De Su Mama

Legacy of Multiracial Motherhood

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for Toddler’s Ringlet Curls

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Curly Mixed Hair – a Toddler’s Routine

After many requests, I am finally updating the mixed hair posts with Alina’s curly, mixed hair care routine now that she is a toddler. I wanted to give a few tips on how to get those adorable ringlet curls that adorn her head in most of the photos here on De Su Mama. Hair has a lot to do with personal identity for women. Having curly hair myself, I believe strongly in reinforcing the beauty of curly mixed hair in my positive parenting values. And that starts with healthy and proper hair care routines.

Alina’s hair has changed tremendously since I first wrote her infant mixed hair routine. It’s so much thicker! Her hair is also more coarse, although the way her hair looks and feels rests largely on how well its been cared for. The hair itself is still very fine. Alina has about three different textures, ranging from very soft to a few kinky strands in the front. The curls at the back of her head are very tight, with the curls on the top of her head being loose and soft. In every facet, Alina’s hair is very mixed!

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By no means am I a hair expert, but I do take great effort in making my toddler’s hair look and feel its best. I listed a few resource links in previous posts; I relied on them heavily when I was a new mom. Now, I feel more confident.

To start, and most importantly, please do not ever dry brush curly hair. You most certainly will not achieve ringlet curls that way. Using a brush (as opposed to a comb) when curly hair is completely dry only promotes breakage and frizz. So, unless you are going for an 80’s afro, don’t brush curly hair. I’ll get more into that during an upcoming styling post, and I know not everyone will agree, but I absolutely never use a brush on my or Alina’s hair.

Hopefully Alina doesn’t kill me one day for posting this “before” photo. Needless to say, I think she is absolutely beautiful all the time. But, in the picture below, you will see how dry her hair looks before we start our hair care routine.

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Toddler Hair Care Routine

Moisture is the name of the game with curly mixed hair. Every Sunday night begins the start of our weekly hair care routine. It includes a shampoo, comb through condition and then a deep condition. We do this every single Sunday. Yes it takes awhile, but the three step routine is not done every day. By the time Sunday rolls around, Alina’s hair is very dry and in need of serious hydration (like the photo above). This is also when I thoroughly cleanse her hair with a shampoo that won’t dry out her hair (I got this one from Whole Foods). Yes, her hair is shampooed once a week. Curly hair does not get oily like straight hair does, nor does my toddler sweat or get very dirty, so cleansing this often is fine for us. Her scalp is healthy and her hair is not breaking. Tip: no need to be rough with the hair when shampooing. Scrub the scalp, but be gentle with the hair.

By Sunday, Alina’s fine hair is tethered in tiny little knots. Mine does the exact same thing. I use a huge glop of conditioner that is easily combed through. I use any number of products, and switched it up quite often. Tip: Curly people, the labels on hair care packaging are flat out lies – we need MUCH MUCH more conditioner than a dime size. Lather, slather and put on some more, then use a wide toothed comb (the wider the better!) to comb the conditioner out, making sure to work the conditioner to the ends of the hair and removing all the tiny knots. To avoid hurting your baby, hold the hair with one hand at the base of the scalp while pulling the hair through the comb with the other. Start at the bottom and work your way up the hair shaft.

I spend the most amount of time combing through, to be sure all the knots are out and the curls become defined. Tip: since you are not brushing curly hair, you will have a lot more shedding in the bath than straight hair people will. This is normal.

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After you’ve used the wide toothed comb to remove knots and tangles, it’s time to get to work on defining each curl. I rinse the comb through conditioner out. Tip: And maybe for some this won’t be a tip, but I don’t rinse all of the conditioner out. She is left with decent amount of conditioner still in her hair as I move onto deep conditioning.

Right now we are using Eden Body Works JoJobia All Natural Deep Conditioner. I really do love that it’s all natural and extremely hydrating foe mixed hair. It is not easy to comb through, so be sure to have used an easier product to work with to remove tangles. The best tool I’ve found to use this deep condition are your hands, and its actually really simple. I start at the bottom of her head, where the curls are tightest, and make sure the condition is well incorporated into every strand and curl. Between my fingertips, I run the hair shaft down, from the nape of the neck to the end of the curl. I’ve read somewhere that this helps close the hair cuticle and promote definition. I also am sure to pull the curl in the direction that I want it to fall. So, at the back, I pull down, elongating the curl as I work. Again, moisture is key. Be sure to have plenty of conditioner and water on hand. Tip: try to follow the natural curl pattern and flow. Look at how your curl is shaped, and define them naturally.

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After I have gone through the majority of her hair, closing the hair cuticles (which should follow the natural curls), I go through and twist larger segments. The above pictures shows that process. I’ve always done this with with my own hair, so it is hard to explain, but you want to twist and curl with the curl pattern, but making larger curls as you go. This is where the ringlet curls are set. There is still a ton of conditioner and make sure you are getting the ends of the hair as well.

