Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The "All You Need To Know About HAIR" Post (and I'll need YOUR help)

Ok, so i need Yall's help on this post!!! I'm gonna share what I do to Miss Lucy Lane's hair...but I need YALL's advice too on what YOU do that works...So, feel FREE to read my post...then PRETTY PLEASE leave WHAT YOU USE...What is your favorite product??...What is your BEST tip?? And, feel free to leave WHAT type of hair YOU are dealing with at home that MAKES your certain product work so well!!! I am emailed DAILY asking about "what I would suggest to use" and this post will be linked on my side bar to help with those emails!!!!

***So, I was asked to talk this weekend in Atlanta at the Created for Care Retreat on African Hair!! No worries, there was an AA Salon owner there to make sure I wasn't messing I just was there to give the adoptive Mom's point of view!!! So, this is SOME of what I shared and learned:

***Ok, so...This is HOW Miss Lucy Lane's hair CAME right from the start....NOT MURCH:
She was pretty bald...she had a few wisps here and there..but nothing you could do anything with..Not sure if she had been shaved OR if she was born bald...but that, above, is HOW we started.......

**Well, I love that I got to GROW with LL's hair...meaning...I could practice little bits at a time since it grew in slowly!! :) PLEASE NOTE: I am NO expert...I am learning by "trial and error" EVERY DAY!! I mess up ALL the time...but I KEEP TRYING!!! I LOVE working on LL's hair!! I really do think it is fun. Some might call me "obsessed" with her curls :) I just like to think that I take her HAIR SERIOUSLY!!! :) So, here are some of my tips right from the beginning:

1. ASK for help!!! Ask every African American you know or come across: WHAT WOULD THEY USE IF SHE WAS THEIR DAUGHTER!!! I've learned MORE tips just by asking!!

2. Read books and/or hair blogs!! They are out there!! Please suggest YOUR FAVORITE in my comments for that as well!!

3. Don't give up!! AA's have been at this for GENERATIONS!! We can't learn everything there is to know IN ONE DAY!! So, don't give up when you fail at first!!!

4. MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE!!! If you do nothing else, then moisturize that child's head daily with product!!

5. Detangle..or De KNOT!!! Allowing the hair to get matted, tangled and knotted will make the hair break off and fall out!! Ya don't want a child with bald spots if you can help it!!

6. Do NOT over wash it!! I wash every one to two weeks!! Over washing causes it to dry out...

7. Have your child sleep on a satin pillowcase and/ or satin night cap!! They sell them at Sally's. LL has done this from day one!!

8. Don't be intimidated...Take your child to an AA Salon if you aren't being successful!! They will get you back on the right track!!

9. Watch the documentary by Chris Rock "Good Hair" It is a little beware...but OH SO FUNNY and informative!! The hubby and I put the kids to bed and watched it one night early on...YOU'LL INSTANTLY LEARN HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO GET THE HAIR RIGHT!!!

**So, LL's hair is a TIGHT, SPIRALED, SILKY curl:
It doesn't even knot that badly because her spirals are so tight that they stay "in place" and don't knot together!! Also, I don't think her hair is VERY thick...So, I can still finger comb it most of the time and keep the knots out....

**Alright...MY #1 mistake is that I always USE TOO MUCH PRODUCT!! Yes, I figure that TOO much is better than TOO little..but I know from all my friends that LL is NOT suppose to be leaving "marks" with her oily hair every where we go...So, I'm trying to cut back...but it's hard...I like my baby with some product in her hair:
Yes, above, is right after our routine...and it looks a tad "white" but it really did/does dry CLEAR...her head does not stay "white" passed the first few minutes!!! I promise i dont' leave the house like this!! :) And, yes, I hear that TOO much product is bad for the hair too....I'm learnin!! :)

**So, what do I do: Let me tell ya:

1. I use a spray bottle each morning mixed with water and AA conditioner..just a few good squirts of the conditioner to help the water NOT dry out her hair...I just 'dampen' the hair..i dont' soak it..This instantly brings her curls back alive....

