How To Teach Girls to Love Their Curly Hair

How to Teach Girls to Love Their Curly Hair

Like all Mums to biracial girls, I want my girls to love their curly hair. Not just to accept it but to love it, own it, be confident about it. That starts with me, their Mum the first person who will touch and style their hair and show them how to care for it.

But how do I, their Mum, actually teach girls to love their curly hair when I have straight hair??

I started with language. Words such as ‘difficult’ and ‘time-consuming’, ‘thick’ and ‘course‘ no matter how innocent, all have an impact on how our daughters perceive their hair- and their own self. Because hair is representative of who they are as biracial or black women.

I wanted to know, from someone who’s been there, what it really means to teach girls to love their curly hair.

So I spoke with Shannon Fitzsimmons best known as Instagrammer and Natural Hair Enthusiast UKCurlyGirl, recently about her experience.teach your girls to love curly hair

Shannon works with women from all walks of life who are making life-changing, sometimes complete philosophical changes from relaxed hair to embracing the wild curls that they were born with.

In many cases, these women have grown up ashamed of their curls, taught that straight hair is better- easier even. Wearing their hair natural was never a possibility.

Shannon’s work has attracted a huge following with almost 20k Instagram followers and a further 4k+ on Facebook.

Already with a book ‘Get My Curls Back!’ under her belt and a line of curly hair products, Osocurly, she’s a well-established name in the industry.

She makes a healthy living out of teaching girls to love their curly hair. So with all this experience, I wanted to know what drew Shannon to this work and what we can do as Mums to biracial girls from a young age.

Shannon’s story began as a child growing up mixed to a Nigerian Dad and a Scottish Mum in London. Her school was mostly white and her Dad was largely absent from her upbringing.

She remembers the questions, ‘what are you?’ from her friends highlighting her difference, and she struggled to like her thick coarse hair. She wanted straight hair, like the other girls in her class. And athough her Mum was always positive about her curls, she knew her hair brought with it extra ‘complications’.

In High School, she experimented with colour and wanted desperately to relax her hair, wanting her curls to reflect the Beyonces and Christina Milians with more wavy curl patterns.

Whilst her Mum discouraged her, eventually Shannon did relax her hair, using the excuse that she was going off to Uni and it would be ‘difficult’ to find the right hair products outside of London.

Again, the word ‘difficult’ featured in her journey.

In 2014, her hair had become so damaged it hardly had any curl pattern at all. Upkeep was expensive and her hair was thinning.

She started the transition back to her curly all-natural hair. Though she’d never really bothered to learn how to take care of curly hair, she decided to cut off all the damaged bits and start again.

The change was significant. She felt more confidant, therefore and she noticed how her journey seemed to inspire many of her friends who saw not only the change in her hair but also in her. She was finally teaching herself self-love.

teach girls to love curly hairQuite early on, Shannon started posting about her progress. And whilst it started off as a hobby, it soon turned into a career. Shannon realised that her own experience was leading her to teach other women to love their curly hair. So her book, “Get My Curls Back” was a chance to show the world how we could do it too.

Her experience has propelled her to build a community of women who love their curly hair. Working with women who are often at the end of their hair journey in terms of already being grown up and through the most difficult stage of teenagedom, I wanted to know what advice Shannon could give us Mums of mixed kids to teach our daughters to love their curly hair from a young age.

For Mums raising mixed girls, she had this to say about how to teach girls to love their curly hair:

  • Use all natural products in your children’s hair (no chemicals, no sulphites, no parabens).
  • Look at the back of each product for an ingredient list and if the first 3-5 ingredients don’t contain water, it’s probably not moisturising enough.
  • Show your daughters bloggers or you tube videos with similar hair types. Girls like them who are confidant and happy with their hair. Girls who have a hair routine and they have healthy curly moisturised hair because of it.
  • Make the experience of braiding and twisting a positive experience- a special occasion that they can look forward to every week.
  • Get dolls that feature their hair type. Curly, afro dolls are widely available now. Even curly styling heads so they can practice doing their own hair.
  • Mums, you should practice was well. Get onto youtube and watch videos on how to plait and cornrow. There’s really no excuse anymore.
  • By about 11 years old- sometimes later depending on the child- your child may be ready to start doing their own hair. Let them experiment and watch video tutorials  then let them go for it! It’s empowering and important in their own hair and identity journey.
  • Never let your daughters think their hair is ‘difficult’, thick or ‘complicated’. That means showing them women who are happy and confidant and who go through the same styling process as them.

