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Mom Seeking Suggestions on Daughter's Hair


I would like to tap into the minds of women who have bi-racial children. My daughter’s hair is a handful, literally and figuratively speaking. I get so frustrated because her hair tangles so easily. I feel like I'm combing her hair 30-40 minutes daily which just seems like too much time out of my day (maybe I'm being selfish). My daughter’s hair isn't really thick but it is fairly thick, however, it's very curly. Does anyone know of a product or products I can apply to her hair that will tame the frizz (even better get rid of it completely nevertheless, I’ll settle for tame) allowing her hair the resistance of shriveling up into an afro. Her hair is actually past her shoulders but it's so curly I can't let her were it down because it will look unkept. I would like to be able to comb through it without a struggle. Additionally, she gets knots at the end of individual strands. Does anyone know why this happens and how I how stop this nuisance!! I always have to cut them out because it's my only way of getting rid of them. Help!! Thank you in advance.

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Hi N.,
I was wondering since you live in PDX if you have money to go to a salon that might cost more than the normal. I know that special salons will have hairdresses that are experts in dealing with all kinds of hair and they might have some great suggestions. Good luck to you.

One thing you might try is a leave in conditioner or just leaving in her regular conditioner a couple times. I have one by Aveda by called "confixor" that I really love, but if you don't want to put much $$ into it initially, try her regular and see if that helps. Also, try a pick instead of a comb.

HI N., My daughter have a frizzy hair too but actually hair hair is much better now . I actually tried to use different kinds of oil but she hates the smell and since she is 13ys now she started to comb her hair after each shower and used some softning haircreams .

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Curly hair is hard, because 1) it's relatively rare wavy hair abounds though, & 2) there are so many different types.

It can be broken into 2 different main categories a) African/Australian & b)Caucasian. Biracial is even harder, because the hair alleles blend. Usually there is a tendency toward one or another (though almost never a complete "fix" on one side of the genetic background). What I would do would be to try both "types" of hair care, and see what works best. That's what we've done with some of our friend's kids...we form kind of a council and bring hair products and test out methods to see what kind of hair each girl's got! :)

I'm scottish (and have WILDLY curly scottish hair), and spent kindergarten and 1st grade in South Carolina. My hair was/is curly enough to hold cornrows...and BOY was that a blessing...my mother INSISTED on brushing my hair every morning otherwise, even though that is probably the single worst thing you can do...with caucasian curly hair.

I'll give you a couple examples as to the differences, and then tell you what I've done or do with mine. I would also suggest hitting up your in-laws (if your daughter is their grandchild). While many of my friends are black, and we laugh like crazy over our hair, there are a few key differences between us.

1) You CAN comb african curls when dry, you CANNOT comb/brush caucasian curls. The type and structure of the curl is different. Although I can literally 'fro my hair out (by brushing it dry), it's not kinky within the curl. The curls are tiny though, about the diameter of my pinky unless I've gotten them relaxed professionally, and then the diameter widens to about and inch.

2) You CAN wash caucasian curls everyday, you CANNOT wash african/aust hair everyday...maybe once a week.

3) There's already been some great advice if your daughters hair leans toward being more African/Australian...so I won't even go into that here...especially since I'm already writing a book below. ;)

Here's my super-cheap/super simple method I use on my hair. It's not what I prefer...but I'll list that afterward. Try it on your daughter. If it works, she lends toward more caucasian, if it doesn't she leans more the other way.

- shower
- shampoo (very little)
- rinse
- conditioner (a ton)
- brush/comb hair with conditioner in it
- rinse
- squeeze excess h2o out in the shower DO NOT TOWEL DRY
- squeeze gel into palm of hand
(for shoulder length hair make a spiral with the gel that completely covers the palm of her hand so that no skin is showing. I know it sounds like a lot for people who have straight hair, but believe me, every strand of hair has to be saturated in it. The little quarter sized dabs I use when I blow my hair straight would be USELESS when I let my hair go curly. Whole honking handfulls of gel. I go through about a bottle per week if I use it every day.)
- Smear it over the top layer and scrunch, crunch it in. DO NOT comb or brush in. Kind of push hair into the way you would like it to dry.
- Hair can be piled (not pulled) into a ponytail to keep it from getting other things wet. When it starts feeling dry and "crunchy" take it down from the ponytail and let it finish air drying.
- Gel to use for this method : LA Looks/or LA Natural SUPER/orMEGA/or EXTREME....NOT the one for curly hair. The curly hair one is a joke.
- If you do this at night, try putting in a low ponytail, separating in half, braiding each half, twist the braids around in a bun, bobbypin in place, put a 'do-rag on, and then take the whole thing down the next morning. Again, and always, DO NOT BRUSH...just sort of shake out.

