Ladies, I’d like you to meet Dominique Aura, the littlest Afrobella in my family.

She’s 17 months old and a bundle of fun. And as you can see, she’s got quite the thick head of hair for such a wee one!

Like her Auntie Patrice did at that age, she hates having her hair done.

It takes a lot of patience, time, and love to take Dominique from fierce ‘fro to neatly presented little curly-haired cutie.

After having my efforts at applying some Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk rejected in no uncertain terms (Dominique’s new favorite word is “No!”) I had to ask her mom (my sister-in-law), how the heck she does it every day.

She sits behind her on the bed, parts her hair into sections, and uses lots of moisture before beginning to comb from the tip to the root. And believe me, Dominique doesn’t make it easy for her mom.

“You have to distract her in some way, because like all women with curly hair, she has a lot of tangles and knots. So every day I have to find a different thing to distract her,” my sister-in-law Lindsay, explains. She uses toys, cartoons on TV, shiny jewelry, even the very hair clips and accessories she’s about to use in Dominique’s hair to keep her little hands busy.

Eventually, she becomes entranced enough to sit still and let Mama work her magic.

Most often, Lindsay does her hair in two adorable little braids, she uses a chic headband to pull her afropuff back, or for special occasions, she’ll break out colorful hairclips for a funky style.

For Christmas, I gave the grown bellas beauty baskets, and gave Dominique a basket of her own, filled with the entire line of my beloved Suave for Kids. Now, after they wash her hair with dragonfruit shampoo and grape conditioner, they spray her with awesome apple detangling spray. That’s good enough to keep her curls clean, but what about styling products for little afrobellas?

Trinidad has limited baby supplies in terms of moisturizers for natural hair. The search led Lindsay to Trinidad’s biggest beauty supply store. “Pennywise didn’t have anything for babies. They said their detanglers are for bigger kids. I was like, what should I use to moisturize her curly hair? There really aren’t any products like that here,” explains Mama Lindsay.

“Her hair is getting longer now, so the detangler that you gave me helps. But I don’t always want to put it in plaits, sometimes I just want to make it look shiny and pretty with her hair out,” says Linds, who currently uses petroleum jelly to give Dominique’s hair some shine, and to slick down her flyaway baby ringlets.

Vaseline is certainly not the best product for anyone’s hair – thick, mineral oil and petrolatum based products clog pores and don’t encourage hair growth. Lindsay tried to find some pure coconut oil, but was unable to source a steady supply of well-produced, pleasant smelling oil.

That sent me on a mission for hair care tips and a moisturizing, nurturing product for the littlest afrobellas. At my go-to hair care resource, Motown Girl, I found some awesome tips for child hair care, and she also has this great article about the importance of keeping a child’s hair natural, written by hairstylist Kelli Harris.

I also found a valuable resource in this adoption site for and by Caucasian moms, which features both confused and accurate information about hair care for little afrobellas (Seriously, about midway through that post it starts getting a bit ridiculous. Many of the hairstyles these women are trying to do are waaaaaaaaay too complicated).

I became fixated on SoftSheen Carson’s Baby Love line, but I couldn’t find ingredient details on their website. And SoftSheen Carson being the company behind Optimum, Dark & Lovely, and Carefree Curl, I just suspect that their baby stuff is chock-a-clock with chemicals, and probably based on petrolatum and mineral oil.

Then I discovered another wonderful article at Mommy Too! Magazine, a great new webmag for black moms.

“Tis the Season to be Curly” is a to-the-point article by Mahisha Dellinger, founder of Curls. In addition to offering raved about products for grown-up afrobellas, Curls has a line of products for kids.

Curly Q’s for Kids is a range of cleansers, moisturizers, conditioners, and styling products for little afrobellas that is made with pure ingredients including coconut oil and sweet almond milk. Huzzah!

So for little Dominique’s birthday I will get her Curly Q Milkshake, Custard and Coconut Dream Conditioner.
I’m sure those products will keep her looking and feeling like the little princess that she is.