What Next?

I don’t want my daughters to get to adulthood and decide it’s easier to straighten it. I don’t want them to think their hair is ‘difficult’ or ‘wild’ or ’embarassing’. Because it’s so easy to get caught up in that talk when it comes to embarking on what can often feel like a huge learning curve.

teach girls to love curly hair
Women showcasing their curly hair journey at one of UKcurlygirl’s curly events.

Coming from a woman who’s lived it and who teaches fully grown women to repair the damage a lifetime of shame and fear has ingrown, this is stuff we can listen to.

Shannon offers curly haired women 1 to 1’s- a consultation with Shannon offering personalised hair advice and product recommendations. She also offers regular brunches throughout the UK for her followers to discuss hair, transitioning tips, hair struggles and routines.

If you’d like to get in touch with Shannon or want to know more about how to teach girls to love their curly hair, follow her on Instagram @ukcurlygirl or visit her website at Ukcurlygirl.com


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A Parent’s Guide to Changing Schools

changing schools

Changing your child’s school can be one of the most difficult experiences a parent can go through, and stands up there amongst sending kids on their first date, leaving them at nursery for the first time, deciding on the right school…you get the drill.

It’s not that deep down you don’t know that things will probably be okay. But as you send them out there into the uknown- knowing that walking into their new classroom their heart is in their stomach, it’s so hard to feel reassured.

Whatever your motivation for moving your child,  – moving house, bullying, academia, a closer school- the initial transition can always feel difficult.

I did that recently- moved my 6 year old from one school to another. Not because I moved house but for a myriad of reasons- reasons she’s probably too young to understand. She was happy where she was. But we moved her. And she’s spent nearly four months adjusting to her new school. And it was stressful. And hard. And, at times we as parents felt like we’d made the wrong decision.

We’re just finally coming out of what we feel has been the most difficult stage of her transition. She’s sensitive and I knew it would be hard adjusting to change.  She struggles with the ‘what ifs?’ and it’s definitely taken a knock to her confidence.

But the best part is, she’s learned a lot about herself and we (she and I) talk a lot. If there is one thing that I hope continues it’s that she knows she’s got an open door to come to me about anything.

We don’t regret it because  the school is pushing her to explore depths of talent even she didn’t know she had. And that’s a good thing. But also uncomfortable.

Staying was easy. Staying was comfortable. But we knew it would only get harder as she grew up. Not underestimating the 3 years she’d already spent at the school (enough time to form some deep friendships), we knew she’d have four more years to make new friends. And we make sure we keep in contact with old ones.

She still has good days and bad. And sometimes she goes into that place where she says she has no friends but we both know that’s untrue and I’ve found it helpful not to let her go there- even if she wants to.

Having come through the experience on the other end and for those parents that may be contemplating change over the summer, here are a few things to consider before moving your child.

  1. Make sure (if you can) to keep up old friendships. It’s important. Just like we, as adults, wouldn’t just cut off old friendships just because we move jobs or move house, we shouldn’t expect this of our children, just because we’re the ones in control of whether they see them or not. We live in an era of Skype, FaceTime, even phone calls if you don’t live local. It’s easy to keep in touch and important for your child to know that they’ve not been forgotten and that they can see and visit their friends.

2) Open communication. This has been one of the best things that has helped my daughter. She’s been able to share her concerns, her worries and all the questions she has about her new school. One of her worries was whether some of her classmates would be kind to her. We talked this through, exploring whether there are some kids in her current class that are nice and some that may not always be and that this will be the same wherever you go. But reassure them that most people are kind when they first meet somebody, wouldn’t she be?

3) Consult with your children but don’t let them decide. Moving our daughter was a huge decision for us and one that we mulled over for awhile having tried different things to work with the school she was at and see if there were ways that we could get from it what we wanted. When we didn’t see that happening, we felt more and more drawn to this new school. Some of the reasons we couldn’t always share with her as they were about things she may not have always understood- long term vision, bigger picture as a family etc. Children think in terms of the short term and their immediate situation. We did share with her slowly some of the reasons but left it open for her to see some of the advantages herself as well. We talked with her at every step of the process getting her ready but ultimately it was our decision as parents.

