You guys. I am terrible and I ask for your forgiveness. I haven’t done an Ask Afrobella in WAY too long. Instead, I chose the immediacy of Formspring and even there I’ve been letting questions just marinate. SMH at myself.
Mea culpa, and I’m back to answer a question all about raising little kids to LOVE their natural hair.
Today’s question comes from Lucie! And she so kindly sent me a photo of her adorable little boy!!
First, let me say I adore your site. It’s such a great resource for natural hair care and I love the positive attitude you bring to everything you post about.
Here’s my question – I have been pouring through your archives reading up on your posts on taking care of your child’s hair. I have a son (what’s the word for a boy bella?) who is about to turn two. He is biracial (I am white, his father is Black) with thick hair that is a mixture of tights little curls and some kinky locks. He has never had a haircut – I usually keep his hair in twists or let him rock the curly fro. Both of his older brothers (my step sons) and his fathers wear their hair in dreadlocks (well, one just cut them off and he is now rocking the short fro, kind of like Jay Z was for awhile). Keeping his hair natural isn’t as big of a deal because, being a boy, a lot of the hair pressure is lessened. BUT most people we know (family, friends, etc) scold us about how we should just keep his hair short. We get a lot of grief about him looking “like a girl.” It doesn’t help that a lot of the best products I seem to find for hair like his smell kind of girly. I don’t want to cut his hair – when he is older I will let him decide if he wants to keep it long, braid it, lock it up, whatever he wants to do – it’s his hair.
To sum up my question – do you have any advice for little boys with natural hair? Any good unisex products you can recommend?
I attached a picture so you can see what his hair is like. While I worry about looking like one of those white parents that “doesn’t do anything” with her child’s hair I think you can tell we keep it brushed and clean. Plus, I want you to see how cute he is 🙂
Thanks for your blog and all the support you give to parents!
Hey Lucie!! Please accept my apology for taking SO long to answer your question. And I want to thank you for writing!
Hair issues can be a struggle for any parent, but it’s such a topic of concern within the black community. Please note, I didn’t say African American – this is a WORLDWIDE thing! Parents in the islands do not play when it comes to having their children’s hair neatly combed. The issue can become even more difficult when it comes to being a parent in an interracial family, especially if you don’t share the same hair texture as your kids. Dealing with doubt while being concerned about judgment from others can’t be a good thing for you, or for your little one. It is my absolute pleasure to help you, and I am honored that you reached out in the first place!
I think your approach to your little boy’s hair is healthy and wise – letting him rock a curly fro for now seems to be the thing to do judging from other biracial kids I’ve been seeing here in Chicago. I don’t agree with the way society views unfettered hair, but it is true – little boys get less grief about wearing their hair loose and free, than little girls do. And it’s also true, many of the products on the market now are fragranced and marketed for females.
But there are unscented products, and less-scented products that can totally deliver the goods and keep your little boy bello (that works, right?) looking absolutely adorable! Here are my top picks for your little boy’s needs!
Darcy’s Botanicals. Right now I am SPRUNG on Darcy’s Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme – $12 a jar, supremely moisturizing, and not very potently scented. This is a mild scent, not a sweet and cloying vanilla. Your little man will have happy coils with this stuff. Although I haven’t tried the organic coconut and aloe moisture pudding, it looks like it may also be perfect for your boy’s beautiful hair.
Boutique de Fleurzty’s Hydrating Hair Butter. This product is made by Fleurzty, whose reputation is well established in the natural hair community. As the founder of Texture Playground, she knows a thing or two about the specific needs of natural hair. Her hair butter is super smooth, melts in your hands, and leaves my hair soft, moisturized, and completely satisfied. The lemon ylang ylang scent is more tangy and fresh than sweet and feminine. I think it’s a great unisex natural hair product.
The Khoret Amen collection by Carol’s Daughter. Now I said this years ago — Khoret Amen is not for me! The scent is definitely unisex IMO – woodsy and herby. If you’re looking for natural hair products for your little guy, this could be a good look!
Those are three products I’ve personally tried that I think could be the answer to your hair styling prayers. There are others I haven’t yet had the opportunity to review — Kinky Curly makes a children’s line called Tiny Twirls that is formulated for children’s hair, that could be just what the doctor ordered. Oyin has scents targeted toward men, so you may want to consider Frank Juice or Greg Juice, or even some burnt sugar pomade for your little guy. I hear it’s excellent for those of us who like to braid our hair! And of course, there’s Mixed Chicks which specializes in curly, coily, multi ethnic, highly textured hair.
I’d say keep his hair at a manageable length, and if you feel unready to wade into the world of styling, find a barbershop that takes pride in taking care of little kids’ hair. This will take some research, but once you find a salon or shop where your little guy can go to get his hair braided or twisted, you can watch at close range and get some at-home styling tips that you can then use in the future!
I hope that helps, Lucie! I won’t be as terrible about answering future Ask Afrobellas, I promise. I’m back on track! If anyone has additional advice for Lucie, please leave a comment for her below.
If you’ve got an Ask Afrobella question, e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to join my Facebook page here!