Finally, help is here! So BlackVoices decided to help out all moms who are raising girls with textured ringlets.
We talked to Miko Branch, co-CEO, co-founder and creative director of top hair-care line Miss Jessie's, and celebrity hairstylist Anthony Dickey, owner of the salon and hair-care line Hair Rules who also styled the heads of Michelle Obama, Andre 3000 and Alicia Keys. After years of caring for their own hair and the manes of others, Branch and Dickey understand the challenges you face when you and your daughter don't share the same texture.
And with the advice from our experts, you'll finally be able to style your child's hair just as well as you do you own.
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Evaluate your child's hair texture. Is it thin and wavy or thick and tightly coiled? Is it somewhere in between? "Each [progressive] texture is a naturally drier texture," says Dickey, whose products focus on returning moisture to parched hair. Keep in mind that the more texture (read: coarser) you child's hair is, the more time and product you have to use.
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This consistency may be the easiest type of biracial hair to style, since it might be close to your own texture. "Wavy hair, which is not tightly coiled, should be the least challenging," says Miko.
Try This: Pigtails. After shampooing, conditioning and detangling, apply Hair Rules Wavy Mousse ($10 to $20, hairrules.com) to wet hair. Comb through and blow-dry with a diffuser or allow hair to air-dry. Then, divide hair in half and wrap a ponytail holder, such as Goody Ouchless No Metal Gentle Ponytail Holders ($3, walgreens.com), around each side.
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According to Miko, "Curly hair might take more time to style, because the texture is a little more intricate and not as loose and wavy,"
Style Idea: Loose Curls. After shampooing, conditioning and detangling, apply Hair Rules Curly Whip ($10 to $32, hairrules.com) to soaking-wet hair. Comb through, and set wet hair under a portable hood dryer, such as Conair Pro Style Hard Hat Dryer ($32, target.com).
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"Tightly coiled hair requires a little bit more doing because it's very strong in personality and pretty much does what it wants," says Miko.
Style Idea: Two-strand twists. "Two-strand twists or flat twists are great style options for a child with kinky or curly hair simply because for two days, the twists can be worn in a twist style, and for two days, the twist can be unraveled and worn curly. It also gives parents a break and helps to preserve the hair and keeps it from being loose and unkempt for days at a time," Dickey says.
After shampooing, conditioning and detangling, section and saturate soaking-wet hair with a moisturizing cream such as Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream ($10 to $32, hairrules.com). Then, starting at the bottom, divide wet hair and shingle (see below for shingling instructions). After shingling, divide hair into sections with an elastic band, such as Goody hairhints Ouchless Elastic Hair Bands ($4, maxdelivery.com). Tightly twist hair by crossing one section over the other and repeating. Secure the ends with the elastic band. Repeat each section until the entire head is completed, and remember to use the spray bottle when needed to keep the hair wet while styling. Allow hair to air-dry.
Below, check out five essential steps for maintaining and styling your child's curly hair.
STEP 1: Moisture is always key.
A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is a must no matter the hair texture. "When hair is dry it can be very fragile," says Miko. "We want to add moisture back in." Try cleansing and conditioning with super-moisturizing products such as Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Perfect Curls Duo ($35, carolsdaughter.com). Next, apply a deep conditioner like Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner ($10 to $50, rickysnyc.com). Afterward, rinse out most, but not all, of the conditioner. According to Miko, it's good to leave a little deep conditioner in because it makes detangling so much easier.
STEP 2: Save her scalp: detangle while wet so it doesn't hurt.
After deep-conditioning, apply a detangler, such as lightly scented Miss Jessie's Baby ButterCreme ($9 to $58, missjessies.com) for tots and Mizani's D'Tangle Moisturizing Leave-in Milk ($13.50, beautysecretusa.com) for teens. Gently run a wide-toothed comb, such as a Carbon X Wide Tooth Comb ($5.99, rickysnyc.com), through the child's hair.
STEP 3: Sectioning and shingling helps make styling easier.
This step is especially useful for thicker or coarser manes. Divide the hair into sections to make the styling process easier and more organized. To divide, use hair clips, such as such as Slik Stik Big Locks Pro Styling Clips ($9.99, beautyencounter.com). Then, try shingling, a styling method created at Miss Jessie's. "Shingling is applying product and smoothing out the product on your hair using your fingers. It's flattening the hair and stretching it out to its maximum length while the hair is wet," Miko says.
STEP 4: Wetter is better!
Since styling thicker and tightly coiled hair can take more time, sometimes the hair can dry before you're finished styling it. Fill a cheap plastic spray bottle, like this one from Soft'n Style ($1.49, giell.com), with warm water, re-wetting strands when necessary. According to Miko, "That water bottle is going to help keep hair hydrated, moisturized and manageable while you're washing, detangling, conditioning or styling."
STEP 5: Finish and preserve.
When you're done, spray a shine mist such as KeraCare Oil Sheen with Humidity Block ($6.43, vivabella.com) to lock in your style. At night, tie on a satin scarf, such as the Magic Satin Hair Scarf ($6.79, amazon.com) to keep hair from drying out on your pillow.
Now that the knot-pulling, crying days are over, you've realized how bonding hairstyling can be. As Miko says: "There's also a lot of attention and love when a mom or dad is caring for the kid's hair. That care and love really transcends above styling strategies."