4) Attitude (yours as well as theirs). The day I stopped feeling sorry for my daughter was the day that she stopped crying. It’s fine to have sympathy but let’s talk about the energy that we’re putting out into the world. Children are smart and will pick up on the attention they get because they make a fuss every morning. That’s not to say their feelings aren’t real. But I remember about 6 weeks in after a couple of weeks of crying every morning but happy faces when I picked her up, I knew she was generally okay. We had a chat about being brave and deciding that this was going to be a good day. It was. And it marked a shift in how she went in. Share your child’s feelings but don’t become so bogged down in being empathetic that you’re both just wallowing in regret and sadness.

5) Do a taster session beyond just a visit. One of the best things we as parents requested of the new school was for our daughter to spend a morning or a day with her new classmates and teacher. This was groundbreaking in that our daughter was able to see that the children were normal (not scary and mean), the teacher was kind and that it was in fact, very similar to what her current classroom was like. Knowing this before the big first day really helps to take away the fear of the unknown.

6) Celebrate the positives when they happen. When new achievements, friends, trips or opportunities happen at the new school, celebrate these and empathise to your child how they might never have had that experience if they hadn’t moved. Our child started a new term in January when the whole school was immersed in a Shakespeare production. My daughter loves performing and was given a lead role in the play. Having this to work towards and to be given such a fantastic starring role was incredibly motivating and a boost to her confidence.

7) Try to make playdates with new school mates to speed up the settling in process and foster tighter bonds- even if it’s just between a couple of new friends. Friends- new and old- will always be the main concern for your child at their new school. Whether they have any, whether they will lose their old ones etc.

The sooner you can solve this issue, the sooner things will settle down. Try to make friendships with some of the other parents and suggest a playdate. It also helps you, as a parent, to form a community and to feel more settled into your child’s new school.

Starting at a new school is hard no matter what. With awareness of what to look out for and how to help the transition become easier, you can weather even the hardest of moves. Change doesn’t have to come at a price.

For more from Mixed.Up.Mama parenting resources, find out Why Walking to School is So Important

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BOOK REVIEW: PRINCESS CUPCAKE JONES WON’T GO TO SCHOOL

Princess Cupcake Jones Book Review by Ylleya Fields

I love love these Princess Cupcake books. Not just because of the illustrations. They’re fun, colourful, sweet and quite obviously representative of our curly girls. But the message is also sweet, the theme of a modern-day princess who will do everything not to go to school.  And with a hidden challenge on every page to find the secret word ‘love’… well, let’s just say I get multiple requests a day to read one of her series.

Princess Cupcake Jones Book Review

And that’s just it. It’s part of a series of books about Princess Cupcake Jones and her very relatable adventures. This one starts with Cupcake Jones and her fear of going to school. What will school be like???, she wonders.

Princess Cupcake Jones Book Review

Princess Cupcake Jones Book Review

Filled with fear, at first Cupcake attempts to make a fuss, then she fakes being ill. Cheeky as she is, she doesn’t give up though. Finally, she executes her very last attempt. To hide.

Sweet and funny, Cupcake’s Mum has all the words to reassure her. So when it’s time to go to school, Cupcake glances into her classroom and sees a smiling girl pop up and introduce herself. Her name is Violet and she has the same tutu.

Cupcake feels at ease in minutes and runs off to play with her new friend on her very first day. She whispers to her Mum that she’s okay to stay and she’s happy to say goodbye.

Written in delightful rhyme and with the hidden word ‘love’ on every page, it makes for a very special read every time. With one looking at the pictures, the older two eager to find the word ‘love’ and all of them eager to hear what happens, it really is a special book to read together- for all my girls.

Buy your copy here:

PRINCESS CUPCAKE JONES

For more mixed race book reviews, click here:


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Best Mixed Race Curly Baby & Toddler Hair Products

If there is one thing I get asked about constantly from parents of biracial kids, it’s where to buy curly baby hair products and which ones are gentle for babies and toddlers.

Increasingly, parents like us are looking for products which are all- natural, no parabens, no sulphates and no-poo. (Find out why ‘no parabens’ and ‘no sulphates’ is even important in hair products).

As we become more educated about the dangers of these poisons, we want to know exactly what is going into our curly baby hair products and what is going on their skin.

And yet, the difference between curly hair that’s moisturised, healthy and protected is big. We need to know the products that we spend money on, work. Products that moisturise, control frizz, keep our kids’ curls healthy and prevent product build up. An impossible request list? Not anymore.

biracial baby curly hair products
Before styling
biracial baby curly hair products
After styling and moisturising

More and more curly hair products are boasting all natural ingredients, giving parents an important choice. They’re also specialising in toddler and baby hair, containing gentle cleansers that are easy on the eyes and skin.

