Tuesday, May 13, 2008


In the past, one of the most common arguments brought up about transracial adoption was that white parents wouldn't know how to take care of their black children's hair. I'm a big believer in "figuring things out", but I still find that I'm a little neurotic about our kids' hair. I don't want anyone judging me to be a bad mother because my kids' hair looks damaged. We went to an awesome picnic this weekend with all the families in our area who have adopted from Ethiopia and when I brought up this topic there was a lot of interest. Therefore, I figured I would type out what we've done so far in the hope that it will help someone else out. Obviously, every person has different hair, so the routine I've developed might not work for someone else.

I stopped by a local barbershop last weekend and asked the barber and his wife to make sure Atticus and Norah's hair wasn't damaged. They assured me that their hair looks fine and is uneven because of how it's growing in rather than any mistakes on my part. They said to bring Atticus back in a year or so for his first haircut. They recommended using a Black & Beautiful Tea Tree products in the future.

Here are some pictures of the kids' hair. Norah is on top; Atticus is below. You have no idea how hard it was to get pictures of the backs of their heads.

Norah's hair is finer and has looser curls than Atticus's. The barber's wife tried to tell me that Norah must be biracial given her hair texture. Atticus's hair is tighter and soft.

Currently we are using Carol's Daughter products (I know, it's such a cliche for adoptive parents to use this) and the same routine seems to be working well for both kids. This is what we're doing these days:

The Carol's Daughter products have strong scents, but I like the way they smell and have always been a sucker for hair products that smell good. I like Aveda products for my own hair and I think the CD products have a similar family of scents. I recently learned that CD products are available at Sephora, so it would probably be well worth it to try them out at the store before purchasing any. They aren't cheap!


Kikilia said...

Don't forget to moisturize their skin too! You don't want any "ashy" elbows or knees running or crawling around either.

I remember leaving my Pipsqueak(adopted from India) for a couple weeks during a move with my mom- she didn't lotion her each day. One day on the phone she said- Pipsqueak's skin seems to be getting lighter... I asked if she'd lotioned her. No.

Good gads! If my fellow co-workers didn't howl at that- I worked in inner-city Dallas schools at the time. They told me I'd forgotten to tell my white mom one of the most important things- no ashy kids. ;-)

Life in the Bend said...

Yes, thanks for the reminder. We do use a good moisturizer and their skin definitely shows it if we skip a night!

LilySea said...

Love Carol's Daughter! We use hair milk a lot, and now that I can put Nat's hair in more serious braids, I use healthy hair butter to help keep it smoother longer.

Do you have the book "It's All God Hair?"

I sort of assume you do. It's made the rounds. but I found it helpful for info on how to keep hair healthy.

Pickles and Prunes said...

Loving the pictures.

The Carol's Daughter stuff is great. We have run the gamut with Allegra and Audrey as far as hair care, Just for me, Pinks, Carol's Daughter, we even used something called sexy curls. I had a hard time putting that on the girls' hair, but you do what you must!

Their hair looks great. Remember, barber shops and beauty shops are very important. Make friends now! Trust me on this one. I have moved three times since the girls were young and have to forge new relationships each and every go around!

Alexandra said...

Thanks - that helps a lot. Its weird, but that's one of my "it shouldn't be worrisome, but is" worries.