There’s a lot written about curly hair care and how to take care of it. But I find there’s nothing more real than seeing what curly hair care routine the average Jo Mum does with her kid’s curly hair.
I have 3 mixed race daughters (mixed Iranian, Nigerian and English) and they all have different types of curls, length, texture and thickness.
So we use a myriad of different products- some that change with the season, some that I use on one girls’ hair and not on the other, and some that are absolute staples in our house.
Here is a look at what we do as part of our daily mixed race curly hair care routine.
My oldest daughter has the longest, perhaps loosest curls and her hair grows down as opposed to up.
Because her hair is made up of looser curls, I find I don’t need to apply thick gel or creme. I can get away with this Argan oil styling mousse which makes her hair both shiny and slippery to comb my fingers through. I do need to get her hair quite wet to be able to comb through though. And the thicker the hair, the more oil you’ll need to really penetrate all of the hair. My daughter’s curly hair care routine (for reference) takes me about 7-10 minutes to brush through and put into a protective style.
This is my middle daughter. She has the shortest, most afro type hair. Her hair grows in tight curls and gets dry the easiest. I usually wet it (a lot) before applying a generous amount of leave in conditioning cream.
I use a one or the other of these products to allow my fingers to comb through her hair easily. The wetness combined with the moisture from the products allows me to finger comb it easily but her hair is also quite fine so you may need to separate thicker hair into sections to get the same effect.
After this, I apply half a bottle cap amount of argan oil to give it shine and to keep it moisturised all day. **Note: always apply oil to wet hair or it won’t be absorbed into the hair. Her curly hair care routine seems shorter somehow but still takes about 5-7 minutes.
My youngest daughter has a combination of both types of hair. It grows fast and down but it still has an afro-type texture in the front and in parts of the back.
Her hair requires a lot more moisturising as it’s also the thickest of all my daughters’ hair and gets the most tangled. I can’t usually finger comb through it after wetting it so I use a hair brush
(pictured above) with lots of Cantu conditioning creme.
Because she’s the youngest and has the thickest hair, I usually spend about 10-15 minutes on her curly hair care routine , combing through (without too much pain) and putting it into a protective style.
Here is the result after combing it through and moisturising it.
I will soon post about my wash day hair care routine as I know this can be a bit trickier. For insight, I generally use the Curly Ellie products as these are very gentle on the 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.
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.
Quite 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Or, better yet, air dry.
Oils do NOT moisturise. If hair is especially dry, apply more conditioner and work it in to make sure it absorbs.
Hair clips are much better for curly hair. Try to use these over hair bands to reduce breakage.
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.
Mixed.Up.Mama recently featured easy hairstyles for curly mixed race girls but didn’t dare leave out the boys! There’s not as much readily available featuring curly hairstyles for biracial boys to inspire new and creative hairstyles . So we thought we’d do a bit of research hoping to inspire you.
We found fades, cornrows, afros, man buns and more. Curly hair doesn’t have to (and can’t be just be) just left to air dry and go. (Read more about styling curly hair). It needs moisturising, finger combing and definition. It is a new era for curly boys so don’t let those toddlers go out without cool hairstyle! Get some inspiration from the below and send us your favourite curly hairstyles for biracial boys. Get styling!
Boy bun two courtesy of curly hairstyles for boys inspirational
Side shave courtesy of badgalronnie
Cornrows courtesy of manbeauty24
Toddler bun courtesy of Jordan Scyrus
Boy pin up style courtesy of Anijah Jones
Fade courtesy of modern stork.com
Boy bun courtesy of Tuhoemama
Curl friends courtesy of Ryyan Robinson
Cornrow bun courtesy of hairstyles for black boys with long hair
Looking for simple easy curly mixed race hairstyles?
I can admit I’m not one of those Mums who spends a tonne of time on my biracial daughters’ hair. (I don’t spend a tonne of time on my hair either but that’s beside the point).
But with three mixed race, multiracial girls, all approaching the age where they want nice ‘do’s’ and not just the simple pony tail to which I’ve been known to resort, I needed to boost my repertoire. (For ideas for boys, click here!)
I needed to find quick and easy creative curly mixed race hairstyles for my girls that I could do once every few days and keep it fresh looking.
Short of watching Youtube videos for days on how to cornrow intricate designs into my daughters’ hair, I have scoured the internet to find easy up dos for mixed race or biracial curly haired girls. The below should hopefully be inspiring and easy-ish to get done either the night before or at least a few days before as part of your routine.
A key theme you might notice is that some of these do require the ability to cornrow. I can braid. I’ve even upgraded to french braids. So slowly, slowly… I will soon be able to cornrow. *** Update! I can cornrow now! I’ve even started it on each of my girls!
If you can cornrow already, AMAZING! Keep it up! And if you are learning like me, take these easy do’s as inspiration to keep on trying. In the meantime, try these ideas for simple curly mixed race hairstyles and let us know if you have any other inspiration so we can feature it on the page!
