Learning to love their curly hair is an ongoing battle for both mixed race girls and boys alike. And while parents may think that biracial boys are immune to the pressures of appearance and beauty, with the lack of images and representation that reflect who they are, they eventually do become affected by it.
The lack of superheroes with brown skin, advertisements and characters in books that have curly hair can cause boys to want to be ‘like everyone else’ and take the easy route to chop it all off.
Then, challenging the stereotypes around long hair and the constant battle for recognition as a boy can also put off curly biracial boys from keeping their curly locks.
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What does having curly hair teach boys about who they are?
Pile onto these challenges, the complexity of race. Curly hair is an outward sign of a mixed boys’ heritage. And while he could easily get away with cutting it all off and nobody would think the lesser of him, to rock a curly hairstyle (and a long one at that) can show the world he’s proud of who he is and the curly locks he’s inherited.
And while it’s ultimately his choice to keep or chop his biracial curls, maintaining it will often come down to us Mums.
I’ve written a lot about maintaining girls’ curly hair but biracial boy hair care is no easier than a girls’. And he may even need more attention to reassure and encourage him that keeping his curls is the best decision.
That’s why I’ve got some top tips for helping you style and maintain your curly biracial boy’s hair but also some words of wisdom to encourage him to be proud of it.
Top tips for styling mixed race biracial boy hair
1. Curly hair needs moisture to be defined so if there’s one thing you can do for your boy’s curly hair, it’s to help him develop a routine that will keep his curls moisturised and healthy. I’ve included below some affiliate links to some of my favourite products. Feel free to try some of these out or go with what works for your boy’s biracial hair.
2. Wash his hair once a week. Any more than that and you risk drying his hair out. If his hair doesn’t get greasy between washes then forgo shampoo and ‘wash’ with conditioner. It’s called co-washing and still cleanses the hair of all the impurities but has been found to keep the moisture in.
3. Curls need moisture to be defined. Leave in conditioner is your best friend.
For some of my favourite brands of curly hair shampoos and conditioners that are gentle on baby and children’s hair, click here.
4. Styling cream – Enhance your curls with a cream created for curly hair. Always wet the hair (dampen it in the morning if you need to do a daily refresh) and then apply a cucumber slice-sized amount. Rub it in from the roots and work it down to the ends. Below are two of my favourite brands for style cream.
5. Comb through with your fingers. Try to avoid using a comb or brush but if the hair is too long or too tangled, use a wide tooth comb or a tangle teaser.
6. Let his hair air dry. Apply a small amount of oil to the hair to reduce the frizz and lock in the moisture. Experiment with different ones as some will work on different types of hair than others. My favourites are macadamia nut oil and argan oil. For thicker hair, you may want to try castor oil and for thinner curls, coconut oil may work.
7. For your biracial boy’s hair care nighttime routine, make sure you either buy a satin pillowcase (which he may or may not be so pleased about) or buy him a do-rag which is pretty cool.
If you want a quick AND easy guide to caring for your son’s curls, click here so we can send you a FREE curly hair CHEATSHEET!
Now for Styling!
It’s important that your boy feels confident with his curls. Showing him images of boys and men with curly hair will encourage him to feel positive about his own curly locks. And giving him options about how to style his hair without the choice being simply a chop or long option can also help him decide.
If he has uncles, cousins or, even better, his Dad with curly hair then make sure he’s around them and knows that all kinds of men wear their hair long or short and curly.
Combatting the stereotypes around curly hair may be your biggest battle for biracial boys but don’t be discouraged. He may need time to grow into it or he may just want a break from it for awhile. The great thing about hair is that it grows back!
Biracial Boy Hair Care Do’s
- Do wash your boy’s hair with conditioner (called co-washing) or a shampoo with lo-poo (no additives, sulphates etc) and apply an intensive conditioner at least once a week.
- Do rinse your boy’s hair and apply a leave-in conditioner.
- Do use your fingers to comb through the hair. Your fingers are your comb, only comb whilst hair is wet (not half dry- wet)
- Separate hair whilst conditioner is on, using fingers as a comb run hand through hair to remove tangles and gently remove loose hair
- Do use oil to lock in the moisture (only on damp hair).
- Allow to air dry or use a diffuser hairdryer to keep curl definition
- Do put into a protective style such as cornrows to help protect the hair from damage and keep it moisturised.
- Style it. Click here for loads of ideas for mixed race boys’ hairstyles.
Biracial Boy Hair Care Don’ts
- Use a brush or comb on your hair – its fragile! Combing may pull out his hair before its time
- Comb (even with fingers) when hair is dry, it may break off his mixed hair
- Towel dry – it breaks up the curl pattern. Use a cotton t-shirt or invest in a cotton towel.
- Pull hair back with a clip or tie before it is nearly dry. It will strain and break the hair as it wants to curl when wet. Wait until the hair is dry or very nearly dry.