Curly hair, it comes in all different shapes and sizes and after having my daughter, I honestly did not know what to expect regarding hair care. I had never dealt with mixed race curly hair before!
Maya had straight hair for moooonths and I was scared since I was clueless when it came to any hair type other than my own.
As time went on, her hair remained straight and thin! I started to panic; but with a bit of reading and reassurance from my family, I had faith in her future curls.
Maya is mixed with Japanese and both her father and myself have thick hair so it was only a matter of time before that started to set in right?
As a mixed baby, there was no telling what her curls were going to be from such a young age. Mixed race curly hair can actually take a while to come in and honestly before I knew it, my baby had an afro. Phew!
How often do I wash her hair?
There has always been a debate in my mind as to whether I should wash Maya’s hair often or not. As a black woman with type 4 hair, I am used to washing my hair every week or 2. Maya’s dad was insistent that since she’s half Japanese, I should use less product in her hair and wash it more often.
Honestly I was STUCK.
I tried washing it nearly everyday and girrrrl, her hair was DRY! So it was back to the drawing board for me.
Seeing her curly hair, my first instinct was to wash once a week and apply the product on thiccccck– like mine. Through plenty of trial and error, I have now come to the conclusion that I will wash her hair once a week at most. Once every fortnight was probably fine too but ya know how messy kids can be!
Washing a toddlers hair may be a battle for some parents… well it can be for me at least. I am almost certain that every time I bring the shower-head anywhere near Maya’s head, her ‘fright or flight’ is instantly triggered. That girl aint having it and to be honest, I don’t blame her.
Now that in combination with the process of caring for curly hair can be exhausting for any parent, but once you get into a solid routine, the time will fly right by.
So enough of the chit-chat, here is Maya’s washday routine. I hope it will inspire you all!
The products I use:
I have used L’Oreal Kids Extra Gentle Shampoo in the past but we now use the Just For Me Curl Peace Ultimate Detangling Shampoo. This shampoo smells amazing and is perfect for getting the initial tangles out of her hair!
Previously, I had been using the shea moisture kids conditioner to condition Maya’s hair. Don’t get me wrong, It was good! Buuuut the moment that ran out, I had to improvise.
As we are all painfully stuck in quarantine, that means there are no black hair shops open and buying shea moisture on Amazon was probably going to cost me my entire life savings! (Idek where they get their prices from). Sooooo I decided to try and use the OGX Argan Oil Conditioner as I had that to hand. Let me tell you, this was the biggest blessing in disguise because those tangles were GONE!
2021 UPDATE: After a but of reading, I learnt that adult products can be a little too harsh for kid’s hair! So we now use Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Girls Super Softening Conditioner. I nearly had a heart attack when I thought it was sold out at the hair shop because this conditioner is the one! it leaves her hair soooo soft and so shiny- perfect for kids with drier hair!
When it comes to styling products for mixed kids, hair shops have such a wide variety to choose from!!
I live by the LOC method when it comes to styling Maya’s high porosity hair. It is vital to follow these steps to ensure maximum hydration and great results.
Cream: Due to her hair texture, I chose to use something lighter than a heavy cream at this stage. In the past I have used Creme of Nature’s Curl and Hold Custard. This is a product I bought for myself but it works much better in Maya’s hair as it always leaves her curls looking defined and moisturised.
Nowadays, we use a Curly Chic Mixed Texture HairCare Curling Creme.
If you don’t know what the LOC method is, I suggest you read this for more information and trust me when I say it’s definitely a game changer for curly hair.
So let’s get to it….
The Washday Routine
Step 1: wet hair and apply shampoo
I wet her hair completely and lather the shampoo. I make sure to focus on massaging her scalp thoroughly to release any built up oils and products from during the week.
When washing Maya’s hair, I usually try and avoid using the shower head until the very last stage as she hates it! I actually use her wash cloth or sponge to squeeze water onto her head and repeat until her hair is fully drenched.
Now, although this may sound time consuming, it has been the only gentle way I can wet her hair without her freaking tf out. As Maya’s hair is short, I can complete this step without wanting to chop my arms off (Which is a lovely bonus if you ask me lol)! But, if your child has longer hair and is equally as scared of the shower head of doom, I’d recommend you use a jug, trust me.
Step 2: conditioner
Next I apply a decent amount of conditioner and leave it in for a few minutes so her hair can soak up all that moisture. Simple as that really!
Step 3: detangle and rinse
At this point I get out the Denman brush and brush through her hair. As well as detangling, I am also making sure to smooth the conditioner through each and every strand. Look how different her hair looks!
Because of how short Maya’s hair is, I make sure to wash out the conditioner thoroughly to avoid unnecessary extra buildup.
Moisturising and Styling For Babies With Mixed Race Curly Hair
I cannot lie, I started out as a complete novice when it came to styling Maya’s hair. Most people know her to just rock her fro at most times and what a cute lil fro it is.
I have tried clips, frilly hairbands, bows, you name it- most of them don’t even end up staying in her hair for long… before she yanks them out. Maya has had a lot of different hairstyles throughout her single year of life and much of this was due to me being experimental but her little curly fro will always be my favourite. It fascinates me how her hair will go from manic dry afro to moisturised ringlets in a matter of minutes- with a bit of water and product of course.
Step 4: apply products simultaneously
As I mentioned earlier, I use the LOC method in her hair and it works very well. I start with a leave in conditioner to add some extra moisture, an oil to lock in that moisture and a cream/custard to style.
Step 5- style hair (optional) and air-dry
I have recently been braiding Maya’s hair in 2 or 3 French braids as it is getting longer. Any other time I would just leave her hair out and allow her curls to tighten throughout the night. This is completely fine!
You can usually tell what kind of night she’s had after a wash day as she would either wake up with defined curls or a birds nest (Kinda like me after a wild night LOL). If I keep her hair in braids it’s less likely to look like she fought with the covers all night. (I should probably invest in a mini satin bonnet… how cute would that be!?)
Re-styling throughout the week:
Maya’s hair is prone to getting dry quick so the key is moisture moisture moisture! To hydrate Maya’s hair during the week I use a bit of water and leave in to give those curls a drink. I also spray her scalp with a bit of oil as it can get quite flaky.
I usually use a wide tooth comb or just my fingers to lightly detangle and soon enough, those curls will be back to their old selves again.
I hope this post has shone a light at the end of the tunnel for any parents struggling with keeping a routine for their kids with mixed race curly hair.
How do you wash your kid’s hair? Will you be trying my method? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
(This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks.)