2. I then start finger combing it to make sure there are NO knots!! I might add a little detangler at this point too...There are several different brands I will show you in a minute!!

3. Once the knots are out..then I'm ready for my daily moisturizer!! There ARE hundreds of different brands you can use...I'll share those in a minute!!

4. You work the moisturizer from ROOT TO TIP and make sure it is distributed evenly. They say use a dime size amount...ummm...i use lots more than that!! :)
5. I usually at this point put LL's hair up on top of her head in a soft, cotton pony tail to dry. LL's hair is SO tight that IF I DON'T do this then her hair is a 1/2 inch all over her head..and her hair is REALLY 6-8 inches long now!! I let it dry that way, then I take it down before we go somewhere and stick a bow or headband in!! (i've never tried any kind of braiding yet...IF LL wants that when she is older, than I'll take her somewhere to have it done :)

6. According to Carroll's Daughter..I'm done for the day...but I find LL's hair is looking frizzy and slightly dry again AFTER nap..So, I usually add a little more moisturizer later in the afternoon to "freshen her curls" !!

7. Now, this is where I'm sure I DO TOO MUCH MOISTURIZING..cause before she goes to bed I like to use a little hair oil of some kind and moisturize her hair before going to bed....LATELY I've learned that if I moisturize her hair in oil, put her hair in TWISTS all over her head...then she wakes with beautifully, shiny, BIG hair!! And, it's NOT greasy at all in the morning..everything has soaked in...When she sleeps in TWISTS, then her hair looks THIS BIG WHEN SHE WAKES:
I love her hair BIG!!! So, i usually do twists every other night...and again, she's always sleeping on a satin pillow case!!

***Ok, so WHAT PRODUCTS DO I USE??? Well, i've tried them all...from the Old School, to the New School, to the ALL Natural, to the ALL Un Natural!! I've tried Cheap, Middle priced and expensive!! And, I just keep trying new things as I hear about it!! I think it is FUN!! :)

So, my first product that my AA girlfriend bought for me was this :
I personally really like it...but it IS pricey!!!

**My favorite brush is this:
I've read lots of blogs that suggest it...It really does work well.

***I've also tried this:
I really like Kinky Curly..and I can buy it at Whole Foods!

And, I like this (which is really inexpensive and you can buy at Walgreens and such) :
I also love me some Carroll's Daughter products...I took LL to the counter in our local mall where they sell it all...I sat her on the counter and asked the lady "What should I buy?" She played with LL's hair and we had a GREAT hair was lots of fun:My latest favorite is It smells wonderful:
And, the first time you order Curls..they send you free stuff!!

My Ethiopian girlfriend suggested the Pantene line for "women of color"!! (that is the actual name on the bottle) It is easy to find and very inexpensive..and works great:Then there is OLD SCHOOL....Pink has been suggested as a moisturizing oil by more AA's than I can count. I will put this on LL's hair at night sometimes before doing her twists...I has NOTHING natural or good in it...but hey, it's been suggested a hundred times!! :As far as skin goes..i LOVE the Vaseline with CoCo butter line:
I love the body oil. I put this on LL and zip her up in a sleeper and she is sooooo smooth and shiny the next morning!

***So, there are literally hundreds of more products...I also just bought the Second Life Hair's all natural and really moisturizes well too!!

****So, these LONG posts make me tired this late!! :) So, I'm leaving the rest of THIS POST up to YALL!!! Leave your favorite tip, product, site, hair blog, etc. in my comment box...Tell why you like it..OR what type of hair it works well on....AND, again..i'm no expert...that's why I'd LOVE all of YOUR tips and product suggestions..... Thanks everyone!!!

Happy Wednesday to you all, kj


  1. Thanks for sharing this info! I'm trying to get ready for our little girl coming from Ghana. I was wondering what you mean by "TWISTS"? Is that a product or a way you do her hair?

