Haircare is a constant struggle especially if you’re of multiracial descent or have children of multiracial descent. As beautiful as multiracial hair is, it poses a concern for millions of girls and women around the world as the Beauty Industry has only recently started to take an interest in hair that’s classified as ‘multiracial’.
From the slightly straight hair to the tight and loose curls, to the different shades…it’s safe to say it requires much more work than the average hair. Even women of African descent, who are finally able to say they’ve mastered the texture(s) of their hair, still struggle when it comes to multiracial hair.
What are the different types of Multiracial Hair?
But before we address managing multiracial hair, I feel it’s important we take a look at the more common varieties that exist:
- Eurasian Hair (hair common to people of European and Asian descent)
- Afrocasian Hair (hair common to people of African and European descent)
While Blasian and Afrocasian hair are very similar, there a few variations depending on which gene is dominant. Since Asian hair divers across each Asian subgroups than hair of Anglo-Saxon origin, sometimes the textures of the hair varies.
Eurasian hair is similar to Caucasian hair, however the thickness depends on the which Asian sub-group the individual’s ancestors belong to. An Indian woman’s hair for instance is slightly thicker than that of a Chinese woman’s hair.
How do I manage my Multiracial Hair?
For the Blasian and Afrocasian hair, Renae Valdez-Simeon – Sr. Editor of MixtKids.com recommends the following:
- Wide tooth comb or pick. The wider the teeth, the better. If hair is short, you may use a natural brush made for African American hair.
- It’s important to use moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that function as a detangler. I highly recommend Mixed Chicks products, but I’ve also found that Loreal and Neutrogena make good Deep Conditioners that work well and are readily available at both Walmart and Walgreens. A few friends recommended Creme of Nature (moisturizing shampoo) and I have to say I’m pretty impressed.
- Moisturizing solution or spray. Personally, I mix my favorite detangling conditioner with water and use that. My daughter very thick hair so spraying isn’t much of an option for us. With thinner hair, moisturizing sprays and leave in conditioners work great. For thicker hair, be prepared to wet hair more thoroughly and apply a leave-in conditioner, such as Mixed Chicks Leave-In conditioner and comb through or work in with fingers.
- Apply a deep conditioning treatment or hot oil treatment once a month – this a must for summer months, especially if you swim as much as my daughter does. It’s also important to wear a microwaveable or professional conditioning heat cap to achieve maximum results.
- I recommend moisturizing oil/creme for children’s braids and ponytails. I use Olive Oil since it’s water soluble and does not weigh down the hair. It also does not have an over-powering smell and does not leave a film on the hair. Remember, a little goes a long way. You will have to experiment.
- A silk or satin sleep cap or a satin pillow case will also aid in maintaining your hair in a healthy condition.
What are recommended products for Multiracial Hair?
There are a few products you can use for certain hair styles that help in straightening. Pomades and gels that are aloe based, Shea butter or olive oil based softeners and lotions are all great products.
Thermo sprays are great for heat styling and protect when flat ironing. There are so many great products on the market, it’s difficult to recommend one. I prefer to flat iron my daughters hair without any aid, but that’s my preference.
Products to Avoid
This is very important as many products on the market claim to be great for curly hair. Do not be fooled. A Caucasian with curly hair is very different than a multiracial person with curly hair. So, avoid any styling products that will cause your hair to dry or fizz. These include, hair sprays, mousse products, gels and any product with a high alcohol base.
Other tips for Multiracial Hair
Many Multiracial children have beautiful curls when their hair is wet. If you want to keep that look once their hair dries or if you want a more natural curl look, here are some great tips:
- Wash hair at least once per week (the other days, rinse well and recondition)
- Detangle every day (in the shower, while reconditioning, is best)
- Put in a leave in conditioner (Mixed Chicks LeaveIn is a favorite). Apply thoroughly to hair, starting with ends and work your way up to the top of the head.
- If you need to add a little shine, try Olive Oil Root Stimulator Spray or Sheen.
- If you are in a hurry and cannot allow to air dry, use a blow dryer on the lowest temp WITH a diffuser. This will gently dry hair without creating frizz. Again, air dry is usually best, but not always practical. Especially in the winter.
Best Hairstyles for Multiracial Hair
Perms and Relaxers
A perm should only be allowed when a multiracial child is of an age where they can care for their hair. It is usually best to wait until in their teens. There is nothing wrong with wearing a curly hairstyle. It looks more unique. Since flatiron provide the illusion of a permed hairstyle, its best to flatiron your multiracial child’s hair in the early years.
Until you and your child do make that decision, use the tips in this article keep your hair healthy, natural and beautiful.
Ponytails and Braiding
Ponytails and/or braids look great and keep the hair from getting tangled. However, these styles can lead to permanent damage and hair loss.
- Don’t use bands that are rubberized and/or ones that have metal clips. These will grab the hair and break it. Use covered bands. Buy plenty as you should throw away the ones that show too much wear and tear or become exposed to rubber.
- Do remove any bands from the hair that are nearest the scalp before bedtime. For sleeping, it’s best to braid the hair and only use the bands to hold the braid. Ponytails can cause breakage if slept in.
- Don’t pull the hair too tight. Not only can this be uncomfortable for your child, it can also cause hair loss around her hairline and scalp.
- Give the hair and scalp a break! While bond styles are great and make life easier, your hair needs a rest at least once a week. I try to give my daughter one day or two where no bands are in. On those days we do head bands and barrettes. If you can’t go a whole day with hair down, try giving it a few hours in the evening and rebraid for bedtime. I find that this also helped my daughter’s hair to grow as well. Not to mention, she loves it!
- At nighttime, braid loosely if hair is really long and make sure to use a satin pillowcase or sleep cap.
- Do trim the ends of hair regularly. A trim every 60 days or so and often in the summertime will suffice. If you don’t trim the hair, the ends will begin to split and cause damage all over the hair shaft. Split ends are the major reason for tangling hair and hair that is difficult to maintain. The more you trim the hair, the healthier and easier it is to manage.
- Carol’s Daughter Launches Multiracial Ad Campaign (bellasugar.com)
- Tracee Ellis Ross and Optimum Miracle Oil (kolorblindmag.com)
- Black Women And Hair: Zandile Blay, Anthony Dickey And More Discuss Stereotypes With StyleLikeU (VIDEO) (HuffPost.com)