Caring for the Hair of Your Adopted Black Child
Parents of a different race or culture who adopt Black children find out that Black hair is a big deal. Some feel that Black hair should not be this important with so many other issues going on, but in a Western world, Black hair draws attention naturally. Your child’s Black experience here will shape how they desire to wear their hair.
Keeping your child’s Black hair maintained is not vain, but necessary. It gives them confidence in a world that doesn’t always represent them in a positive light. Steps to make a difference:
1. Help them avoid forming stigmas and negative opinions about Black hair.
2. Develop camaraderie with other Black children so they can learn about other Black hair types.
3. Help them embrace their individuality so they do not resent the differences between their hair and their family members’ hair (especially if it’s considered the “western standard”).
Suggestions for parents to make the journey enjoyable:
1. The Key elements to look for in Black hair care products are: Moisture, Hydration, Softening/Detangling, Oils, and Ingredients that support healthy growth. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to use all-natural products. All-Natural products only work well for certain black hair types. If your child’s hair is unresponsive to all-natural products, it is perfectly fine to use products with natural ingredients that are safe and well-made.
2. Determine the easiest way for you to maintain your child’s hair according to their activities and your lifestyle.
3. Learn the basic upkeep for hairstyles (natural, silk-outs, relaxers, twists, braids, locks, or haircuts).
4. While YOU are learning, also TEACH your child how to do their own hair. Social media tutorials are very useful, but make sure it is a healthy technique.
Black hair is diverse and can be overwhelming, even for Black people. Don't hesitate to get help!