I use the above method when I'm on a tight budget. Here's what I do if I'm not:

- Get my hair relaxed every 2 mo. (150 a pop)
- Use Bumble&Bumble "Get Straight" (it doesn't, but makes the curls silky instead of stiff) Gel, and Bumble&Bumble grooming cream...both when wet and then just more grooming cream when I take it down from being piled on top of my head (25 bucks EACH...so 50 bucks every week and a half :P)
- You can do WAY more things with the curls using expensive gel (like combing into a ponytail so that when you take it down you've got big wavy curls around your face, or being able to run your fingers through it when it dries...heavenly.), but the cheap method has pretty results...and since the cheap method takes about 4 times longer to dry (the gels fault), it's great for summertime.)

Whew....If you're interested in learning how to blow her hair out so that it's straight, message me....I think I've hit my limit on length for today.

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Hi N.,
I'm mixed and I have completely uncontrollable curls. My hair is thick and curly and easily takes me a good 4 hours to straighten on my own. That being said, I do go curly in the summer just for the simplicity. I have found that shampoo and conditioners that are made for other types of hair do not provide the oils and minerals that my hair needs. Bi-racial women and women of color in general do need the extra oils and minerals that most women try to wash out everyday. So, part of the issue might be that you are washing or conditioning her hair everyday and that will dry it out and make it more difficult to deal with. She can go upwards of 4-5 days without washing it if you do what you need to do on a daily basis. Start out by doing a good shampoo and conditioning sesion: 2-3 washes to get all the tangles and grime out and 1-2 conditions and leave the conditioner on for 5 or so minutes. Longer if you want to. Start the shower or bath out with the hair and then wash the body, play do whatever is in your usual bath routine. When out have her towel dry her hair and let it air dry for about 10-15 minutes (get dressed, have breakfast or a snack or whatever, brush teeth, watch a little T.V. or color or something to fill the time). You can either brush it or not...I brush it although I don't believe that is good for the hair, but it works for me. After that 10-15 minutes braid her hair before bed or school, or whatever the day has in store for her. This is going to work best if done at night...at least that's what I do. Invest in a really good shower cap or 2 or 3 or however many you may need. I have a tendancy to just buy them in bulk. I rip them or my son hides them or something! Also get a wrap of some sort (Sally's has them) and wrap her hair at night or have her sleep with the shower cap on or in the braid (start the braid low and only use a rubber band at the very end). :) Also get a good wide tooth comb. Anyway, in the morning have her shower or get ready and use a daily conditioning treatment. Don't pull on the hair just work it in nicely at the scalp and I usually put a little on the ends as well. Now this will usually help to tame the curls or at least make them a little more managable. In a perfect world she'd look like a movie star everyday! And would never need to worry about frizz. :) If she will sleep with the braid that is best (at least for me it easily saves me about 15-20 minutes in the morning getting ready) but if not a low not too tight pony tail (you don't want her to wake up with a headache or knot in her head or neck) can help move the morning along too. Use a wide tooth comb when combing it and try not to style it when it is totally dry. Anyway, here a few of the different products that I like and rotate in my hair care routine:

1) Deva Curl B'Leave-In (this is a salon brand only so that may be out of the question depending on your financial situation...)
2) Luster's Pink Oil Moisturizer (the bright pink bottle in the hair product section...some Targets have an ethnic hair care section and they usually have this brand if they have that section, you can also get it at Sally Beauty Supply and they are open to the public and it's cheaper than anywhere else)
3)Silk Elements Revive & Restore (also at Sally's...not at Target that I have found, this is for anti-breakage and you can use just a little at the ends of the curls and the scalp to help keep it a little less frizzy)
4) Silk Elements Extra Dry Hair (Sally's again...I'm a big fan of the Silk Elements and Sally's, this one is a good leave in with lots of good vitamin's for the hair and it is really good for dry hair)

Another suggestion is to find a good hair dresser for her. They can always help. They have access to lots of the really good curl tamers and de-frizzers. They can also show you how to work with her hair and what products will be best. I live in Clackamas and I go over to NE Portland to get my hair done. You can call Geneva's or Nasreen's. They both are very good and have very talented hairdressers. There are a ton of places in the NE Portland area that you can go too. I'm just more familiar with those two places. You might even talk to other friends or relatives that may be able to help also. I do relax my hair, but that is spendy too and I wouldn't suggest starting that until your daughter is much older. No need to expose her to those chemicals if you don't need to. Silk Elements and Black & Lovely have a hair care line for the little girls, but again there are chemicals and I'm not really a fan of using them on the little ones. Feel free to email me if you want ____@____.com and I have a ton more ideas. I just wrote a book and don't want to take up too much of your time. Sorry this was so long...I know my mom struggled with my hair when I was little and she didn't have anyone to ask about it. I'm not a hairdresser either just so you know, but this is what works for me. I hope some or all of this helps. Good luck and happy curls. Just think...one of these days she will be old enough to do it all on her own. Until then think of it as added bonding time and treasure the fact that she does still need you right now.