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I always make sure to give extra moisture love to the hair at the front of Alina’s gorgeous face. I slather and smooth and twist until I feel like the hair has adsorbed all the conditioner it can.

At this point, any given toddler will be bored. Be sure to keep bath toys in the tub. I keep her favorite rubber duckies separate from her regular bath toys for these deep condition days. She loves to play momma, wrapping them in their blankets (wash cloth). We also sing songs, talk about our day, play 20 questions. In the end, Alina knows our routine and anticipates the length of time it takes to do her hair. She is absolutely amazing and happy during the process. In no way do I think you or your child should suffer for hair. My kid is fairly mild tempered, and this routine has been going on forever. Start your routine with patience. And work fast!!

This post started as simply a way to appease my beloved readers; they’ve been aching for Alina’s hair care routine. But, while writing this, it also occurred to me that Alina will want to know this information one day too. I wish I would have known how to care for my own curly hair when I was young!

My beautiful daughter, your curly hair is PERFECT. Don’t ever think straight hair is the only way to be beautiful, because it isn’t. I wish I would have loved my curls for all the years they were healthy, because now they are pretty much gone and I feel like a piece of my identity is gone with them. Take care of your curls, your heart and your identity. Love you, Alina!

EDITED 6/2014: After more emails than I ever thought possible, I published a post on the 15 FAQ of Biracial Hair Care Tips. To check out the most current content on my baby girl (now 5 years old!) mixed curly hair care routine, check out the series! My opinion on hair is as much about self esteem and cultural identity as it is about creating a defined curl pattern, but there are a few pointers in there for those looking for tips. Hope they help!

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All the best,


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134 Discussions on
“Mixed Hair Care: Tips for Toddler’s Ringlet Curls”
  • This is off topic, but at one point you blogged about one of my favorites, From Marriage to Motherhood-Jessica. I haven’t been able to read her blog because it’s only to invited readers. I’ve e-mailed her, but haven’t received a reply. Do you know how I can be an invited reader?

    • Jess is a dear (and personal) friend of mine, and I don’t even have access to it. I totally get why you would want to reach out to her! She’s amazing! She is taking a break from blogging and is trying to figure out what to do with almost four years of content. I’m sure she will see your comment and appreciates your support! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Hi Vanessa. Thank you for sharing this info. My wife and I are expecting (we’re due in July), she is mexicana and I am African American. She wondered aloud not long ago as to if we have a girl, what on earth do we do with her hair? This is very helpful and I will share this site with her. I also didn’t realize you were in Las Vegas also. We’re neighbors. I look forward to learning more about you and your husband and reading about your tips & strategies on raising your bicultural family, from raising them bilingually to keeping them culturally-grained.

  • Your daughter’s hair sounds JUST like mine. With me being biracial myself,german/french mother & african-american father, my white mother with straight hair had NO idea how to care for my hair when I was Alina’s age. In fact it wasn’t until late high school when I learned how to care for it. By that time I had straightened my hair so much the curls actually loosend a bit. I would def. be interested in what you do with her hair at night as I’m always looking for better ways to care for my curls.

  • Muchas gracias! I will be eagerly awaiting your post on how you manage Alina’s hair while she sleeps. I have no idea what to do with my beautiful girl’s hair at night. She is a wild sleeper so it always ends up in knots and matted in the morning. Thanks again for helping us moms with mixed babies πŸ™‚

    • Depending on the length you can either put it in a bun at night or in a very high ponytail, also called a pineapple. Remember to always use SATIN pillow cases, bonnets, or scarves for night time.

  • Love how you explained it so throughly! You have t have so much patience! I’m sad my kids didn’t get curly hair but then I think of doing all that things I need to do to my curly hair and I’m ok with it. BEautiful photos como siempre! Besos amiga!

  • When did your daughter’s curls start to drop? My little one’s (17 months old) hair is thick and very long when stretched out but the curls are very tight and we have a curly-fro going on. Just wondering …

    • Hi Vanessa-
      Thank you so much for posting this. My husband is biracial with curly hair (if he lets it grow out) and i have naturally curly hair as well. We have 3 kids (2 boys, and our youngest, a girl). Wouldn’t you know the one child to get the more “ethnic” hair is our daughter. If pulled straight, her hair goes to her shoulder blades. However, her curls are so tight she looks like she has super short hair in the back. on the top, she has longer strands that sometimes get in her face and do more so a wave than a tight curl like the back of her hair.
      Anyway, I just want to make sure I understand this correctly…do you not brush your daughters her throughout the week aside from her weekly deep condition?

  • Thank you for this information! My 2 1/2 year old daughter is biracial with very curly hair and I am struggling because I have no idea how to care for her hair. She has gergous curls similar to you daughters so I am eager to try your routine. Thanks again and I’m glad I came across your page!

