Black & Biracial Hair - Kids
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I have a cute 3.5 year old daughter who is mixed race (white/african american)who has beautiful long curly hair but you would never know it since it is always braided in one or two ponytails. I don't let her wear it out much because at the end of the day it gets quite tangled and she is ''tender-headed''. I want her to get a haircut that would be easy for me to manage in the morning, looks stylish and shows off her hair's beauty. To that end, I am looking for a person to cut her hair that actually knows something about cutting/styling this type of hair. I realize there are a number of salons in the Bay Area that deal with curly/mixed race hair but I don't want to pay as much for her haircuts as I do for mine (at least not yet.) Also, I am not looking for a person that knows nothing about working with mixed race hair. There are some difference even if they are slight. Maybe some of these salons do work on kids and price accordingly. Are there salons/hair that do a good ! job with mixed race hair that are reasonable? I would love to get recommendations. Thanks, Mixed up mom
Check out ''Cool Tops'' in Rockridge area. The staff is really nice, ''kid'' oriented, and reasonably priced. Denise
I am also the parent of a mixed race daughter who is now a teen. For you to be able to manage your daughter's hair you need the right products in addition to the right cut. We spent *years* trying to find the right combination of products and a good stylist, and now I feel we've found both. I can highly recommend Sheila Head at Head Designs in Oakland. Sheila is so good at this. My daughter has long, thick, curly hair which is healthy, manageable and looking good thanks to Sheila's skill and the techniques she taught us. I'm not sure what she charges for children, but if you can manage it might be worth it just to get things under control. I'd also like to recommend the products my daughter uses. (You can get these products online or from Sheila.) My daughter loves the shampoo and conditioner from Curls (http://www.curls.biz/) and the leave-in conditioner and deep conditioner from Mixed Chicks (http://www.mixedchicks.net/) These things have also made a big difference in my daughter's attitude toward her hair. Now that dealing with her hair is no longer so painful, she has learned to love her curls. Good luck to you! Loving Those Curls
If you're willing to travel to SF, you can try Asha at Winifred's on Sutter Street between Fillmore and Webster. She's great. Both my niece and I are mixed race and she cuts both our hair and does a phenominal job. Although we're both adults, I get the feeling that she'll work easily with children. I can't find her number at the moment, but I'm sure it'll be easy to find. Good luck. Anon
There is a great hairdresser who is great with all types of hair - mixed, Caucasian, African Americans and other ethnic groups. Her name is Deborah Lear. Her phone is 510.593.5511 and she works out of a hair salon on Lakeshore Ave... Hope this helps... ... Sahara
We have been getting haircuts for our 3.5 year old mixed-race daughter from Gary at Cool Tops in Rockridge. He is white but I believe has mixed kids, so seems to have some understanding of the hair type and its care. It's a kid's salon so your daughter will be able to sit in a cute chair and watch a video while she gets her hair cut, and the price is very reasonable (under $20).
My babies are mixed (black/white). They have the most beautiful hair, but it is impossible to comb through unless it is soaking wet and has a ton of conditioner in it. I have tried many kinds and they are ok when, as I said, the hair is wet. Any suggestions for either wet or dry detanglers? Any other tips? Getting out of the house in the morning is becoming quite a chore and one of them now runs when she sees me take the (wide- tooth) comb out. Help! Afraid of the comb...
Every kid's hair is different, but this is what we do with our daughter, who has tight ringlet curls: we wash it about once a week with a conditioning shampoo (L'Oreal, I think)then while it's still wet, apply Aveda Be Curly conditioner and comb it out (with fingers and wide-tooth comb). Then every morning we mist it with a water sprayer, add a little more Be Curly, and just brush it with a soft baby brush (no more combing). Towards the end of the week it's in a ponytail most of the time. Good luck!
