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Mixed race hair help!

(22 Posts)
TJTR1 Wed 08-Jul-15 23:13:32

I'm a single mum with a mixed Afro-Caribbean/white daughter with beautiful tight coil like ringlets but I have no idea how to care for her hair and as its getting longer I need some help! I know some of these are silly questions but please bare with me I just want to make sure I can keep her hair lovely!

1) should I brush it? What sort of comb or brush is best?
2) after washing I am leaving to dry naturally but as it gets longer should I do this? Is blow drying going to damage her hair? I have read something about wrapping the hair but unsure what this really is!
3) what are the best products to use?
4) are there any good websites to show me how to braid and style her hair as it gets longer?

If there's anything else I need to know please tell me as I have zero knowledge on how to care for her hair!

Thank you all x

Fairygodfucker Wed 08-Jul-15 23:24:35

My ds is mixed and had beautiful ringlets. I found that brushing it turned it into a frizzy mess so I only brushed it when I was working through the conditioner. I always let it air dry so I can't comment on question 2.
We tried a lot of products for his hair. I found the Afro stuff was too heavy whilst the 'normal' (crap choice of word but I hope you know what I mean) was too drying. We have been using twisted sista stuff which really seems to suit his hair. I used to send him off to his great aunts for her to braid his hair when it got really long as I can barely plait so I've no idea about question 4 in afraid. Sorry.
His ddad cut off his hair and it's grown back in big ringlets/waves which is grounds for divorce annoying but he loves his mad scientist Afro grin

TJTR1 Wed 08-Jul-15 23:29:43

Thank you! I'll have a look for the twisted sista stuff, I've just used johnsons baby at the moment and it's not doing much good, my boots is one of the rubbish small ones that has no Afro shampoos only 'normal' (totally get what you mean) shampoos.

I have to say I do love seeing kids with Afros, there's something so adorable about it!

Feathernest Wed 08-Jul-15 23:44:40

Can I reccomend the British Curlies website? Found it really helpful for my tight ringlet curls (which dd has inherited). At moment I'm using Child's Farm conditioner which I found in Boots (can also get on Amazon) to wash her hair, and not using any shampoo. It's a kids range made of natrual stuff so smells lovely and no drying ingredients. They also do a detangling spray which I've not tried yet

Fairygodfucker Wed 08-Jul-15 23:45:47

I think it's a lot of trial and error.just finding that thing that works for you. It's difficult isn't it? I knew how to look after my hair and dp knew how to look after his hair (when he had it lol) but our ds had completely different hair!

I also meant to add that I only wash ds's hair once a week as water is drying and that has helped with the frizz. I use the twisted sista conditioning spray in the mornings when he wakes up with a mean bed head and it needs brushing. He didn't have his first haircut until he was 6yo so it was really long and I used to tie it back for school. The spray definitely helped then.

TJTR1 Wed 08-Jul-15 23:52:30

Thank you feathernest I will have a look at that website! I've searched so many but a lot have been American and relate to Hispanic hair which hasn't been too helpful, especially when you want to get it right.

I found that too quite quickly how easily her hair dried. It is defiantly going to be a case of trial and error but with advice from you guys there's somewhere to start.

I do find it quite overwhelming how different hair can be! I'd never have thought it'd be as hard work when I was expecting!

SavoyCabbage Thu 09-Jul-15 00:04:54

It's definitely trial and error. My two dd's hair looks exactly the same to the man on the street but they need to use different hairbrushes and different products from each other.

My oldest has dry brittle hair. It grows slowly and unfortunately needs lots of care. She uses a detangling spray every morning, intensive conditioner once a week and most importantly of all sleeps in a silk sleep bonnet (looks like a shower cap) which has made a huge difference.

MamaMotherMummy Thu 09-Jul-15 00:15:30

I am a qualified afro hairdresser so I know a little bit about this lol.

Do not use a brush. Invest in a few combs. First, a really really wide tooth comb, plus a usual afro comb, then a really thin comb like a man's hair comb. It's usually useful to have a couple in between those sizes. Also good to have spares as the combs can break.

The best time to comb hair is while washing. Wash with shampoo, focusing mostly on the roots. Try not to tangle the hair too much. Add loads and loads of conditioner and comb it with the wide tooth comb starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top. Then use thinner combs until you can pass the thinnest comb through the hair. Then wash out the conditioner, gently rubbing the hair as the water passes through it. Don't tangle it if you can avoid it. Once its free of all the conditioner, use a mid size comb to comb through it when it's wet. Pat the excess water off and do the same combing.

Add a product to the hair at this point such as coconut oil, a mixture of coconut oil and gel, 'hair grease' or any other frizz-ease kind of product. This should be focused on the mid section and the ends Comb it through and leave it to dry naturally. If you blow dry, use a curl attachment on the hairdryer and do so at the lowest heat you can. If you want a different look some days, comb the hair when it is damp with the finest tooth comb and plait it into two plaits, combing as you go. When it is dry it will be wavy (providing you have combed it enough as you've gone along).

Only need to wash once a week, perhaps even less depending on hair texture. Experiment with how long you leave it.

At night, gather the hair in loose plaits and tuck under a silk cap. If you cannot find a silk cap, use a silk pillowcase. To revive the hair in the morning, use a water spray to dampen any areas you need to comb. Add more frizz easing product or oil and pull through with the widest tooth comb and your fingers.

You might also find she has a dry scalp. If this is the case, reduce washing and apply a natural oil such as olive or jojoba or coconut to the scalp by parting the hair at different points and rubbing it in with your fingers. Avoid the hairline otherwise you get a greasy look.

This website is actually a white mum with adopted black daughters but has a huge range of styles with excellent instructions. They can be used on mixed race hair too.

