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Mixed Race Infant Hair Care

I am due to have a mixed race (african american & white) little girl in Feb. I have started to stress out because, I don't know how to take care of nappy hair. I know it shouldn't be washed every day, and I know the adults use grease and deep conditioners and such. But what about when they are first born? How do I take care of her hair? I don't want it to get brittle and break off. Any ideas and/or product recommendations would be great.

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Try not to worry much until you see what you have to work with. My son is also mixed (black/white) Before I knew what I was having I was concerned about the hair thing too. I cant even make a straight part down my daughters head. Me and Hair do not mix!!! But even with boys you have to take care of their hair differently depending on what kind of hair they have. My son was born with what the call "good hair". Its thicker than anyone in my family but its also soft and manageable. It can go either way or somewhere in between.

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My friend just used baby lotion in her daughters hair, it worked really well.

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Please do not use the word "nappy" as some people find that offensive. I wash my daughter's hair twice a week. I buy a detangler spray & put lotion in her hair after the comb-out. You won't have to do this for some time (with newborn hair) She had a full head of hair at birth & her first haircut and 2 years old! Her Dad is Jamaican, and her hair is fairly tame - spiral curls. The key is keeping it moisturized. I found a couple of books online, "Kinky Creations" and another one, I can't think of the title. I wouldn't go out and buy them...they're not that informative. I wish you well.

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Hi A.,

Don't worry about it. I have a mixed daughter also and another lil girl on the way in March! My daughter has beautiful Curly hair. Although she wasn't born with alot of hair lol. I used the Johnson baby shampoo on her hair and brushed it out. She is now 19 mos old and i use the Pantene Pro-V Women of Color on her hair I absolutely love it. And after i wash her hair i put there oil cream in her hair also. It's really nice. Her hair isn't really nappy, it's really kind of my husbands and I hair texture. Keep me posted, I can find out more info for you. My friend is an Hair stylist and she gives me tips all the time on her hair!! I love it!!!

R.

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Because your child will be multi-racial, it is unlikely her hair will be "nappy" but rather will be very fine and soft, even if it is very curly. There are some great products from Ouida out there for kids with varying textures of hair. Also, there is a nice conditioner from Bumble and Bumble for soft curls. However, you probably have nothing to worry about for awhile as your baby will not have much hair at birth and it will take a long time for her hair to grow out enough to style. Don't stress out because you will find her hair much easier to care for than you think.

Hi. I am a mother to 2 biracial children, a 2 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. Bi-racial hair comes in all different textures. My daughter's hair is very dry and has a very tight curl. My son's hair is less dry and has a looser curl with some straight parts. Both of my children had straight hair for awhile when they were infants.
I didn't have to do much special to my dd's hair until she was around 1 year old. I use a product made for biracial children called Curly Q's and it works very well. The website is http://www.curls.biz/
When your child is old enough to use a pillow I recommend using a satin pillowcase. I also only wash my daughter's hair once a week at the most. I wash it and then use a lot of conditioner and comb it with a wide-toothed comb while the conditioner is still in it.

J.

I myself am the mother of a mixed race little boy. I would say not to stress to much because you don't know how the hair is going to turn out until after they are born. My sons hair is not nappy at all. It is soft like my hair. However he does have a couple of areas that get dry. In the beginning I just used a baby wash/shampoo. Now that he is 3 I use just a mosturizing shampoo every 2-3 days.

I think you just have to wait and see what you will get...i have 3 boys, all mixed.
One boy has really thick coarse hair, i have to shave his head, but the other two have hair like mine just curly...
Good luck..you will learn.
I have a stepdaughter too (not mixed) and even i learned to do some braids, it will be o.k....

A.,
My name is C. & I am due for my first child in April. I am a black woman & want to give you some advice on the upkeep of your daughters' hair.

The texture of your daughters' hair will have a lot to do with her fathers' hair, but we get our hair genes from our mothers' father, so depending on what type of hair your father has/had, it will reflect in your daughters' mane.

Most biracial (black/white) children/people that I know have very soft hair & lots of it. A great product that you should purchase for your daughters' hair once her real hair starts to come in is Miss Jessie's Curly Baby Buttercreme. This stuff is fabulous, expensive, but worth it. You can purchase it @ http://missjessies.com/products.htm

It will keep your daughters' hair healthy, moist & it won't clog her scalp. It will also nurture growth.

I would also suggest that you learn or pay someone to cornrow your daughters' hair once she gets older. You should learn, for this is a great way for you to bond with your daughter & she will see that you took a personal interest in her hair care & culture.

Good luck to you & the best of wishes!

Respectfully,
C.

