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Readers Respond: Top Black Hair Care Tips for Foster or Adopted Children

Responses: 12

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As foster or adoptive parents we are asked to meet the needs of children, and many times we are asked to step outside of our own parenting comfort zones to meet those needs. And many, many times we are asked to step outside our cultural comfort zones.

Black hair care is outside the comfort zone for many foster and adoptive parents, but together we can learn to properly care for the needs of African American children in the foster care system.

Especially take the time to share those things you wish you knew back when you were brand new to black hair care.

Share Your Tips

6 yr old granddaughter

I want to start a perm on her hair by sections to see how it does. I'm scared cuz I have seen young kids that had chemical abuse & it seems that it is permanent damage as they have grown to high school. Is 6. To young with this awlful texture of hair. It has to be the worst.
—Guest Cazzandra

An Important tip!

Black Hair might seem different from other hairtypes, but all hairstyles are possible with the right tools and equipment. Also low-manipulation is key if you want your child's hair to grow out longer and healthy. Try not to wash hair more than once a week (it will dry out their hair), don't make ponytails or braids too tight, as it will weaken their roots. Go on youtube and their are many tutorials for natural or relaxed(straight) hair and help your child feel good and proud about their hair, however they decide to wear it! Healthy hair habits start from a young age, so teach them welll!
—Guest Shanice

Help

My bi-racial niece has 3 mats on the back of her head. Her mother has tried to work them out with no success. Brit won't let anyone touch her hair now. I've been asked to help and I don't' know what to do. What products can I purchase to help loosen the mats so they can be combed out? Brit wants long hair and she's only 13 and not ready for straightening. Brit just won't take care of her hair properly. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.
—Guest Denise

Black Hair

Casey - I encourage you to experiment with your children's hair. Do NOT be so stuck on keeping things "natural." I wouldn't necessarily conclude that because the older child's hair was falling out was due to being "over processed." I've learned that every person has hair that reacts differently. My hair will grow wonderfully at the crown but around the edges it breaks. If you're receiving comments that you should do more with your children's hair then by all means I think you should OR find someone who can. I am Black and have a Negroid coarse hair texture. My adoptive mother knew/learned how to apply relaxers to my hair. The feeling of never having hair that was pretty without having to spend a lot of money or be in a beauty shop all day haunts me to this day. I haven't discovered a remedy to my hair problem. I would hate to deny a child who is old enough to make the choice to have a relaxer that choice. Another option you might want to consider is having braids.
—Guest Mary

Thick~N~Long

THIS ACTUALLY WORKS! Ladies or even guys if your serious about letting your hair grow and looking and feeling healthy here is the easiest step to take. To grow African American hair there are steps and patience. Wash your hair every 1 or 2 weeks or even longer, every time you wash your hair make sure you use shampoo and conditioner, keep the conditioner on your head for about 15 mins. with a plastic bag over your head , you can also under the drier with it on your head,this will prevent your hair from breaking and shedding. after that wash the conditioner out, blow-dry and put oil all throughout your hair(ALWAYS put oil on your hair if you wet it or blowdry and straightening it because it will dry your hair out and make it look and even feel brittle) If your thinking about putting color in your hair , I advise you to put tracks in because all color will do is strip your hair. DON'T STRAIGHTEN YOUR HAIR EVERYDAY! and don't use 'rubber' bands on your hair and don't put your hair in tight ponytails
—Guest Bri

Combing and Detangling

My three daughters and I have very thick very coarse hair. It is also very long. I co-wash our hair weekly and deep condition every two weeks. I part the hair in four sections to detangle our hair while it is drenched in conditioner (makes it easier to detangle). I rinse all parts separately then rub a Shea butter mixture I use (pure Shea butter, olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, Eco styler gel) blend all that together and after adding leave-in conditioner, seal it with the mixture. A little goes a very long way. This regimen adds luster and shine and limits the frizziness. Makes for a very healthy head of hair. I never "grease" scalps, it stunts growth by clogging the pores. Add a little olive oil to the tips of your fingers and massage the hair and scalp if it feels itchy.
—Guest Jess

Opinions

Thanks for the encouragement...our three girls have been thoroughly criticized for my minimalist actions with their hair. The oldest one's hair was so over processed it was falling out on every edge, and the youngest one (19 months) draws comments about how I should do more with her hair. I love that I can use scalp conditioner, and oil lotion on any of their hair and it does fine! My goal is that even though we are different races, our girls will understand and FEEL beautiful in their natural state no matter their appearance!
—Guest Casey

Loving your child's Black Hair

Caring for my daughter's thick curly hair has definitely been a task over the years. I've learned that all natural shea-butter based products does a excellent job of keep hair healthy and manageable. It saving us many hours of untangling and tears.
—Guest Lashanda

More tips on black hair

Black hair should be shampooed only once a week or once every two weeks. Grease the scalp after the shampoo then grease the hair wet or dry. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners are good but don't over do it. Then follow up with a leave-in conditioner and detangler. I prefer organic. A young mans hair can be shampooed everyday if u want,dry the head follow up with a hair oil to keep from getting dry scalp,everyday, you should apply a pomade or hair grease then brush. Their heads require a lot of brushing, with a mans soft hair brush and can sleep in a dew rag for hair weaves.
—elemrmckinzy

Very Helpful Article on Black Hair Care

Thanks for the helpful tips. I have had my biracial daughter for 2 years now. She has beautiful curly hair. I have been trying many products and have found a few I like. This article has been helpful in my continued quest for the best products for her hair.
—Guest dianna

At Home Care with Proper Products

Having parented/adopted many kids, leaves me a wide spectrum of AA/bi/tri/racial hair to learn about. I struggled for many years, finding little support in my community. Let me share what I learned thru trial and error: 1.Go to a multi-ethnic metropolitan area to shop for ethnic haircare products. Selection there is much better and most advice will be valid and helpful. 2.The most time-consuming hair is on my beautiful African American daughter (max tight curly hair) 3.Others have been relatively easy with moisturizing natural products on hand. 4.Daily, hair needs a ritual of attention. Use extra moisturizing shampoo, followed by very moisturizing conditioner for ppl of color in showers/bath. Before it dries, massage shea butter in it. I teach independence/pride of hair as early as 4 years. They enjoy mirror time with nursery songs in the player and happily sing along. Move to the liv rm movie for 'hair hour' and braids. (11 y old gets 'texturized' hair if not damaged from pool water).
—Guest hopernch

Enjoyed Reading

It caught my attention when I read this because its kind of like a reverse situation. My parents adopted Caucasian kids and they had to take out the time to learn doing their hair. In the end with everyone's help we were able to manage. I'm coming out with a site in the future. If you would like to be a guest it would be an honor! Jeff
—Jeffery09

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Top Black Hair Care Tips for Foster or Adopted Children

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