a Mom Who’s Doing It) – Pt. 1: Hair Types

guide-to-growing-african-american-child-hair
 

little-girl-natural-hair-journey v2If you ask any popular search engine, caring, maintaining, and growing an African-American baby’s hair is a mystery. You’ll get a menagerie of articles outlining general maintenance, but not very many online outlets directly address the delicate strands that make up a normal African-American child’s head of hair, or what it is you’re supposed to do exactly to keep those delicate strands healthy and prime for growth.

I went for months without really knowing what exactly I was dealing with on top of my little girl’s head. I knew her texture was different from mine. Her hair was softer, and curled into these perfect little spirals when wet – Nothing like my full head of tight, exquisite, “ziggly” coils.

Related Content: Brown Baby Hair Diaries – An African American Baby’s Hair Journey

I trucked along, throwing braids in her hair here and ponytails in her hair there – sometimes even snapping a comb through her delicate tresses.  It wasn’t until she began to show signs of breakage did I begin to do some hard core research on African-American hair and what exactly made it tick. What I learned led me on an amazing journey of hair discovery and personal growth.

Before you can begin to take care of your little brown baby’s hair properly and prime it for growth, there are two things you must understand. One: moisture is the key to EVERYTHING. African American’s hair, in general, WILL NOT grow without it; but we’ll get to that later. The second thing (and this is only my opinion based on experience) is that you must have a basic understanding of your child’s particular hair type. Without this knowledge, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hair care regimen that will make your baby’s hair grow.

Related Content: 8 Tips, Tricks, and Cheats to Help You Care for Your African American Baby’s Hair

What works on your cotton soft, wavy tresses may not work on your baby’s head of constantly dry, zig-zag-like “curls”. Knowing, or at least having a general idea of, how each hair type reacts to certain products is a must.

Below you’ll find a texture “typing” system that the majority of “curlys” live by. It was designed by the super-fabulous celebrity hair stylist Andre Walker (This is the guy who does OPRAH’s hair.) and adapted by, one of my all time favorite natural hair websites, NaturallyCurly.com.[I'm excluding the Type 2 curlys in this list; so if you'd like more information on looser hair types, head here.]

type-3-natural-hair-3a-3b-3c

type-4-natural-hair-4a-4b-4c

There’s more! >>

Click here for detailed descriptions of the above hair types (with recommended hair products for each type)
along with other African American child hair care resources!

Click here for part 2 in the “How to Grow” series! 

 

What's on your mind?....

76 comments

  1. raquel

    Hi, I’m at a stand still with my daughter’s hair she is 5 and has beautiful hair but I can’t seem to find the right products for growth? Her hair has so much potential but I feel that’s it’s me…is it possible to email a picture of her type of hair to you?
    Thanks

    • Hi Raquel! First off, thank you so much for reading!
      Okay, so first, the picture thing isn’t going to work. I’ve tried it before, and I can’t really assess a hair type like that. I’m not that good. lol. Even if I did, there would still have to be some trial and error on your part to find the right products.

      If her hair growth seems to be stunted, there could be a few reasons: Are you using a satin cap or satin pillowcase at bedtime? Are you detangling gently with her hair slick and damp from conditioner or moisturizer? Is she getting in enough water daily? Is her hair dry constantly? That could mean she needs a regular conditioning treatment. You’ve got to make some assessments regarding the hair regimen you have in place for her. If her hair isn’t growing, there is a reason.

      Have you tried exploring the hair typing system? For me, that helped out tremendously when it came to finding the right products for my baby girl’s hair. Have you been over to my natural hair kids blog yet? You can find it over at http://curlz.wegotkidz.com. There, you’ll find details on the hair typing system along with product recommendations for each hair type.

      Start there, and let me know if I can help you any other way :)

    • Raquel, here’s a direct link to the hair typing details: http://curlz.wegotkidz.com/hair-types/. Read through that and see if that helps you determine her hair type a little better. It’s not an exact science but I promise you that it will help you out with your product selections.

  2. Jewel

    I really dont know her type of hair. I know she has a bald area in the back what do you suggest?

    • A satin pillowcase (or scarf if she’s older than 4), and daily moisturizing with a spritz of water and sealing with extra virgin olive oil. If she’s under 6 months, then I wouldn’t panic about it. It’s VERY normal for babies to have bald spots due to all of the friction; but satin bedding will help.

  3. Tia

    I’m sorry! One more question… What kind of shampoo do you recommend for a 4month old?

  4. Tia B

    Hi, I have a 2 month old baby and her hair is dry and coming out in the back! should I get a spray bottle and mix 4 oz (or ½ cup) of aloe vera juice, 6 oz (or ¾ cup) of coconut water, and 2 oz of water and use that daily?