Here we’re bringing you an up-to-date list of the curly world’s most popular and effective curly baby hair products for babies and toddlers.  So you too can make an informed choice*.

Curly Baby Hair Products: Curly Q‘s

biracial baby curly hair products
Curly Q’s

My favourite product from Curly Q’s is their Curl moisturiser /detangler. Every morning, a few sprays of this into wet hair and it was like the comb slid right through. Their products also smell great as well as being super moisturising. Boasting a long list of certified all natural ingredients (no sulphates, paragons, petroleum or silicones), this line is perfect for your curly kids.

Curly Baby Hair Products: Mixed Chicks

biracial baby curly hair products
Mixed Chicks

Mixed Chicks has nearly cornered the mixed race hair market just by virtue of their name. I use their shampoo and conditioner and both are great. They aren’t paraben free but they’re free from sulphates and don’t contain any dyes or perfumes or silicone. I’ve found their products reasonably priced and easily available as a selection of their products are sold in most Boots and Superdrug pharmacies nowadays.

Curly Baby Hair Products: Shea Moisture Kids

biracial baby curly hair products
Shea Moisture

I love their detangler. “This hair care product is nothing short of a magic potion that will bring bounce and life back in your child’s hair!
An absolute must have hair moisturizer from SheaMoisture, this nourishing detangler contains certified organic Shea Butter, which is essential in keeping hair frizz-free and soft as silk. Slippery Elm Extract makes hair smooth to touch while Coconut Oil hydrates, and helps in defining curls. It also contains Hibiscus Flower Extracts to add lustre and volume to hair, giving those kiddie curls extra bounce!

SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Extra Moisturizing Detangler protects and moisturizes hair from roots to ends. Its natural ingredients make it completely safe for use by children of all age groups. Apply sparingly on wet or dry hair and watch as this product weaves its magic to transform your child’s wavy, curly hair to beautiful, frizz-free, glossy curls!We leave out these harmful ingredients: No Parabens, No Phthalates, No Mineral Oil, No DEA, No Petroleum, No Formaldehyde, No Propylene.” Good ethics. Good product. Nice prices. You can’t go wrong with Shea Moisture.

Curly Baby Hair Products: Curly Ellie

biracial baby curly hair products
Curly Ellie

Why Curly Ellie came to be. “We need to look after our bodies, inside and outside and if it means using shampoos that sound like you are ordering a meal from the local health food restaurant… who can say no!Remember the phrase ”you are what you eat”?  I am a believer.

Ellie struggled with allergies for the first 3 years of her life. Seeing my little girl unable to eat the birthday cake at friends’ parties, having a specially prepared packed lunch when everyone else was gorging on sandwiches was testing, but we survived. This makes me even more conscious of what went in her mouth and went on her body.”

We use NO parabens, sulfates, SLS, synthetic fragrances or mineral oils in any of our products. We are vegan, gluten free and great on sensitive scalp so we can be used from early years when the scalp and skin is most delicate. The shampoo, two conditioners and detangling spray contain natural ingredients such as hair shaft-toughening quinoa and broccoli for added shine. This is in addition to the cleansing and moisturising qualities of aloe vera, abyssinian oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil.” It doesn’t get more all-natural than this. ”

**** We are currently running a promotion with Curly Ellie. Sign up to receive our newsletter on the right hand menu and you will receive your exclusive discount code for Curly Ellie products. 

Curly Baby Hair Products: It’s a Curl!

biracial baby curly hair products
It’s a Curl!

“When you start to see little curls begin to form at a very young age, you know you are in for a treat.  There is no need to wait on these curls to fully take shape before caring for them because curly hair has different needs.  No matter what age, curly hair tends to be dry and unruly, and sometimes hard to manage.  With time, when you take care of your curly hair, none of these common traits will take over you.

Start your baby off on the right foot by using a product line of curly baby hair products specifically formulated to their unique hair type. Created by the curly hair product company CURLS, It’s a Curl, is the premier baby care line of products for curly hair. Your infants and toddlers are in great hands!  

You can feel super comfortable using this product line for each step of the hair care process, starting with the shampoo.  “Peek-A-Boo Tearless Shampoo” is gentle enough, even for sensitive skin and scalp. Its powerful ingredients include Calendula Extract, a cooling yet gentle antiseptic and Allantion, a botanical extract from the Comfrey plant that treats irritants of the scalp.”

