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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! 

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136 Comments

  1. Antoinette
    December 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm — Reply

    Hi, my daughter is three years old I was wondering is it necessary to clip her ends or wait til she’s older?she doesn’t have many split ends but I have seen a few,,so what should I do? And I was wondering when doing the deep conditioner,would the same results apply if I just warm it in the microwave, put it on her hair with a cap and let it sad it for 30 minutes?

    • December 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm — Reply

      Hi Antoinette!
      Warming in the microwave is just as effective, and the perfect alternative to using a hair dryer; and yes, if any ends are split, it’s time to do a trim. To avoid split ends in the future be sure to incorporate some sort of protein treatment each month. Raw eggs are great for that. Simply Google a recipe. :)
      Hope that helps! :)

  2. Ciara
    December 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm — Reply

    My daughters hair has breakage her two strand twist seems like they break her hair off I will admit I can’t keep up with a routine regimen, she’s 7 is it a good idea to trim her hair? She has 3C/ 4A hair

    • December 19, 2014 at 11:18 pm — Reply

      Hi Ciara!
      If you don’t have a regular and consistent routine in place regarding your daughter’s hair, that’s probably the primary route of your breakage. There’s not really a way around it unless you have the means to take her to a stylist (who specializes in natural hair) regularly. If your daughter’s ends are damaged then yes, it’s your best, and really your only option to trim them off. Split and damaged ends can travel all the way up the hair shaft and make things worse.
      My best advice is to reevaluate your hair routine and find something consistent that works for you. Once you make it a habit – like moisturizing and sealing her hair at least every other day, having her wear protective styles regularly, and having her sleep with a satin bonnet nightly – you will inevitably see results.

      Hope that helps! :)

  3. Yas
    December 1, 2014 at 3:57 am — Reply

    My 15 month old daughter hair is excessively dry and DOES NOT seem to grow. 5 minutes after, conditioning, putting coconut oil, her hair is back dry. Im assuming the dryness is causing the lack of growth. The only product that keeps it semi looking moisturized is pink lotion. Any help with great moisturizers and stimulating growth? Thx in advance

    • December 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm — Reply

      Are you using water, or a water-based leave-in and THEN sealing with an oil or butter? Contrary to what we’ve been taught growing up, water is going to be your best moisturizer. After you’ve moisturized, then be sure to seal that moisture in with a butter or oil. She will retain her moisture longer if you follow that method. She’s also old enough to begin deep conditioning treatments. Here’s a great article on that: http://curlz.wegotkidz.com/4-homemade-deep-conditioning-treatment/ Just remember, after you’ve conditioned, the party isn’t over. You MUST seal with an oil like extra virgin olive oil or your coconut oil after (on her damp/wet hair). That way her hair will retain the moisture for longer.

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