Haircare of African American Babies

Updated on December 27, 2007
M.K. asks from Liverpool, NY
12 answers

This question is actually for a friend of mine, she is pregnant and the father was African American but no longer in the picture. She has concerns because she has no experience dealing with African American hair, as I know there are different ways to take care of it. Any advice on products or techniques to caring for this would be greatly appreciated. She is 8 months prego and worried about the baby's hair most of all things, but we all know what seems important when we're prego, lol!

it's a strange request, but usually this site gives me great feedback!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your tips and suggestions for products. I guess she won't have to worry about it for a while as you all say, but it is good to know and be prepared. I'm glad I have something to go back and tell her now, since I didn't have a clue either!

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answers from Rochester on

I have always used Baby Love products for my babies, you can buy the at Walgreens ( They help soften and make the hair easy to handle. Use an afro comb or a widt tooth comb and comb the hair after shampoo. Follow the instructions on the baby love packaging. It really isn't complicated. Good luck.

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answers from New York on

Well I'm assuming the baby will be bi-racial, of which I have 2. The best product I like is just coconut oil because it doesn't have any chemical products in it and I can usually find it in most stores. I put it in every morning, (a dab about the size of a nickle or quarter for a toddler or older depending how long the hair is, for infants you don't need much at all and just use a soft baby brush) and just brush it with a soft horse hair brush and the I put it in again after their bath before bed and if you have a girl you can learn to braid. It's not hard to learn. It's just important that if the hair gets to dry it will break when you brush it which is not good. Hope this helps, it will depend on your child bi-racial children can have different hair textures so just wait and see what your babies hair is like and then adjust the amount.

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answers from New York on

She should wait until her baby comes to worry about this. I say this because there is not just one type of African American hair. My daughter's (5 mos old) hair is basically straight, with some curl at the ends, but I'm sure it's going to change as everyones hair does over time. I currently brush my babies hair with a baby brush, and use a tiny bit of 100% shea butter. As the baby gets older there are many different products, including a line called Baby Love. Then when she/he gets a lot older, you may just want to go to a salon or a barber. But again, it really depends on texture and style desired.

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answers from New York on

Your friend will have to wait to see the texture of her child's hair. The baby's hair texture may be resemble the mother's texture instead of the father's. However, if the texture is more like the father's then she should keep in mind that black people, unlike white folks, have dry hair. Our hair does not produce oil like caucasion hair, so it is important to keep it moisturized. she can find a load of products in the black hair care section of most beauty supply or drug stores. as her child gets older, and she still hasn't mastered black hair care, she might want to find a place that will do it for her. try to stay away from tight braids as they are popular, but break hair at the hair line.

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answers from New York on

Hello Monica!

Your friend does not have to worry much because if she is Caucasion the baby's hair should be fine and curly. In rare cases though, the genes of the African American parent can be more prominent regarding a child's hair type. The best thing for her to do is wait. The exact hair type doesn't really kick in until the child is around 2 years old anyway.

If the hair is dry I would recommend (in the beginning) just regular baby oil. Tell her not to start using heavier products until the child is at the proper age which again is around 2 years old. There are nice hair products out there that allow the hair follicles to breathe and then there are products that are way too heavy for interracial hair textures.

Tell her NOT to use heavy grease on the hair, not ever. I would also recommend wide tooth combs to comb the hair but NO brushing because brushing actually damages the hair, especially for curlier hair types because it basicall rips the hair. My recommendations for children's curly hair types, interracial or full African American is the product line from Kid Organics. It works wonders for my child's hair. She is multi-racial but the African American gene is more prominent when it comes to her hair texture.

Kid Organics is an excellent line. I especially love their Moisturizing Detangling Lotion. Also let her know that African American hair needs a lot of moisture and it might be best for her to do her child's hair while it's wet and let it air dry instead of using a blow dryer.

I'm a former Hairdresser and Cosmetologist so if she needs any other advice regarding her child's hair or even her own feel free to let me know.

Take Care,

P.S. Kids Organics Haircare Products are normally found in Black Hair Supply Stores.

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answers from New York on

Hi I saw your post.

There are a few things you can do to care for a child with kinky hair. Here a couple of do's and don'ts. I am african-american and this what I do for myself and my daughter. Her hair is natural (no chemicals) and mine is relaxed.

Do keep it braided. This will keep it tangle-free and easy to manage.

Do keep it moisturized. I'm not talking about goo-gobs of grease. A light oil moisturizer is sufficent.

Do comb the hair out after washing. If not, it will be a tangled mess in a few hours, and definitely do not let the child go to bed with wet hair. You and her will be crying the morning!

Do use a wide tooth comb. Small tooth combs can break the hair.

Do use a HARD bristle brush. This makes a huge difference. Our hair needs a little more strength when it comes to bristles. But only when it's dry, and just to catch the frizzies around the eges.

Do TRY to learn how to cornrow. I taught myself when my daughter was about 18 months. I don't have to do it every morning, it looks neat for a few days, and it keeps it managed. I recommend waiting until the child is at least 2 years old to start braiding....but that's something else all together!

