De Su Mama

Legacy of Multiracial Motherhood

Mixed Hair Care: Night Time Routine for Ringlet Curls

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For better or worse, women make a big deal over their hair. The color, the texture, the length, how its styled, all of it seems to be of importance when talking about our self image. My curly hair and personal identity went hand in hand during my formidable years. Raising Alina to, not only learn how to properly care for her curls, but to LOVE them, is on the high priority list. Which is why this mixed hair care series is archived under the Parenting category – it is my opinion that healthy hair care promotes healthy self image, in accordance with other parenting values.

In this post, you will find a few simple tips on how we care for Alina’s ringlet curls at night. Night time hair  routine for curly hair is super important, and I hope these really easy night time hair care tips help you out.

To read about our shampoo and conditioning routine, check out Mixed Hair Care: Tips for Toddler’s Ringlet Curls.

To read about Alina’s infant mixed hair care routine, check out this post.

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Mixed Hair Care: Night Time Routine

Night time hair care routines are not that complicated, but overlooking their importance can undo all the hard work you’ve put into conditioning and styling. Definitely take a few minutes (or just one minute) before your babe goes to sleep to protect their tresses at night.

  • Leave- In Conditioner for Biracial Hair:

    whether designed to be left in or not, I leave much of the deep conditioner (or regular conditioner) in Alina’s hair at night. The top right photo is an example of the amount that gets left in. Yes, it is a lot of conditioner. Some of it is soaked up by her hooded towel, much of it is soaked up by thirsty hair, but by the time she is tucked in at night, all the extra conditioner is gone. I’ve completely stopped relying on the instructions on bottles and started to feel Alina’s hair to determine how much moisture is needed, including how much to leave in at night. You will be amazed how much conditioner your mixed hair will soak up. *It is Winter right now, and very cold, so I wash Alina’s hair during the day versus at night. Although its daytime, I still leave the same amount of conditioner in her hair.

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  • Protected Night Time Hair Style:

    hair breakage occurs when your baby is sleeping. To prevent it, and frizz, tie the hair up in a protected hair style at night. Before Alina’s hair was as thick, I would braid it. Either separated in two/three sections with simple braids, or one french braid, made morning styling much easier. But now, with a head of thick hair, not only does braiding take forever, but I don’t like the outcome as much. When you braid, you force the curl to separate unnaturally, creating frizz. Also, your curls won’t be those ringlets if you force them  to separate. Instead, we tie Alina’s hair up into a bun or banded ponytail (as shown in photo below). I especially love the banded ponytail because it elongates the curl while protecting them from night time sleeping chaos, and still maintains the curls natural shape.

These pictures are immediately after Alina woke up, the day after a deep condition and sleeping in a bun. I love how  moisturized and shiny her curls look, and that (from the back) the curls are not separated or frizzed. Eventually, Alina will sleep with a satin head scarf to protect her hair line from frizz and breakage, but I worry about safety at this young of an age.

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  • Satin Pillowcases for biracial hair care:

    This might be the single most easy thing you can do to improve the look of your ringlet curls. Let inertia be your friend and get a satin pillowcase. Cotton is warm and cozy, but your hair pays the price of the static cling. Recently, on our holiday trip to California, I realize how important a satin pillowcase is to Alina’s mixed hair care routine. Styling took so much longer, her fine hair was constantly in tiny knots (regardless of the protected style she slept in) and the curls were not as defined. After a week without it, I am 100% a believer in satin pillowcases. Trust me! Add one to your night time hair care routine.

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As I mentioned, the banded ponytail is my new favorite night time hair care style. Since her hair is starting to get some length, I love that its helps elongate the curl. Whereas a braid would separate curls, the banded ponytail keep her ringlets in their natural shape. Below is a photo of a dried banded pony and immediately after after its been taken down. This was during the week and after regular conditioning, not a deep condition, and you get visibly see the difference in moisture and sheen from the photo above. Don’t be afraid to condition those ringlets, friends! They’re thirsty!

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And that’s all I’ve got for your folks! Night time hair care is not complicated, but it can be tedious. Sometimes Daddy D gets Alina to bed without me tying her hair back, and we pay the price the next day. The photo below is the morning after a deep condition, having slept in a bun on a satin pillowcase and with very minimal styling (for the front). Her ringlet curls are soft and not frizzy simply because of the mixed hair care routine we live by. If you don’t believe me, check out Alina’s before picture in this mixed hair care post. Be on the look out for the next post on styling!