    • Tia B

      she will be 4 months in a week..
      i’m sorry

    • Hi Tia!

      That sounds like a great combination! (Very specific. lol.) Aloe Vera juice is great for treating hair loss and promoting growth. That back dry patch is VERY common in babies given that they sleep more and do so mostly on their backs. My son’s hair didn’t grow in in the back until he was about one. It grew in completely, and this was without me really doing too much to it. (Because I knew I wanted to cut it as soon as he was old enough. One head of hair to do was enough for me. lol) So don’t panic too much.

      And you also may want to consider having her sleep on a satin blanket if she’s not already. Cotton bedding pulls hair strands and literally sucks all of the dryness out of hair.

      Hope that helps! :)

      • Tia

        At 4 months is it to early to use the spray bottle method you recommended?

        • If her hair is dry, then you’ve got to moisturize it. A little water mixed with some aloe vera juice or a drop of conditioner spritzed on her hair regularly won’t hurt her at all.

          • Tia

            Thank you!

  5. Jessica

    Hi. My daughter is a month old with a head full of hair. When should I begin to put products and start moisturizing her tresses? I love your blog btw. It’s exactly what I need. I’m clueless on hair.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for the love on the blog! :)

      You probably have a few more months before you have to worry about buying anything fancy for her hair. These should be your easy months. lol. Wash her hair once a week or so and be sure to seal in the moisture after washing with an oil like extra virgin olive oil. That should be it. If you’re noticing a dry patch in the back (which is common) you may want to think about having her sleep on a satin blanket; but other than that, you should rest easy. In a few more months, her hair will probably start to change to it’s “true” state. THAT’s when the fun begins. lol.

  6. So my little girl is one and hair type 4 and her hair has broken of bad i have tried so many products but i finally found shea moisturizer shampoo tht ive just started using but i cant find a good product to keep her scalp and hair and looking shiny and healthy… any ideas i need some serious help!!!

    • Hey Alison! I appreciate you stopping by! :)

      It sounds like she may be ready for some deep conditioning treatments. If her hair is chronically dry and dull then her hair is VERY thirsty. I just wrote an article on deep conditioning for kids that you can find here –> http://curlz.wegotkidz.com/4-homemade-deep-conditioning-treatment/. Adding a regular deep conditioning to your hair regimen may be just what you need. You can slap products on her hair all day but if her hair isn’t hydrated enough you could just be sealing in dryness.

      You may also want to think about stopping with shampoo all together and just co-washing her hair. Type 4 hair (especially the low porosity kind like hers) dries out quickly and easily. Even the moisturizing types of shampoos like Shea Moisture makes can be stripping her hair of the oils she needs. I’ll be doing a piece on co-washing very soon, but here’s a great article you can take a look at in the mean time: http://www.babble.com/beauty/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-co-washing/

      Hope this helps! :)

  7. Jayd

    Thanks – I got some good tips from your blog. My daughter has the 3c type hair. what is the best way to comb out this type of hair? with a comb – fine teeth/wide teeth? or a Brush? I've been trying all kinds of things and the best is to comb with a wide tooth comb under running water. Obviously this is challenging and I am still looking for suggestions.

    • Thanks for reading Jayd! The best way to comb and detangle natural hair in general is with a wide tooth comb. To soften the hair, get a spray bottle and put in it a cocktail of water and few drops of your favorite conditioner. Mist her hair lightly with your mixture and detangle and comb her hair section by section. (I usually break my daughter's hair into four sections.) The spray bottle should prove to be way easier than wetting a comb every few seconds. lol. Hope that helps! :)

  8. Destini

    Hi my 5 yr old has a just former relaxer do I still add water to moisturize

    • Hey Destini! I appreciate you stopping by. :)I’ll be honest and tell you that I’m not sure about the answer to that question. I’ve done a LOT of research and study on how to care for and maintain natural hair (ie: relaxer free). Just with my previous experience with a relaxer, I would tell you no. Don’t do water. Relaxed hair is already very weak and spraying it with water daily and handling it in that state is probably not the best idea. I’d say use a mild water-based moisturizer only and style as usual. Hope that helps :)

  9. Kim

    Hello. Thank you for all the information. Do you think that using rubber bands on her 4c (motherland type hair) would be ok? Also, I use moisturizer and seal it with evoo. What kind of butter would you recommend? I don’t even know what it is. Thank you. BTW you have 2 little cuties.

