These are the African American baby hair care tips I learnt from caring for my own baby. Her picture is on the right :-)
I keep getting questions about what I do to my daughter's hair to keep it so curly, shiny, soft and manageable. People find it quite surprising that my daughter who is 100% black and not mixed race has such curly soft hair.
Both her father and I are fully black with no known white family members.
The curl pattern of my daughter's hair is usually associated to that of a mixed race child.
Some people have actually told me that they think her hair is in such good condition because her 'baby hair' never changed :-)
Most people expect an african american baby's hair to become harder or tougher, straighter and less manageable the older they get. Well my daughter's did not, it stayed pretty much the same texture.
I decided to share her hair regimen with other moms of toddlers who would like to also make their children's hair healthier, curlier and more manageable without chemically altering it with relaxer, blow driers etc.
These are the total combination of things I do with my african american baby's hair that has helped her hair stay soft, shiny and curly.
Firstly for my african american baby's hair care, I don't use any synthetic chemicals in my daughter's hair. In fact since she was about 2 months old, I have used only natural based products for her. I personally do not believe in using harsh synthetic chemicals on small children or myself even.
Her hair regimen has changed a few times since she was born but the major principles have stayed the same.
As a Newborn, I washed her hair every day!! Yes up until my daughter was about 7 months old, I washed her hair everyday. I use nothing but California Baby products for my daughter which are 100% natural products without sulphates, phthalates, fragrances etc. Washing her hair daily was part of my African American baby hair care tip for dealing with cradle cap at the time and it worked.
The California baby supersentive shampoo and body wash was my favourite for her because it was moisturising enough to heal and soothe her eczema and not give her rashes. The California baby products do not strip her hair or her skin of moisture. They are very moisturising and are also PH balanced. I discovered that this is really important for the hair.
This shampoo leaves her hair very moistured, you can actually feel the moisture in her hair, it never feels dry after a wash. I am reallt in love with this product, I think if you are looking for a shampoo and conditioner to include in your african american baby hair care regimen, I would say try them.
I also dissolve dead sea bath salts in her bath water and I use that to wash her hair. There is a lot of fear about the bath water in the UK being hard water.
I have therefore never washed my daughter's skin or hair in plain water. The dead sea salts are a great way of keeing her hair moisturised as you shampoo it because dead sea salts contain minerals. And they also help the skin and hair to attract and retain moisture.
I really recommend this as a top tip for african american baby hair care. The dead sea salts are an added bonus for avoiding the hair drying out while you wash it. This is important for us because I did not know about conditioner washing the hair until now.
Many people worry about drying the hair out by shampooing it too often in 'hard' water but I have never had to worry about this because:
1) I dissolve dead sea salts in her water.
2) I use California baby products for her and it contains no SLS and it is organic, natural and incredibly moisturising. I know this because I use California baby Calming shampoo to my natural hair as well.
I also started to condition her hair after every wash from the age of about 6 months old. Knowing what I know now, I would probably condition her hair from the moment she had enough hair to condition :-)
The conditioner process is an important and crucial step in the any African American Baby hair care regimen. If you do not condition the hair, your baby's hair will not be as soft and as it can be. It is really important to apply conditioner to your african american baby's hair.
I use California baby super sensitive conditioner for her hair, this leaves her hair shiny, well conditioned, detangled and moisturised.
I comb the conditioner through my daughter's hair then moisturise with misturisers that I make myself at home using only natural ingredients.
I use pure unrefined Shea butter and extra virgin organic Coconut oil mixed with a little jojoba oil.
I also add water to dampen her hair every day (as regularly as I can). I learnt this is the best way to keep the hair moisturised. This is actually the best african american baby hair care tip to keep the hair healthy.
From about 7 months, I began washing my daughter's hair every other day so that means I was washing it about 4 times a weak and always following with the California baby super sensitive conditioner. So I shampoo wirh California baby super sensitive shampoo, rinse out with warm water, then apply California baby super sensitive conditioner.
I make sure that the shampoo is applied from roots to ends. I apply a very generous amount of conditioner to her hair. I then follow through through with a mixture of pure shea butter and coconut oil.
I shampoo my daughter's her at least once a weak and sometimes twice depending on how dirty or dry her hair looks. I Still follow through our staple conditioner: California Baby super sensitive conditioner. I now follow through with my homemade mixture of pure unrefined shea butter, jojoba oil and hemp oil.
Every day I spray my daughter's hair with plain water and apply our home made mix of pure, unrefined shea butter, jojoba oil and pure organic hemp oil.
I do three big plaits in my daughter's hair before bed every night to keep it tangle free. This is especially important for american american baby hair care and hair care in general.
Shampoo: California Baby super sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash (I now alternate this with California Baby Tea tree and lavender shampoo and body wash and also the Calming Shampoo and Body Wash). My tip for choosing a shampoo for your african american baby hair regimen is to pick one that is non-drying and made especially for babies and toddlers.
Conditioner: I have only ever used California Baby's Super sensitive conditioner for my daughter's hair. This conditioner leaves my daughter's hair detangled, smooth, silky and smooth. I use this as a leave in for my daughter and do not rinse it out.
It is at this point that I comb my daughter's hair with a wide tooth comb. To detangle fully and to ensure that all of the conditioner is spread evenly from the roots to the ends.
Moisturiser: I now use a home made mix of pure unrefined Shea butter, Extra virgin coconut oil,jojoba oil, olive oil, Castor oil and Vitamin E oil as moisturiser in her hair after applying her conditioner (which I leave in and don't rinse out.)
If my daughter is not wearing her hair out as a style, I Braid my daughter's hair into medium sized braids of about 7/8 to seal in her moisture and to stretch her hair. When her hair dries it dries straight and therefore avoids tangles and breakage.
Shampoo at least once a week ( every 7 days)
Rinse/Co-wash whenever hair feels dry
Moisturise daily with my home made moisturiser mix of pure unrefined Shea butter, Extra virgin coconut oil,jojoba oil, olive oil, Castor oil and Vitamin E oil as moisturiser in her hair.
Condition with every wash using California baby super sensitive conditioner
Apple cider vinegar rinse when she is not due a shampoo wash but hair looks dry/dirty (being a child she often ends up with food in her hair :-))
Never worn hair extensions yet - she is only 16 moths old. I think they are too heavy for her 'fine' hair.
Never comb her hair when it is dry, I finger comb and keep it in single braids to avoid tangles as her protective syle
Never do tight corn rows or braids
Never wear tight ponies
I do not use rubber bands for her hair, I find that when they are being taken out, they seem to take hair with them.
Never blow dry her hair
Never go more than 10 days without shampooing or conditioner washing (co-washing) her hair. Tip - If your daughter's hair is in extensions, still wash weekly and apply water and moisturiser to the extensions daily.