I realize I am a control freak. First of all, if you are lucky enough to have family and friends that relieve you of your child, or children overnight, be grateful. I know several mommies who don’t have that liberty, and we all need a break.
Find your village!
We are blessed to have our village, a network of family and close friends willing to help with the kids. The time alone gives us the respite we need to be balanced parents. I have composed care instructions, spreadsheets, and emails for family members on both sides of our family with tips on what to do with our kid’s hair when they stay overnight or for an extended time when we travel as a couple.
Funny story: When I began this journey into blogging and reached out to my network of family and friends for support and follows one of my white friends (which I will kindly refer to as my “light” friend) said;
“What am I going to do with a blog about how to manage mixed kid’s hair?”
Fast forward to the weekend that this same friend was gracious enough to keep our girls overnight, while we were attending an out of town wedding. When I say gracious, what I mean is that they spoiled our kids rotten for 24 hours.
These friends were our neighbors for many years; they have cemented themselves as extended members of our family. They were there from the infancy of our daughters, and their teenage daughter was our very first babysitter.
Giana and Misha view this couple, as their 3rd set of grandparents. The wedding we were attending landed on Misha, our youngest daughter’s 4th birthday. We had to send them somewhere they would be comfortable. With someone who would make the day special. My mother was also attending the wedding, and his mother was recovering from surgery. Good thing we have a 3rd set of grandparents in our village.
Make the day special; well let’s just say they over delivered. Our friends took the girls out for pizza; Giana got a manicure, both girls got to pick out a few LOLs at Target. In the evening they went swimming and browsed magazines, they made a wish list of toys for Christmas. They stayed up late and ate popcorn and all sorts of sweet goodies; they went to a pumpkin patch, and they made Halloween treat bags.
Breaking all the rules!
As a Type A mommy, I like to enforce bedtime, sugar restrictions, and limit screen time, etc. I am a bit of a control freak. Our friends let it be known that none of my mommy wishes (aka demands) would be granted on this particular visit. The kids had a blast shattering all my restrictions and regulations. Our oldest made a point to recount for me every form of sugar consumed within that sleepover, and the list was impressive.
Honestly, I was happy for them. We have the fullest amount of trust in our friends. While they seem to enjoy watching us struggle as young parents with phases they have long surpassed, we adore them and have learned valuable parenting lessons from them.
Back to the hair. Knowing that our friends have an indoor pool and were planning to swim, I sent some basic instructions and hair products in the girls overnight bags.
They washed and conditioned their hair after swimming as I requested to remove the chlorine. However, the girls slept with their hair down, and when they woke up, It was a hot mess. Boy did our caretaker have to eat her words, “what did she need with a blog about mixed kids hair?”
Do not underestimate the management of these locks. I have dedicated an entire blog to it. Our caretaker googled Tina Turner to show the girls whom she was referring to when she saw their hair in the morning.
Two ethnicities, one family
Thus, the inspiration for this post. A quick and easy guide for our family members and friends who keep our blended babes overnight. Contrary to belief, even my mother, and sisters (black women) need guidance on how to manage my kid’s biracial hair. Although my black family members are accustomed to ethnic hair, many of them are used to relaxed hair, or chemically processed hair. The care of naturally curly hair is much different. My black family members aren’t any more equipped than my white family members to manage our kid’s naturally curly hair.
Misha was coming down from a lot of sugar and not too happy in this picture to have her hair detangled.
Here are my quick guide and a link you can share with your family or caretakers.[stextbox id=’custom’ bwidth=’2′ ccolor=’d0b0c3′ bcolor=’8397b4′ bgcolor=’d0b0c3′ cbgcolor=’d0b0c3′ bgcolorto=’d0b0c3′ cbgcolorto=’d0b0c3′ image=’null’]
Quick Reference Mixed Kids Natural Hair Care Overnight Visit
- Minimize Shampoo- limit shampooing to a few times a month unless chlorine is involved. Instead, we cleanse our hair with only conditioner. Shampoo strips curls of their natural moisture. When shampooing chose a small amount of a creamy shampoo, concentrating on the scalp and do not rub in circular motion.
- Leave conditioner on for a few minutes and use more than you think you need, saturating the hair especially the ends. Fill the palm of your hand with 2 oz (equivalent to shot, or the circumference of a silver dollar), that will do half of their hair. Split into two halves making sure you cover every strand.
- Detangle from the ends to the root working in sections to gentle remove knots.
- Avoid drying with a towel; it will create more frizz and tangles. Wrap hair in a t-shirt, or microfiber towel.
- If you only have one-night custody, just add products and put in a bun and let mom style upon return.
- Apply products; the primary objective is to hydrate and lock in the water. Apply lotion to the kid’s skin, (oh yeah it needs hydration too, so high maintenance) and getting them dressed. Apply products to the hair to help lock in the moisture. You want to start with damp hair, if it begins to dry before you apply the setting products, spritz with a water bottle before the next steps.
- Leave in conditioner
The amount of product used will seem like a lot to you, but again you will want to split the hair into sections apply about 2-3 ounces on each part of the hair. Vary the amount of product based on the length and thickness of the kid’s hair; Giana’s has waist length hair, Misha’s hair is shoulder length, the number of products recommended are based on their length. The hair may even look white from the product sitting on the strands, but as the hair dries, that will dissipate.
Protective style bun, braid, ponytail. Here is a styling post if you’re looking for ideas.[/stextbox]
There you go! Now the next time you get a chance to get away rather it is for a date night, vacation or special celebration, no need to write complicated hair instructions just send this link. If all else fails a lot of conditioner and careful detangling will revive the curls. These are the pictures of Giana and Misha after we rewashed, detangled and styled their hair.
To read about detoxing hair after swimming click this link.
Thank you to the family members that give their time to care for our children, we are truly blessed to have you in our lives.