    • Hi Kim. No problem, and thanks for reading! Rubber bands are perfectly okay as long as they're not wound too tight. Hair butters come in different forms. They're generally of a very thick (sometimes solid) consistency and work great for 4-c's who want to lock in that moisturizer and EVOO for longer moisture retention. I use regular African shea butter. It's yellow and solid. It has a very low melt point, so what you do is break off a piece and rub it between your palms until it melts. Then apply that to the hair after you've moisturized and done your EVOO. Hope that helps! :)
      And thank you for the love on my babies! :)

      • Kim

        Thanks! Also, where can a butter be purchased from? I use evoo that I purchased from the organic section of my grocery store and it says great for cooking, etc…. Is that the correct one or should I be using one that’s specifically for hair?

        • Most hair stores (the ones targeted to African Americans) carry shea butter. My Walmart carries shea butter actually. (But I live on an "ethnic" side of town. lol) And as long as your EVOO is cold pressed (which I believe means certifiably organic) you're good to go. The ones that aren't cold pressed may have certain additives designed for cooking that may not be best for hair.

  10. Kizzy

    Hi there… I have been reading post from your website and will begin to pay more attention to my 2 1/2 year old daughter. Her hair is almost the same as your daughters just basing from the pictures. Do you wash her hair every week or just co-wash.
    Her hair is extremely dry and I am not noticing a growth. I try not to do her hair every night, however I will definitely invest in the satin pillowcase.
    Is there is a shampoo that you recommend.

    • Hi Kizzy. Thanks for reading!! :) I probably only wash my daughter's hair with shampoo once per month. I co-wash every week in the summer and every other week in the winter.

      If you're daughter's hair is extra dry, then you may have to start committing to a nighttime routine of moisturizing with a spray bottle cocktail of water and conditioner. Then seal that in with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil.) Twist her hair in loose twists (if it's not already braided or twisted) and get that satin pillowcase or head scarf asap. Shea Moisture has a few great shampoos that my daughter's hair absolutely loves. Check out the Shea Moisture line and find a shampoo from them that fits your needs with your daughter's hair.

      Hope that helps! :)

  11. Jessanelle

    Also do you have a product similar to cara b moisturizer that you recommend I continue to use that is fragrance free? I don’t know if it has fragrance or not but I noticed that he itches his hair . I’m not sure if it’s from the cara b product but just incase . One more question I really apologize for all my questions lol but when I do wash his hair should I do two washes, one wash or does it just depend on the build up?

    • I think one wash is enough. Little ones have really sensitive scalps and their hair strands aren't as strong. Over-manipulation can lead to breakage, and over washing can lead to that dreaded dryness. Kinky Curly Knot Today is a leave-in that me and my little one live by. It's mild enough to where I think it'd be great for you to use on your son.

      • Jessanelle

        I think there’s a delay in receiving you response which is causing me to repeat questions you already answered but ok. Is the kinky curly light? I will use the conditioner when he gets a little older . I’ll study his hair pattern changes for now .

        • Yes, I think there is a slight delay. The Kinky Curly is light. Yes. And coconut oil is not a butter. A butter would be a solid shea butter, or mango butter. And yes! Definitely put oil on the scalp, but nothing heavy like the hair grease concoctions our mothers used to use on our hair. lol. A light oil like coconut or jojoba as you stated are great to use on the scalp AFTER you've moisturized with water or a leave-in.

          • Jessanelle

            Ok so just to sum everything up , on wash days I will do one wash, then spritz with water, apply a light amount of leave in and then seal it with a solid butter or oil. On daily regimens all the same applies except for the washing of the hair. The leave in should be applied on a daily as well I believe you said. Then after the sealing I will apply jojoba to the scalp. Should that be on a daily ? How old was your daughter when you starts using te kinky kurly knot today leave in on her?

            • Sounds good! But Jessanelle, please don’t take what we’re discussing as gospel. It seems like you’re looking for an end all be all hair regimen with specific products and routines that you’ll stick with for a long time. Not possible! lol. Use my suggestions as just that… suggestions. You know your son’s hair type better than anyone. I don’t want you coming back here saying, “I tried this, and it didn’t work heffa!!” lol. I do think you should just relax a little with the products and washing, but your routine was fine. You’re doing fine momma!
              I just found the Kinky Kurly about a month ago. Like you, I’m still on a journey of discovery and growth when it comes to me and my daughter’s natural hair journey. It has just intrigued me so much that I’ve done a LOT of scientific research and have been blessed to be able to share my knowledge here on my blog. I’m so glad that I could help! :) As far as sealing, to make things less complicated, just remember to seal from root to tip. You’re not necessarily saturating the scalp with oil, but you’re going from the root of the hair strand to the tip. Just remember that. :)

              • Jessanelle

                Ok I will see what works for him as well as taking your suggestions Into mind. Thank you so much for your help I will try the kinky kurly. I will keep you updated. Thank you so much again! Lol your funny as well , keep up the good work!

                • Yes, definitely keep me updated! And my husband tells me I'm funny all the time. Sometimes I wonder if that's the only reason why he married me… besides the fact that I'm fine. LOL. :p
                  Seriously though, let me know how things work!