    Thanks again!

  2. good question..I wish I had it on video..I take two strands of hair (instead of 3 like a traditional braid) and just wrap one around the other...just keep overlapping...twisting the hair...So, it's like braiding with only two pieces of hair..does that make sense?? my parts aren't pretty..that' s why we just sleep in it...I wouldn't dare go out of the house like that!! LOL I do this all over her head..then it releases the tightness..hope this helped, kj

  3. With an older girl I am learning that as girls of color age they want their hair straight. We were taught by Gracie Krehbiel (another adoptive family friend) how to do straight hair. Gracie straightened it the first time for me. We realized that it was in dire need of a professional cut. I took my daughter to Unruli in downtown Franklin, TN to get her hair trimmed. We were fortunate to have a guy cut her hair who has two sisters adopted from Sierra Leone. He confirmed all that Gracie had told me about how to do it straight.

    We first wash with an Aveda shampoo and a good rinse out conditioner. We then spray with a heat protective spray before we dry or anything. That is ALL the product we use and we only do this once every two or three weeks. I use a blow dryer with a special attachment to "pull" the hair straight. This cuts down on some of the time with the flat iron. I then start at the base of her neck and work up to the top taking little sections and going over and over with the flat iron. When you stay in the habit of doing this, it doesn't get tangled, knotted or matted. It is SO low maintenance! She does sleep in a wrap. The wrap keeps it pressed flat and helps keep it straight. I don't think the silk pillowcase or hat would be enough doing it this way. Sometimes we will wash and dry at night and then straightened the next morning to break up the routine. If we do it straight through it takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. That may sound like a lot, but we aren't doing it that often. During the weeks between we can use any brush through it and she often fixes it herself.

    I will add too...our gym coach at school is AA and she pulled me aside and wanted to know where I was taking her to get it done. She thought I had put a relaxer on it. She told me that no AA women would believe I was her mama. I took that as a compliment :-)

  4. Kristi,

    We just got our Educational toolbox from CCI last week and there's a book included on AA hair. Did you find it helpful at all? Just wondered if it will prove to be a good resource or not. I guess maybe it will depend on what type of hair our kiddo has huh?

  5. Kristi, Thanks so much for sharing all this GREAT info on hair! My two girls are age 12 and 1. The 12 year old likes her hair in braids or "pretty curls" (that would be NOT frizzy curls! Lol!). I usually use hair gel to get the curls to look the way she likes (BAD I know, but it works!), but now I'm thinking I might give some of your ideas a try :D My 1 year old doesn't have enough hair to do much with, but I do use an oil mix on it after her bath. I LOVE it! It's called "Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil" and it's really cheap at WalMart. It smells wonderful and it gives my baby beautiful, soft, ringlet curls!

    I also wanted to mention that there is a GREAT video series on YouTube, one of which shows how to do twists. Just search for "katelynylyn twists". She also shows how to braid, do locs, etc.

    Can't wait to read all the comments on here and get even more ideas!! :D

  6. though i like what we use, i am excited to try some new things. especially ones that smell yummy.

    we use the olive oil brand conditioner every day or every other, their leave in conditioner and sometimes their hair dress. i love the way it smells and it's affordable and at my walmart. also love carol's daughter hair milk. such a beautiful fragrance. lulu's curls are pretty loose, so we don't do twists. i should probably get a satin pillowcase huh? after she wakes up from a nap, it can look a bit of a frightful mess. as for her skin, palmers shea butter is all i've used so far. it's the consistency of crisco, but keeps her from getting ashy. and it's also affordable and available at walmart.

    thanks for sharing what you've learned with us! i have loved the adventure of learning about her hair. i pray it will be a sweet time of connecting for us in years to come.