Curly Baby Hair Products: CurlyKids

biracial baby curly hair products
Curly Kids Hair Care

“CurlyKids Hair Care products have been specially developed for children with curly hair and all of the wonderful textures that make up this incredibly diverse hair type. From hair that is curly-kinky, curly-coily, curly-wavy, curly-frizzy, or a combination of textures, our products satisfy the specific conditioning, moisturizing, and detangling needs that all of these textures share, without being sticky, tacky, or greasy. CurlyKids products are always sulfate and paraben free and contain the most effective ingredients to address the specific hair care needs of all our CurlyKids Cuties!”

Curly Baby Hair Products: Ouidad

biracial baby curly hair products
Ouidad

“Tough on tangles but gentle on delicate curls, with fun fragrances that will make you wish you were 10 again. Gently loosens even the most difficult tangles. Leaves curls soft, frizz-free, and manageable. Leave-in/rinse-out formula makes caring for kids’ curls fuss-free”. Their products have great reviews for being gentle and effective (even boast multiple awards from Naturally Curly) but I couldn’t find anything about whether they are sulphate free so just how ‘natural’ they are.

Curly Baby Hair Products: Cantu for kids

biracial baby curly hair products
Cantu for Kids

Perhaps the most accessible, reasonably priced curly hair product out there, you will find Cantu at most drug stores or pharmacies. And at £2-5 a bottle, it’s super reasonable. And with no sulphates, parabens or minerals, they’re my go-to product line when I need something that can do the job without the frills. That’s what Cantu does. It is a great product line and their curling cream and leave-in conditioner have both easily become my favourites.

Curly Baby Hair Products: Aunt Jackie’s Girls Heads Up

biracial baby curly hair products
Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils

More popular with our neighbours across the pond, I’ve not had much experience with Aunt Jackie’s but I know lots of people who use their products and swear by them. Sulphate free, no parabens, no silicones and no petroleum, their Curling & Twisting Custard is a moisture rich anti-frizz formula that helps curls, twists and waves stay springy and smooth while elongating and providing lasting definition. “Natural curls, coils & twists spring to life with Aunt Jackie’s special “anti-frizz” formula. The Anti-frizz formula helps curls, waves & twists stay well-defined & springy, elongates and fives curls long-lasting definition, helps leave hair feeling super soft to the touch with no sticky, crunchy feel!”

So there you have it. A complete list of the best baby and toddler-friendly curly hair products. Do get in touch if you can use another product and think it deserves to be on this list!

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Best Online Shops to Buy Curly Biracial Hair Products
Antidote Streethttps://mixedracefamily.com/best-online-shops-buy-mixed-race-curly-hair-products-uk/

Help! How to do Mixed Race Curly HairMy Mixed Race Curly Hair Routine

If you want to know where to buy your curly hair products, click on over to Best Online Shops to Buy Your Curly Mixed Race Hair Products

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*Reviews are based on my own experience with my three curly girls, research into Amazon’s most popular products as well as curly specialist’s advice and recommendations.

**Disclaimer: Some of these curly baby hair products contain affiliate links. This means that if you click and buy from that retailer, Mixed.Up.Mama gets a cut. It helps us run the site and keep it going.

Best Online Shops To Buy Your Curly Biracial Hair Products

Your first job in styling your little curlies is finding the right biracial hair products. Once you’ve done that, you need to know where you can buy them!

And although mainstream outlets such as Boots and Amazon are starting to stock more products, it’s always nice to know there are independent retailers dedicated exclusively to your curly hair needs. That’s why we’ve brought you a complete list of UK curly hair retailers committed to finding you the perfect biracial hair products.

Mixed Kids Hair Care

Biracial hair products
Mixed Kids Hair Care

Offering a selection of natural and organic products quality hair care products, this shop stocks all the big brands that cater for little curlies. Each of their biracial hair products comes with a complete list of all ingredients so you can be sure that each one is vetted before it’s added to the Mixed Kids inventory.

CurlyEllie

Biracial hair products
Curly Ellie

Boasting multiple awards and a pure natural ingredient list, Curly Ellie is perhaps my favourite curly biracial hair products line for kids. An independent shop that was started by a UK parent herself, her products sell in most Whole Food shops as well as online. With just five products including leave in, shampoo, conditioner, intensive mask and detangler, it’s all you’ll need to style your childs’ curly hair. And the best part is you’re supporting a fellow mixed race parent. Find a review of Curly Ellie products here or get your discount by for Curly Ellie by clicking here.