                  • Jessanelle

                    Ok lol I’m dying right now

                  • Jessanelle

                    Hello again so the cara b I thought I had is finished and kinky Kurly products are out in my locations. Have u heard anything about it’s a curl baby or mixed chicks leave In for kids pproducts, if so any feedback?and is it ok if I get whipped shea butter instead o the solid one? It’s harder to smooth out

                    • I've heard great things about Mixed Chicks but haven't tried it myself. Give it a go and see how it works! Remember – this is about your journey. ;) The solid shea butter has a really low melt point so I use it by breaking off a piece and warming it up in my palms; but if that's too much going on for you, the whipped shea butter should be fine as long as it's not laced with any other crazy chemicals.

                    • Jessanelle

                      Ok that’s good. For some reason I don’t know if it’s just me or other mothers but I a product doesn’t say baby or for baby and kids on it I’m skeptical about using it. Because the mixed chicks said kids I Thoughy twice. ANd as long as it’s 100% shea butter it will be fine. I know shea moisture kids has a leave in with marshmallow extract but it’s liquid and not as pricey as mixed chicks. What do you think about that ? Do u know any good leave ins for babies or kids?

                    • My daughter's hair loves Shea moisture products, so I can cosign on that one. Other than that, we'll have to explore the leave-ins together because I don't have any (other than ones I've already mentioned) that I'd be willing to recommend. Just check your ingredients. If it has more than a few items that you can't pronounce then it may be a bit too harsh for an 8-month old.

                    • Jessanelle

                      Ok so overall it’s ok if his leave in liquid form ? Will the liquid form Of the leave in not go in sync with the l.o.c method ? Also can I do the l.o.c. Method only when I wash his hair and just moisturize his hair daily with a spritzer and seal with oil? I feel like a l.o.c is for the wash day routines as the hair is really fresh while daily moisture should just be water and o or a butter. Also I don’t know if you do this on your site but do you testimonial pictures of other moms kids who have reached out to you or before and after pics. I would like to join in any way and help you with the way you are helping me with great advice . I know his hair hasn’t changed yet but when it does

                    • The liquid is fine, and girl, you can do the LOC method whenever you like. If his hair feels extra dry – get to loccing. lol. You've got to use your best judgment on that one. He IS only 8-months so I personally wouldn't go that deep with it yet. Here's a great article on the LOC method from Naturally Curly: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-h… (Keep in mind though, that the article is geared toward adult hair care, but it's got some great information.)
                      I think as long as you're doing water/leave-in and seal daily, you're good to go. And I don't have any testimonials yet, but I'll be sure to keep you in mind if I set that up. :) I'm going to bed! lol

                    • Jessanelle

                      Ok the shea moisture kids is just an daily extra moisture spritz and detangler . It doesn’t say anything about it being a leave in but it does say to not rinse out. I like the ingredients though. The only reason I’m skeptical about the mixed chicks is because of some of the ingredients that I’m not sure of. A silly questions , should I also apply the l.o.c to his bald area that have faint hair ? I don’t want it to be too much on scalp contact instead of roots to end. Also if I choose to use the mix chicks leave in I was reading one comment response you made to someone and said she can detangled with coconut oil after shampoo before loc. I also thibk you actually said that was your favorite. It was for her 6 month old son. Do u think I can incorporate that into his wash too if the leave in I choose to use isn’t a detangler as well? I tried this one time before he washed his hair and it made it extra soft after the wash. But shampoo strips oils so I’m think it would be better after . But good night lol!

          • nikkie

            Do you have any suggestions for mixed hair?

            • Hey Nikkie! I guess it all depends on what your issues are. If you’re experiencing dryness when it comes to your child’s hair then the same rules apply: moisturize at least every other day, seal with a light oil after moisturizing, sleep with a satin bonnet and/or pillowcase, etc. What are you experiencing with his or her hair?