I advise you make hair time a really fun time. Put on some great music, watch a film together or something to take her mind off it because it can be time consuming to care for tightly curled hair properly. It's a part of her black heritage and if you can make it a great experience for her that makes a big difference. A lot of mixed race kids with white parents who moaned and complained about their hair came to see themselves, and blackness, as inferior. It's great that you're trying to make this a positive experience.

I'll find some product links now and post. smile

MamaMotherMummy Thu 09-Jul-15 00:28:20

Wide tooth comb (ridiculously expensive tho I'm sure you can find better)

Fine tooth comb

Then pick some somewhere in the middle!

If you can't get to an afro haircare store, just pick up curly haired products from Boots.

For the product you use after washing, you could try like I said coconut oil (or any other kind of quality oil really), coconut oil mixed with gel or wax, or curl serum or spray:

If you're going to dry using the hairdryer and attachment (called a diffuser), use a heat protector spray or serum as well.

Oh and I totally forgot to mention treatments! About every month you should give the hair a deep conditioning treatment. Put a heavy duty conditioner on her hair, wrap it up in a towel and leave her hair like that for half an hour plus before you go through the normal comb and washing out. You can buy special conditioner treatment packs and products but you can just do it with normal conditioner if you want.

Ebay can be really good for beads and hair accessories.

Hope that helped. Ask me if you want to know anything else or anything I said didn't make sense. Good luck smile

Pantone363 Thu 09-Jul-15 00:36:48

No idea sorry, just wanted to say my DD had a (black) friend round for a play date and I let them both go in the pool for hours. Her mum nearly cried when she saw her hair afterwards blush. I had no idea she wasn't supposed to get it wet. Her mum was not impressed at all.

MamaMotherMummy Thu 09-Jul-15 00:41:08

Sorry, also forgot to mention. When combing, do it in sections as they do in the hairdressers when they cut your hair. Start with a layer of hair closest to her neck, then add layers from further up the head gradually until you're combing all her hair at once.

GreenMouse Thu 09-Jul-15 01:21:20

Hi OP, there's a really long (and old!) thread in this topic on this very question, I've just bumped it. There's a lot of advice and product recommendations in it.

Otherwise MamaMotherMummy speaks sense, you'll be fine if you follow her advice smile

TJTR1 Thu 09-Jul-15 09:18:34

Thank you MamaMotherMummy that is all so helpful, I'm feeling a lot better after all your advice! Thank you for the links, I really appreciate it!

GreenMouse- I'll have a look now thanks smile

Pantone363 you can't be blamed for not knowing that, my daughters nearly 1 and I'm still trying to learn about her hair! I'd never have known if I my daughter wasn't mixed.

MamaMotherMummy Thu 09-Jul-15 14:41:24

You're welcome smile

nadine9francis Fri 24-Jul-15 12:14:52

Have you tried Mixed Chicks kids range?

Its really good for detangling kids curls - especially their conditioners

TJTR1 Sun 26-Jul-15 16:07:23

Thank you nadine9francis I'll check that out.

littlemissm Tue 28-Jul-15 20:14:33

I'm also a trained afro hairdresser & mamamothermummy has given some good advice. I have 5 mixed race children all with different hair types( except my twins) when you do find a product that you like then stick to it & maybe have a look on you tube & learn to cornrow. Cornrows are good protective styles & also once done it's less hassle for you.

maygirl Wed 29-Jul-15 09:51:13

I am mixed race and I have not looked back since using the techniques on and her book Curly Like Me. I used to relax my hair until I discovered this way and its so easy. All the techniques are on the website, with video links, so you don't really need the book, but I love it! The author gives examples of conditioners which will work and keeps the website updated with new ones and alerts when ingredients have been changed by manufacturers. You use a Denman hairbrush when the hair is wet through and slick with tons of conditioner. Then you define the ringlets with your fingers and leave what's left of the conditioner in the hair and let it dry naturally. It dries kind of crunchy, but if you divide and plait it and leave for just a few mins, when you undo the plaits the crunch goes away and its left soft and non-greasy. Plait hair for sleeping and refresh curls with water and a bit of same conditioner in morning. I'm currently liking Aussie Moist, Tresemme and OXG coconut conditioner.

OoohMama Sat 01-Aug-15 21:39:46

Really helpful reading all this advice, thanks everyone. I have been using a very gentle shampoo on my mixed race son's hair and then Mixed Chicks Conditioner which is great - makes it easy to brush through while the conditioner is on but isn't greasy. But I have a problem that he just absolutely LOATHES having shampoo and conditioner rinsed out of his hair. He gets hysterical if a little bit of water gets into his eyes or ears. We've tried all sorts of ways of rinsing including the overpriced jug from Boots but to no avail. So I'm wondering if anyone can recommend any leave-in conditioner that can be used instead of regular conditioner that will be moisturising/detangling enough but not feel sticky on the hair, and also not look shiny/slick when his hair is dry as he is a 2 year old boy so probably would't be a good look smile x

OoohMama Sat 01-Aug-15 21:41:00

Forgot to add that I'm a single mum with no contact with any of my son's dad's family so have no-one to consult with on this!

Happyhairdays123 Mon 03-Aug-15 20:08:39

Hi Ladies

if anyone is struggling with curly mixed race kids ahir or Afro hair I can help!!

nadine9francis Fri 07-Aug-15 15:54:47

Glad to be helpful! I know at the moment that Mixed Chicks UK is running a competition, my friend won the products for their last competition. It's worth entering if you want to give the products a go. Or better yet ask for samples, they are happy to offer them out in exchange for a photo after using them. I saw a lot of that on their Facebook page.

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