  7. I think we're on the same wavelength tonight Kristi! I just did a post about Madeleine's hair. I use a lot of the same products you do. Carol's Daughter Hair Milk is one of my favorites and I love I have to try Miss Jessie's - it looks great! I'm afraid I "over-product" Maddy's hair too. More just always seems to be better! Thanks for the tips! :)

  8. I have a 9 year old half Puerto Rican Daughter who has huge spiral curls (like Tina Turner).. but her hair grows very long since she is half Caucasian. I get compliments on her hair everywhere we go at how long and beautiful it is. I have also tried a TON of products... the AA products were always too greasy or oily. It was hard to find a product good for a biracial child. I recently went into Sally's Beauty Supply ( A popular chain in California) and they highly recommended the "HAWAIIAN SILKY 14-IN-1 MIRACLE WORKER". I go 16oz for $5!!!! It is one of the most popular products sold at the store.. so I bough it!! It makes her curls bouncy and beautiful and is NOT greasy!! Kristi if you don't have a Sally's and can't find it in TN, I can send you a bottle. :) I even used a few sprays on my Caucasian hair before bed one night and could not believe how healthy and moisturized my hair was the next day!! You will love it!

  9. After researching and researching and some trial and error for ISaac's hair we found this stuff that was recommended to us by some other adoptive momma's by Sisterssmith and we love it and people are constantly smelling isaac's head because it smells so good! you can get different scents but we order brown sugar and it makes his head smell like a maple doughnut!

    We co-wash his hair right now, which means you wash with conditioner not with shampoo and will only actually use shampoo every few weeks or so, so we dont dry it out! We then after his bath will put some wet set pudding into his hair and comb it all out before bed. In the morning, each morning whether he had a bath the night before or not, we spray quick fitz spray all over to make his hair get some moisture and his curls start to spring and then to set it i put some more wet set pudding in his hair and his hair stays the longest with this combo of stuff more than any other thing I have tried!

  10. Your daughter's hair looks BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Here's some things that helped us. There is a blog called "Happy Hair Girl" that is awesome! It's written by an adoptive mom of two beautiful Ethiopian princesses. Also, we have found a BUNCH of videos on You Tube with different styles. We LOVE Darcy's Botanicals (Pomade and Twisting Creme). The BEST detangler that we've used (and we've tried a ton) is Blended Beauty Curly Cake's awesome! Okay, that's just some great things we use! :)

    Thanks for this post!!!

  11. This is such great information! Kristi...that makes total sense. Thanks so much! :o)

  12. We love the Curls products too and use them on both of our girls. They work great and the products that we use are natural and organic...big plus! AND they smell so delicious I could just sit and smell their sweet little heads all day! We find them at Kim's Beauty Supply stores...there are a few in Nashville, we go to the one on OHB and Nolensville Rd, and the girls in there have been very helpful with product selection....Keep up the great work with LL's is TOO cute!

  13. Organic UNREFINED Coconut Oil is so wonderful on skin and hair. It has so many beneficial properties and is so healthy. Our whole family uses it on our skin through this cold dry winter. It doesn't leave their skin oily at all. I love the curls products too. My daughter's hair is VERY curly, kinky, knotted, frizzy, etc and would take detangling about 3 times a day. We're going in for a consult soon. She's been home for about a year and now that her hair is getting long I don't know what to do anymore. I have done box braiding and 18 little ponies. I attempted braiding but it was a disaster. She's the same age as LL so she doesn't sit still long enough. I can't wait to hear more. Thanks for talking about this topic.

  14. Thanks for sharing Kristi! I just did a post on hair care, and I actually gave you some props for suggesting the Pantene line to me a while back. I do virtually the same thing that you do (our girls have similar hair). A new product that I like is called HAWAIIAN SILKY. It is a leave in conditioner/detangler...I buy it at Sally's. It works great (and yes, Grace's hair looks white when I am done applying it) :)

  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!!! I think it is wonderful that you are trying to keep her hair as natural as possible!!! Good luck with your endeavors. I just want to refer this post to everyone I know who asks me questions about doing hair!!!!

