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Taking care of natural hair, as well as trying to find an easy natural hair regimen for black children has never been my forte. Truthfully, in the beginning it was quite a challenge for me. Trying to figure out the best products for Aiden’s curly natural hair, ensuring it is always moisturized and healthy has been trial and error. Learning how to grow a black kids natural hair also has been trial and error. I have had a perm in my hair for as long as I can remember so my hair care is completely different from his.
Never in a million years did I think I would write a blog post about natural hair care for black children (Hello there Motherhood). I can barely figure out how to take care of my own hair. I am by no means an expert at all, and I am still learning as I go. But I figured I’d share a few things that work for us in the hopes that they may work for you also.
As you can see, Aiden didn’t have much naturalhair when he was born.
Before Aiden turned one, he had more hair on the top than on the sides. One of the main reasons why we decided to cut the sides only. It was a nice style and looked great on him.
7 months old with a faux-hawk
On Aiden’s first birthday, my husband gave him his first hair cut. I am not sure the background behind the tradition, but I was told that boys needed to get their first hair cut when they turned one. He didn’t have much hair, so we decided to take down a little on the side and leave the top part alone.
first birthday hair cut
as you can see, his faux-hawk style fit him well
What we routinely did was give him a line up, and take down the sides. Aiden didn’t really like getting natural his hair cut, so one day, I decided why even bother? I’ll just let his hair grow.
The top part was already quite longer, so we decided to let the sides catch up
the shrinkage is real
Aiden was excited about his hair growth, so I knew letting it grow was the right choice
Steps on How To Take Care Of Natural Hair For Children Of Color:
1. How To Shampoo Natural Hair
I wash his hair with the 2 shampoos below every 4 to 6 weeks depending on what style he is wearing. I don’t want to strip his hair of its natural oils, so I don’t shampoo it often. Also his hair doesn’t get very dirty so there is no need for me to shampoo more often. These shampoo’s can get expensive so I only use a very small amount. You really don’t need much so it should last a while.
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
- Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Shampoo
towel dry after shampoo so that when you apply a wash out conditioner, the hair will soak it up as much as possible
I highly recommend this towel (DuraComfort Essentials Super Absorbent Anti-Frizz Microfiber Hair Towel), it was dirty at the time of this post so I used the quickest one I could grab lol
2. How To Condition Natural Hair
I condition Aiden’s hair daily. We go through A LOT of conditioner. I use more conditioner on his hair than I would ever imagine using on mine, lol.
A. Wash Out Condition
Sometimes I condition his hair during bath time, or in the sink if he’s already had his bath. He usually lays on a changing pad, (Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad). We’ve had it since he was a newborn. I am glad I didn’t get rid of it because we still use it often.
I wet his hair, apply a wash out conditioner (lots of it), work it in, let it sit for a few minutes, part it, and then comb/brush/detangle. This is quite a process and Aiden doesn’t like it very much. (This is were my phone or his tablet comes in handy).
Aiden: No Mom No, I don’t want to comb my hair.
Me: Papa, you have to choose – Comb or Cut?
Aiden: Comb Mom.
A few of the wash out conditioners I love the most are:
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner (can be used as a leave in also)
- Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Conditioner (can be used as a leave in also)
- Suave Naturals Conditioner – Tropical Coconut
- Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deeeeep Conditioner
- TRESemme Flawless Curls Curl Hydrating Conditioner
B. Leave in Conditioner For Natural Hair
After rinsing out the wash out conditioner, I then apply a leave in conditioner. I prefer the thick ones that are like a cream/pudding.
I don’t apply all of these leave in conditioners at once. I have them because I have tried several to find the best one for his hair. The one that ensures that his hair stays moisturized.
Step 1: Apply a generous amount of one of these conditioners below that made my cut:
- Carols Daughter Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Styling Pudding
- Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Curling Cream
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Step 2: Apply oil mix and aloe vera gel
- Oil Mix which contains (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil + Jamaican Black Castor Oil + Avocado Oil + Olive Oil + Jojoba Oil)
- Amara Organics Aloe Vera Gel or Earth’s Daughter Organic Aloe Vera Gel
Step 3 (Optional): To finish, I use a small amount of
3. How To Style Natural Hair
After applying a leave in conditioner as well as coconut oil, I run my fingers through it and let him wear his hair like that or I brush and put it in a bun, or braid it.
I prefer his hair in a protective style (bun or braid) because it reduces the amount of combing/detangling I have to do. His hair is really curly, so it tends to get tangled pretty quick. As you can see below he isn’t a fan of constant combing, so I try to keep it to a minimum by braiding often.
On days that I don’t do the whole 9 yards condition routine mentioned above, I use a Spray Bottle. It doesn’t matter what style his hair is in, I use the spray bottle every single day. My spray bottle ingredients are: Tips – make sure not to put in too much conditioner or else the mixture will be too thick. You need it to be a watery consistency.
OrganicWater (JK, any water will do :P)
- Oil Mix (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil + Jamaican Black Castor Oil + Avocado Oil + Olive Oil + Jojoba Oil)
- Conditioner (Carols Daughter Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Styling Pudding, Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Curling Cream. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie)
- Aloe Vera Gel (Amara Organics Aloe Vera Gel or Earth’s Daughter Organic Aloe Vera Gel)
A. Wild Curls
“I’ve got crazy hair” – Aiden
“Brush it Mom, it’s better” – Aiden
“I like it Mom, but I like my hair to be longer” – Aiden
“Mom, these braids are so wiggly” – Aiden
A Few Extra Natural Hair Care Tips
- This Kids Satin Bonnet is awesome and reduces the amount of of tangling that occurs. Aiden’s hair is very curly, so avoiding a tangle mess is what we strive for. He has no problem wearing this and keeping it on.
- If you have a younger kid who won’t keep it on, I highly suggest a Satin Pillowcase.
- If you happen to find yourself struggling with a tangled mess:
- Use this awesome, easy DIY (do it yourself) tick. One tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and one cup of water. Mix both, put it in a spray bottle, spray hair, rub it in the hair with your fingers to activate and voila! This actually works better than any store bought detangler.
- If you do prefer a store bought detangler, Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler to the rescue.
- Always remember to detangle before you try to comb/brush.
- Brushes – Denman Cushion Brush Nylon Bristles, 9-Row and Detangling Brush – Glide Thru Detangler Hair Comb or Brush work really well.
- Remember – NEVER try to brush or comb your kids hair without wetting it and/or putting conditioner in it.
bath time photos
post bath shrinkage
How do you take care of you/your child’s natural hair? Please share below in the comment section. I am always eager to learn something new.
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