  12. Jessanelle

    Hi! I have an 8 month old boy who I’ve been taking the natural journey with. His regimen on wash days consist of 1) washing his hair once a week with shea moisture baby chamomile, argon oil 2) drying his hair lightly with a t shirt. 3)After I am done dressing him I wet his hair with a Spritzer mixed with water, aloe Vera juice and a light leave in conditioner( cara b) which I think irritates him a little 3) run some grapeseed oil through his strands and then I apply a shea butter mixture I made myself which consist of shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and olive oil. His regimen on a daily consist of rewetting his hair with a spritzer that consist of only water and aloe Vera juice. I’m noticing that on the day that his hair is washed everything looks n feels fresh. But through out the week his hair is usually still soft and moisturized in the front, a little dry on the sides but mainly in the back is where the issue is. I don’t know if it’s because he sleeps on those parts more but he does sleep on a satin pillow case. I also use satin on his bouncer and car seat pillow. I wanted to know am I taking the right steps thus far? when can I use a conditioner ? and should i use a wide tooth comb to detangled his hair with the conditioner? If I should use a conditioner can It be a DIY one or what kind do u recommend? Am I using the right oils to moisturize and right butter to seal or is it too much? Are there lighter products or things you recommend? FYI I only wash his hair once a week because his hair starts to smell oil I guess of build up. Also he has big curls in the middle and tighter in his sides and front edges. The back of his hair barely has any curls unless their wet besides that it’s mainly frizz and the very bottom of his hair is still slicked down like when he was just born. Overall I think he’s a 3c and 4c on the back part. I look forward to hearing from you soon, I’ve been searching for some help his age but I’m confused with all these videos.

    • Hi Jessanelle! First off, let me say thank you so much for reading! :)

      Now, I'm about to give you my opinion based off of experience… You are doing A LOT on your son's head. lol. Your wash day routine sounds like what a grown natural haired woman may do. I don't think you have to be so intensive. (which may actually save you a bit of work and confusion in the long run). Your son's TRUE hair type probably won't make itself known for another 6 to 8 months. I didn't see either one of my twin's true hair types until they were around 14 months.

      You son's hair sounds almost EXACTLY like my son's was. His hair didn't grow in the back until he was about a year old, and even then it didn't grow in completely until he was around 13/14 months. It's just something you'll have to accept. Even with satin pillowcases, there's still a lot of friction going on since he still sleeps "baby hours". He probably favors his back, and unfortunately, the back of his hair is his weak spot. It just is what it is. Don't worry though. It WILL grow.

      If growth is what your goal is when it comes to your son's hair, you may want to ease off with some of the oils… And most importantly – stop washing his hair every week girl! So serious. If it starts smelling after a week, it's probably due to product buildup, which ultimately results in dirt and oil build up. The scalp, in general, needs to be clean and free of build up in order to set it up for optimum growth.

      Let me tell you what my twins hair routine was until they were about one: I washed their hair once every two weeks (if that) and I spritzed their hair with water and sealed that in with a dot of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) daily. That. Was. It. lol. I actually JUST started doing deep conditioning treatments on my daughter's hair, and she's three.

      Of course, you have to make the ultimate decision when it comes to your son's hair; but I would ease up a bit with a few of the products. The oils and butters sound great, but you probably only need one at this point to seal in his moisture. You washing it every week is stripping away that natural sebum that his hair naturally creates to stay moisturized. That Cara B is great, but watch you're ingredients. It already has glycerin and aloe vera juice in it, so piling on more sealants and more aloe vera juice is only creating buildup and may be keeping your son's hair from absorbing that good moisture. Just use the Cara B (if you desire) as your daily moisturizer for him and then seal that in with EVOO.

      I hope that helps you out! (I feel like I wrote another post. lol) Please let me know if you have any other questions. :)

      • Jessanelle

        Thank you so much for replying so quickly! So just to clarify, as a daily moisturizer I should use the cara b moisturizer or EVOO? Or did you mean the cara b and the EVOO as a sealant after ? Also would I keep the same routine for his wash days ( which I will move to every two weeks lol )? And at what she did you start using a conditioner? I see you stated the age for a deep conditioner. Will this routine help with the dry hair in the back? Also does I tried EVOO which is moisturizing but it leaves stains behind compared to the other oils. Are there any oil you would recommend that can take place of the EVOO ? I have diff oils maybe I can use one of those( sweet almond, jojoba, coconut, grapeseed,vitamin e, shea butter) . I’m going to wash his hair today so I can get the residue out and then every two weeks from there on our more based on if his hair is dirty or still moisturized . Hope to hear from you soon! I apologize for all the questions I’m just so happy your answering compared to other blogs I wait forever for a response

        • No problem! I love to help. :)

          Use the Cara B and then the EVOO to seal. I've never personally had any issues with staining from the oil, but I suppose you could use any oil you like as long as you're putting something (butter or oil) on after moisturizing in order to seal in the moisture.

          I still don't think your wash days have to be so intensive. Wash with the shampoo you're using if you like it, then use a leave-in and seal. That's it. If you really feel compelled to add another step to do more of a "loccing", add a butter. (Not your mix. Just a plain butter.)

          As far as conditioner. That's, of course, entirely up to you, but I would really wait for a few months to see what sorts of changes your son's hair makes. Because it will change. I didn't do conditioner at all until age three on my baby girl. A lot of conditioners (even the ones made for kids) can have a lot of extra chemicals that can break down the hair after time; so I wouldn't advise introducing anything store bought until he's a little older. If you're pressed to use a conditioner, try one of your homemade ones using all natural ingredients.