British Curlies 

Curly Biracial Hair products
British Curlies

Perhaps the most comprehensive online shop for buying curly biracial hair products, this site is both easy to navigate and reasonably priced. They usually have sales on (including the above in the photo at time of writing). You can shop by price point, kids products, brand, travel size, vegan hair products, skin care and accessories. They carry most well known brands and even show a list of ingredients in each product. As a bonus, they even sell kids curly books and dolls!

Only Curls London

curly biracial hair products
Only Curls London

Although this shop also sells its own line of hair care products, the site is probably best for buying your entire list of hair care accessories. From silk pillow cases to combs, silk scrunchies and towels, you’re bound to find what you need here. Don’t forget to purchase your “Curly Girl” badge which your curly kids will love!

My Hair and Beauty

Best Online Shops to Buy Curly Biracial Hair Products
My Hair and Beauty

They’ve got products for hair care, skin care, men’s grooming products, makeup, fragrances and more. They’re the online version of Europe’s largest black hair shop Pak (in Finsbury Park). Selling most well known brands of black or curly biracial hair products, you’re likely to find what you need here. Sometimes I find it hard to navigate the site but it does allow you to search by brand or by popular product.

Mixed Streets

Best Online Shops to Buy Curly Biracial Hair Products
Mixed Streets

These guys are a small shop with an inventory that includes skin care, hair care, toys and books chosen exclusively for mixed kids. I love that there is a specialised shop devoted to serving multiracial families. Their hair care lines include Mixed Chicks, Curly Q, It’s a Curl and Shea Moisture- all the big names in curly hair care- and you can even pick out a book or two.

Antidote Street

Best Online Shops to Buy Curly Biracial Hair Products
Antidote Street

Perhaps for the more grown up curlies, (there isn’t a function to search by kids’ care products), this shop sells a lot of the all-natural brands plus many more high end salon products. With video tutorials and blog posts to help your styling needs, this shop is great to buy your go-to product that you can’t afford to be without. Free shipping over £30 and kits put together to meet all your styling needs are added bonuses to shopping online here.

My Curls UK

Best Online Shops to Buy Curly Biracial Hair Products
My Curls UK

I’d never heard of this brand before I started researching but in the interest of representing all things local, I thought what better brand than hair care products exclusively for UK curls. Although they sell their own brand, the prices are all in pounds and you can even bag yourself a whole detangling set for under £100.

Afrocenchix

Best Online Shops to Buy Curly Biracial Hair products
Afrocenchix

If you care about what goes in your hair and want to support a Black British business this is the one. Afrocenchix was started by two British women who were on the natural hair journey and who were concerned about the chemicals they were putting in their hair. Watch their video to find out just how sustainable, fair trade and all natural their biracial hair products are. With video tutorials, style ideas and a blog, they’re definitely my go-to for Afro hair.

To find your curly hair salon, click here for a complete list…

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Best curly baby hair productsMy Mixed Race Curly Hair RoutineHelp! How to do Mixed Race Curly Hair

London’s Curly Hair Salon Reviews: Curly Hair London

Curly Hair London Review

With over 20 years experience and a booked schedule that extends two months into the future, Stephanie Nik is truly sought after.

“There’s definitely been more awareness from curly haired women that their hair has different needs and demand has been going up from there”.

We arrived at our appointment (all three of my girls hadn’t had a trim in years) just off Tottenham Court Road on Denmark St right on time. Stephanie rents a space in an existing salon and beckoned us over to the chair at the back.

A quick assessment of their hair types and Stephanie was eager to get the first one into the chair. Immediately she gave me some useful tips showing me just how- even within one head of hair- there can be three different curl types.

A dry cut later, she then proceeded to separate the hair into sections , soaking each section and generously applying leave-in conditioner to each. Her key tips:

  1. ALWAYS do your styling process with soaking wet hair. The moment your curls emerge from the shower, they begin the drying process. This means the hydrogen curl bonds (she took her time to explain this in full) will start to form and unless you apply the conditioner and detangle when it’s soaking wet, the hair won’t be able to absorb any product. I realised I had been doing this completely wrong- applying conditioner when it was already half dry.
  2. NEVER use a towel to dry curly hair. Use your shower room to apply conditioner and detangle, THEN you can use a cotton towel or microfibre towel to gently squeeze and hold the hair.
  3. Or, better yet, air dry.
  4.  Oils do NOT moisturise. If hair is especially dry, apply more conditioner and work it in to make sure it absorbs.
  5. Hair clips are much better for curly hair. Try to use these over hair bands to reduce breakage.

