Hello again, my name is Kristen Kimball and I am an adoptive mama to three kiddos. We walked with About a Child to bring our first two kiddos home from Uganda and adopted our littlest from our local community. The purpose of this blog is simply to share some of the things I have learned on our journey of hair care for the older two. I am, by no means, a professional. On the contrary I am just an every day white mama trying to educate myself on best practices when it comes to hair care for my black children. I will be giving reference to the blogs/youtube videos I have used a long the way, because I for sure have not come up with any of this information on my own. So, let’s talk hair!
My little man, who is 6, has the easiest routine. So far, he enjoys a buzzed look, which is by far the easiest. It needs very little attention, and he can almost do it himself (even though he would much rather have his head massaged by his mama). We buzz his head about every 6-8 weeks, wash it once every two weeks and put on a leave in conditioner every morning. Because we’re not trying to grow his hair out, product is simple. We use Cantu brand products, which can be found at Target or Walmart. For his leave in, we use Cantu brand Leave in Shea Butter Conditioner. It smells fabulous and is easy to rub in. For washing we use Cantu brand Shampoo and Conditioner. However, after watching a Facebook Live video done by Kristen Howerton, a famous blogger who also is caring for black hair, I will probably be switching over to a brand called “Shea Moisture”, sold at Target. It is fun to try out new things, until you find something you love.
Now on to Viola, who is 8. Her hair care routine takes a lot more time and consideration, because we are trying our best to grow out her beautiful curls. I have taken a lot of time to research what I should and should not be using on her hair, as well as consulting with my black friends for tips and tricks. We had the unbelievable honor of spending an afternoon with Kanisha at “Tutus and Tennis Shoes” and she was a wealth of knowledge. Because of this trip to the salon, our hair care is going to look a little different. (Disclaimer: When asking other black women/mamas for tips, my biggest piece of advice is to not get offended when they tell you that you are using the wrong products. It is easy to feel like a failure when trying to learn this skill, but know that whoever is helping you truly just wants you to be using the best product). Kanisha asked me to show her what I was using in Viola’s hair, so I grabbed it out of the bag and she quickly took it from my hands and threw it right in the garbage. We all had a good laugh before she went into the chemical make up of the product and informed us why it was not the product to use. Kanisha was very helpful in showing us how to detangle, wash and condition Viola’s hair. I would strongly recommend taking your little ones to a professional salon and having them walk you through a daily routine. In a little bit, I will talk more about our trip to the salon.
Viola’s daily routine looks a little different, depending one what style she is wearing at the time. What always stays the same is the sleep cap she wears at night. This protects her hair from the materials that make up her blankets and pillow case. Because of this, every style’s daily journey begins with taking the sleep cap off. Currently she has crocheted extensions, so our routine is pretty simple, coconut oil on the scalp, gently detangle the extensions,then out the door. When Viola wants “free hair”, we wet the hair down with a spray bottle, gently detangle the hair using my fingers and then add either a leave in conditioner or organic coconut oil until the hair appears completely covered. If her hair is in twists or puffs, we make sure to spray with a spray bottle and then rub coconut oil on her scalp/braids. Side note: I will also be trying the “Shea Moisture” products with Viola, as well.
If you do not read anything else I have written, please read this : NEVER try to detangle or style the hair unless it wet. The spray bottle will be your best friend. Detangling or styling dry hair will cause the hair to damage and break.
I feel very strongly about us parents learning to care for our kiddos hair. I think it is important for bonding, and can be a special time. With that being said, it can also be quite challenging, especially if you have a child with a tender scalp (like Viola). Hair time can quickly escalate into a not very fun time of crying and arguments, but we try as hard as we can to set this time up to be successful. Snack, tablets and movies help us keep Viola distracted, and keep hair time special and peaceful. With all that being said, my husband and I also believe it is important for Viola to experience different cultural things, for example, having a black woman do her hair in a salon. So we have decided that once a year (right before school starts) we will take Viola to “Tutus and Tennis Shoes” to have her sit in Kanisha’s chair and be treated like a princess. This time around, Kanisha put crocheted extensions in Viola’s hair and it was so fun to watch. Viola’s confidence level shot through the roof on that day and she couldn’t wait to show all of her friends and family. The smile on her face says it all.
I encourage you all to take time to learn the art of braiding and twisting. Experiment different styles on your kiddos and give them something to be proud of.I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed if you take the time to practice and excel at this skill. Below I am posting a few youtube videos I reference.
Thanks for stopping by!