Don't use shampoo's with sodium laureth sulfate. It dries our hair out, causing more tangling and damage. Baby shampoo's usually do not have this ingredient. Secondly, products with mineral oil (aka baby oil) and petroleum (sp?) oil weigh the hair down because it "sits" on the hair. The hair does not absorb it. Try to find products with natural oils. My daughters hair didn't really need oil for a while. This was because her natural scalp oil was enough. Only when she got older did I have to use a moisturizer.

Don't wash your child's hair every single day. Wash it when it's dirty. Believe me, a child's hair isn't dirty after a day or two.

Don't PLEASE do not relax it. With practice and patience your friend WILL learn how to manage the hair. It is unnecessary to relax a child's hair at any age.

Don't let the child be ashamed of her hair! It's gorgeous and beautiful. With some practice, patient, and a little bit of know how it's a piece of cake.

P.S. your friend won't have to worry about all of this for a looonng time. But it is good to know. A child of mixed race can have bone staight hair, or very kinky hair. It just depends on nature. But, it is good to know how to care for hair, just in case and to get yourself prepared for what's in store.

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answers from New York on

I agree with waiting, you never know what type of hair the baby will have. My son (also mixed), was born with pin straight hair, and started to get curley at about 3 months. His hair is very curly now (at 2 yrs),and also very managable. I think being a boy, it's much more fuss free, and I think that's with any type of hair regardless of ethnicity.



answers from Rochester on

My little one is also mixed, so I completely understand the concern. And I agree it does depend on the texture of the babies hair. I was lucky to have a little boy, so it isn't as much of a worry for myself (and my sister is a hair dresser). However, one of my girlfriends also has two little girls that are half African American, half white and she just conditions her girls hair like crazy...(sometimes just leaving it in and not rinsing it out), she also uses a secrum (paul mitchell supper-skinny, works great...but they have many store brand ones too). She also relaxes/perms their hair, but not until they are atleast 4 years old, and this really seemed to help. Their hair is beautiful and supper soft!! Just as long as she takes care of their hair it will be fine; baby lotion will work just fine when they are infants.

Tell her good luck with the pregnancy



answers from New York on

Hello Monica,
I recently changed my profile to tap into a Community that discusses items that are more important to me and and my culture I have some advice.

First, talk to your friend and find out why before the child is even born that this is an issue. Ask her to please not start off the child's life worrying about hair and I agree with one of the responses in that ALL African American hair is not the same. Our textures and lenghts vary. If she has a boy tell her cut it! I don't know why we don't like to cut our boy babies hair. I had a friend who let her son walk around looking like Don King until he was about 3; don't do this to the child. I cut my son's hair as soon as it started becoming long and he is fine and so is his hair!

If it's a girl, her true texture as the other response stated will not come in right away. Keep her hair combed and moisturized. I love the products at Walgreen's..Kids Organics is my favorite detangler. My 4-year old daughter has two braids and I comb her hair at night and put a scarf on her head. In the morning I just take it off and go to work. I work full time in a demanding job so there is no time for hair in the morning. Please please don't make hair an issue. I have too many friends that focus on hair as soon as they meet you. It also is a bit disturbing that if your friend is non-Black that the races on the outside view us as folks with "problem hair" to the point that she is concerning herself with this before the child is born. The main difference is that people with thicker or curlier hair cannot wash it everyday since it will dry out and it does take sometime to comb if it is tangled. The hair must be conditioned and moisturized.

That's it for now.



answers from New York on

Tell your friend to relax. No way of telling what kind of hair the baby will have at this point. Besides, Black, White or Mixed doesn't matter....All baby hairs are fine and soft...a mild baby shampoo will do...soft baby brush and comb will do. Not to mention if she is going to give birth in a hospital, the nurses, her doctor will be happy to answer all her questions on baby care.



answers from New York on

Congrats to your friend on her pregnancy. :)

While I don't think it is a strange request to wonder such a thing, I do think it's quite premature and presumptuous to believe that the baby's hair will be a certain way before the baby is born. There are many different hair textures within the Black/African American community, and it can vary even more with hair of bicultural/biracial/multiracial people. Your friend will have no idea what her baby's hair will be like until he or she is born, and even then, hair texture can and sometimes does change as the baby grows.

I would advise that your friend be patient and wait for her baby's arrival before concerning herself over such a topic. Hair does not have to be such an elusive thing to get stressed out over. :-)

Best of luck to her!


answers from New York on

Hi! I have a mixed race son- I am white and my husband is African. There are lots of great products out there, but the one that I use and is natural you can buy online is called Blended Beauty. They also offer lots of support and you can ask any kind of questions the mom might have. Likely the baby's hair will be beautiful and silky till his/her baby hair falls out and may be replaced with thicker hair after that. She has nothing to worry about in the first year at least. My son's hair was fine and curly until we shaved his head after his first birthday, then it grew back thicker and somewhat less manageable but still not a big deal. Girls likely are harder unless you keep it short. Just condition more than wash, and only wash at most 2x wk!

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