Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Washing biracial (or curly) hair: My how-to

My daughter has extremely curly hair. People always comment on her hair, and when we're out people ask me where she gets her curly hair (me) and if it's naturally that way (No, I permed my 1-year-old's hair... Who are these people?). The most common question I get asked in emails from blog readers is how I manage Lil' J's curls. What can I say? It's a hot topic in our lives.
I have written the same response over and over again so I figured I should just write a blog post about my routine, that way I can link people here from now on.

First off, I don't wash her hair very often. Usually once a week to every 9-10 days. I use It's a Curl which I buy from I like it because it's organic, and gentle on her head. I haven't ever died or relaxed my hair and I want to be equally as cautious with hers.

They have a very active facebook page and when I was asking for a good product the directed me to their hair type page which matches the best products for different hair types and biracial hair tips. For kids under 2, this is the best because it's so gentle. I plan to keep using it after though. Make sure you check their fan page and for deals. There's usually a coupon for 25% off. For February there's one using code "ilovecurls".

I bought the entire line (twice), It's a Curl Shampoo, Conditioner, Moisturizer and Leave in Conditioner. A long time ago I read a post by my friend Melissa and her hair washing routine for her little curly head. I couldn't find it for this post but I'm hoping she'll read this and share the link. I think our routines are pretty similar if I remember correctly.

For washing her hair and getting her curls "set" I use the shampoo and conditioner. I also use a big-tooth comb.

I've tried many variations of these steps and I think I've found what works best for her hair so hopefully this will help for many of you.
1. I wet and wash her hair with the shampoo. I don't use a ton of shampoo, just one squirt. Again, I don't shampoo it often, maybe once a week or week and a half. A lot of shampoo tends to dry her hair out more so I try not to use a lot.-Just enough to clean her hair, and rinse. Make sure you get all the shampoo out, no bubbles left.

2. With conditioner I'm very generous. This is what will get the tangles out so I use a lot and literally cake it in.

3. Comb those curls. I start with the wider-tooth part of the comb and comb through it, then switch to the other side, where the teeth are closer together to get more tangles out. This combs the conditioner through the hair too. I hang tight closer to her scalp while tugging at the ends so she doesn't feel it. She's usually playing with her toys and not minding what I do.

4. Rinse out all the conditioner.

5. Comb again with the wide-tooth end.

6. Don't towel dry or blow dry. Let your curly head run around until it's dry. This is important because a towel will frizz it up, and if they go to sleep with it damp they'll wake up with their hair sticking out and squished in weird places.

Here's a morning where I let her go to bed a little too soon before her hair was totally dry.

Here's an afternoon where I washed her hair mid-day and let it dry outside while she was playing.

Between washing sometimes I"ll use her leave-in moisturizing and conditioning products to keep the friz down and the curls cute.
Hope this helps! Any other questions? Leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you! And if you have a similar post or tips feel free to leave a link in the comments, different things work for different people.

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