  16. Ok this is funny way premature on this we are only in the beginning stages of adoption from Ethiopia and we do not have a preference to gender so I could be using some of these products in our sons hair? I don't know would love to know about AA boys hair as well. Any who I found this cool blog that I love and it shows a lot of GREAT braids, twists, treatments etc... for AA type hair. Its...
    Yes I am WAY too early learning about this but hey I WILL be prepared right!?;)

  17. Hi Kristi,

    Thanks so much for your post...LOVE hearing what other moms are doing. I'll be buying some of the things you recommmended.

    We have four children and two of them are from ET. We took our five year old son to the salon in ET and had him shaved, so we brought him home "bald," but his hair has grown fast and it's soft, curly, and jet black.

    We took our 3 year old daughter to the salon in ET too and had her washed, deep conditioned, and styled...both of them together cost only $15...totally worth it! It's the salon/spa right below the "Lime Tree" restaurant.

    Anyway, Sofia has short curly hair, but not in twists like Lucy's...small curls, very, very soft, and very easy to manage...actually just like my hair when I was her age (and I'm white).

    Here's what we do...wash their hair only once a week at night, followed by replenishing/deep conditioner, and capped for an hour, then rinse out. We do this on either Friday or Saturday nights so they can be capped during family movie time, and it also makes their hair amazing for church on Sunday morning. One pack of clear plastic caps from get 15 for a $1.99.

    But every other night in the shower, I put replenishing conditioner in and rinse. Then after the shower, I put "Organic Olive Oil Hair Lotion" in...basically a leave in conditioner, very creamy, non-greasy. I put a quarter size amount in one hand, put a little water on my other hand, rub them together, and massage it all the way through, using a wide toothed comb to evenly distribute.

    Every morning after Sofia gets up (after sleeping on her satin pillowcase), her hair is totally matted to her head, so I use a wide toothed comb and get all the snarls out, which creates the most hilarious poof ball of an afro on her head! Then I put a half dollar sized amount of the hair lotion in one hand, wet the other hand, rub them together and massage it into her scalp and hair that's been combed out, followed by combing the product through...then I just take my fingers and primp/fluff the curls.

    Might sound like a lot, but it only takes about 5-6 minutes each day. Then, I throw a headband in her hair with a flower on it about the size of cute!

    I never do ponytails or braids...maybe when she's older...And I am regularly asked "Where did you get that headband?" She literally has an entire dresser drawer designated for hair accessories and my favorite place for those is Claire' one, get one 50% off. Works out to be 2 headbands for $7.50. They're actually women's headbands, cloth or ribbon covered, with enormous flowers on the one side, and they have the entire spectrum of the rainbow. They don't hurt her head, she leaves them in, and the highlight of her morning routine is now to see what the headband of the day is gonna be!

    All the products I use were recommended at a hair supplies store in the Friendship Mall in ET and are also sold at Wal-Mart..."Organic Olive Oil Shampoo, Replenishing Conditioner, and Hair Lotion." I too have stopped AA women in various stores here as well as women in ET, and so far they've all conferred on these products, some of them even saying, "Oh yah, those are really good products!" And they're affordable and great smelling.

    As far as body lotion, we've used a couple different Aveenos, but I'm a sucker for good scents and Aveenos are a little bland. So our favorite lotion thus far is Johnson and Johnson's Creamy Baby Oil lotion with cocoa and shea butter...yummy stuff! Smells great, non-greasy, and makes their skin so smooth. Every night when we take our lotion "bath," our son does the same thing...he puts the lotion in his hands, puts his hands up to his face, takes a big wiff, and says "Ahhhh" with the biggest smile on his face.

    Long comment, but I hope it helps someone else. Thanks so much for sharing, I really appreciate it!

  18. I am not an adoptive momma (yet) but I am an AA woman with natural hair, similiar to LL's. It looks like you are doing a great job with her hair. I'll just tell you what I use in case any ladies need any more info.

