Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Any white moms nervous about black hair care?

I am! I have straight blond hair that I wash and drag a comb through and that's it. Actually, I don't even know how to fix any type of hair! I'm clueless! I never learned how to braid hair well, or do French twists or any type of "styles". One time I tried blow drying my hair with one of those round brushes and ended up having to cut a large chunk of hair out after it got hopelessly twisted around the brush! Since then it's been "what's the easiest and fastest" for my hair.

I know that it's really important for me to learn how to do Charlie's hair in a way that both looks good, and protects it from breakage. I've been reading up a lot on the topic and I'm dedicated to being very good at this! From reading up on blogs and talking to friends, I know that well taken care of hair in the African American community is a sign of self-respect and pride, and messy hair is the opposite. If a child is seen running around with unkempt hair, mom gets the blame. There is no way I want my mom-hood to be judged based on Charlie's hair not looking great! I have a couple of offers from my colleagues to give me some lessons and I'm going to take them up on it. Of course, I also want her to look cute with braids, puffs, twirls, beads.... I'm thinking I'll ask at a salon if someone might be willing to give me some lessons once Charlie arrives. At least teach me which products are good for her type of hair, which I won't know until she gets here. Checking out the products at the drug store is overwhelming to say the least. There must be about 40 different types of moisturizers alone, and that's not even counting the relaxers, perms, and other products I have no clue how to use!
I'll get it, though. I will get it.

In my research so far, I came across this blurb. I wish I could see this movie!

"When Chris Rock’s daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl's head! Director Jeff Stilson’s camera followed the funnyman, and the result is Good Hair, a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African American hair culture. An exposĂ© of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, Good Hair visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of black people. Celebrities such as Ice-T, Kerry Washington, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven SymonĂ©, Maya Angelou, and Reverend Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter’s question. What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn’t always benefit the black community and little Lola’s question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside. "

5 points for helpful hints! Per person.


Charmaine said...

SO far no takers,eh? Well this can be a loaded topic. I read one blog where white parents had there twins in dread locks and all hell broke loose. Locks are a spiritual thing not a style thing but nobody told those parents. So I'll give you a tip. Don't use a perm or any type of product on your daughter's hair that is harsh or does a permanent effect, like a perm. That should be something she does when she's old enough to decide for herself. Sometimes you see little girls with perms and it looks cute but it ruins their hair and sometimes that hair never grow back. What kind of contest is this that you are giving points for?

Take care


Michelle J said...

I'm so glad you posted this because I've thought about it too! As a white person, how in the world would you knwo how to care for her hair? I'd be nervous too! I'm so glad you have people who are happy to help teach you how to give proper care to Charlie's hair. My only advice and consider the source..just a white chick with no to keep her hair as natural as possible. I wouldn't want her to see herself in need of fixing. She should love her unique traits and that includes hair type.

Tami said...

Ahhh, the hair care topic. Ok, my random thoughts in no particular order. Please don't put a bunch of beads in Charlie's head. We tend to associate ghetto with a lot of beads and never ever use yarn or colored hair. Always remember less is more. Trust me, we just want to make sure our children's hair is nice and neat, we don't spend hours thinking how many hairstyles can we come up with for her today, how many braids or puffs...don't over think it. Never comb her curls dry unless you plan on braiding them, conditioner is your bestfriend...comb then. Depending on hair texture try Johnson's no more tears before braiding for detangling or a mixture of conditioner and water. The products you use will be based on your daughters hair. Don't even think about locs. Don't wash hair everyday like you do yours...too drying. Never use the words "good hair". Well...those are my random thoughts maybe others will contribute with better thoughts than mine.

Queen Diva said...


A child's hair in it's natural state is so beautiful. I have seen little girls with naturally curly hair of all types who look absolutely adorable. Children have to depend upon you (the parent) to make the decision on what to do with their hair, since many cannot care for their own hair at an early age. The absolute best thing you can do for your child is to keep her hair in it's natural state for as long as possible . Because in it's natural state, your child's hair has elasticity and will remain healthy as long as you help them care for it properly.