      • Thank you so much for sharing your routine. My daughter has the same curls. I had a few questions though… During the Sunday routine do you rinse out the deep conditioner and put in leavin prior to twisting the sections of curls? In reference to weekly maintenance, do you put leave in conditioner every night before the ponytail? Thanks for loving the curls, I wish I would have embraced my curls as a child. Creating a routine at a young age will help them to love and care for the natural curls. Curly girls ROCK!

  • Your daughter is so lucky to have you to care for her hair so lovingly and painstakinly! I’d love to have someone pamper me like that! πŸ™‚ She is beautiful!

  • So glad I found this! I’m a mama to 3 year old mixed twin boys. (My husband is Nigerian, I’m German/Irish.) I have naturally wavy/curly hair so I know about how I do my own hair, but theirs is so much curlier than mine. I’ve developed somewhat of a system for them over the past couple years but as their hair gets longer and changes, I’ve found myself needing a new system! I’m definitely going to try this. My mother in law was here visiting for the past week while my husband and I went on a much needed vacation and she did their hair a lot like this, their ringlets looked much more defined than when I do it (for some reason, they hang down more and look longer when she does it, when I do it their curls stay tighter and closer to their head). ANYWAYS. Just super excited I found this and am excited to give it a try- there isn’t much advice out there for mamas of mixed kids so thank you!

  • Thank you so much Vanessa this is incredibly helpful. I have no clue what to do with my daughter’s hair, and now i can try this routine on her! Thank you so much I have been doing the wrong thing for four years! and my Sofia has beautiful curls, but i have been brushing them not knowing.
    I do want to hear about styling her hair and caring for it at night. Please write soon!!
    thank you.

  • Vanessa,
    I would like to thank you soooo much for your Internet presence! Lol. One day I was dumbfounded about what to do with my daughters hair. Her father made a few less than desirable comments, including the need to take a “black hair” class… Which he laughingly joked off but struck me so painfully! That day I googled the heck out of mixed hair and came across you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My hair is similar to yours and my daughters is almost identical to Alina’s! Finding you pointed me in the direction I needed for tips/products and gave me the confidence I needed to tackle my beautiful brown baby’s poof πŸ™‚

  • Hi Vanessa,

    This information is SOOOO wonderful! You have no idea how helpful this is for me! My daughter is Bi-racial; I’m white and my husband is from Ghana. My Susanna’s hair is EXACTLY the color, texture, length and curliness as your beautiful Alina’s. I have struggled with how to care for it, but I think I’ve done OK up til now. We wash once a week, and wet & condition daily. During the day, she usually wears it tied up in three scrunchies, much the way you do Alina’s hair at night. And we use an alcohol-free gel to keep the frizz down. I haven’t had a night-tme routine, but I will try yours. Susanna is 12 and now wants to wear her natural curls, but her hair dries out so badly, by the end of the day she is a “frizz-head” (her words). I will do your Sunday night routine once a week, along woth your night-time routine. But my question is, what should I do for a morning routine that will leave her hair with the “wet” curly look all day long?

    Please help, I’m not sure how to get that look. Her hair is, as Alinas, so beautiful when the curls are wet and conditioned. Also, if you could suggest any products that I could buy locally (online products can be so expensive)that would be great.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Susan,
      So sorry for the delayed response (your comment was stuck in Spam- darn it!). Alina’s hair will dry into a “fuzz head” if I don’t keep it super conditioned. I use water and more conditioner when styling her hair in the morning as well. Protective styling would also help. Have you tried styling agents that have just a bit of hold, but are really conditioning? Don’t get stuck on labels or proposed purposes, just experiment. So, Mixed Chicks leave in condition has a bit of hold, so I add it in the morning. Some products I use are Mixed Chicks, Curls and Shea… all products I buy at Target. I don’t buy online because of the inconvenience, but do try to stay with these specialized products because they offer me the best result. I am working on a detailed post soon (promise!).
      Thanks again for reading and your sweet words!

      • Hi Vanessa,
        Thanks for getting back to me. I hace been very impressedwith o=how Susanna’s hair has responded to all the moisturizing weve been doing. I wash & deep condition once a week, and in the morning she rinses with water, then we use Eden bodyworks Leave-in conditioner, and Eden defining curl cream for touch up. I used a little spray gel for hold (no alcohol) and it looks fantastic!!! She is so happy with the results, and she wore her curls down the entire day last Sunday! Everyone telling her how beautiful her hair is is also a big help…God bless you so much for creating your blog. It has really blessed us! And I love your family stories, too…

      • Hi Vanessa,
        Thanks for getting back to me. I hace been very impressed with how Susanna’s hair has responded to all the moisturizing we’ve been doing. I wash & deep condition once a week, and in the morning she rinses with water, then we use Eden bodyworks Leave-in conditioner, and Eden defining curl cream for touch up. I used a little spray gel for hold (no alcohol) and it looks fantastic!!! She is so happy with the results, and she wore her curls down the entire day last Sunday! Everyone telling her how beautiful her hair is is also a big help…God bless you so much for creating your blog. It has really blessed us! And I love your family stories, too…

    • Hi Samantha, I do leave conditioner in pretty much every time we wash or co-wash. Generally the conditioners I leave in are natural or plant based, so they don’t cake the scalp like other products would. I haven’t had issues with flaky scalp or anything like that. I’m working on a few updated posts that will help, I hope. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Thank you for the post. My 3 year old has just about the same type of hair and I know I have not been doing it justice. We have a not so enjoyable once a week washing of hair. What conditioner do you use for comb through? Thanks!!!!!