    I try to steer clear or products with mineral oil (miss jessies, pink oil, hair grease) becuase it clogs the pores. I would suggest organic unrefined coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, basicaly natural oils that havent been refined.

    The TT works wonders on our type of hair as well as looser textured hair. I would reccomend every momma of both boys and girls get one. It will make your life much easier.

    Protective styles(braids, 2 strand twists, extensions put in properly) will do wonders for higy textured hair. Also it will make it easuer on you so you dont have to do it everday.

    If you are going to use rubber bands, soak them in an oil(I use coconut or Olive oil) for about at least 20 minutes so they wont tear the hair

    DO NOT-I repeat DO NOT put chemicals in your childs hair. Relaxers and texturizers are horrible for our hair. Its sucks the moisture out and leads to extreme breakage. My hair was relaxed when I was 3 and I grew up not knowing my true hair texture. I will be 3 years post relaxer and my hair is flourishing.

    Conditioner is your friend, but steer clear of conditioners with SLS in the top 5 ingredients. Also, you only need to shampoo highly textured hair once or twice a month while it is imperative that one cowash(was with conditioner only) at least once a week.

    Moisturize AA/ET/Biracial skin daily, using lotion, shea butter, natural oils...

    The term "good hair" is a volatile term in the AA i would suggest reseaching its history to truly understand the importance of hair in the AA community.

    The following blogs are great for beginners and the advanced when it comes to info, styles and tips.

    Beads,Braids and Beyond
    Happygirl Hair
    Naturally Curly
    Her Best Hair
    Good Hair Blog
    Keep Me Curly
    Le Coil

  19. Oh, and for mommas of tweens-teens check out the following blog for styles that arent so girly/kiddish.

  20. Hey, Kristi- yeah lots of hair on our girls very tight very thick! Hair tips we do....
    1- we use 1 cup water, 1 tbl lemon juice as a WONDERFUL :) put in a spray bottle.
    2- don't wash but maybe 2 times a you said
    3- use the pantene - with water for regular conditioner.
    4- Most people we have talked to say you need to alternate- stretching the hair out and leaving it alone. So we alternate- we may put it in several twists, braids, etc for several days, and then leave it be more natural for several days.

    Abigail - has very very very long hair. She LOVES to wear it down and free. I looks gorgeous on her!!!!

    Our other girls play a bit rough to leave it totally down for the most part- like getting sand in it, etc. maybe when they aren't quite so in the mud we can do more of that with them as well :) he he he.....

    LOVE Lucy's hair. And yes we have tried many many many products!!! Every time I smell pink's I remember when Abigail was little. :) But I have to say I love better smelling products :)

  21. Wow, you are amazing! I don't even have any great products to recommend on doing my Caucasian daughter's hair! I hope you got my diapers... they were coming from Amazon sometime last week probably while you were at CFC.

  22. We have a little boy from Ethiopia whose hair is getting long. I love it! I wet his hair down in the morning with a spray bottle, then we put some of the Hawaiian Silky on it! Amazing stuff. I brush through it all with the tangle teaster (works wonders). It combs his hair flat thought, so I use a pick and poof it up. Some days I leave it at that, but usually, I use either Pink Lotion of '10'. The pink lotion is much more affordable, but I love the way the '10' makes it look. We don't do anything throughout the day or at night and it looks good even through nap time. I thinkn the Hawaiian Silky has made the difference. So, to the lady who posted earlier, the hair care does apply to the boys to if you let it get long! Masons is long and super curly!

  23. We have tried a ton of things for a lot of money. This current stuff is not that cheap, but the bottles seem to last forever. Right now, we are pretty basic:
    Daily: Biolage detangling solution with light conditioning, wet the hair & apply (this has done wonders for totally keeping her hair knot-free with just finger combing each day)
    When we need a little more hold: Biolage molding souffle
    Each Sunday evening: Co-wash with Biolage Ultra-Hydrating Conditioner, she sits at the bathroom sink playing in the water while I comb out her hair with the wide tooth comb
    Always the satin-pillowcase.
    Its all simple, so we love it!
    I'm excited to try the twists before bed, her hair is so long but haven't figured out how to make it big...hopefully, this will help!