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My beautiful Alina – I love your curls almost as much as I love you. I tend to them so faithfully not because outward appearances are overly important, but because anything that is extraordinary takes extra love. And you, with those dynamic ringlet curls that characterize you so perfectly, are certainly extraordinary. May you always recognize the beauty in your mixed hair, and work diligently to let those curls shine. Te quiero tanto, mi hija.

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51 Discussions on
“Mixed Hair Care: Night Time Routine for Ringlet Curls”
  • Love the tips! I definitely need to be better about having a routine each night and a weekly routine for my daughter. However, because my girl is now 7 and goes to school each day and plays on a playground with sand for the floor, I have to wash her hair more than once a week. Any tips for what I can do better? I don’t think I/her will have the energy for deep conditioning multiple times a week.

    • I anticipate that stage with Alina, Melanie! At almost three, once a week is plenty. I guess just making sure her hair is sufficiently moisturized, or maybe check out those conditioning shampoos? Protective styles when she goes to school should help (I’ve read some moms send their girls to school ONLY in protective styles, and never down) and making you at least finger comb most knots out so the conditioner can really soak in should help. Hope those help!

    • My daughter is also 7 and she rarely wears her hair down to school, like Vanessa mentioned I do protective styles or at least have her hair in a few braids or a bun for school. And usually I wash it only once a week.

  • Your daughter is stunning! At 25 years old, I still could use some tips for my mixed hair! The whole time I was reading this I thought to myself “I should do some of this stuff!” Hopefully your posts will ensure that a new generation of mixed girls have less hair drama than the biracial girls before them 🙂

  • I love this !!!!!!! and I love her hair…….as silly as this sounds …..i used to haite my hair…and still sometimes do …’s super curly……which means super frizzy…….and I used to always say “why couldn’t i have been born with that pretty pantene hair”. and I would hope and pray that my daughter would get that “white girl hair” so that she wouldnt go through the stress of curly hair! Well she got a head full of curly hair at birth………and now ..even as a little Puerto Rican/Panamanian girl……she has STRAIGHT hair….with the smallest wave. and I want those curls back now! hahaha! But I love her however she is. Sometimes as mamas we need to just embrace our own selvs so we can teach our daughters the same thing!

  • My 9mo old has the same hair texture as your little girl. Do you have any tips on how to protect her hair from breakage as it is still a bit too short for ponytails? I always keep in a curly fro but I’m wondering if I should be doing more to protect her hair.

    • Hi Nathalie, Thanks so much for stopping by! At 9 months, and with hair too short to braid or tie back, it is hard to avoid breakage I think. between the car seat and laying on their backs so much, its bound to happen. But try not to fret. Your little one will grow so fast and will have a head full of beautiful curls before you know! Once her hair is long enough for a pony tail, I do have a product that I LOVE that will help with breakage.

  • Hi I’m an 11-year-old girl I’m kind of in the same situation as you were when you were a child my mom has straight hair and has no idea what to do with my curls do you use a detangler spray ?

    • Sweet Mia, thank you for all your comments! Alina’s Dad and I were away on a work trip, which is why it took me a little while to respond. To answer your question: No, we do not use a detangler spray on Alina’s hair because, once her hair is dry, I don’t comb or brush it at all. I only comb her hair when in the bath and it’s totally wet. I do this to protect the curl and allow it form in its natural state. When you brush, comb or even play with it too much with your hands, the curls break apart and makes frizz. I hope that answers your question! I will be doing a big hair care series really soon, but in the meantime, if your mama has any questions, ask her to email me at vanessa at desumama dot com. I would be happy to chat with her about hair, etc.

  • Hi,I have natural ringlet curls but I am having some problems with my hair. I use to straighten my hair and now I have split ends, I tried to wear my hair curly and my hair got tangled, frizzy and dry overnight. I want my curly hair to be soft, healthy and manageable. Please help(:

  • My daughter recently passed away & I took over the honor of raising my little ‘Heaven’. She is 9, gorgeous, bi-racial & has hair everyone loves & talks about. I have been using products by ‘Mixed Chicks’ and her hair is better everyday. I love the helpful hints you posted & hope you know what a great help you are to those like me who are trying to figure this all as I can. <3

    • Lots of love to you, Sheree! We love Mixed Chicks as well, especially their Leave-In Condition, which we use as a styling product, and their kids’ line for my little man. Big hugs for your Heaven. xo, Vanessa

  • Thanks for the tips. This is awesome. Is her hair wet when she goes to bed from the leave in?

