Looking After Baby’s Afro Hair
First of all … Congratulations!
Secondly … Make sure you take some time out for yourself
And thirdly … Let’s talk baby afro hair care (awwww)
Okay, so you may think that’s a long way off, but trust me, baby hair grows thick and fast! Just like our black hair, baby hair can be prone to dryness and breaking. The curls prevent oils produced by the scalp travelling down the hair shaft, moisturizing the strands, so moisturizing, even from such a young age is important. However, using the same products you use on your baby’s hair is best avoided.
Even though most of us try to avoid the harsher chemicals, such as parabens and sulfates, in our hair care products, there are usually a few milder ones listed as ingredients. With our babies, we need to steer clear of anything that may harm them, and while you may think that shampoos are only used externally, some of the ingredients are, inevitably, absorbed.
It’s advised that you only wash their hair once every couple of weeks. In between washes, use a little olive oil, stroked through. Massage it into the scalp as this helps with cradle cap, which can be a common problem in black babies, due to their tendency of having dry skin.
Cara B produce some amazing black baby hair products, and their Baby Shampoo/Body Wash is gorgeous. Containing coconut oil and aloe, it’s the gentlest baby shampoo for afro hair that I’ve found, and is great for soothing eczema, and not aggravating sensitive skin.
Combing baby hair can be a trying, time consuming task, so I recommend picking a time when your baby is distracted or tired, and spray on a leave-in conditioner. Then very gently ‘comb’ it through with your fingers, before moving up to using a wide toothed afro comb, making sure that the comb’s teeth are rounded at the tips. Just like our hair, it’s the ends that cause the most hassle, so go very carefully when you reach that part.
Always handle your baby’s hair as gently as possible, as baby scalps are particularly sensitive and easily damaged, and resist the urge, no matter how strong, to ‘style’ their hair. It’s not recommended to cut their hair, either, due to its slow growing nature.
Another great baby hair hack is to use satin (or similar) pillowcases as this prevents any tangles that can ensue from it the hair catching on cotton fabrics. However, babies commonly develop a bald spot on the backs of their heads, and this is nothing to worry about.
At around 6 months old, your baby’s hair will start to change. It loses that baby shine and softness, appearing drier and less able to hold onto moisture, more like ‘adult’ in nature.
But, putting in the proper hair care now and keeping things as natural as possible means you’ll have less hassle when their hair texture does change.