          That dry funny patch in the back will go away. BOTH of my twins went through that "phase". You'll get to a point where you're going to need to trim off that weird "newborn" hair anyway. (I did around age two and it was the best thing for both of my babies.) Don't overcompensate by layering on product after product because you'll end up doing more harm than good. (Clogging his pores and stunting hair growth.) Just keep it moisturized daily. Don't forget that water is your best moisturizer. Then seal with a butter or oil.

          Hope that helps! :)

          • Jessanelle

            Ok I probably just put too much of the EVOO but I’ll try it If I don’t like it I’ll use some grapeseed or avocado oil. Do you like any other leave in/ moisturizers that are similar to cara b? And if I use a butter is coconut oil considered a butter ? N I shouldn’t put any type of oil on his scalp correct ? I’m only asking because I heard jojoba is good for the scalp

  13. Kate

    I need some advice on caring for my 6 month old baby girl's hair. (I cannot tell if she's a 4A or 4B. Any advice on telling the two apart?) She's rubbed off her hair from ear to ear on the back of her head and I'm trying to be patient with the growth! In the meantime, I want to take care of the thick patch on top of her head (envision a faux-hawk) and I'm not having any luck with Carol's Daughter kids products. Any suggestions on detanglers? She rubs/pulls her hair when she's tired and it is so hard to detangle/delint her hair. Also, should I add oils or other products this young? If so, what do you suggest? I wash her hair no more than once a week but I do try to wet comb her hair about every 3 days with the detangler and today it was just horrible getting the knots out, poor girl!

    • Hi Kate! For a 6 month old I wouldn't even worry with the typing system just yet. Your little one's "true" hair type probably won't come in until she's around a year old and even then, you may end up with a mix of textures on her head. Your primary focus at this point needs to be keeping her hair moisturized and detangled as much as possible.

      That hair loss in the back is totally common. (My son's hair didn't grow in in the back until he was a year old.) There's a lot of friction happening back there with her sleeping "baby" hours. I would suggest going ahead and getting a small satin pillow or a satin blanket and having her sleep on that. The cotton sheets and pillowcases are what does the most damage as they suck out all of the moisture in the hair and create lots of extra friction.

      I think the Carol's Daughter children's line is great, but for children under 2 there are a LOT of chemicals in there you may want to stay away from for now. There are denatured alcohols and perfumes that may actually be doing her hair more harm than good.

      I think washing her hair once a week is a lot honestly. You may want to try falling back to once every couple of weeks. Get a spray bottle and mix 4 oz (or ½ cup) of aloe vera juice, 6 oz (or ¾ cup) of coconut water, and 2 oz of water and use that to spritz her hair daily. Organic coconut oil is PERFECT for the youngins as it's light, helps with hair loss, and strengthens the hair. Use the coconut oil when you do your detangling and that should make things a whole lot easier.

      I hope that helps you out a bit. Let me know if you have any more questions. :)

      • Kate

        Thanks for the info! Much appreciated. I've used the organic coconut oil, but not as often as I probably should and not to help with tangles! We'll give this a go tomorrow night. I'm sure her tender scalp and hair will appreciate it!

        • No problem! Glad I could help! Yeah, that organic coconut oil is my go to "detangler" for my baby girl. I hope it works out for you!

  14. Tracey Allen

    So my daughter has 4a type hair. But my question is I braid her hair in those little sections but I try spray her hair everyday with water and coconut oil or jojoba oil. The main products I have been using in her hair for the last 8 months is Bee Mine Products I love the products it seems to be making her hair grow. But my big question is that I wash her hair about every 2 weeks or so but I have notice for a while her hair sheds when I comb through with my hands after washing. Is it time to cut her hair ends now?

    • Hi, and thanks for reading. :) There's always going to be some natural shedding. If you're noticing growth, then you shouldn't have much to worry about. I notice most of my shedding during wash days as well as I don't comb or brush my hair regularly electing to "finger comb" out knots and tangles. When you wash, you're manipulating the hair more than you normally would, so it may look like a lot of shedding is taking place when you're simply just releasing hair that's already been shed.

      As far as whether or not to trim, you'll have to really take a look at the condition of her ends. If they're not split or "ratty" there's really no need to trim. If the ends seem thin or split, then trim immediately as that will only get worse. (There are no miracle end repair cures contrary to what commercials would have you believe. lol.)

      I hope that answered your questions.

  15. Yolanda

    Kesha,

    Can you please clarify what you mean exactly about a dot of olive oil? Is it a dot per boxed braid, or a dot for the entire head? what is a good coconut oil to use?

