As soon as I found out I was having a girl, all my biracial girlfriends who grew up with white moms came flocking with their advice…
“You never know how her hair will turn out.”
“Her hair texture can change around one year old.”
“However, her hair is by age five is pretty much how her hair will always be.”
“Don’t use pink lotion on biracial girls’ hair!!!”
“If her hair turns out coarse and/or really tightly curled, ask for help!”
They all regaled me with their tales of woe from their white moms ruining their hair throughout their childhood and pleaded with me not to torture my baby girl in that manner. I heeded their advice, and promised that if my little one’s hair turned out really coarse or anything I couldn’t handle, I would enlist the help of someone who could do her hair for me/teach me how to take care of it properly.
This white mom’s got it easy, however! She has soft, beautiful curls that are easily managed with a daily deep conditioning treatment and a leave-in conditioning spray. I play around with different French braids and other fun styles for her. I have never put “pink lotion” in her hair. I use the general rule of brushing curls from the bottom and then gradually moving the brush strokes upward towards her scalp.I have a couple examples of my favorite hair styles for her texture of hair below.
She loves to take her hair out at school, but then she usually gets it all tangled up, and it’s a mess to brush back out after her bath. She was letting other kids play in her hair and braid it, but I had to end that after a few terrible knots she came home with. I told her that if she kept messing with her hair at school and it kept getting knotted, I might have to cut it off, and she’d look like a boy! (lol) “Oh no, Mommy, I don’t want to look like a boy! I’ll make sure nobody plays with my hair.” I feel bad for her sometimes, though, because it was no problem for my friends to play in my hair and braid it for me when I was growing up. I have to be protective of her hair, though, because it still takes a lot of work to maintain.
Her hair is just one thing that makes her stand out from both of her heritages. In future posts, I will talk more about the other struggles of a parent with a biracial child and what children of mixed races have to face during their lives. If any of you have experience in this or suggestions for future posts, please comment below! Biracial families are becoming more common and more accepted these days, and there is a lot from the parenting perspective that is a challenge moms of single-race kids don’t have to face. Community and awareness is what brings about understanding and accepting of all kids.