DISCLAIMER: Before I start I just wanted to say, the whole point of this post is not ‘how to have a mixed race baby and do their hair perfectly’ .. this is about my own journey as a ‘white woman from Essex’ raising a mixed race daughter alone and the things I have learnt along the way, when it comes to hair (amongst other things – but for now let’s talk about the hair)
Many girls grow up dreaming of one day having their own little girl in real life, to dress in pretty frilly dresses and sit brushing a perfect mane of shiny hair. Maybe some dream of golden blonde hair like Cinderella or Aurora, tied up in a pink ribbon bow. Others have different ideas of what their baby would look like. I got a beautiful little angel with brown eyes and ‘golden sand’ skin (this is how me and Kimaarah describe it) but I never thought fully about how her hair would be until I got pregnant and people would ask me ‘what if the baby turns out ginger?!’ Haha no that was one of the things I wanted her not to have from me, sorry to say. I really had no clue how Kimaarah’s hair would be. I was always set on one thing though, she would always look good. But as a white woman raising a mixed race daughter I have had a lot to learn about the world of curls, it can be a very confusing place and I’m the first to admit I still find it overwhelming at times. I’m definitely still leaning and have found a lot of it is trial and error when it comes to choosing products. About that, I still don’t feel 100% confident when going to the hair shop, I feel like they see me a mile off and just want to sell me any old thing, does anyone else feel like this? A lot of Kimaarah’s hair products I’ve learnt about through Instagram, from people I follow as well as my friends recommendations. For the first year of her life she didn’t have much hair and I just used to use maybe a little bit of coconut oil but nothing major, I do think less is more when it comes to products and even today I try not to use too many things just for the sake of it although it can be tempting to buy loads because there’s so much choice out there for curly hair.
Now Kimaarah’s 3 and a half she has a decent amount of hair and curls to get involved with, I always ask her how she wants her hair which is usually one of two ways: ‘up’ or ‘down’. I do follow some amazing hair accounts on ig but Kimaarah will never sit for long enough for me to try out anything complicated, and she always whines even if I pull it the tiniest bit. So for now it’s either up in a bun or bunches, or just natural curls down. Maybe when she starts school this year she’ll want some more styles done, we’ll see. I don’t want it to be like a chore for her to have her hair done or to ever let her see her hair as a negative thing, I always call it princess hair as she is my princess! And I believe every little girl should grow up loving and accepting themselves for what they have been blessed with, whether that’s straight hair, curly hair, blue eyes or brown.
I’ve only had Kimaarah’s hair trimmed once, just after she turned 2, by a lady near me who specialises in Afro-Caribbean hair. A lot of people have asked me if I’ll braid her hair but it’s too soft and the girl who cut her hair advises me not to, otherwise it’ll mess up her hairline. I did kind of suspect this so even though I’m in no way an expert about hair, I do think that being on this journey and learning about curl types etc has taught me a lot. Kimaarah is due for a trim but at the moment we’re on a waiting list for the Curl Talk salon in London, I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while now @curl.talk and her hair transformations just wow me every time! Not only that but if you take your child to her for a curl-by-curl trim, she’ll teach you about their individual hair type and what products are best to use, how to maintain the hair and keep the curls looking beautiful! Anyone that knows me knows I’m fussy about what Kimaarah has and that I like her to have the best, I’m dying for her to have a Curl Talk trim! So watch this space as it could soon be another blog post.
At the moment my favourite products to use on Kimaarah are:
• Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo and treatment masque – I only use the shampoo maybe once a month, the treatment I’ve been using every other wash as this cold weather really dries her hair out
• Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter conditioner – this is what I use to wash Kimaarah’s hair in once a week, I’ve learnt this advice from so many places. I’ve learnt that mixed hair doesn’t need washing all the time and shampoo can dry it out a lot more so for the most part we just co-wash and have been doing this for a long time now.
The Shea Moisture products are definitely not the cheapest out there but for me they’re worth it as you don’t have to use loads at a time and my local Boots and Superdrug store sells them and sometimes has 3 for 2 or different offers. So I would definitely advise people to look out for that! I also love using them on my own hair so for me they’re well worth it!
• Cantu for kids leave in conditioner cream – I use this on Kimaarah’s hair to refresh her curls, after spraying it with some warm water which is a brilliant tip I learnt from watching YouTube videos as it helps the product to soak into her hair more. The Cantu products are reasonable prices too! I think I pay about £4/5 for most of them.
• Palmers coconut oil leave in conditioner spray – I use this on top of the cream sometimes if her hair is looking really dry
• Jamaican Black Castor Oil – this can be found in any hair shop and it’s really good if you want your child’s hair to grow. You only use a tiny bit, I use this after I’ve washed Kimaarah’s hair and just massage it into her scalp
There’s also quite a few different brushes I have for Kimaarah:
• Wide tooth comb – I use this when I’m washing her hair, once the conditioner is in I comb through to get any knots & tangles out
• Tangle teezer – I use this for styling her hair if I’m putting it into a bun for example
• Edges brush – a little boar hair brush I use to stick down her baby hairs with, I brought this from the hair shop for like £3
I’ve also heard the Denman brushes are good, does anyone use one on their mixed race child? I think that will be my next purchase for Kimaarah.
To end this post I will say this, there is definitely a lot to learn about the world of curls and hair products, but I feel I have been successful in some ways as when I ask Kimaarah what she thinks of her hair she replies ‘beautiful’ and she’s right, I wouldn’t have her any other way!
I feel like there is so much to say on this topic and that’s why I’ve called this post ‘part one’ because I hope to speak about it a lot more. If anyone has any recommendations on which products they love or Instagram accounts they follow please leave me a comment below!