  • THis is an amazing post! And whats crazy is that my daughter is also a mixed toddler, black and hispanic, and her name is Alinnaj! almost like yours. My daughters hair is curly but not as tight as i wish it were.. her hair is soft and straight at her scalp, then mid as it gets down to her neck it gets wavy and then curly at the end.. I moisturize her hair everyday with a leave in conditioner and shampoo once a week and i have tried every method to give her those ringlet curls but by the end of the day they get loose and lose shape.. any ideas on any products (natural) that will hold her curl throughout the day?

  • Hello…after you deep condition do you wash all of the conditioner out or leave it in? I am Indian and hubby is African American…one of my toddlers has very tight thick curls and I’m at my wits end trying to figure out a way to manage it!

    • Yes! Leave that conditioner in! It was a shock to many, but I leave a TON of condition in Alina’s hair at night and let it dry overnight in a banded ponytail or braids. Focus on the strands and end of the hair, and not so much on the scalp. Your baby’s tresses need moisture. Let me know if that works for you!

      • thank you!!! We actually live in Dubai so couldn’t find the products you mentioned but we got Avalon Organics shampoo, conditioner, and deep conditioner! Also for a leave-in conditioner we use Shea Moisture Hair Milk. It was been less dry lately for both girls so i truly appreciate your post!!! I’ll be making a similar one for blindians (black+indian) because a lot of people ask me how I manage it! Now that I know, I can share πŸ˜€

  • Another mom of biracial children here! My two year old has such beautiful curls and I found your blog looking for posts on banding ringlet curls. I generally have been keeping her hair “done” because there is so much of it and it is so curly and gets SO tangled. We have been doing piggyback braids, flat twists, five braids/twists, etc, but I want to be able to keep it down more frequently because it is so beautiful down. I’m going to try banding and see how it goes! πŸ™‚

  • I fell upon your post after googling the Eden Works product you use. My daughter is also biracial (I’m black, her dad is white). She’s 18 months, and I’m just starting to put product on it. We just tried the Eden Works Curl Defining Creme today. It really defined her curls, so I was curious to see what other mom’s thought about it (I don’t want to irritate her skin). Anyway, I think your daughter’s hair is gorgeous. Even in the before pic. In my opinion it’s equally as beautiful there, just a different look. I hope you let her know her hair is beautiful even in the “before” state. It might look more like that as she gets older and her texture changes, so it’s important she embraces both looks…just my opinion as a black woman with similar texture to the before pic. It took years to make “peace” with my hair, and now I absolutely love it.

    • You are absolutely right, Ina. Thank you so much for your beautiful reminder. The before pic was after a few days of not caring for her hair, but even so, I will absolutely reinforce that healthy is beautiful and not a specific look. Thank you again! I sincerely appreciate it!

  • Thank you for sharing! I have been trying to find a routine for my African-American daughter, who has blue eyes, from the combination of my hazel and my husband’s hazel eyes. She also has hair identical to your daughters before picture and is very fair. Many people think she is “mixed,” but she is not. This posting is really a help for any little girl, or boy for that matter, with tight curly hair. Normally, we can manage her hair when it is wet, but it shrinks up so tight and dries out once it air dries, especially when she sleeps on it. Getting it to look nice without wetting it completely is where we are struggling. Thanks for suggesting some products. We are always in the market for anything that helps make things easier.

  • Thank you so much for posting this. My daughter is mixed and has the same type of hair your daughter has. I have been trying product after product because my daughter has very dry scalp and her hair is frizzy and when combed out its an afro. I never thought about a deep conditioner. Thanks for the information

    • Hey Nicole, thanks for the comment! Mixed hair is super dry, by nature, so conditioning is a must! Email me if you want to know our favorites, but I’ll be posting a list on the blog very soon.

  • Hi, this is very helpful for me. My daughter too has this kind of hair and i drive myself crazy trying to deal with it, but my question to you is what hair products do you use for her hair? I would really love to try something that actually works!

  • Hi Jessica, this is the first time I am visiting your website and I love the information about how to take care of curly hair. My daughter is 2yrs old and has curly hair and I still feel like I don’t know what I am doing. I am going to start trying this routine with her on Sundays when I wash her hair, once question do you leave the deep conditioner on after you form the ringlets, or do you first wash out the deep conditioner and use a leave in conditioner to form the ringlets. Also, the one issue that I have is when my daughter wakes up in the morning, her hair is all over the place and usually a tangles mess, she won’t keep on a scarf so any suggesstions to bringing the curls back to life without water which I keep thinking has to be drying her hair out.