Your posting really brought me back, my mother always had a really hard time with my hair. So, you already know that you HAVE to comb it when its wet with leave-in conditioner, there's really no way around that. The only other suggestion I have is to braid it the night before so it's not so tangled in the morning. One of my daughter's inherited my super-curly hair and I always braid it before bedtime and then it's pretty easy to brush in the morning. Also, I found for my own hair that using a Brush with long,spaced-out teeth works much better than a comb. good luck! Midnight
Hi, I am African American and have two bi-racial daughters (dad is from India). They both have very long, thick hair. I do the same thing that you do to de-tangle it after washing it. But on a daily basis, I keep it braided in at least one or two big braids to keep it from getting too tangled. I also use lots of leave in conditioners to keep it moisturized.
I usually comb it out at night, and braid it so that in the mornings I don't have as much work to do. Keisha
As a black woman with ''natural'' hair, I have spent the bulk of my life trying to figure out what to do with the mop on my head. After years of chemically straightening (and severley damaging and breaking, a friend introduced me to : http://www.ylcf.org/gotcurl/ along with the book Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey. It changed my life, well at least the life of my hair. The main thing that it talks about is how to clean your hair without the drying effects of shampoo. The curlier/kinkier it is, the less you need. I use shampoo maybe 3 times a year, but my hair is always clean. It now takes me a few minutes to comb my hair where it used to take me an hour.
Since the texture of hair can vary widely, a few general things that you already may know:
Always detangle the ends first.
Stay away from products that contain any kind of alcohol. I make my own detangler uding a bit of Aubreys swimming conditioner and purified water in a spray bottle.
Keep hair braided while it's wet.
Get ends trimmed every 8-10 weeks or when they become ''sticky''.
Hope this helps. Feel free to email if you like. teeyahnee
You are doing it exactly right. It HAS to be wet and you HAVE to use conditioner. There is no other way around it. I wish I could say there was a short cut but there isn't. It's the nature of very curly hair. If you want to use a spray in leave in conditioner, that would work to. Anything like that will work. If you go to the black hair care section of longs or target or somewhere, they have sprays made specifically for kids. Those might help. Just as long as you get the hair wet and conditioned. lynn
Per my co-worker you should use Pony Tail and Mane Shampoo and Conditioner. Also, purchase Just for Me Kids Leave in Spray Conditioner for every day use in addition to TCB Lite Hair Grease for daily use. All of which you can get at Sally's Beauty Supply. Good Luck and reminder you do not wash every day. Once or twice a week is good enough. anon
Braids? Worth a try
I am also bi-racial and can give you some insight about my hair and my child's hair. Number one is this....you can only comb (not brush) their hair to get the tangles out immediatley upon coming out of the shower. You must not try and squeeze all the water out of their hair, just pat it dry so it's not dripping wet. Comb from the bottom up (very important). Unfortunately, most of us don't get the luxury of wearing our hair down except for very special occasions, unless they are teenagers and you let them get their hair pressed so that it's straight. I wash and condition my daughter's hair every 3 or 4 days, then I ask her how many ponytails she wants (1, 2, 3 or sometimes 4). Immediately upon combing her hair when she gets out of the shower, I put oil on her scalp, run a comb through again, make parts depending on how many ponytails I am putting in, put rubber bands in the sections I am not working on, run a fine tooth comb through the section I am working on so that there are no bumps, put in small amount of regular conditioner (I use Pantene-Classic Care), then brush with a brush with bristles that are extremely close together (any other brush won't work properly), put the rubber band on and braid the ponytail. Do that with each section. In the morning, all you need to do is take out one section at a time, wet the brush just a little bit for the top section on the head so it's not frizzy (don't get the ponytial wet), put in a little more conditioner, and redo. The morning after I wash her hair, she normally has to wear her ponytails braided that day, because her hair is still wet and will get frizzy and unmanageable throughout the day, but then for the next couple of days as long as I braid her ponytails before she goes to bed at night, she can wear her ponytails unbraided during the day until I wash it again. My daughter rarely ever gets to wear her hair down which is a bummer for her. As she gets older and her hair gets longer, it will be nmore manageable and she will be able to wear it down. I wear my hair down all the time nowadays, but it's almost to my booty now. The longer our hair gets, the more the curls loosen up so their not so tight and unmanageable. Although, it seems like it takes forever for our hair to grow. Well, I know it seems like a lot of information, but it's quite easy once you get a routine going. Let me know if you have any questions.....Good luck!! nsomavia
