“My daughter is half Black and half white and has a head full of curly hair. When she was younger her hair was very fine, lightly wavy and blonde like mine. Now, her baby hair is gone and her true texture has grown in. It’s still very fine but it’s really curly and kinky and thick. She also has this random patch of coarse hair in the top of her head. It’s beautiful hair but I’m struggling to take care of it. Her father has no clue what to do and we don’t live anywhere near any family members that can help. I hate to admit it but I don’t know how to take care of mixed race hair and I’m failing my daughter! Can you give me any advice on how to care for mixed race hair?” – Grace
Curly hair can pose challenges if you aren’t used to dealing with it–and that’s even if said hair grows on your own head–every one of us here can vouch for that. So, consider yourself a part of the very normal club of women who have had to learn or re-learn to care for their children’s hair and or their own all while learning to love doing so in the process.
In order to master your daughter’s hair you simply need to think about it differently. Try to stop thinking of her hair as “mixed race” and instead think of it for what it is–curly hair. There is no such thing as “mixed race hair” and adding race as a descriptor to her hair only makes it seem that much more like uncharted territory and unnecessarily different and complicated. Think about it this way, if you were to put a strand of her curly hair beside a strand of hair from say, the heads of Yvette Nicole Brown, Esperanza Spalding and Lenny Kravitz, and based on your description alone, her hair would probably look more similar to Yvette’s curly hair (a Black/non-mixed woman) than to Lenny’s kink hair (who is half Jewish) or Esperanza’s kinky hair (who has a Black father and a mother of Welsh, Native American, and Hispanic descent). Or you could even take some of us here for example. Angel and Nikia have very kinky hair, Paris and Amena have looser kinky, curly hair that could be described as “mixed race hair” depending on who you ask and Lindsey has natural hair that’s even looser than Tracee Ellis Ross’ natural hair. We even have someone here with naturally blonde hair. However, we’re all Black. That’s not to say your daughter is not both Black and white, but her hair can only be hair. That’s because hair only presents itself as one or more of these curl pattern types: straight, wavy, curly and kinky. Some would say there are only three types of hair with kinky falling as a subcategory under curly since oftentimes kinky hair is just really, really tight curls but either way, hair can only be one or a combination of these four things. Understanding this can help you with your daughter’s hair because once you realize that taking care of all hair (even your own) successfully is knowing: a: the texture of her hair (meaning are her strands fine, medium or coarse or a combination) and b: her porosity or how her hair reacts to products (does her hair soak up water and products or does her hair take a long time to absorb water), it wouldn’t matter if she had the same curl pattern as you did. (The thickness of her hair matters as well, but not as much as texture and porosity as it just means that you’ll need more of the product that works well with a and b.) This is also why anyone with curly hair from any ethnic background can benefit from our site because we understand that hair has absolutely nothing to do with race. Yes, we could go into the genetic predisposition for different races of people to more often than not have specific curl or non-patterns but that’s neither here nor there.
The advice we have for you is so easy that we hope it comes to you as a relief. Taking care of your daughter’s curly hair does not have to be hard or time consuming or difficult. In fact, you may find it the exact opposite once you find products and a regimen that works for you both. Granted, curly hair is not always a walk in the park and you’ll probably never be able to run your fingers through your daughter’s hair with the same ease you are able to do your own, but once you learn to manage her hair in a healthy manner, you’ll find the panic of “failing” subsiding. And as a side note, we don’t consider a mom genuinely concerned about doing her child’s hair a failure. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
As for caring for your daughter’s hair, the four steps you need to follow are detangling, washing, conditioning and styling. With that, here are a few places to start to get started on a healthy hair regimen for your daughter. Also, be sure to check out Carol’s Daughter’s YouTube channel for helpful tips when it comes to styling little kid’s hair.
What Is The Difference Between Coarse And Kinky Hair?
What Does Race Have To Do With Hair Products?
How Do You Moisturize Naturally Curly And Very Dry Hair?
5 Ways To Tell If You?re Using The Wrong Hair Products
Combs 101: The Best Combs For Your Curly Hair
Hair Brushes 101: A Guide To Your Perfect Hair Brush(es)
I Got 99 Problems But A White Girl?s Hair Ain?t One.