    Curly Hair London Review
    Recommended hair clips

Curly hair routine:

On wash day, wash, then apply leave in conditioner to detangled soaking wet hair. Leave to air dry and clip into a pineapple (if long enough) or a silk scarf overnight.

Day 2, 3 & 4, the hair shouldn’t need too much styling as the curl bonds should remain intact. Wet and apply gel or styling product as necessary.

Wash once a week and repeat.

Our experience at Curly Hair London was fantastic. Stephanie took her time to explain how to care for their hair and how each of their hair is different. Her style is ‘all natural’. She’s not into gregarious straightening or colours and rarely does anything with chemicals. She studied under Lorraine Massey, famous for starting the conversation on curly hair care and who is known as the Queen of curly hair dressing.

If you’d like an appointment to see Stephanie, her schedule is booking up fast. But stay tuned as she will be offering curly hair workshops for Mums with curly kids very soon.

Curly Hair London Review
Finished product

For more tips and advice for caring for biracial or curly hair, visit Help! How to do curly mixed race hair…

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Mixed Race Book Review: I Don’t Want Curly Hair!

Mixed Race Book Review I Don’t Want Curly Hair

With such lovely illustrations, it doesn’t get more easily relatable than Laura Ellen Anderson’s book, “I Don’t Want Curly Hair”.

For my middle daughter who is going through her own love-hate relationship with her coily locks, this has been an especially poignant book.

Written in delightful rhyme, a girl with curly red locks describes how she is exhausted with her curly hair, how she can never tame it, and spends hours and hours brushing, pulling and stretching it.

She happens upon another little girl with straight black hair in her journey and whose woe is the fact that her hair is “boring and straight and why won’t it curl?!”

“OH?!”, says the curly girl. How could she, with straight, smooth hair want curly hair??

The two girls laugh at how silly they’ve been realising that both their hair is special and that both can do amazing things with their hair.

After multiple readings, my daughter now knows enough of the words to read it her own way, getting into character, “I DON’T LIKE MY CURLY HAIR!! It’s MESSY AND SILLY AND JUST PLAIN UNFAIR!”

She loves the ways the girl tries desperately to straighten her hair, even managing to wet it completely so that it turns straight (a secret most curly girls are delighted about).

With delightful humour throughout, it’s a great book for getting the conversation going about loving the skin we’re in and showing our curly girls that they should love their hair no matter what.

For more mixed race book reviews, click here

book review i don't want curly hair

Father’s Day Gifts for Multiracial Families

Father’s Day Gifts for Multiracial Families

It’s Father’s Day coming up and as parents of mixed race kids, it’s a challenge to find gifts that feature multiracial families. Why shouldn’t Dads of mixed kids enjoy the same original, personalised gifts featuring their multiracial families? Why shouldn’t they see themselves and their families represented?

Well, we decided to put together a list of some great ideas for the Dads in your life who deserve to see themselves represented in your gifts. Take a look below and tell us what you think!

How about a book featuring Multiracial Dads and their kids?

Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Daddy Do My Hair
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Girl of Mine

Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
The Night Before Father’s Day
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
My Dad and Me
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Papa Do You Love Me?
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Daddy Poems

If Books don’t work for you, try out these gifts that you can personalise with your own family photo, kids’ drawings or personalise yourself with Dad’s unique features. Get the kids involved in choosing and drawing and it’ll be extra personal. With all that thought going into it, there’s no doubt he’ll appreciate the uniqueness of your gift!

Fathers Day gifts for Multiracial families
‘My Dad’ Personalised Book For Fathers
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial families
Watercolour Line People Portrait
by LETTERFEST
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Personalised Colour In Family Portrait Print
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Your Drawing Cufflinks For Dad
by HOLD UPON HEART
Father's Gifts for Multiracial Families
Parent And Child Hands Graphic Cut Out Style Print
Father's Day gifts for Multiracial Families
Personalised Dads Apron With Child’s Drawing
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Family Silhouette Personalised Print
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Father’s Day Clock
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Personalised ‘Daddy Cool’ Cotton Canvas Washbag
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Thanks Dad Father’s Day Cards
Father's Day Gifts for Multiracial Families
Personalised Photo Book For Daddy

Other great ideas are photo gifts that print one of your amazing family photos onto mugs, cushions, mouse pads and more!