    Do you do the leave in at night even when you don’t wash her hair?

    • Thanks, Magda! Yes, her hair is wet when she goes to bed and we use “leave-in” (which is really deep conditioner) on nights even without shampoo.

  • Hi Vanessa, Thanks for these wonderful tips and tricks. My biracial 3 year old daughter has tight spiral curly hair like your daughter and you do such a good job of taking care of it. My daughter has been begging me to leave her hair down for school but it mattes up so easily especially when she naps. Any tips on that? You also mentioned using one conditioner to detangle before using the deep conditioner. Can you recommend any particular product for that? I’m still looking for the “right” one to help detangle. Thanks again! These posts are so helpful!

  • Vanessa-

    I have a two year old and she is African America, Asian and White. I have struggled with how to fix her hair for well over a year now and am very excited to have finally stumbled across your web-page. She has extremely dry hair and I put styling cream in it daily but that just has not been enough. I have been too afraid to use too much product on her hair because she is so young and I have not wanted to damage it. However, the deep conditioning at night and using a silk pillow will be our routine from hear on out. Also, tying it back! Can you tell me what products you use; i.e., leave in conditioner and styling cream?

    Thank you for your great web-page, so happy I stumbled upon it.

    Best Regards,

  • I’ve been feeling pretty confident about my daughter’s hair care routine but now that it’s longer, I’m getting frustrated again. I’m excited to try these tips! My daughter Alianna’s hair looks very similar to Alina’s. She is half Salvadorian, half Caucasian (quarter Italian). Thank you for sharing so much about your routine!

  • Hi – I’m confused by how this relates with the Mixed Hair Care: Tips for Toddler’s Ringlet Curls post. Do you do the ringlets once a week as described in that post but then do the bun or banded pony each night as described in this post? Do your rinse her hair every night to put the conditioner in? Thanks!

  • Just discovered your site and I am so excited. With fall here – and a nasty New England winter on its way – I am starting to think about how to change my daughter’s haircare routine, especially since she is a toddler now. The old infant routine just isn’t working. I’ll be reading through your posts and hope they help. She seems to have very similar hair to your little one. Wish me luck!

  • When she wakes up after her wash or protective hairstyle, do you just spritz with water and leave in conditioner and use your fingers to style?

    • When she wakes up, I use a spray bottle of water and Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner to style. I use my fingertips to smooth out the frizzes, pulling down to elongate the curl and close the hair follicle, and then let it go. Nothing is more gorgeous than a head of freshly deep-conditioned curls!

  • Hi! Im makayla and I’m 12. i have very similar hair except thicker and longer. Do you have any tips for me to wear it at night or/and how to style it in the morning? Btw I’m african american,white,korean or lowes (not sure which yet), And native american so its funny how my hair turned out! Thanks so much! Makayla

  • Hi Vanessa, I just discovered your site a few months ago and I love it! I’m 20 years old and biracial myself and have always had a hard time dealing with my hair (which is very similar to your daughter’s, but thicker) and I’ve been using your tips for my own hair and I love the results! Thank you so much! (:

  • Thank you so much for this information!! I have always had straight, oily hair, and caring for it has been easy. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I freaked before she was even born and started looking up sights on biracial hair…not a lot out there. In the store, I asked parents of girls I see with hair like my daughter’s, and everyone has a different answer, even stylists. Her hair has had several large knots that I’ve been forced to cut out, and I’ve had enough fighting!! She hates having her hair done in the morning, and I hate the pain it brings her. Using your tips, I hope a pain-free, happy morning is coming our way, especially since I have a 10 month old son who already had his hair cut down once because his curls are crazy! Thanks for your dedication to your family as well as your blog!