Also, I totally agree with Tami. NEVER, NEVER put beads in your child’s hair. That is so “Ghetto.”


Angela said...

Hey girl,

I didn't want to go there because this topic has caused a lot of drama. OMG!

I think you're going to do great because you're asking for help.

Angela said...

I want points too. lol.

1. Use a wide tooth flexible for comb for thicker curly hair.

2. Start detangling her hair by combing at the base of the hair shaft, then working your way out. It won't hurt as badly.

TIP: Hold the section of hair your combing with your free hand to prevent pulling her scalp. You won't hurt her like this, epecially for areas that are a little more curly.

3. Purchase moisturizer and detangling shampoos and conditioners, not the oil free products.

4. You may only need to shampoo her hair once a week to prevent further dryness because our natural scalp oil doesn't travel down the curly hair shaft like straight hair.

5. I am impressed with Carol's Daughter even though it's very mainstream and sold in department stores. The products are natural, and I hear they last a long time.

5. Charlie may have more than one hair texture as well. Some areas may be curlier than others.

Adopting1Soon said...

Points coming up!
Those are some great tips that I haven't read elsewhere.
Thank you!

Tami said...

Angela does have good points. Make sure the products don't have alcohol in them whatever you use. I also heard Lush products are good but I can't vouch for them.

Justina,/DoveiLibri said...

Laughing so hard that you should think of this ... a problem I ran into and didn't expect while my goddaughter stays with us! It was the funniest thing when I took out the braids her mom had left her in, but were looking pretty awful after a week of pool, beach and assorted showers, baths, etc. Little did I know how that hair of hers would PUFF up! Once I took her to work, and the Haitian ladies all made such a fuss over her and took right over with her hair. Another time, I just conditioned, conditioned, conditioned and slicked it back into two beautifully round little puffs and brought her to CVS and she bought a set of little shiny barrettes and put them in the sides where I had pulled the hair back ... not only neat, but pretty, too! that is actually the preferred method when she visits now. She starts her week off with braids and twists, ends up with one or two puffs or just a pony tail, but well conditioned and oiled.

ShanSoPink said...

Everyone gave really good advice.

PLEASE do NOT relax her hair! Putting a relaxer will probably make it easier to manange and people especially black people even hair stylists will try to get you to relax it but please don't. Children get those things and all their hair ends up breaking off!

Try detangling w/conditioner when the hair is wet with a large tooth comb from the botttom up to the roots.

Def dont overdo the braids. You may want to buy her a satin scarf to protect her hairstyles.

Black hair styles are usually meant to be worn for days so you'll want to keep it neat.

Check out some of these hair blogs for really great advice.

most of those are people who use relaxers but they have good info for natural heads too

also some good advice--just because products are in the "ethnic or black" hair care section don't mean they are good for black hair :)

good luck with everything
I'd love to give you some specific recommendations if u need them later!

Anonymous said...

What ever you do, don't put relaxers, perm, or any chemical treatment in Charlie's hair. The only thing those products will do is damage and dry out the hair. Ethopian's have biracial type of hair it's not as kinky as an AA but not as straight as a C. I believe Carol Daughters have good hair products for your daughters hair.Since she is still a baby maybe Johnson and Johnson shampoo and a conditioner will be fine.Don't feel like you need to buy a whole bunch of hair product for your child's hair,shampoo,conditioner, and a detangler/moisturizer will be fine. In addition follow some of Tami tips...there are great. Good luck with your daughters'll be fine

lynn in SD said...

Maybe I'm shallow, but this is one of the things that I thought of right away when we started discussing African adoption. One of my friends who has 4 AA sisters told me I have to have a hot comb. (Had to Google it - I think I'd be too scared to use it). My plan is to find a stylist who works with "black" hair - you're never to young to get a trip to the salon, in my opinion. And I am definitely not going to go with chemical straighteners - too many horror stories from my friends who wanted a sleek Michelle Obama look & ended up with brittle fright wigs.