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Watch_and_Learn says:
January 7, 2007, 11:37 pm
Baby Bella is too adorable!!!
blackjade says:
January 7, 2007, 11:53 pm
She is beautiful!
Black Honey says:
January 8, 2007, 12:59 am
What a beautiful baby!!!
Dee says:
January 8, 2007, 1:42 am
What a cutie! My girlie is four and the styling has not gotten easier. We keep it pretty simple. Minimal poo, lots of conditioning and moisture, moisture, moisture (mostly organic coconut oil). Here's another article on styling baby bellas even though I'm not a fan of blowdrying the hair...
Anita Grant says:
January 8, 2007, 6:56 am
BEAUTIFUL!!! I want 2 just like Dominique! For what it's worth here are my suggestions: Use single oils on baby hair like 100% Pure Virgin Coconut Oil or single fruit oils like Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Organic Watermelon Seed Oil etc.. No petroleum - here in Europe the European Union's Dangerous Substances Directive (UNECE 2004) lists petrolatum as being a probable human carcinogen. Those personal care products that do contain petroleum (petrolatum) must verify its full refining history prior to public sale... IMHO better safe than sorry especially with baby bellas. YES ITA with Dee, moisture, moisture, moisture! Instead of shampoo use herbal infusions on baby bellas those with loads of plant mucilage. Freshly made herbal infusions can act as a shampoo, clarifier and/or final rinse for delicate baby hair. Herbal infusions are like making a cup of tea just make sure the water has cooled sufficiently for baby bella. IMHO - dried herbs that are lovely for baby bellas are: Organic Chamomile Organic Lavender Organic Roses Whatever you do *do not* use honey on baby bellas. Honey should not be used on infants under the age of 12 months for fear of infant botulism. Clostridium bacteria may be one of the causes of infant botulism. This bacteria is said to be found in certain types of foods like honey. Infant botulism may occur in children from the age of six months or under. These are my suggestions & should in no way be construed as medical advice.
1969 says:
January 8, 2007, 8:49 am
She is absolutely precious. Love her Princess attire. I have two sons who have thick heads of curls. I also use the Suave shampoo and conditioner and I find that adding some infusium leave in conditioner does wonders for their hair.
HomeSpaGoddess says:
January 8, 2007, 9:50 am
She is a cutie! Does your sister-in-law take her hair down every night? If she does, of course there's going to be a battle every morning:) My mom had two foster kids with hair that was just like heres and I would make braids that lasted a few days after moisturizing and washing with conditioner only.
Toya says:
January 8, 2007, 10:51 am
She's beautiful! I use Curls products for my own hair and am about to order the Curly Qs for my 3-year-old's hair. I'll let you know how they work!
Dionne says:
January 8, 2007, 12:59 pm
Your niece is so adorable. I am an adult and I just discovered Curly Q's Coconut Dream Conditioner at Ricky's in New York. I love how hydrating the product is, and it also makes detangling a lot easier.
jerseybred says:
January 8, 2007, 4:41 pm
She's a cutie. Bella your next!!
Bridgette says:
January 9, 2007, 10:40 am
I have a 2 yr old with type 3c hair. I wash it with baby shampoo and use coconut oil to moisturize. I'm always looking for improvements so I will definitely try the Curly Q's products. She hates having her hair washed although I can usually distract her like your sis-in-law for the combing part. Thanks so much for all your wonderful advice. Love your site!
Dahls says:
January 9, 2007, 3:36 pm
she is adorable bella!! She is indeed a natural bella in the making. I love it. My sister was also having a little difficulty with my niece's hair. She has 3a hair, it is thick and there is a lot of it!!! I love the fact that you touched on the issue of natural hair for kids. My sister is relaxed and has had relaxed hair from her early teens. The adjustment to taking care of natural hair has been difficult, especially since she no longer relates to natural hair (we had a little conflict over natural hair care, she like most, still holds onto all the misconceptions about natural hair). My sister was using pink oil moisturizer and Always Natural conditioning hair dress on my niece's hair. Both products are packed with petroleum and mineral oil and needless to say my nieces hair was a mess. After that ordeal I got her a few products from kids organics. I highly recommend them. She uses their Shea butter detangling hair lotion and their protein & vitamin scalp remedy. While these products aren't vegan products they at least contain no Petroleum or mineral oils. The difference in her hair was instant and my sister had to given to the information that I was giving. They have a very broad range of products that cover all aspects of hair care. My niece currently uses the suave kids 2 in 1 shampoo (yup in Dragon fruit), but because its cold right now in NY she isn't using their detangler because its water based. I also realized that her hair responds better to a cream detangler. She has also had success with the Loreal line for kids shampoo. I plan to eventually try the kids Organics Shea butter conditioning shampoo and conditioner on her. Those a few of my recommendations. Sorry for such a long post
Erika says:
January 9, 2007, 5:12 pm
OHMYGOD she is adorable! What a little cutie :)
bella says:
January 10, 2007, 10:23 am
Ha ha, Jerseybred!! Give me a few years. I'm not ready yet - spending time with her over Christmas made me realize how much of a life-change a baby can be!
Linlin says:
January 10, 2007, 3:33 pm
Hi Bella, Love the article on baby bella, as you know she is just the best, we love her so much. Thank you Anita Grant and Dahls, I will check it out. Bella love to you and keep up the good work.
selah'smommy says:
April 9, 2007, 6:52 pm
she is toooo cute!
fingerprint says:
August 16, 2007, 4:10 am
Too cute!
cashe says:
September 17, 2007, 3:58 pm