    • Hey Yolanda! There's really no right or wrong answer to the "dot" of olive oil. A "dot" will mean different things to different people depending how much slip/sealing you need. I think I use about 3 or 4 tablespoons total for my little girl's entire head. (Her hair is butt-length now when stretched, so you may need more or less depending on your daughter's length.) I just place a small amount in my hand (maybe a quarter-sized amount) and work it through each section. If you're working with your daughter's hair in sections, you can do it that way.

      As far as the coconut oil, I haven't found a go-to brand per se. I use any fully organic cold-pressed kind that I can find at a good deal.That's the type with no added chemicals that you can use for cooking and skincare as well. I've used a few different brands in that respect, and they're all the same. You can find it at farmer's markets or Whole Foods type stores. I've bought it online at a really good deal. I've also found huge tubs at my local Sam's for a fantastic price.

      I hope that clarifies things! :)

  16. Antoinette

    Thanks a lot for the detail on how to manage my daighter's hair. I thought I was doing everything correctly but my daighter's hair is still very dry and coarse. It also stop growing. This is my wash day routine (exactly). Can you please tell me what I'm doing wrong? I take her corn rows out, wash her hair with Tresemme luxurious moisture for dry or damaged hair, then I use Audio Naturale knot out conditioner, (sometimes I blow dry her hair if I'm rushing but I mainly let it air dry) but I put Palmer's coconut oil hair milk in her hair after rinsing out the conditioner. Once it's dry I put in Taliah Waajid herbal comb out and coconut oil grease to braid her hair. I put a scarf on her hair but it never stays. To remoisture her hair I put the Palmer's Coconut oil hair milk daily and may re-grease her scalp every couple of days. So what do you think?

    • Antoinette, first off, let me say thank you so much for reading! So glad you could get some use out of this. :) On to the nitty gritty. lol

      I think your biggest problem is the products you're using. If your child is a 4c (dry and coarse as you described) the products that you listed are doing more harm than good on her hair. That Tresemme Luxurious has a lot of denatured and drying alcohols that 4c types (like mine) do not like.

      Here's a rule of thumb that I live by on my own 4c hair: if you can't pronounce most of the ingredients, then don't use it. Let me tell you what's worked best at keeping my hair moisturized: water. I'm so serious. I've got a spray bottle of water that I've put a few drops of Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in (this stuff works wonders on my hair.) I spray my hair DAILY and then seal it with a shea butter or olive oil and my hair stays soft and moisturized. I promise you don't need a lot of chemical laced products to do the job on her hair. The more natural, the better. Our hair is SENSITIVE. lol.

      Secondly, take a look at this article about greasing the scalp: http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/04/scalp-oiling-sa…. This is a practice that our parents did on us that actually does more harm than good if you'd believe it.

      Finally, if you haven't already, read Part II in this series: http://www.wegotkidz.com/how-to-moisturize-africa…. There I give a lot of great tips on moisturizing.

      Hope that helped a bit more. Let me know how things work out! :)

      • Antoinette

        Thanks a lot for the reply. I do have Kinky Curly knot today as well. So since I corn row her hair every two weeks, I can mist some of that over her braids with a little Evoo and be ok? Also, I was thinking about what shampoo I should switch to for her. The conditioner is fine though and the Palmer's coconut oil milk, right?

        • I actually use the Kinky Curly as my leave-in (diluted with water) and as my regular conditioner but if you want to find another conditioner, just be aware of those alcohols (things like TEA-triethanolamine and other ethanolamines). Yes, the Kinky Curly and EVOO are a great combination and the Palmer's sounds okay as well. Again, you just really have to pay attention to ingredients when you're dealing with 4c hair. A lot of the things they include can break down hair just like relaxers can. Long term use can lead to drying and breakage.

          • Antoinette

            So if I have an 8oz spray bottle, how much water and leave in conditioner should I put in it. Then when using the EVOO I can pour that in my hands and rub over her braids with my hands. Correct?

            • No exact measurements. Just do about four pumps/squirts of conditioner and fill the rest with water. And yes, you're correct as far as the EVOO. :)

  17. Keishana

    The guide is extremely helpful. My daughter who is now 4 has an interesting texture. Based on the description her newer hair growth is 4b but the ends are 4c. Is it possible that her original hair as a baby would be thicker? I have never trimmed it but it causes a challenge when styleing since the ends are a challenge to moisturize. I wonder if I should take her to a salon for a trim? I hate the idea if cutting her hair…..