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I myself am bi-racial and there really is no getting around the fact that you'll have to spend some time brushing her hair. But, it doesn't have to be all-consuming. There is a lot of trail and error when finding products that work best (for you and your daughter), because even among curly hair there's a variety of textures. But I've found that most moisturizing formulas (right off the supermarket shelf) are perfectly fine. Here's what I do to maintain my hair:

*Even though stylists say not to brush hair when wet, I won't brush it any other way! With a good conditioner you can minimize damage, but there's no better way to tame frizz.

*I only wash my hair a couple times a week (unless I get dirty and it needs it more). I rinse it out every shower, but I don't apply shampoo every time. Even a moisturizing shampoo can strip the natural moisture in the hair, which no product can replace.

*I leave a tiny bit of conditioner in my hair to make brushing smoother and faster. I also add a leave-in conditioner that's light and won't weight down the curls or leave my hair greasy-feeling. I use spray gel (not hairspray, that leaves it crunch) to keep down the little fly-away curls at the front of my face or to help the curls keep their shape if I'm wearing it down.

*I keep it pulled back when active or sleeping to prevent tangles and to keep it looking neat. This will also prevent those tiny knots at the ends of the hair (I know exactly what you're talking about).

That's about it. I wasn't able to wear my hair down without looking like a mess until I was a teenager. I tried all the expensive biracial systems and products, relaxers, too. But eventually I just had to come to terms with my hair and embrace it. Try not to make your daughter feel bad about her hair (not that you'd mean to, of course). I still remember my mother's frustration until she found what worked and it made me feel bad about my hair for years.

Take care and I hope you find something that works!

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I am not bi-racial, but I have curly hair--curly-and you should have seen my dad's! But I can speak to the curly mess stuff. You need to not fight her hair, she probably knows that you see her hair as a "mess" and that you regret spending time on it.

Why don't you spend some mommy and me time and take her to a beauty shop that caters to black women and have her done in corn rows? They are beautiful and last a long time. You can spend time ahead look at picture of girls and she can see some examples so she has time to build an opinion. It would be something loveing to do between you and your daughter.

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There is a salon in NYC called Ouidad that specializes in curly hair. Whenever the beauty mags have articles on curly hair, they quote Ouidad and the number 1 thing they always say about curly hair is: do NOT brush it. Once it's dry, do not brush it, play with it or even touch it as much as possible. My daughter inherited my curly-Q hair and I wish I had taken this advice sooner.

Just condition it well at bath and comb it with a large tooth comb when completely wet. Use any of the great products recommended for african-american hair above. (I use leave in conditioner once a week, and a curling cream like curls rock by bedhead on other days, but our hair is curly/fine not curly /thick.) scrunch and LEAVE it. DO NOT BRUSH. Brushing ruins the natural curls and creates huge frizz, as you have discovered. The next morning just pull it up to a ponytail (or multiple ponytails) as gently as you can with your hands, and that's it. Don't worry about the knots. Leave 'em alone. I bet Ouidad.com has more info on this too.

good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

One thing you might try is a leave in conditioner or just leaving in her regular conditioner a couple times. I have one by Aveda by called "confixor" that I really love, but if you don't want to put much $$ into it initially, try her regular and see if that helps. Also, try a pick instead of a comb.

Wash with a olive oil shampoo. Don't wash everyday.

I know I shouldn't be responding to this request because I have wavy asian hair which is probably the opposite of your daughter's hair, BUT I was just curious to see if Infusium 23 (leave in treatment) would work on her hair. It's been around for at least 25 years (first time I used it) and nothing I have ever tried made my toughest tangles and knots go away so easily and nicely. (Funny enough, I've always had a problem with my hair being frizzy.) It smells great, and makes hair silky and soft. It is very watery and you put it in wet and leave it there. It's only about $6.50 for a medium bottle so you might give it a try. I know they have it on Amazon. I don't know why reading your request just made Infusium jump out of my head -- I haven't used it in a while, because I just wash my hair less (once or twice a week at most) but I would bet anything it would help. They also have a "Frizz-ology" version you might want to check out but I've heard the original version is just as effective.

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