    • Hi Erika, thanks for the comment! At our girls’ young age, I choose not to use a head scarf or cap. Fabric so close to her face, and the risk of suffocation just kind of freaks me out, so I choose to tie in banded pony tails and have her sleep on a satin pillow case. Did you see my night time routine post? As for the conditioner, I keep lots in there. I wash out the comb-through conditioner, but leave in deep condition when I use it. I often use leave-in conditioner to style the next day after wetting it down a bit. Hope that helps!

  • Hi, Vanessa,

    I love your photos in this post. This is super helpful and so clearly written. Thanks for writing it.
    I have a 6 year old adopted Latina daughter with nearly waist length, curly hair. As a baby, it formed shiny ringlets with minimal care and it has always been so beautiful, but as she gets older, it is getting coarser and wants to form dreadlocks. I only wash it every 7 to 10 days and use a fairly heavy conditioner when I wash. But I find that her hair dries out so fast and products for African-American hair are way too heavy for her hair between washes and totally flatten out her curls. Products seem to either be too light and drying or too heavy and oily. The day after wash day, she has such beautiful ringlets.
    What do you do between washings to keep her hair looking nice? Thanks

  • hey – i have a 6 year old son and i let his hair grow out, i’m white (blonde, straight hair) and his dad was jamaican/puerto rican and so dj’s hair is curly but smooth, i had a lot of trial and error trying to figure it out when he decided he wanted to grow his hair long. now that he’s not cutting it short anymore i’ve learned that if he bathes at night and i do his hair it looks WILD the next day – i figured he’s six so whatever as long as he’s happy – until his teachers and other students (all white or hispanic school) started talking about how CURLY his hair is and giving him a lot of slack. i’m glad your daughter has you as her mom to help her be proud of her hair and show her what to do with it (i was totally lost when i started to try to figure it all out). you get a high-five!! i use luster’s pink or argan oil or any number of other moisturizing styling stuff, but i love the idea of having a weekly ritual!! i just let him build legos while i’m doing it (takes fooooreeevverrr as i’m sure you already know!!)

    i know this is long – but i’ve spent his whole life feeling like an alien trying to learn about earth, so i’m kinda psyched to find someone who has a shared experience. sorry.

    • Girl, you rock! Thanks so much for the comment! I’m working on a post on when to cut my little man’s hair… so cool that you’ve let your son’s grow out. Not cool that he’s getting teased.

  • My son is 9, I’m white and his dad is black. He started out with soft silky straight hair when he was born which slowly turned into soft curls & kinks over time. I went through all kinds of trial & errors as well. For awhile I used to use Johnson &Johnson shampoo, conditioner, detangle spray & leave in cream FOR CURLY hair. It used to work great. Then somewhere between him getting older & barbers using clippers on his hair, it has gotten much more coarse & kinky &frizzy over time. His softer “curlier”curls are also at the back of his head with the driest parts toward the front. I started googling ways to care for his hair because I’m tired of it always being just a big afro puff ball instead of these cool curly looks I see on other mixed kids. I actually like his hair long, but I always get to a point I can’t take it anymore & get it cut.

  • My daughter is very tender headed and HATES getting her hair done. What I did was cut her hair short. She likes it alot better and as it grows out again I am praying it wont be as bad at it has been. Family members are upset with me about cutting her hair but it makes doing her hair so much easier. Instead of 1.5 hrs now its only 35 min.

  • My daughter is 5, she is biracial and seems to have gotten more of the white texture. She has loose curls but I want to try and give her more curls I.e spiral, ringlet. I have to be careful of the type and amount of conditioner I use on her hair because sometimes it’s too heavy. Any suggestions on now I can maximize her loose curls?

  • Hi Vanessa,
    My daughter is 20 months old and i am so stressed out about her hair. She is mixed with Caucasion and african american. I am having an issue with the back of her hair looking like it had bald spots. I have been told to use baby oil and that didnt work, then i was told to use pink lotion and that did not work as well. I dont know what else to do. Her hair has tight curls and it looks really short but its not. I dont know what else to do. Could you please help me?

  • Vanessa I am so GRATEFUL for your tips & advice. I am currently careing for both my nieces ages 8 and 6 both Mexican and Black and BEAUTIFULLY BLENDED….And being mixed comes with it’s challenges of how to properly care and treat a head full of hair and curls. YOU ARE AMAZING!!! THANK YOU FOR THE STEP BY STEP DIRECTIONS…

  • I found your blog via Sixsistersstuff blog when I googled ground turkey recipes. I clicked on the ground turkey rolled tacos and it directed me to this blog. OMG!! I am so glad it did. The first thing I noticed was the beautiful picture of your family. The second thing I noticed was your daughter’s amazing hair! I immediatly thought, I wonder what she uses in her hair :). I have two bi-racial daughters with very curly hair. I was so happy to see that you talk about her hair on this blog. I have looked around and I am just in love with your blog :). Hope you are still working on a styling and products post.