  24. As you know, I have two ET daughters-- and they have very different hair.
    For my R, I pretty much use all products and love them:
    Curly Q Shampoo and Conditioner
    Curly Q Detangler
    Curly Q Hair Milk Shake
    A friend also just gave me something called Alaffia, which I've been using every other day instead of the milk shake. I love the curls products and have been using them since R was 9 months old on her hair. (She's over 3 now.)

    For my E, whose hair is more similar to LL's hair, I use products as well as the curls shampoo and conditioner
    Qhemet Detangling Ghee (miracle product for helping to detangle those tight tight baby curls)
    Qhemet Burdock Root Buttercream for moisturizing.

    I also use the Burdock Root in R's hair for a deep conditioner about once a week or so.

    I avoid anything with sulfates or mineral oils-- bad for AA hair.

    And someone asked if they can use this for their boys-- YES, you can and SHOULD! Just because boys' hair is shorter doesn't mean the hair doesn't need to be well taken care of!

    I've tried lots of products on my girls' hair. E has been home a year, and I had to totally relearn hair because what works great for R doesn't work great for E.

    And the Tangle Teezer is amazing so if you don't have one for your child, buy one RIGHT NOW!

  25. I love the Beads, Braids, and Beyond website. We avoid products with mineral oils and try to buy only all natural products for Orange's hair. We cowash once a week (or more if she has played in the sand, but very little shampoo) and wash it well every other week. Spray bottle with water and conditioner combo in the morning and add a leave-in conditioner to loosen her curls and then use a wide tooth comb to make sure she is knot free. I alternate between free hair and braids or puffs. I dig the puffs right now b/c she is little and let's me do it. I know one day she won't want them so I have to do it while I can. :) Right now we use Kinky Curly products to condition and style and we use organic coconut oil to seal in the moisture. My fave shampoo is the shampoo bar from Bee Mine. I also love to use their Avocado Cream conditioner even as a leave in (small amounts are fine). No build up with any of these which is great. No greasy feel or oil residue. Orange sleeps on a satin pillow case. Can't wait to buy the detangler brush as I have heard it recommended time an time again. I am good with braids and will be learning how to do cornrows soon. I love working with her hair and her curls are beyond gorgeous. I will be sad when she asks for her hair to be straight, but it certainly won't ever be by chemicals while she is in my care...and I hope she learns to love her curls even as an adult. They are really something to be proud of. Anyway, love all the comments. LL's hair looks great. :)


  26. Wow! What a great resource! I have two little boys 3 & 9 and this is what we use: First we put on Blue Magic Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner (from Walmart). I was a crazy Mama for awhile and asked every AA man we saw what they used - this was at the top of the list. You've got to play with it and get the right amount so you're not leaving oil stains on furniture or clothing :o) During the day we add some Dark & Lovely Kids Beautiful Beginnings (from Sally's - $3-$4) this stuff smells delicious!!! We also use Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner (we leave it in after a bath) and Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner (rinse out). Oh... and we still use Johnson's No More Tears Shampoo for Curly hair (green bottle) to avoid the, "soap in my eyes!" drama!

    We were also told from these helpful men to be very careful with how short and how you cut your boys hair (if you do it yourself). The curls can grow into the scalp causing ingrown hairs ~ ouch!

    We'll be adopting an AA girl hopefully soon, so this post was exactly what we needed!!!! Thanks for being, "The Coffee Shop Blog" where all topics are discussed :o) I feel like I just sat down with a cup of coffee and talked hair with women all over the U.S.A ~ cool!

  27. Thanks for this post! It is so helpful for me. We are adopting a 5 yr old girl & 14 mo boy, so I am trying to get all the tips I can since I will have to start dealing w/ hair on our 5 yr old. The comments have been so helpful too!!