my kids are also mixed, and each one has a different kind of hair. The truth is that it will take more time to do thier hair and that is just a reality. Since I don't really know the texture/curliness of your kids' hair it's a little hard to say, but it sounds like you are on the right track. I just practically stand in front of the sink with my daughter who has long hair and put the brush in the running water and go, also use a leave in conditioner called Lanza leave in conditioner, I buy a huge bottle and put some of that in too and get it sorta diffuse it in the hair with water, using a combo of a oval brush with boar type bristles that can get through the hair but that are not the plastic kind with the bristles far apart. Also you can get some hair clamp thingees and section off the hair, I always do the underneath part first and do about three sections.....and whallah after about 5 or so minutes she is beautiful. Also you can braid their hair at night to avoid a lot of detangling in the a.m. You certainly can also go the route of braids (french) or dreadz---but the truth is the upkeep is expenisive if you can't do it yourself that is also time consuming (at least the braids are). I did my sons dreads and although I get lots aof questions regarding the amount of time needed to do his hair, it is by far the easiest and least time consuimg...however my daughter would not want dreads and they would be totally different since her hair is not as kinky as my sons.....so good luck and keep on doing what feels right...You will figure it out soon enough...another product is the johnson and johnson spray detangler...however I find the other conditioner leaves no residue and seems less like toxic-ish... hair stuff
As a black woman with hair texture similar to many blk/white interracial people, it took me years to learn how to love and ''tame'' my tresses.
So much of hair styling is cultural and if you didn't grow up with specific traditions, you'd have no way of knowing what to do.
Please don't be afraid to ask for help from a professional. Head to a local hairdresser (Ujima Hair salon on Piedmont Ave in Oakland is great) or find a black friend or family member who is ''good with hair'' and get them to help you out. Let them show you how to braid and comb the girls' hair so that you can comb their hair less frequently, but still create styles they will love.
Not knowing your daughters' particular hair type, it's hard for me to offer specifics on products you can use. I have curly-when wet-gets-frizzier-as-it-dries hair that is not too coarse. I use Infusium 23 to detangle when wet and I use Aveda humectant and anti-humectant (pricey, but good) to help keep things smooth and easy to comb. I use the humectant when I want to keep the wet-look curl and the anti-humectant on air-dried or blown-out hair. I also use Paul Mitchell's foaming pomade on my dry hair, which may be too oily if your daughters' hair is more on the fine side.
For my own daughter with hair similar in texture to my own, I try to wash and comb through her hair then braid it in sections. Depending on the style of the braids, I can usually go 2-3 days without having to recomb or as much as week. Then it gets frizzy and starts to look unkempt. When I have to comb it while dry I start by parting in small sections which is far less painful than raking through a whole head of hair. I hold the hair section at the root and comb up from the bottom. I seldom let her wear her hair loose b/c it gets super tangled.
I am sure I don't have to tell you this, but there is so much baggage tied to hair, particularly in the black community, that figuring out how to ''properly'' style your daughters' hair is not only an important practical matter, but a great chance for you to help your girls affirm their identities and build self-esteem. This begins by making hair grooming something that makes your girls feel loved and beautiful and proud of their particular color and texture, instead of having it be a painful, dreaded part of the day.
So many of my best childhood memories are of me sitting between my mother's knees getting my hair done. In those moments I learned not only how to care for myself, but had my head filled with all sorts of nuggets and tidbits that have helped me to become the woman and mother I am today. I hope haircombing becomes this type of experience for your girls too. Good luck. loving me, loving my hair
You sound like my mom did when I was young. My asian mom was desperate for ways to manage our blasian manes. And there were four of us! She would just put our long hair into two big buns on top of our heads after pulling through the tangles with some wrath. It wasn't fun for us and there were many teary mornings. Not all biracial hair is the same so what works for me now may not work for your child.