Disclaimer: I haven’t actually tried all of these hair styles but I have tried variations of most and in the interest of sharing ideas, I’d love it if you could feedback your experience trying any of these.
Tried a new hair product recently and I think I’ve fallen in love. This isn’t a plug, don’t worry. But knowing where CurlyEllie came from and that the woman behind this brand is a mum of curly kids too, does help.
As many of you know, I’ve got three girls- each with uniquely textured and different-length hair. It’s difficult finding a product that works for all of them without being full of chemicals.
In the past I’ve used everything from Mixed Chicks to Deva Curl, Curly Q, Argan oil, Coconut oil and even my mother in law’s homemade mixture of shea butter and olive oil. It’s not to say that these products don’t work but I’ve always been on the lookout for a brand that I can trust and that EACH of the products works for my daughters’ hair- not just one.
CurlyEllie products came on my radar through my brother-in-law who knew the founder in Uni. I got in touch and found out a little bit more.
First off, all of the products are SULFATE FREE, PARABEN FREE, NO SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES, NO MINERAL OILS and 100% Natural Fragrance.
For me, it’s important that the products I put into my daughters’ hair are 100% natural. I can see the build-up that results when I use other products and I admit, sometimes products that do contain alchohol or some enzymes can be effective but… not in the long run.
This is about teaching my daughters as well as showing them to value their hair and what they put in it. With so many kids suffering from exzema and allergies, it made me think a little more about what we put in and on their bodies.
Retailing at around £13 per bottle, they may cost more than just buying off the shelf at your local chemist. I have 3 girls, I’ll be honest, I know the costs add up but to me it’s important enough. If you already recognise the importance of buying curl-specific hair products, this is not much of a step further.
CurlyEllie originiated from a Mum. The familiar scenario of “seeing my 2 year old daughter (CurlyEllie herself) wincing as I pulled the comb through her forest of curls each night.”
She says, “Her curls were so beautiful but so difficult and upsetting (for us both!) to manage. I turned to friends, family and social media to find the answer. I would routinely stop other parents of curly haired children and ask for advice on hair care. The only consistent theme in the responses I got was that nobody was that happy with the products they were using. This led me to develop the CurlyEllie Hair Collection.”
The products themselves are easy to use, and come in the form of detangler, shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner. I would have liked some sort of moisturizer to define the curls as well so I added a little oil to keep it moisturized throughout the day. But the shampoo, conditioner and detangler have become an essential part of our morning and evening routine.
I use the leave-in at night after I wash it and it softens the curls- making a huge difference to how they feel in the morning. The picture below shows my daughter’s hair after I applied the leave-in and I could run my fingers through her hair easily.
After applying CurlyEllie leave-in conditioner
Using a hair product whose only ingredients are plant products such as quinoa, broccoli seed oil and sweet almond oil is fabulous. It means I don’t have to worry about their hair drying out or being damaged by the mess that goes into most hair products nowadays.
I love where it comes from. I love the ethos behind it and I love the products themselves. Definitely a convert for CurlyEllie.
I swore I’d never be that Mum. The white mum whose biracial kids curly hair care looks like the Mum has no clue and her only attempt at ‘doing’ her daughter’s hair is to brush it– down.
Three daughters later and with all three sporting completely uniquely textured hair, I quickly learned that wash, brush-and-go would not work with my girls’ curly hair. A mountain of research, plenty of questions to friends and family and a motto to ‘learn as we go’ is the only way we’ve gotten this far. Now, with a 3 step routine every morning with each daughter, it’s gotten slightly easier but no less complicated.
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 I love that each one is unique in how her hair falls- a lesson I am constantly reinforcing. Curls are amazing.
But what I don’t love is how little I know about how to do it. I have straight hair and before having kids, I’d never heard of co-washing, 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 done my homework and then some.
So if you love your 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 20-30 minute routine, depending on how cooperative my girls are and the hairstyle they choose. (I definitely hate braids).
So I am offering some helpful tips, the best websites, hair tutorials from the experts and information to identifying the best curly hair products for your biracial kids curly hair care routine.
Figure out their 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 products recommendations and what would likely work on your child’s hair. So, to identify your biracial kids curly hair care type, check out these sites:
For morning routine tips and knowledge from other parents who can sympathise, visit: Curly Nikki
This Mama of biracial kids features curly girl hairstyles of the week and regular hair tips. Visit: Weather Anchor Mama
3. Get tips!
I’ve gotten so many helpful tips from blogs and articles I’ve read online about 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.
From detangling, hair regimens, and top styling tips for doing toddler hair, the UK based (hurrah!) British Curlies has it all. Not one to miss!
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 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:
Nothing beats a recommendation from a friend or someone you know. Every time you see another child with curly hair and you like what you see, ask the Mum 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 dresser they go to (it’s not every black hair dresser 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).
7. 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 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