    • Hey Keishana! Thank you so much for reading. So glad this piece helped you out a bit. :) Yes, it's very possible for her hair texture to change as she grows – be it from coily to coarse, or coarse to coily. As she grows up, she may very well experience another hair texture change; or she may end up with a nice mix of textures. You kind of just have to go with the flow right now. I'd only say trim if her ends are split or damaged in some way. If they're not, and you're trying to achieve length, then it's not necessary. If her ends ARE damaged, get rid of them ASAP because the splits will only get worse and lead to breakage. I trimmed my daughter's hair a few months ago, because like your daughter's, her ends were ratty and seemed to be a different texture. It was a great decision because now her hair seems fuller, more even, and a whole lot healthier as a whole.
      Hope that helped! :)

  18. Kim

    My daughter does not have a single curl in her hair. None of the hair types that you have fits her. She will be 2 years old next month and her hair is very dry and thick. The back in still trying to grow in as she did not have much as a baby. I have no clue on how to care for her hair. Please give me some advice. Thank you.

    • It sounds like your daughter is probably a 4-c which is a type that rarely ever has a curl pattern. (The full descriptions for the hair types are here: http://www.wegotkidz.com/african-american-kids-ha… I have very thick 4-c as well so I feel your pain. It's a VERY hard hair type to keep moisturized.

      If you want her to have a chance at some growth you're going to have to commit to moisturizing her hair DAILY. Don't worry about fancy products. Go to your beauty supply store and grab a spray bottle. Fill it with water and a few drops of conditioner. Spray your daughter's hair every night before bed with that and seal in that moisture with an oil (extra virgin olive oil works great) or a butter. I use raw shea butter that I've warmed and melted in my hands.

      Next, find a protective style that works for her and stick with it. Be it box braids, twists, or cornrows – Keep her hair protected in that style for a few weeks, and then let it loose and deep condition. If you follow this routine, you should see a major difference. I hope that helps! :)

      • Kim

        That's exactly her type of hair. What kind of conditioner? I do have some sheamoisture conditioner extra raw. Is that ok? Also, I continue to spray it while it's in braids? The water won't make it nappy. I am the type that takes her hair down after a week because it starts to look a mess. Thank you for your advice.

        • Any moisture rich conditioner will do. (TRESemmé has a really good one.) You need to seal with a solid butter or oil or all of that moisturizing won't do you any good. That Shea Moisture conditioner (if it's what I'm thinking of) sounds like more of a moisturizer itself. You need to use something that will seal that moisture in afterward. If you've got some extra virgin olive oil in your pantry, use that. And I spray my hair in braids all of the time. You don't need to saturate the hair, just give it a good mist then seal it, and you shouldn't have any issues with it getting "nappy". lol. Glad I could help! :)

  19. Kesha, Oh my goodness I so needed this. My daughter is only 7 months but I made so many mistakes with 2 oldest daughters that I don’t want to do this again.
    Okay, so at a young age (like 7 months) how could I “really” know what type of hair my baby has? That’s what I’m confused about at this point.
    Okay, I’m saving this page,…have to do some of my own research too. We’re swimming once a week and I think this may have something to do with my failure…that and the fact that I don’t use shampoo or anything else for that matter.

    BTW, love those pics…cute girl :)

    • Salma, I’m so glad I could help a bit! I think at 7 months the main thing you’ve got to concentrate on is keeping her hair moisturized. Spritz it with water and seal it with a dot of olive oil DAILY. My daughter’s “true” type didn’t seem to come in until about a year/year and a half; so you probably won’t be able to use the typing system as a tool until then. Girl, that swimming can wreak some havoc on textured hair so you may want to think about investing in some cute caps. (So serious.) That chlorine is not a joke. lol.
      Thanks for the love on my baby girl’s pics! I hope I helped you out a bit more. :)

  20. Julie

    Great post! Thank you! I didn't put in the amount of research you did but when my kids were babies/toddlers I used a lot of Carol's Daughter products and that worked great. Now that they're older and transitioning into doing their own hair. Things aren't going so well. Especially for my hard-core athlete teenager. She has a lot of breakage and fights me on the moisture because she says it comes down her face when she sweats. Stopping by from #SITSblogging!

    • Thanks Julie! I appreciate you stopping by! That Carol's Daughter is the truth right!?
      I'm by no means an expert, but a suggestion for your active teen would be to find her a protective style that works for her and stick with it. Be it straight back cornrows or box braids. She can spray it with water and seal that in with a dot of olive oil and that should be enough to keep her hair moisturized and protected. (Minus all of the drippage in the face. lol) Hope that helps. :) Thanks again for stopping by!! :)

  21. Diaryofa1stTimeMom

    Great guide Kesha! Will definitely put these tips to use. My daughter recently was treated for cradle cap at 2 1/2. I know! Who knew? I thought you could only get it as an infant. It causes some hair loss, so working to nurture her roots back to good health!

    • Girl, I had no clue cradle cap could happen in preschoolers. Learn something new every day. lol. So glad you could find this useful. Thanks for stopping by! :)