I never ever attempt to comb my hair dry. If you need to comb it, just do it when it's wet and moisturize it when it's still a little damp. My mom used to buy all kinds of detanglers and they were all a waste of money. None of them worked well. You can control tangles and frizz with coconut oil or sleek beauty products marketed for biracial hair like ''mixed chicks'' hair cream (http://www.mixedchicks.net) which Sheila Head at Head Designs in Emeryville sells. Also, you don't need to wash their hair everyday because our hair needs those natural oils.
Also as you may now know very well, hair can be a really big deal in our identity and there are tons of websites devoted to this. Here's one: http://www.intermix.org.uk/pzone/FEA_07_hair.asp Viva la tangles!
I have very curly hair, but am not biracial. Still, my hair gets tangled and unmanageable if I don't use leave-in conditioner spray. I use giovanni's vitapro leave-in conditioner spray. You can buy it at whole foods or elephant pharmacy. It's better than Infusium and doesn't have any nasty chemicals in it. happy hair
There's a great website out of Canada for bi and multi ethinic hair. It was lots a great tips and products gently enough to use on babies and kids. http://www.blendedbeauty.ca/types.html#1 also a mom of a biracial beauty
Some things that help w/ my bi-racial (African- American/Caucasian) 5-Y-O daughter's long fine curly-tending-to- frizzy hair:
* NO shampoo ever. We ''wash'' with ordinary conditioner about twice a week, which leaves it clean, soft, and easy to brush. Current favorite is Suave Strawberry. Cheap conditioner actually seems to work better than the fancy stuff, maybe it's the wax. We use a LOT & rinse it out.
* We use a plant mister w/ordinary water when brushing her hair in the morning. We don't use leave-in conditioner or detanglers. They just make her hair sticky & stiff. Her hair must be wet to brush it, but using the mister lets me just wet the section I'm working on.
* The Goody ''Ouchless'' brush (we got ours at Safeway) is miraculous.
* She never goes to bed w/ her hair loose. If it's not in at least a loose braid at night we pay the next day. She wears braids to school 3-4 days/week.
* We listen to stories on tape so she doesn't get restless & bored while I'm working on her hair. Good luck!
My biracial children have very fine, dry, loose, long hair. My sister loves to come over with spray detanglers and coconut butter and rub it through their hair. The butter is horrible, cheap stuff and so hard to get out. I love that she gives the girls so much attention, but if anyone knows of a product I could have on hand which is not so heavy and greasy, I'd love to know of it. Elizabeth
Try www.curls.biz. I have only used their Curly Q's Moist Curls Moisturizer, but I was just reminding myself to go online to check out more products. My daughter is 2-1/2, so she's used baby shampoo up until now. This moisturizer you leave in after their bath. I also put it in the next day to keep her hair soft. In any case, the owner is Creole and the company is based out of Sacramento. They're designed specifically for biracial kids. Felicia
Hi Elizabeth, My children are not biracial but my daughter has long, dry, curly hair that I wouldn't necessarily call fine, but soft and much thinner than my hair. I used to love spray detanglers for her until I realized that most of them contain alcohol so it was exasperating the dry problem. I found a product at Walgreens: African Pride Shea Butter Detangling Lotion that I love. It smells really good and is very light. Her hair absorbs it and it doesn't leave a residue. That said, it doesn't do anything at all for my son's hair - whose hair texture is more course and significantly drier. You might also want to try Pink Hair Lotion. It doesn't work for us but I've heard lots of people swear by it. Also check out a website: www.carolsdaughter.com. They have lots of natural hair care products that you might like. But be warned, those products are very fragrant. Lastly, you might try Infusium leave-in conditioner in lieu of the detangler spray. You could mix some with water and add it to a spray bottle to make your own detangler sans the alcohol. Good luck. Alicia
Mixed Chicks conditioner is good. You can buy it at Snippity Crickets in Berkeley, or Head Designs in Berkeley. You can see their website at mixedchicks.net (.net is important - the .com of that domain is a porn site!) mixed mom
The key to managing your bi-racial children's hair is moisturizing. This is often mistaken as applying heavy greasy products, but they don't actually moisturize the hair or manage it for that matter, as you've found out. So first I would recommend starting with a good conditioning shampoo and conditioner. I recommend aveda products; specifically the deep penetrating hair revitalizer. You want to detangle the hair in the shower/tub with plenty of the hair revitalizer and a wide- tooth comb. When you are done detangling, donmt rinse out all of the hair revitalizer, but leave just a bit in the hair.