    • Hi Amanda, yup. I leave the leave-in condition in her hair, but also often leave in the deep conditioner as well. I’m working on an update to this post. This week! Fingers crossed πŸ™‚

    • HI Nyjal, Yup.. those are her naturally defined curls after a deep condition and gentle handling of the curls. I do my best to not break the curl pattern when styling and never ever brush her hair.

  • Hey Vanessa I love the fact that you put so much time and effort into your daughters hair. I am also mixed like your daughter.My family didn’t really know how to care for my hair, because no one had hair like me.As you say I wish someone taught us these things about our curly hair when we were younger..I hated my curly hair and was ashamed of it and never Imbraced it.mostly because I could never style it properly.I’m pregnant now with my first baby and luckily still have time and some curls left,to treat my hair with care.I’m going to use these tips on me and my little girl when her hair is long enough. Thank you for your lovely in detIl blog.

  • do you mind doing a page of your natural curls i love your hair and your daughters please when you have time do a page on your hair with pic of your curls an a update on your texture

  • is is going to be this week im leaving to california to take my family and i would really love to see it this week but if not i can wait a while no pressure

  • I’ve been trying to find something that holds my daughter curls when her hair I completely wet her curls are long n perfect. But after her hair Drys quick n fro up. Wat would be best to use.

    • Curls are going to shrink up when dry. That’s just going to happen naturally. But if the hair seems dry to you, make sure it is properly moisturized. Use leave-in conditioners that offer some hold. We love Mixed Chick’s. Hope that helps!

  • Hi thank you for this post, my son and daughter both have mixed hair, hubby is African and I am English. I have super fine straight hair and have absolutely no idea how to care for curls. Mayan (my daughter) is 2 & a half, has gorgeous soft curls but her hair is quite fine for curly hair and does dry out. It is now just about long enough to plait which I do at night otherwise her hair is matted in the morning and looks like it could easily go into dreadlocks. Unfortunately by doing a plait her curls are then flattened. I scrunch water through to bring the curls back but she doesn’t like it any suggestions? Would you do anything differently in your routine for fine curls? Thanks again Karen

    • Hi Karen, Alina’s hair texture has changed considerably since the age of 2.5 years. It was very fine at that age, too. I found that by braiding her hair at night, I was creating an unnatural curl platter. That’s why I started to simply band the hair, or even kept in a bun, instead of braiding. I didn’t want to separate her natural curl pattern. Hope that helps.

  • How old was your daughter in these pics? I just wanted to know when I should start this regimen on my almost 2 yr old. Also, you leave the conditioner over night so howdo you style it in morning?

    • Alina was one month shy of three years old when I wrote this post, but it really depends on your little one’s hair. Does she have a ton like my girl? If so, consider adding more moisture to her hair. At almost two, I was using strictly Curls products (the kids line) and it was sufficient at the time. I definitely have a good time styling her hair now, but I really love the look of well hydrated curls. There is nothing more beautiful! At 2, I would hydrate, maybe spritz with some water to activate the leave-in conditioner and throw in a bow or flower headband. Hope that helps!

  • This is very good for people who don’t know what to do with mixed hair but I’ve been doing almost exactly this for almost 20 years with my kids. They have hair exactly like whats pictures e. The only difference is I don’t waste time defining each individual curl. my steps are, comb the hair while the conditioner is still in, rinse out only about half, towel dry, spray in olive oil detangler and comb out tangled that might have happened from towel drying, apply a generous amount of hair moisturizer and finger comb it through. Done in 10 minutes from shampoo to the end with exact same results No need to to waste time defining every single curl and they still fall perfectly in place

  • Love this!! I love my babies curls and want to keep them as long as possible!! I have been looking around to see how to care for his hair and how to keep it healthy. This has helped a lot! I recently just purchased the Mixed Chicks products and am excited to see how they work! He is just 7 months old but has a full head of curls. Glad I cam across this!

  • I want to thank you for posting this. It has saved my life. OMG in the last month I have been following your hair care and my 8 year old’s crazy curly mix hair is so much easier to deal with on a day to day basis. Her hair is almost to her lower back when wet and pulled straight but the curls up to her shoulder blades. I just wish I would have known about this 8 years ago.

  • I have a mixed son and I have no clue on what I need for to care for his hair and even how to care for his hair what products do you recommend I’ve tried asking people and searching the web for answering and I’m not getting anything please help

  • Love this thanks for sharing my daughter’s hair is a handful especially because she won’t let me do it but when she lets me lol it looks so beautiful

  • Hi dear,
    I am sri Lankan n with long straight hail. bt my litl 1 who wil b 3 next month has curly hair. unfortunately here in sri lanka we do not hav any products for curly hair. so just explain to me wut products u use n also do u use a leave in condishnr daily?

