Tuesday, February 17, 2009


African hair is like a delicate orchid. With careful attention to care, nourishment and environment, it will flourish. If neglected, it will dry up and crumble away. Taking the time to learn how to care for my daughter's beautiful tresses shows that she is worth it! Thankfully, I've had some help from my blogger friends in understanding all this. Here's a little of what I've learned so far.

The Tools of the Trade

Luster's Pink Oil Lotion, Africa's Best Herbal Oil, boar's hair brush, rat tail comb, ouch-less binders, and stretchy bands of unknown composition, head bands with a rubber strip on the underside. The Pink Lotion is a light weight lotion and the Africa's Best is a bit heavier. Both have mild scents. I've also been known to use straight Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The boar's hair brush smooths Amanda's hair and the rat tail comb is good for taking out braids. The little plastic bands have become useless because the product in Amanda's hair causes them to break within minutes.This is my favorite hair style! I love the wild poof tucked behind a cute head band! I only wash Amanda's hair about once a week with very mild soap and then use the oil to moisturize after the bath. I wait until her hair is dry to comb it, brush or put into any kind of style. I always start at the ends in order to comb out tangles and may apply more oil to help loosen the tangles.

The new ouch-less bands are wonderful and I can do a variety of ponytail configurations. They don't break and they hold her hair gently. Her curls prevent them from ever slipping out entirely even when she's wrestling around or putting blankets and hats on her head.
Who says blonds have more fun? My daughter's hair curls like party ribbons. What could be more fun than that? I try to vary the placement of the parts because I'm a little concerned about the hair breaking too much in one area. Braiding Amanda's hair before bedtime achieves two goals. It keeps Amanda's hair from getting tangled and the braids expose less of the hair to the cotton sheets and dry air. Cotton sheets draw the moisture from Amanda's hair and cause it to break. One website said that African hair won't grow without gentle pressure on the follicles/roots which is another purpose of the braiding or banding. Interesting.

I have used the little bands for these braids. Using two at a time seemed to do the trick. I think we lost only one during the night. The first time I tried, the bands had broken off the first braids before I finished the last braids. In the morning, I oil the ends and slip the bands off. When her hair gets long enough I will only have to do a couple of braids.
We've also been using this handy trick to keep Amanda's hair tangle-free and away from the cotton sheets. It's one of her 36" square play silks folded into a triangle and tied on her head. She has gotten used to sleeping with it on her head and doesn't take it off until she wakes up.

I am truly enjoying investing so much time into my daughter's hair. My sister and I spent hours braiding our cousins' long black hair when we were kids. Oh, and let's not forget our sweet horse, Schera. Perhaps, I'm not as unprepared for this as I thought.

Thank you to my dear sweet blogger contributors, Kelli, Rachel and Dionne, for their tips, advice and encouragement. Ladies, feel free to give me any suggestions anytime!


Jamie said...

You are doing a great job! I have been following the advice I found on this website: http://www.biracialhair.org/Welcome.aspx. BUT, it is still difficult to keep the tangles and frizz out of Jesse's hair. She pulls out any hair accessory, and she hates anything on her head. It takes everything I've got to keep a hat on her head on cold days! Strong-willed! So, keep me and Jesse's hair in your prayers! Smile!

Michelle said...

Katie, this was fun to read. I love your favorite hair style too!

Char said...

I just come across your blog via a link on Mckmama's site. Let me start by saying that Amanda is adorable!

We recently adopted our 3rd child. She's AA and I have no idea what to do with her hair. She's not quite 3 months old right now, so I'm not too concerned yet, but I have no idea what to do with it in the future. Your blog entries have been helpful, but I have a few specific questions I'd love to ask. If you are open to this, would you mind emailing me?? My address is vecellio @ usfamily.net.