Biracial hair care

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CARING FOR CURLY BIRACIAL HAIR

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I swore I’d never be that Mum. The white mum whose kids’ biracial hair looks like she has no clue.  And her only attempt at ‘doing’ her mixed kid’s hair is to brush it– straight down.

Biracial Hair Care

Three mixed daughters later and all three sporting completely unique, textured biracial hair, I quickly learned that wash, brush-and-go would not work with my girls’ curly biracial hair types.

A mountain of research, plenty of questions to friends and family and a motto to ‘learn as we go’ has gotten us far.

Now, with a 3 step routine every morning with each daughter, it’s gotten slightly easier but no less complicated.

The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Curly Biracial Hair

So, I feel your pain. Not the pain at having curly hair. Truly, I love their curls. I love how it looks, how it feels and most of all that it’s a part of their biracial identity- where they come from.

I love that each one is unique in how her hair falls- a lesson I am constantly reinforcing. Curls are amazing.

But what I didn’t love when I first stared at my daughter’s curls was how little I knew about how to care for it.

I have straight hair and before having biracial kids, I’d never heard of co-washing.  I could never imagine sleeping on satin pillowcases, and putting ‘oil’ in my already oily hair was the last thing from my mind.

So I’ve had to do my homework and then some.

Is there a one-size fits all solution?

If you love your mixed kids, you’ll only want the best and time is nothing when it comes to doing it right. We’ve now gotten it down to a 20 minute routine (for all 3), depending on how cooperative my girls are and the hairstyle they choose. (I definitely hated braids in the beginning but am now getting better and faster at it).

Having said that, there is no ‘bible’ to styling biracial hair.  Hair is different but add to that: curls that fall, coil, and frizz in different patterns and directions. That said, there are helpful tips that will get you on the journey faster than if you had to research it all yourself.

From identifying their hair texture, using the right tools on their hair, wash routines and moisturising. Getting these right can play a big part in how healthy your biracial child’s hair will look.

So, here it is. The ultimate guide to get you styling and caring for your child’s biracial hair. Complete with helpful curly tips, the best biracial hair websites, mixed race hair tutorials from the experts and helpful information to identify the best curly biracial hair products for your curly kids hair care routine.

  1. Figure out their biracial hair texture.

I figured out early on there is a whole school of thought about curly girl hair type which, once identified, can open up all sorts of doors in terms of product recommendations and what would likely work on your biracial hair.

Porosity, thickness, coil type and more play into this. And once you can identify these, you will go onto getting some products recommended for you based on their curl type. So, to identify your biracial kids curl type, check out these sites: 

2. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise…

One of the first things I learned about curly hair is that it gets dry. Dry and then frizzy. Curly hair needs moisture. And lots of it if you want to achieve the shiny, defined curls that most will crave. 

3. Follow a 3 step routine

That means following  a 3 step daily routine where you detangle soaking wet hair (don’t apply moisturiser to dry or just damp hair) and allow to air dry.

  1. First, spray the hair with water and possibly a detangling spray with moisturiser and comb it out (with a wide tooth comb- the wider the space between the teeth, the better). Never, ever try combing or detangling dry hair. It will result in hair breakage and stress on the hair follicles. 
  2. Next, apply a daily conditioner, gel, custard or curl activating creme (see product recommendations here). ***Be generous with the amount of product that you apply. Do not follow the quarter size amount that often works with straight hair. Apply generously, coating the hair, section by section. (Click here for a step by step process here by a curly expert hair stylist). Work in sections, gently combing out the knots from the bottom up, holding the hair near the scalp to minimise pain. Work through the hair, tying up each section and moving onto the next.

4. Applying Oil 

Finally, apply an oil. The amount of oil will depend on the hair. If the hair is fine and looser curls, a lighter oil may be better to just control the frizziness. If the hair is thicker and tighter curls (see my DD2 above), she may need more oil to achieve the shine and really hydrate the curls so they are defined and healthy. I personally love argan oil, shea butter oil and macademia nut oil. I wouldn’t recommend coconut oil but that’s just because it didn’t work for my girls hair. Others swear by it. I have tried a lot and it may be a trial and error process for you and your little ones. There are many out there which are incredibly expensive. You don’t have to go that route but do look for one that has pure ingredients. 

3. Washing biracial hair

First and foremost, do NOT wash everyday. Washing the hair strips curly hair of its natural oils and it will end up looking dry, dull, frizzy and unhealthy. This is the most common mistake most Mums and Dads do with their mixed kids’ curly hair.

Start with washing once a week and increase or decrease as neccessary. Ie. in winter, you may wish to wash less frequently, in summer, more frequently because of sweating etc.

Choose a shampoo that does not contain alchohol, and that is suitable for curly hair (as these often contain more oil based agents to moisturise as it cleanses). 

4. Drying biracial hair

Use a cotton towel to blot dry, never rub the hair. It will result in tangles and frizz. Then allow it to air dry if possible. Using a lot of heat on the hair, such as a hair dryer can also cause heat damage and dries out the hair. You will need to apply a heat protectant product to provide extra moisture if you need to blowdry the hair. 

4. Conditioning the hair

Apply conditioner generously. This is so, so important. Some curly experts even recommend skipping shampoo completely and washing with conditioner (a process called co-washing). I personally use shampoo  because I believe there are enough products out there nowadays that are gentle on the hair. Saying that though, applying a deep hydrating leave-in conditioner then becomes that much more important. 

Once a month, apply a deep conditioner and leave it in the hair for at least 30 minutes. You can even put on a shower cap to encourage more conditioning for the hair. You’ll notice a big difference if you can do this consistently. 

