Found a cute way to style girls' hair into perfect little ringlets. Get
some plastic drinking straws, cut into 2 or 3" lengths. Take little
sections of hair and wrap them on straws (as if straws were curlers).
Secure in vertical position with bobby pins. Dry with blow dryer or air
dry. When you take them out, don't unwrap them, just pull the straw out.
Don't comb them out. You will have a head full of perfectly shaped
ringlets. Very cute:)
I tried this on my daughter who is AA/EI. Haven't tried it on my bio
daughter yet, so I don't know how straight hair would hold up.
I have 3
daughters, all biracial (very, very light skin), all sibs. All three have
I used to keep their hair cut short. It was easy to wash, easy to brush, and those masses of short curls sure looked cute - at least, to us whites it did. Then they hit school - and came home in tears every day because the other black girls taunted them about looking like boys. I could see the self-esteem indexes plummeting, so I let them grow their hair out.
The youngest (5) has silky soft hair with "white" wavy curls. She wants long, flowing tresses and is willing to put up (tearfully) with our daily working out the knots and snarls. The middle (6) has soft hair with thick curly curls. She too wanted long hair until the knots and snarls became too painful - then she begged me to cut it. Her hair definitely is not what anyone would call "black" hair (people always ask if she's from South America) and she looks great with a thick mass of curls framing her face in a halo. No one, black or white, has ever really teased her about her hair because she is not perceived by either race as being black. The oldest (8) has fine dry frizz (but not nappy) that kinks into tight Afro curls that looks BEAUTIFUL when kept short and conditioned with black hair care curl activator. But she was constantly teased and taunted about looking like a boy, so we've let it grow.
My oldest daughter and I visited a black beauty shop last year to get some ideas for hair care. Ouch, was I stepping into a place where I wasn't welcome! The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. We went home and I did a home relaxer once with her - what a mess! I followed the directions to the T, but it didn't work well; and even though I used one for children, her scalp still got chemical burns. We fooled around with hot combing her hair straight, which she grew bored with very quickly (I was glad, because hot combing dried and fried her hair horribly.) I don't do braids, twists, plaits, cornrows, etc. because the kids don't want them (direct quote from my 8 year old: "Mom, that's a black thing. I'm not black, I'm brown.") What the girls do want to do is just to pull their hair back, or up, into a puffy bun. With lots of fancy pony tail holders with bangles and baubles. EASY! The oldest is asking for spiral curls when her hair gets long enough. Her hair might even do it naturally when it grows out to shoulder length.
I've spent the last 8 years brushing, combing, and picking my way into slow insanity. Adoption classes should include a lengthy segment on hair care for AA and biracial girls - and I'm not kidding! Those of us who are white have NO IDEA what we're getting into. And it's such a deeply ingrained cultural identity issue that we NEED to know! Good intentions aren't enough.
BTW, a wonderful book to read to your daughter is "CORNROWS". I forget the author, but it might be Eloise something. Tells all about how the different braiding designs tell stories, and how the mothers and grandmothers continue oral storytelling traditions during the combing and braiding process.
For very dry and ashy skin, try Eucerin cream. It is much more effective
than the lotion and lasts longer. It takes a little longer to apply and
smooth out, but that's a nice time for soothing talk about beautiful
brown skin and lots of gentle, loving touch. Our daughter, now 19 (boy,
how time flies!), still uses it, tip to toe. Avoid anything with
perfumes (very drying).
I have followed this hair discussion with interest because I have lived it
as a child and an adult and now with my daughter. I hated the hair issue
because mine would never be long unless I did something artificial with
it. My curls are thick and tight. I used to hate them, but now I love
them ever since a dear friend found the tiny, perfectly round black
ringlets on the floor referred to them with terms of endearment.
So here is some of what I have learned . . . If you go with an Afro, i.e., natural, the easiest and cheapest way to comb the hair each day is wet. I should know, I have worn an afro for years--plus I have gone the hot comb, chemical perm, curly perm, etc. etc.
I wet my hair thoroughly each morning under the tub faucet and then wrap it with a towel. After it is no longer dripping, I put a few drops of vegetable oil in my palms, rub in both palms and then rub my palms all over my hair, pressing down to get the oil in. My scalp is sensitive to hair products, so I have been using corn oil, safflower oil, etc,. for years. It leaves my hair soft and without an odor.
I use a metal pick (used to be called a cake cutter), which I bought from Meijer. I systematically work from the ends to the roots so that I do not hurt my scalp or have too much breakage. I comb my hair straight out all the way around. Then I shape it lightly by patting it gently with my hands and then tie a scarf on it ever so lightly.
My 9 year old is bi-racial. She started wetting her hair under the tub faucet after she saw me doing it. If she wanted curls she would let it air dry. If she wanted a frizz, she would comb it after it air dried.
Now she has extensions, which grace her face nicely. I let her have a perm (kicking and screaming, I might add, because I loved her naturally loose curls), but she wanted to be like the white girls in her class. The extensions were her next request. Which have saved us countless night and mornings of arguing and crying (her) about hair. It is a bear to remove, I did it once on my own. She said she would help, but she went to sleep after a few half-hearted attempts when she found it really was work. I vowed to never do it again, but . . .
And this is just the beginning of the hair journey for her. I try to down play it by complimenting her on whateverway she does her hair unless it is absolutely wacko.
My 4yo AA daughter recently had exensions in her hair which took over 7 hrs,
as she had to take many "breaks". We had an appointment to have her hair
braided again, and she said "Mom, I will tell you when I want my hair
braided". She is very content with her short little afro, that looks
adorable. Her hair is very short and curly, yet has never been cut. I am
frequently stopped and told how "pretty" she is by people who do not have to
I see many attractive black adults with very short hair, similar to hers, and this is their choice. Personally, I do not feel the need to go with all the braids and beads, if this is what my daughter does not want right now. If she decides she wants it done again, we will do it.