Your second problem I am certain is the ensuing frizz. I am sorry to say that there is no permanent solution to this. It can be managed with John Freida frizz-ease products. I especially like the Corrective Styling gel with encapsulated silicone (4.99 at Walgreens) or the frizz-ease serum when Imm straightening my hair. If you have a lspecialn occasion and need to control the flyawayms use American crew forming crKme or aveda brilliant anti-humectants pomade.
When you get to the straightening use aveda hang straight straightening lotion and sparingly the brilliant universal styling crKme and/or damage control. A wet-set under the dryer is always preferable to blow drying as it is less drying and/or damaging to the hair follicle (and most people over-dry the hair trying to get it lstraightn). I donmt normally need the additional step of a flat-iron, but when you get to the teenage years, you undoubtedly might have to add this step for the bone straight look. Mild relaxers are always a possibility when she reaches 16, but generally unadvisable. You never regain your virgin hair.
In general, if at all possible avoid brushing your childrenms hair. This only serves to further separate the curls and add air and static to hair. Try to style with a wide tooth comb when hair is slightly damp. Braids and pony-tails are a girls best friend. I always wanted the hair that I could wear ldownn to school, but believe me after sitting with my mom being detangled for 45 min at night- I outgrew it and cute hair accessories took the place of tossing my locks! Lisa
I use Bumble & Bumble Leave In Conditioner on my 17 mo. old daughter who has fine, very curly and lots of it, hair. I put it on after washing her hair and comb through while she is still playing in the bath. It is wonderful, non-greasy and makes her hair easy to comb through and work with until the next washing. The product is on the expensive side but it is worth it. Anon
I am an African-American with Biracial children (girl and a boy).
Do you have any African-American or Latino Beauty Salons near you? If you take them to one of the shops, they can tell and sell you appropriate products to use on their hair.
I have learned not to use heavy products on my kids' hair. For my daughter, I wash, condition and put a light oil (Olive Oil) on her hair. It does not need much. I have had to experiment with a lot of products. I have learned that more is not better--less is with hair--any type of hair.
Remember, the hair will change over the years--what may work now may not work for the hair in six-eight months. Find a good beautician and they can make some great reccomendations.
Try Kiehl's silk groom. It is a non-greasy creme that I started using after I read Halle Berry and Isaac Mirazi recommended it. anon
You might want to check out Carol's Daughter. I know that it is sold at Sephora. Carol's Daughter has a line just for kids. Everything from shampoo to leave-in conditioners. You can also take a look at their web site: Carolsdaughter.comm. I hope this helps. jean
For my fine curly euro-ethnicity long hair I use a salon product for curly hair. It is far less heavy that some of the kids spray on de-tangler (that the next day makes hair even more tangley). I use the shampoo, conditioner and a bit of spray all called ''curl up'' by KMS or something like that. It is in orange containers. I find with somewhat curly hair, the best thing to do is wash it, comb it out wet and let it dry on its own - I don't ever use a blow dryer! and when I brush it out, I get the brush wet and let my heair bounce back again. As each kid's hair is different, you might try bringing you girls into a store with salon products and getting a few small bottles of stuff made for fine curly hair (you can ask a clerk, especially if their hair looks like your kid's). Make it an adventure and have fun. You'll find something that works for now. Mom with hair
My children are also multiethnic and I use Giovanni's leave in conditioner (sold at Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods and other natural foods stores) and a spray bottle with water in it. People always comment on how nice my daughter's hair looks. If you don't like the coconut butter, try a little almond oil on the ends. A few things that I've learned along the way:
- Don't over-wash hair. 1-2 times per week is sufficient. I wash once a week and rinse once a week. I also leave in a small amount of regular conditioner after washing or rinsing. Cover with a generous amount, then squeeze out most of it (rinse w/a small amount of water if necessary). Comb out once or twice a week as well.