The best part about this is that there are a lot of resources for you to read more about routines and product recommendations. I’ve listed a few sites below that I would recommend. 

5. Get mixed hair care tips! 

I’ve gotten so many helpful tips from blogs and articles I’ve read online about biracial hair care. From co-washing to leave-in conditioner, to wetting my daughter’s hair every morning to activate the curls, start with these and you’ll feel like an expert in no time. The best part is that they’re not written for hair experts but cover the basics and give real, non-judgemental advice. 

6. Follow naturally curly hair blogs.

There are so many out there! With so many helpful articles, blogs, styles and tips for toddlers, girls’, boys’, long, short and all kinds of curly hair. Here are the best I’ve come across: 

7. Styling your child’s biracial hair

There are lots of hair styles out there, even easy ones that you can start out with. I’ve compiled a gallery of easy biracial girls (and boys) photos of easy-to-do biracial hairstyles.

Biracial Hair

Bound hairstyles like ponytails, braids and twists are great and are a go-to for most curly kids’ Mums. They usually keep for more than a day or two and can protect the hair from tangles saving you time detangling everyday.

Be careful that you don’t pull too tight or do the same style repetitively as it can cause strain on the hair follicles and cause hair loss over time. Check the hair line in front to see if you notice any bumps which is a sign of pulling too hard.

Also, try not to use rubber bands or even hair bands that have metal on them. Use a cloth hair band ideally or a scrunchie if it holds it in place.

8.  Get a good sleep routine

Before your kids go to sleep, take out their tight hair bands and styles. Plait the hair but try not to use any hair bands or braid it too tightly. Use a satin pillowcase or a satin nylon sleep cap to keep moisture in their hair. Or to reduce friction if they do have a protective style.

9. Use YouTube for hair tutorials! 

If you’re more visual and crave that hands-on lesson, try these Youtube channels. (And of course there’s a load more links on the right side for you to browse: 

10. Try different mixed hair care products. 

Although we all wish it was just about the amount of research you do that equals success, it is actually about trying, trying and trying more… And, then, just because it works on one biracial child’s hair, it may be different for your other child.

Because biracial kids curly hair care will depend on the season. The weather, the thickness, length and curl size of each hair type- not just their hair texture. For reviews and recommendations for different curly girl hair products, go to:

11.  Ask around. 

Nothing beats a recommendation from a friend or someone you know. Make sure every time you see another child with curly hair and you like what you see, ask the Mum or Dad what their hair regime is. Mums love talking about curly hair as do curly haired girls themselves I’m learning!

Particularly if the child has hair similar to your ds or dd, make sure you ask them what products they use, what kinds of hair styles they do and what hair salon they go to. (It’s not every black hairstylist that can do mixed curly hair and the same goes for upmarket European hair salons- they may be expensive but curly hair has its own rhythm and texture).

12. Finally, and most importantly: Embrace the curls!

“I embrace my kids’ curls through praise and curly hair education. It is important to me that they love their hair. So I constantly tell them how beautiful and amazing it is. I never speak negatively about their curls or allow myself to show any frustration when I’m doing their hair.

I make it a point to teach them about the products I’m using and why I am using them.  As well I am letting them help me add their conditioner and styling products in anticipation of them one day managing their curls by themselves.” – See more at: Curly Genes: Meet Two Moms Who Embrace Their Kids’ Curls

13. Do’s and Don’ts

Before you go, click on the below link to get a free full page printable with all the do’s and don’ts you need to get styling. With helpful tips, absolute no-nos and essential tools, you’ll be well on your way.

curly hair cheatsheet
GET YOUR FREE CURLY HAIR CHEATSHEET NOW!

curly mixed race hairstyles

My Mixed Race Curly Hair RoutineHow to Teach girls to love their curly hair

11 thoughts on “THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CARING FOR CURLY BIRACIAL HAIR”

  1. Hey there, could do with some help here!! I am a white woman with very straight fine texture hair and I have 2 mixed race sons both with very different hair types- same parents, just an eclectic mix of their father’s and my hair types. My eldest has very tight curls but soft fine texture to his hair and my youngest has bigger curls with much more lift to it and a thicker, more course hair. So far we’ve been OK as I have managed to keep their hair healthy with oils, both for their hair and scalp, and regular but infrequent washing and lots of conditioning and combing. We live in a small market town that is predominantly white, it is becoming more multi cultural but not fast enough, and while they see their father regularly we don’t really know that part of their family, so the 2 aunts and several cousins and older sister that would he perfect to help are not accessible!! So I am relegated to searching online hoping strangers can help me manage my children’s hair!! As mother’s, as much as we hate to admit to not being able to provide one of our children’s basic needs, like haircare, I actually can’t!! I would love some advice mcxx

    1. Hi Nicola, first off, you’re in the right place. As long as you’re looking for tips and advice, you’re always going to get better. While all of us are learning as we go, it does help to share things we’ve learned along the way. It sounds like your hair routine has been ok in that you know not to wash too frequently and moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. I would check out my post that identifies hair types:https://mixedracefamily.com/2018/02/18/find-products-resources-mixed-race-hair-type/. Then, click on the link that takes you to a page where you can get tips for exactly your child’s curl pattern and hair texture. Try co-washing with a deep conditioner to keep it moisturised, finger comb it instead of trying to brush it and put it into protective styles at night to keep it from getting tangled (depending on your son’s length of hair of course). Try heavier puddings and oils for your son’s more courser hair and make sure you’re always working with damp hair to allow the curls to set. Give that a go and let us know how you get on. Good luck!

  2. Hi, I was just wondering if you had any self styling ideas for men, I have quite long hair but struggle to find a way to wear it when I haven’t got it braided.

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