Try not to worry much until you see what you have to work with. My son is also mixed (black/white) Before I knew what I was having I was concerned about the hair thing too. I cant even make a straight part down my daughters head. Me and Hair do not mix!!! But even with boys you have to take care of their hair differently depending on what kind of hair they have. My son was born with what the call "good hair". Its thicker than anyone in my family but its also soft and manageable. It can go either way or somewhere in between.

You're going to have to wait and see exactly how her hair comes out, my oldest is puerto rican and "white" (Iam Italian, Portugese, Cherokee, French and a slew of other things, Im not sure what constitutes white anymore), and her hair is soooo kinky curly, but soft, doesnt break off just a pain in the butt. My youngest, her father is Puerto rican, Italian and Cuban, and her hair (what she has so far) is straight and baby fine!!! When the baby first comes out, do nothing at first, the baby will be fine. But if it does begin to get nappy, tight curl, coconut oil is great, its gentle, smells good but its a bit greasy. I have alot of girlfriends with mixed black/white children, the girls tend to get soft (non-breaking) beautiful hair while the boy get the naps, which is fine, because it looks cute in a fade when theyre a bit older. So, wait it out, but realize, its just hair and you wont need to do much to it when theyre babies, Its the mornings before school tearing through curls that will have you crazy! Also, baths every other day are appropriate for mixed kids hair and skin, make sure you lotion them up good and if you can get away with washing the hair maybe only 2 times a week thats even better.

I am adoptive mom to an African American daughter (2yo), with very tight kinky curls. I remember being a little nervous about hair care at first. It is a big deal, but your baby's hair will be very easy to do, no matter the texture, for at least the first six months. During that time, I would recommend reading books like _It's All Good Hair_ and _Kinki Kreations_. There are also several great internet resources that can recommend good hair products for different types of hair, but like other responders have said, hair texture changes a lot in the first two years. As the curly hair comes in, use a wide tooth comb and conditioner to tame the frizzies. Find a friend to teach you how to do cornrows and twists and make sure you have good African American role models who are involved in your life. Congratulations on your new addition.

Hi A., When she gets older as months go by. She may have curly soft hair just use some johnson & johnson hair products, then use some Paul mitchell's baby shampoo ,if that is to expensive use cream of nature product that are (great. You can find them in sally's beauty supply or even walmart, walgreens store. If you need some help just ask a sista (African American, and White) that knows.. lol. If you just need more help about hair ,cool too! Oh also don't use the word (NAPPY) it is offensive! All baby's hair come out beautiful, no matter what..

I have a daughter who is 9 months old, is half "caucasian / American" and half "Afro-Cuban," and people are very surprised to see her and her dad together, they say she looks just like him, if they know him. If they dont know him well, they say "is THAT your baby?" because she is so light skinned and her hair is curly and thin and smooth mostly.

I had similar thoughts but I was at a loss of words for how to describe the hair I might have expected, etc. I used to think that African descent type hair would be really difficult and hard to deal with - but a mystery of sorts to me. I also find thick hair beautiful and really cool how many things that can be done with it - and have learned through my life to appreciate the beauty of natural african hair just as is too, and wish more people would do the same, especially think its important for us non African parents of African descent children to advocate for our children in the world and in our families to not talk about their hair as a problem, etc.

That said, I have already found it to be a bit more work than my older daughter's hair, who is what we call "caucasian," but why? Why do we need to make it look a certain way? It doesnt have to have anything done to it. I know babies with dred locks. I personally dont want her to have the totally natural dred locks, but think its adorable when I see other kids with that. I like to work with her hair. The back of her head has started to get more thick and dred itself especailly at night when she sleeps. I gently work through it with my fingers and a brush and I find it really soothing to do. Her dad likes to comb it and add vaseline to it. I think that is too much so he uses less than he wants to please me.

There is a yahoo group called "biracial blessings" and a woman named Shima who has hair advice - though her advice is heavily related to products etc. Its nice to talk to other parents. Feel free to write to me. I have asked some friends who are African American about it ahead of time - and some of them have just explained what they choose to do and some have said "oh you are going to need conditioner soon!" but I dont really agree necesarily. I have had acquaintances comment joyfully, "oh, I can just picture her now being upset when she is 12 years old and she has a frizzy hair day!" and all I can think is - "wow, I hope not." I know 12 year olds freak out about their hair a lot - but what a destiny to give a tiny baby?!?!? Maybe she will be loving her hair and all the kids without it will be trying to make their hair curly / frizzy like hers by then. I hope so. Her hair is beautiful and we have to look at the racism that really makes us "think" what we do - that's what I think.

Your baby will be beautiful and you will learn to care for her health and body how you want to - with what she wants and you too. Ask your baby what she wants and imagine what she might say to you. Maybe something like "mama just love me like I am!" I imagined my daughter telling me "mama, I dont care! I just want to explore and play! why do you care?!?!"

enjoy. feel free to write me for more questions. I dont know how you can do that here - how can I find a "friend" or contact here? im new and still not sure how to use this service...