  • HI ,
    thanks so much for the tips! So far I have been doing some of the things you suggested, although instead of the braid I will do the banded ponytail instead!! great tip! My little girl’s texture hair is very similar to yours, and I too wash and condition just about once a week (she is 4). My question is: how then do you maintain the style through out the week till the next wash. Do you condition still? I have been just wetting it with coconut oil infused water and combing through the hair , but with it getting colder I don’t want to sop her hair up like that or cause breakage with combing through it so much

  • Hi Vanessa, I have been looking up all types of different articles about mixed hair and products and I seem to always go back to your blog. Whether it be Facebook or Pinterest. Anyway I just have a few questions to as you. So you talk about leaving in your daughters conditioner after bath time, my question is do you still put in leave-in conditioner as well when you go to do her hair? I’m sorry if that seems like a silly question. My daughter is my first and she has mixed hair and I am still trying to get in the mix of things.

    • At least once to twice a week. I braided it every night at this age, but now that she’s older (7) and her hair is longer, I keep her hair in a style throughout the week and she sleeps in it with a satin bonnet.

  • Hello, i just found your blog today. I’m still a little confused. Do you leave the condition in her hair from the bath and never rinse it out or do you just use a lot of leave in?

    My daughter is now 16 months old and her hair is thin. It’s always been that way since she was born but I feel it’s now more of my fault from constantly styling her hair. I’m African American so this texture is a little new one to me and just because it’s curly doesn’t mean I should take care of it like mine.

    My daughter’s texture is like your daughter’s texture but I think my daughter hair is more prone to shrinkage than your daughters hair.. if I stretch my daughters hair it is about 2 to 3 times what it normally appears, but if I leave her hair out at night it tightens to the scalp and I’m recombing all over again. I’m trying a new thing of not doing her hair like normal and leaving it out to breathe to see what happens.

    • Oh Deanna, my girl’s hair can SHRINK! Your little one is still super young… I think I started banding Alina’s hair to dry at around 2 years old. Now she’s 7 and I NEVER let it air dry which means that I pretty much never do a wash n go. However, once the hair is dry, I let the curls out to breathe, like you said, sometimes for multiple days in a row. The stress of detangling later is just not worth it for us. But, pretty much as a rule, if her hair is wet, it dries banded and not out.

      Be mindful of the tools you use to bind the hair in order to prevent breakage. I used the silicon bands from Mixed Chicks and now use elastic that I cut out of hair (we go through bands like CRAZY). I avoid pulling hair out with the bands at all costs! As for product, believe it or not, when I wrote this post years ago, there weren’t many (any!) products so I left conditioner in. Now that we have great quality leave-in conditioners and oils, I mostly wash out the conditioner and use other products for added moisture.

      Hope that helps!

  • I am glad I was able to read this, thank you. I admit I have not been taking care of my little girl’s hair as I should. My daughter is 3 mixed half Haitian, half Puerto Rican, and her hair is short, curly, but is very dry and her curls don’t stay once she gets out of the bath. Right now I use Shea Moisture shampoo and conditioner in the shower, brush her hair out using a Shea moisture detangler, and then apply a leave in conditioner. When she wakes up her hair is still dry so her daily style is typically a ponytail. I would love for her curls to stay so she can wear her hair out. Any advise here besides what I’ve read? Also, should I switch hair products?

  • Hi – finding your posts helpful! Do you have recommendations on combing conditioners (didn’t realize this was different from other conditioners) and styling products?

  • Hi.
    Thank you for posting this. I know it’s old and I’ve just tumbled onto it but so very relevant to my struggle. My dd is 10 now and I’m still struggling to manage her hair. Her texture didn’t settle truly until maybe the last year. Now she has hair like Sophina Brown, tight ringlets, with massive shrinkage and prone to frizziness. No matter what I do the night before to get it moisturized, by the afternoon of the next day, it is almost bone dry.
    I’m going to try the satin bonnet because the pillow thing isn’t working with her (she moves around too much), and the hair near her scalp and hair line is very frizzy (her hair is longer now, almost waist length when wet/damp).
    I’m wondering if you have posts for how you manage your dd’s hair now that she is older and her hair is thicker. I’m fine haired with low to medium density, about a 3a/3b hair and my dd’s hair has stumped me for so long because I was busy trying my regimen (if we can call it that) on her. But her hair seems to need way more care than mine ever needed.
    Any tips would be appreciated, especially on styling, drying, maintain the curl without frizz, products used (the more natural the better as I currently live where I can’t access most American products)… pictures also are really helpful to this multiracial momma with even more multiracial kids!

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