Try some of these ideas and if you have any more, do tag us on facebook, twitter or comment below and we’ll make sure to add it to our list! Hope the men in your life enjoy Father’s Day!

For more resources exclusively for multiracial families, visit the Mixed.Up.Mama resources section…

 

Mixed Race Book Review: I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl

I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl by Betty K. Bynum is the newest in our series of mixed race book reviews.

At first glance, it appears that this book is not really for biracial or multiracial kids. But going with the one drop rule in American culture, the term ‘Black’ refers to all racial mixes who are part black.

The book’s illustrations are lovely.

Full of images of little girls doing what they love- playing, running, skipping, holding hands. Being who they want to be and loving who they are.

All the girls are different shades with different hair colours and textures. My girls love choosing which ones they think they look like. One girl has her hair in braids, one in ponytails, another with her curls out and proud and still another with straight black hair. All show the diversity of girls-whatever their racial background.

That’s why we read it as “I’m a Pretty Little Girl” and skip the ‘black’. Because it’s really about the diversity of girls, about being proud and loving each and every one regardless of difference.

The girls are depicted running, skipping, jumping, helping, singing and being artistic as it follows one girls’ day at school with her friends. Then it ends with each girl fulfilling a dream of what they want to be when they grow up- showing a diversity of choices available.

I can’t recommend it more. Even just for the images. It’s lovely.

Complete Guide to Curly, Afro, Mixed Race & Black Dolls in the UK

It’s a message that can’t come early enough. Kids as young as 3 notice race, and they quickly become aware that race or colour is given meaning in our world. Princesses, featured in books and movies, our kids’ teachers, role models, ballerinas and royalty. All white and straight haired.

In a 1940s experiment, African-American children given the choice between white and black dolls overwhelmingly chose the white doll and assigned it the more positive character traits. The study has been replicated over the decades with other minority kids and similar results.

black dolls

Two weeks ago one of my children received a doll. With black skin. A beautiful ballet dancer complete with a tutu and pointed toes. My other daughter looked at it and turned her face saying, “I don’t like it”.

I knew why.

We concentrated a lot on my oldest to make sure she grew up with a healthy sense of who she is/ was, where she came from so that she is proud of both the skin colours that make up her being.

We neglected our middle daughter, perhaps thinking it would sink in by osmosis. But, we were wrong. It doesn’t. We’re up against it.

ALL of her teachers are white. Her friends all seem to be white (not that there isn’t a healthy mix of diversity in her classroom but she’s purposely… or not- it’s too early to tell- chosen out her few friends from amongst the bluest eyes and blondest hair).

Despite being surrounded by cousins and grandparents, Aunties and Uncles who are all a dark chocolate complexion. Not to mention her most influential male, her most devoted dad who she is so close to, is brown skinned.

And yet, there it was. Is it a phase that children go through, I wonder? Because she certainly has a healthy circle of diversity surrounding her. Was it to shock us?

Of course I went into a whole tirade of reasons why what she said was unreasonable and unfair and ‘what if someone doesn’t like you because of your skin colour?’ etc etc. My husband told me to relax.

I spoke to her about it later reminding her about all of the people around her who have dark skin. And one by one, she made exceptions. Realising afterwards that she didn’t actually dislike everyone with dark skin.

The fact that she wanted to. That she’s been unconsciously cultivating this preference towards lighter skin is alarming but also scary to think how easy racial bias creeps in.

Experts recommend that parents buy ethnic or black dolls from birth as one way to surround daughters and sons with positive images from the outset. When introducing black dolls later on, you don’t need a big speech about the doll’s ethnicity, though. Just let their imagination run wild.

So here you go. It’s all here, your go-to guide to buying the perfect black dolls for your kids craving diversity in their lives. From dolls to figurines, Hispanic, Chinese, Mixed Race to African, it’s all here. And the best part? You don’t need to order from across the pond! Click on the picture direct to purchase from a UK retailer.

 

Read more on raising your kids to love the skin they’re in…

Interracial Relationship10 Things Every Parent Should Do When Raising Mixed Race Kids

Best curly baby hair products

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