  • As a fellow mixed girl ( one who is older…25!), may I suggest that you try the devacurl line. I have tried EVERY product and my hair has never been as healthy as it is now. No sulfates, silicones, or parabens.

  • How old was your daughter when you started your routine? My 16 month old has hair i am trying to manage bit she hates me messing with it and we cant keep her still to do much!

    Thanks for your posts… i am new to curly hair!

    • We started doing an actual routine right around your daughter’s age, but every year the routine changes as her texture changes. When she was a toddler (and she had much less hair), I would do the routine in the bathtub to keep her contained. Be as quick as possible and start a tradition that she loves that you only do when you’re doing hair together… for us it was storytelling. I was really engaged with her (she loves attention) and she loved when I made up silly stories about puppies (another favorite). I only did this during bath time, so she began to expect and excited about that reward versus hating our hair time. Hope that helps!


    • Hi Joana, So sorry this reply is so late. How did her pre-k graduation go? Our girls are the same age! Anyway, we’re loving Miss Jessie’s soft jelly and SheaMoisture Argan Oil Leave In these days. And we always have Mixed Chicks Leave In around too. You want something that doesn’t dry out the hair, but also adds some hold. That’s the trick! Hydrated, with hold, but not crunchy. Does that make sense? Ha!

  • I have a daughter who’s hair was also naturally curly, and it still is. It once was very curly but she decided to straighten it often and etc now she misses her long curls. It’s not 100% damaged out, but it’s not even close back to it’s original form. Any ideas on how we could work on getting it back? and any ideas on products to put on it in the meantime nothing works to make it even look decent, she currently wears it in a bun!!! everydayy

    • Oh man, poor baby girl! Other than a healthy diet with plenty of water and keeping the hair moisturized, I’m not sure. I lost a lot of my curl after my son was born and have been working to bring them back too. Give her plenty of love from me!

  • We adopted a little girl who is biracial & I don’t have a clue so I’ve been reading up & I love your site. My question is my daughter is now 17months & her hair is very curly. Its soft everywhere except the back & then its kinky curly, very tight. Her hair is long if you hold it out but it bounces right back in place. I guess my question is will it ever start growing down or continue like an afro?

  • Thanks for this post, I have 2 biracial children a 51/2 yr. old boy with very straight thick hair and a 41/2 yr. old girl with very long curly hair, waist length when wet and stretched but once it’s dry it shrinks in ringlets above her shoulders. I find myself having to detangle her hair every day, I never use heat in her hair so not to damage it and ruin the curl pattern. From her roots to about 1/2 way down her hair is more wavy and silky but Her ends get extra dry and get very frizzy and I find myself buying all different kinds of products for moisturizing her ends….I’m tempted to get it trimmed, but she cries she doesn’t want her hair cut, so what do you recommend and what are some of the products you use?

  • I have been doing this to my 3 kids since they were babies, including my son who is now 8 and has beautiful hair down to his behind. My two girls have the same tight curls where as my son has the larger pipe curls. The only thing that I do differently is I actually use Blue Magic… gasp I know lol! Between the 3 of them I have to use so much product, Blue Magic is very affordable and I don’t care what anyone thinks it works great and their hair is super healthy. So for those with multiple kids on a budget this might work wonderfully for you as well… also I don’t need to wrap the curls around my fingers I just brush the conditioner through, I do rinse it out but not to thoroughly, one quick rinse to get the bulk of it out and then thats it since the Blue Magic is a leave in conditioner itself. Then I take the blue magic warm it in my hands by rubbing together and smooth through the hair, then brush through again, I can then style any way I want and they have perfect ringlets that stay! This routine is a bit simpler and the results are just as good as anything that I have seen so far. πŸ™‚

  • First thinks first: what a gorgeous doll have!!!!!! My daughter Allyson is 2 yrs old and has the tight curl. I am Mexican American and my hubby is African American. Right now her curls are amazing. I have been using Johnson &Johnson leave in…but i noticed u use a different shampoo. ..I couldn’t make out what shampoo u use. Also….have u noticed that rhe leave in is being slowly pulled from the shelves?!?!? (In Dallas) Ahhhh! I hope they bring it back lol blessings for u and ur family! Thanks u for sharing what u know with us!!!!!

  • I don’t have that kind of hair but I do have curly hair but not as curly as your daughter’s but here is some tips. I can imagine that takes hours on end, even I wouldn’t have the patience for that. Also you said that it doesn’t stay curly like that at the end of the week but I use this thing called mouse every day it works super well, you should try it, it keeps shape of your hair and it keeps it from going frizzy and it doesn’t take that long, to use, you can find them at Publix it works awesome for me and it’s pretty cheap so… Try it!