It is too early to worry. You never know what the texture of her hair will be like. As an infant many babies are born without hair and those that do don't usually have too much, meaning it is usually very short and fine. My daughter is part African American and Native American and her hair is more like mine, Native American. I still don't wash it every day, once every 3 or 4 days and I use conditioner more than I wash it to help with the dryness and tangles that her ends get. One thing you can do, just to be prepared for a girl anyway, is learn how to braid if you don't already know. I still don't know how to French braid but I braid her hair a lot anyway.

I think it is too soon to worry. Both of my mixed race babies were born bald bald bald...my son had straight almost blond hair (when it grew in) and it is now light brown and still straight. and my daughter, now fifteen, has cork screw curls. she uses a product called Pink, a leave in conditioner-which I suspect would be fine for an infant -you would only need a teeny tiny bit. For her thick hair she uses a dollop the size of a quarter.

Just as one who has been there, I warn you not to "expect" them to look any certain way. I asked my pedi repeatedly when my girl was a baby, when she would "turn" darker...he got tired of my asking and told me "you get what god gives you" and what he gave me were two children born of a black man that are as light as their Irish mother. Genetics are tricky. Congrats on your baby and best of luck to you :)

Your baby's hair could be any kind of texture, not necessarily nappy. Some bi-racial kids have hair that's totally straight. Mostly, you'll have to wait and see what her hair is like in a year or so. Gentle baby shampoo one a week or if she gets something in it should be fine until you know what her toddler hair is going to be like.

Well I was going to respond but it looks like i'm a bit late. All the advice is great! It will all come to you and you will learn what works for your little girl.

Have fun and loose the word nappy,

H.

Don't stress too much about what to use on an infant's hair but definitely lose the nappy hair expression as well as "good or bad hair." Washing once a week with mild baby shampoo and then conditioning should be fine for the first several months to year and a half depending on how fast the baby's hair grows.
You have lots of time before you will be braiding but if you have a good relationship with the father's family, talk with his mom or sisters. If not, look online for natural hair care sites like http://www.nappturality.com/ or http://naturalblackhaircare.com/childrenshair.php

Invest in some kids' picture books with a positive tone and view on African-American hair. My daughters love me to read I Love My Hair and Bippety Bop Barbershop by Natasha Tarpley. They also love author Carolivia Herron (they met her and she signed their book)
Congratulations and best of luck!

You really cant say how her hair will turn out until she is born. Im sure it wil be fine. My sons father is jamacian and my sons hair couldn't be more like mine, not nappy at all, which sounds negative BTW, curly but soft, soft, soft! It's softer thasn mine even.

A., ignorance is not bliss. I am responding for the sake of your daughter. Depending on the situation and tone, the term
"nappy hair," can be very offensive. Also, most babies, regardless of culture are born with, "baby hair." It is usually, fine and soft, and will go thru several phases, before you can have any idea of what a baby's hair will be like. Your only concern for proper care until she is 5-6 months old is standard "cradle cap care."

Since your child is not born yet and also half caucasion- I suggest you wait and see what the joy of her hair will be- which only time can tell. If time shows her hair to be more curly, than what you are use to - I recommend all natural products, like Burt's Bees Baby shampoo, or Carol's Daughter
products. As she gets older, keep her scalp moisturized and check out Black parenting books ASAP.

First - Relax! I had 2 beautiful girls (they are now 30 and 28) There is usually little hair when they are young and it is so soft that it isn't a problem.
You will learn with time what is best for your child and her particular hair.
As they got older I found that I just washed it and used conditioner the same as my own hair. (I combed it only while it was wet) The main thing is that very curly hair (and her's may not be) gets dry, so use a moisturizing conditioner. This really is a non issue as you will find out when she is born. So I repeat -- relax and enjoy!
P.

theres no saying she will have "nappy" hair. i am biracial and mine isnt. its spiral curls though. be sure to use conditioner every time you wash. they make product just for kids. if its curley never use a brush, a wide tooth comb is best. a brush will just frizz it out and never comb when dry that will cause frizz too.

Hi A.,

My advice to you would first be to take the word "nappy" out of your vocabulary, for three reasons. First, you don't know what type of hair the baby will have. Second, if you use that term around the child she might develope a complex because there is a negative conotation that goes with the word "nappy". And finally some people, namely people of color may find it offensive.

I am cape verdean and black. I have three beautiful little girls who all have very thin, curly hair. I do not have curly hair but you'll be surprised at how fast you learn how to deal with something when you have no choice. I recommend you call a salon that specializes in ethnic hair. I love the Pantene ProV but wouldn't recommend it on an infant. I think the Johnson baby products work well on all baby hair.

Good luck.

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