please help. my baby girl is 2 years old, and her hair is very fine and soft but also (looks rough) and dry. her hair is very curly to. she is 1/2 white 1/2 black also. i have tired everything in her hair and nothing seems to work. her hair will look moisturized for my be 10 min, then its back to being fizzy and dry.i hear talk of all these products,carols d,curls,blended cutie,mixed chicks and jessie curl. i dont know who to trust in my babys hair.please help who has the best line for my little afrobella.
Tisha says:
October 29, 2007, 9:37 am
This is just the kinda information that i was looking for. Thanks a million. Your niece really is adorable.
Mahogany Momma says:
November 20, 2007, 12:09 am
Love this post. I added it to my website: Mahogany Momma's Guide to African American Children's Haircare Take Care lh.
KimPossible says:
December 3, 2007, 12:44 pm
OMG! That little girl is ADORABLE! You guys need to put Little Ms. Terrible Two's to work. She needs to be doing commercials. I am so serious. She is a cutie pie and seems like she has a lot of personality. Keep in touch and drop by my blog spot. KimPossible
Ingrid says:
February 5, 2008, 1:50 pm
I know I'm way late on this post, but what is 3a, 3c, etc. type hair??? I want (read: need) to be in the know on this! ;-)
Robyn Scott says:
September 4, 2008, 5:08 pm
Healthy hair is something that we all want, and that's why the sales of products that are supposed to give people healthy hair are so huge. However, most of the time those products are simply not what they're cracked up to be. There are many things we can do to prevent hair damage, and to treat damaged hair. It's a pretty good idea to use conditioner every time you shampoo your hair. This can help hydrate your hair, and is also good for tangles. Leave in conditioner is fine as long as it doesn't weigh the hair down and make it appear oily. Don't forget that you shouldn't brush your hair when it's wet, as it stretches easily and can break. Instead, wait until the hair dries to gently comb it out. Shea Butter is amazing for the hair. With it's hydrating and healing properties, Shea Butter can be used as a deep conditioner. Just rub a generous amount of the Shea Butter between your hands to melt it and apply it to the hair. Make sure to pay close attention to the ends of hair, which is more likely to have damage than the roots. After you have covered all of your hair with the Shea Butter, place a shower cap on your head and allow the Shea Butter to work it's magic for about a half hour or so. Then you can use a gentle shampoo. Another tip is to use Shea Butter to tame flyaways. Just use a dime sized amount, rub your hands together, and smooth your hair down with it. This will help keep your style the way you want it without annoying frizz. Beautiful hair can be achieved by everyone, if we all take care of our hair properly. For more information please visit Purely Shea at
shanda says:
October 25, 2008, 4:15 pm
your daughter is beautiful, i was looking at the pictures and had seen that the last photo has a glare in her left eye, while watching 20/20 which is a news show, it was talking about a case where a person was viewinf photos on the internet and cometo find out the person was friends to the person that was on the photo, they exchange pictures of each others child and there was a glow to one of the girls eye, its the same glow that is in the last picture, please take her to a optomitrist and get that checked out...please......i am not trying to scare you but i am justing asking that you get her eye checked on.///
Lawrence Walker says:
June 12, 2010, 1:59 am
I visited your website. All babies pics are very cute and hairstyle is good. I love very much..
Kira says:
September 29, 2010, 1:55 am
Will this work on a child that is mixed? My niece is three and her hair is about almost waist length and I've yet to find anything that "truly" works on her hair without weighing it down, drying it out, or leaving it sticky-feeling. Her hair isn't thick or thin but it tangles really bad after her hair is shampooed and we have to keep it in two braids while she sleeps to prevent any further tangling. It's a big hassle and your product says "Afro", so I'm not sure if you are speaking texture or race. We use a product called "Mixed-chick" but it's okay. So, can we use this or no?
Casmom says:
July 28, 2011, 1:47 pm
I really need your help i have a 15 month old im trying to find a product that will keep her hair moisturized i've tried everything she has kinky curly hair please help
LiviMommy says:
January 16, 2012, 11:10 am
My baby girl is 17 months old with patches of very thick, long hair, alternating with patches of thin, short hair. She suffers frm eczema, so she can't use products with any perfumes or she will itch, itch, itch. What can I use for shampoo, conditioner or detangler? currently I'm using Baby Aveeno body wash as a shampoo, because I'm at a total conditioner, and virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer. Help!!
Heather says:
May 17, 2012, 11:55 pm
I have a 15 month old son he is biracial and I dont know what to put on his hair. It is kinky curly when wet then it looks frizzy and dry. People tell me to pic it out and trim down his fro but I like it when it looks
Chandra says:
September 15, 2012, 10:05 am
All of u have given great advice about hair care! I have a 11month baby girl that absolutly hates her hair bein combd. I have to do her hair at night when shes about to go to sleep. My family has always used LIV on our hair for over 25 years. Well i didnt know how much the different chemicals really hurt our hair until some of u said to start lookn at the ingredients. So, LIV has petroleum, mineral oil, sodium borate, methylparaben,propylparaben and the list goes on! So im gonna start using natural products on my lil punkin and for me and my husband. These days theres so many products that claim to be natural until u look at the ingredients!
hipseat says:
November 30, 2012, 11:51 am
What do you think is the preferred baby carrier then? After this research We are still divided between a backpack carrier and a baby sling, I want some thing which won't induce a lot of agony when holding him for a couple of hours.
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