Wednesday, February 22, 2006

(Hair) wash day blues

It could be put off no longer. It was time for a hair-washing. Everyone in the house dreads this time as it is usually punctuated with yelling and tears, and then there's the kids and the big show they put on! Thank goodness they only need their hair washed every week or two. Since they have beautiful curly black hair, a combination of Caucasian and African-American, it doesn't need to be washed often since curly hair is dry hair.

African-American hair is typically not washed near as much as Caucasian hair, but some Caucasian parents of biracial children make the mistake of washing their children's hair way too much, perhaps even every day as they would their own. This is a terrible mistake and creates a vicious cycle. Their hair is dry and curly, and is hard to comb, so their parents think it needs to be washed. That strips even more oil from it, making it even drier and harder to manage.

The first thing I tell Caucasian parents of biracial children is to stop washing their hair so much! That would help more than anything in caring for this beautiful hair. Once a week or every two weeks would be much better. We don't use products especially for children's hair, since they do not give enough moisture. We use Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner for dry hair or Melaleuca's shampoo and conditioner for dry hair.

The second thing is to keep it moisturized. I tell parents not to use products made especially for children's hair because it is too watery to stay on the hair all day. Water should be used when combing that pretty hair every day, and a wide-tooth comb is a must. Along with that, we use a thick conditioner from a jar (B&B Supergro) that I call grease, and just regular baby lotion. I prefer the Equate brand sold at Wal-Mart, since it's thick and yummy smelling.

I stumbled upon the use of baby lotion quite by accident. I had been using Pink Oil moisturizer (and other generic brands based on that) and ran out one day. We had some baby lotion left over from my purchases for my older daughter; we didn't use it on her skin because it didn't do anything for her. In fact, we typically don't use any products made for children because they just don't work, from soap to shampoo to lotions. We try to buy safe soaps and such that are nontoxic; our favorites are those that contain tea tree oil and we order stuff like that from Melaleuca.

When it comes time to fix hair for school, we mainly use elastics that don't have metal on them. Of those we usually use the thick black ones, as they hold their hair very well, don't pull, and they don't distract from the natural beauty of my children's hair! We used to use barrettes and those cute ponytail holders with balls and other ornaments on them, but they pull their hair and we quit using them. I hate to see kids' hair pulled too tight and I like my girls to be comfortable all day.

The main thing in caring for this beautiful curly hair is not washing it often, something that keeps those hair wash day blues from coming around very often! Today's turned out okay with minimal yelling and crying, and the results are just breathtaking! Here's a picture of that beautiful hair.

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Kira Sandoval said...


I think this would be a great article!! My son always wondered why one of his friends had to keep his head shaved...his hair would become an unkepmt afro if he didn't. I too have wondered how can some ladies go so long without washing thier hair, especially when they have it braided. You opened my eyes to a whole 'nother world!!

Sara said...

Your post was really interesting! Thanks for posting about this!

And p.s. I've linked to your blog on my mom and pop network blog. :-)