  • My daughter had more the African American side texture hair and she is 5. Her hair has not dropped. I’ve tried ever product out there her hair dries out in 2 days. I most def going to try your way. Question when you put in the deep conditioner this may be crazy question do you rinse that out or rinse but leave some in? I call her hair clown wig curly hair. Lol

  • My son is 1/4 African American when he was born he had mostly the African American texture to his hair. As he got older it had turned more to my texture of hair when I was younger. He had/has really curly spirally type hair. Recently his memaw took him to get his har cut. He has had it trimmed a few times before that and it never seemed to change anything about his hair. This last time she took him to get his hair cut it looked and felt different. His hair used to be really curly, now its these weird loose curls and in a way it looks dry and brittle in a sense. I don’t know how else to explain It honestly . My real point I’m trying to make, can anybody help me on how to get his tight curls back and to stay. As well as what curl product, shampoo conditioner etc. I’m kind of at a loss because I don’t know the true texture of his hair and how I treat it or care for it in a sense because I don’t know what shampoo along with product is good or bad for his hair. Thanks so much in advance!

    • It helps retain moisture, which makes her hair feel soft and not weighed down. Made his texture is just changing? But if you’re concerned it was the products you’re using, try something with less icky stuff in it (paradens, sulfates, etc) and see if that helps. We also love the SheaMoisture Jamaican Castor Oil line. Good luck!

  • Hola Vanessa! Loved reading everything!!!! What do u do for nighttime routine aside from the banded ponytail? Today I did my Sunday routine at noon. By bedtime my daughters hair obviously had tried. I went ahead and took your advise with the banded ponytail but my question is can u apply leave in to dry hair?? I just don’t want to wet her hair at night just before bed?

  • Hi Vanessa!
    I just found your site. I have a 3.5 year old daughter who has very thick hair. We’ve kind of let it do its own thing, and now I’m regretting it. Today she cried the whole time I tried to get the tangles out. I struggle with having the time to sit down and do her hair as I also have an 11 month old who likes to pull at sister’s long hair when I’m trying to manage it. It makes the whole process longer and much more stressful!

    I read your night routine post also, and I’m still confused. Do you wet her hair each night to do the conditioner? Ive always had stick straight hair and my husband always had his hair trimmed so we are both clueless!

    Hoping to hear a response, thanks (;

  • Hi, I have a post above that you can read. This works perfect for my kids…. I shampoo their hair, then put in conditioner. Once the conditioner is in, I brush it through their hair starting from the ends and working up. Once the conditioner is brushed through completely ( there are no tangles and the hair is silky with perfect curls) then I put product in my hands rub together to warm up and run through their hair, then I brush the product through. Once that is done I can style any way that I want (do it immediately while hair is still wet) and they have perfect curls. If I am putting in a ponytail or pigtails or braids I do need to brush through again, for example I will brush the hair into a ponytail hold in place with my hand and then brush through with the other hand… then I put the hair tie in and then brush through again. The point is to have the hair brushed through until smooth with the product in, it will stay. I wash their hair every other day, so the in between days I wet the curls and they will bounce back with no need to brush. I NEVER dry brush. I don’t know if this works for everyone but it works miracles for my kids and I am constantly asked how I get their curls so perfect. It’s actually fairly quick and easy once you learn the process. Best of luck! πŸ™‚

  • My daughter is 5 and has hair similar to your daughters but has a lot more of it. Do you rinse out the deep conditioner or do you leave it in? I am struggling to find her perfect hair product(s). I have not been able to find my perfect hair regimen either and I am 31 years old. As a curly haired person I feel we buy every product possible for curly hair but nothing works or it works well for awhile and then gives up one day. I am currently researching high porosity vs. low porosity hair and it is all about using the proper products in the proper order in order for curls not to lose moisture.

  • Wow…Thank you thank you. I found thus post when I was desperately looking for what how to salvage my 20 month year old’s hair. I never thought I could come through it again. There were a few knots I had to cut (primarily because with a difficult newborn I just couldn’t put in the time required to work aout all the knots), but after folllowing your routine, two months later I am easily combing through baby girl’s hair. And she’s getting a bit less traumatized each time😊. Thank you for posting….saved my baby’s hair and monmy’s sanity!

  • Thank you so much for these posts. Although I grew up with curly blond hair since puberty, my hair care regime is nothing like I know my biracial daughter needs. I’m glad to see I’m on the right track only shampooing once a week and wetting to add conditioner daily. ( I use As I Am products) I did not know about the deep conditioning and the importance of twirling or braiding though. I will be adding this into our Saturday night Shampoo routine.
    Can you tell me when and where you add the coconut oil? Should this go on the scalp or in the strands to help seal in moisture? Thank you again!

  • Great post! I know it was posted a while ago, but since I had my daughter a year and a half ago, I have been doing tons and tons of research on what to do with her hair, as I am white, blonde, straight haired girl and she is biracial and has curls to die for. I had no idea how much moisture her hair would need but this routine and information was really helpful. I just did a post on some of my favorite products. Also, how adorable is your daughter!!

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