  28. Thanks for all the tips. We have a 3.5 year old boy & this post has been helpful. We've asked around to our AA friends & the Motions brand found at WalMart seems to be popular. We've used their leave-in hair moisturizer & it works well.

  29. Curlz just came out with "Cashmere Curls" that I got a sample Lily has hair just like your LL. That stuff makes her curls SO cute!! I'm about to have to order some.

    I also bought some organic Shea Butter Conditioner at the health food store. I SLATHER that stuff in...tons of it...after spritzing her hair, then I use a wide tooth comb. We also have major matted head after nap time so I'm glad I'm not the only person who has to freshen a few times a day with moisturizer for her. I started doing more finger-combing and only using a wide tooth comb every other has seemed to help some with her curl definition.

    Thanks for the tip about the ponytail on top of her head...we only have about 3-4" hair so I can't do that yet, but Lily's is the same dries SO short!!

    My black friends bought me some "grease" for her scalp...I tried it was WAY too greasy and I can't even bear to use stains everything. They swear all I need to use is grease and water. At least by my using that organic conditioner I can at least say I'm being a hair snob and blame it on that, right?!

  30. Well said Dominique!

    Love this post! LL has beautiful hair, she would look great with 2 puffs in!

    As the mother of biracial kids, I know taking care of natural hair is a learning process. I recommend doing plenty of research about natural hair care, it really helps. You will better understand why organic products are the best way to go. If your little one doesn't like wearing a sleep cap buy a satin pillow case.

    We use Aubrey Organics, Darcy's Botanicals, and Giovanni Organic Hair Care. If you live near The Vitamin Shop you are in luck because they have a great selection of organic products for natural hair.

    BTW Congrats on your new addition!!!

  31. Hi Kristi :) I just came across your blog last week. Your two new babies are adorable.

    I have a suggestion for you. My friend Kendra has a hair blog for black women/girls :) I LOVE IT *even though I'm white lol*

    She has tons of hair tutorials, product reviews, and advice. I'm sure you would like it!

    Just take a look around her blog. :)


  32. Okay...RE-reading now that I'm home with my Lil' Diva... =) Here's our routine so far:

    Wet down curls with Carol's Daughter/Princess & The Frog Leave-in called "Dream Big...detangles great and I use it with the tangle teaser that everyone reccomends.

    Then I use the "It's A Curl" line from "Itsy Bitsy Spirals" moisturizer through the hair, then the "Ring Around The Curlies" for curl definition...and I put enough in that the hair looks kinda white for a while.

    Once that absorbs in the hair I put in a little Coconut Oil to make it look extra glossy...twisting curls around my fingers to make it look proportionate around the head (she still has some bald spots from HH).

    Then my last step after her headbands/hair accessories are in is to spray some shine spray...right now I am loving the Alterna Caviar shine spray (I use this on myself as well).

    For skin I'm still looking for the right stuff...the oil gives her breakouts and the lotions aren't enough. I'll let you know when I find the right the meantime I am open for suggestions! =) Don't know if that helps...but I thought I'd share =)

  33. This posted really filled my heart! As an african american I struggled for years trying to deal with my natural hair, so it is so AMAZING that you and all of the women that have posted in the comments tackle this task daily ouf of PURE love for your children. I started off reading saying I was going to leave comments at the end about what you could use BUT you are right on the money with your products. You are using what I use in my natural hair. One tip I do have is try to stay away from any products that aren't organic. The things in some shampoos and conditioners are just not healthy for ANYONE (sulfate and parbeans) will damage the hair. Also check out youtube, search natural hair styles for small children and you will find lots of videos.

    I must also admit that as a 28 year old that is about to get married, I've NEVER thought of adopting children. But this has been a wake up call for me also. Thank you for being so transparent and allowing God to use you and your family to improve the life of children that didn't have a chance before.

    God Bless you,


Thank you for your kind words!!