- Make sure you're using the right kind of brush- a wide brush with lots of short, soft bristles in it that are close together (not the kind with widely spaced, long bristles).
- I've found w/my daughter's hair that I can leave it out for a couple days and refresh each day with the leave in conditioner and spray bottle. But, it will need to be combed out and ''done'' in either twists, braids, or pony tails after a few days.
- If it's getting too frizzy or dry, cut down on the washing. Braiding after washing also helps control the frizz.
My black girlfriends were a great resource to me when I was learning how to do my daughter's hair. Don't be afraid to seek out tips from them. Good luck Brightstar
We're looking for a good, child-friendly barber or hairstylist who's experienced with cutting African-American hair for our pre-schooler. We can do it ourself but it looks better when a barber cuts it. We want someone who's experienced with little kids because our son squirms and resists getting his hair cut. Berkeley area preferred, but we'll travel for the right person. thanks much! mom
I'm thinking about getting my son's hair cut for the first time & I've read all the reviews on the website & Snippety Crickets seems to be a favorite around here. My son's hair is long in the back & on top, but from ear to ear it is not as long and I think I just want to even it all out. Does anyone know if Snippety Crickets has experience dealing with black kid's hair? Or does anyone have any other recs for barber shops/salons that do? Thanks
My 9 year old daughter has very frizzy/thick african hair. She is also allergic to almost all hair products, and her neck gets red, raw and itchy when used. She hates her hair and worries constantly about it, but is also terrified of having it braided, twisted, etc. because it hurts her so much. Any ideas of how to overcome the pain fear factor to get her feeling better about her hair/self? She sometimes sees kids with tight dangling twists and likes that alot. Any recommendations of a sensitive hair braider? -A mom in need of advice/help
Is your daughter of African descent or African-American? I get the feeling that she may be and you may be of another racial background. If she is, I think it is very important that you take steps immediately to make her love her hair instead of hating it. There are many issues in the African-American community regarding women and their hair. It may be that many of the people around her have hair quite different from hers and that she has come to think this is more beautiful than hers because she is the only one different. There are books that you can find on this subject (just do a search online) that can help you understand the reasons behind it and also you can find books for children that can help them love their different but special and beautiful hair type. I am an African American woman and for YEARS I had my hair chemically straightened. For the past 2+ years I wear it in it's natural state (super curly/frizzy) and I love it. I think it's more versatile and natural. Usually with this type of hair you have to use some product that contains oil. I personally use Kemi Oil (located at beauty supply stores and possibly Sally's Beauty Supply) which is made of essential oils. I shampoo and condition my hair, comb it out then do not touch it once I'm out of the shower except to put the oil in my hands and pat it through my hair. This leaves the curls intact without frizz. There are also some other options but I don't know how allergic she is. Maybe you can use natural shea butter (Berkeley flea market at Bart Station). As far as braiding is concerned, if she's allergic those braids and twists involve adding either human or synthetic hair that can cause allergic reactions. If her hair is long enough you can find someone to twist her natural hair into many small twists all over her head which looks cute and is a natural style. Email me if I can be more help, but even if you don't please, please get help so she can love herself including her hair.