If you have a child with biracial hair, there are some important things to know about taking care of their hair in cold weather.
While the elements can damage all hair types, biracial hair is especially sensitive because it can have two different textures and types.
This means biracial hair needs a little extra love and attention when it comes to winter preparations!
This post is all about how to care for biracial hair.
As the mom of three biracial kids, I cannot stress enough the importance of learning how to care for your child’s curly hair.
But maybe you’re scratching your own head trying to figure out what “biracial hair” even means.
Well, simply put: biracial hair is the hair of a biracial or mixed child. That’s it.
For parents of a child opposite their race, terms like “biracial hair” or “mixed hair” help to navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of curly hair.
To get more specific…
Biracial hair refers to hair that is a combination of textures and types, typically referring to hair that is a mix of African American and Caucasian.
Biracial hair can be curly, kinky, or wavy and can have a variety of textures, thicknesses, and porosity levels.
Check this out if you’re looking for a more specific how-to guide based on your child’s curl pattern.
Biracial hair can be more prone to dryness and breakage than hair of one texture or type and may require special care and maintenance.
Curly hair can be very delicate and needs to be cared for with a lot of attention because it is more prone to breakage than other hair types.
After living in multiple states across the East Coast, I know a thing or two about caring for curly hair when the temperature gets below freezing.
It would be best if you washed it less often.
The best way to care for biracial hair in a cold environment is to wash it less often.
If this sounds counterintuitive, let me explain.
If you live in a climate where the air is dry and cold, curly hair will be prone to frizzing up and feeling brittle.
You can help prevent this by washing your child’s hair less often.
Shampooing daily leaves your scalp stripped of natural oils that protect your strands from damage.
Combined with the dryness caused by winter weather, this can lead to even more breakage than usual!
Another reason why shampooing frequently isn’t always a good idea?
When we talk about “washing” curly hair (especially mixed-race types), what we really mean is rinsing out product residue from styling products like conditioners or gels—not getting rid of natural oils that keep our strands healthy!
To avoid overdoing it when washing away gunk buildup (or just keeping things clean), try using cool water instead of hot water when sudsing up.
Don’t use hot water when washing biracial hair.
Hot water opens up pores and can make biracial hair frizzy, dry it out and cause breakage, while cold water closes them down again.
If you use warm or hot water too often, your child’s hair follicles are left exposed, which might become clogged easily under these conditions.
Basically, this means more dirt stuck inside for too long before getting washed off again [or even breakage], which is not the vibe we want for our little ones.
Use products that are specifically for biracial hair.
Make sure you are using the right products for your child’s hair.
Having naturally curly hair myself and three littles, all with differing curl patterns, I can tell you that this step will be trial and error (over and over again, sometimes).
The shape of the hair shaft determines curl patterns.
- If your child has curly hair, these strands look like spirals, similar to a telephone cord. These curls will be tight and springy, which means they bounce back into place after they’ve been stretched (think gravity-defying beach waves).
- Wavy hair has a more relaxed pattern than curly locks, so if their curls bounce back after being stretched, they may actually be wavy instead of tight spirals. Wavy textures are less defined than curly ones and typically form in an S-shaped pattern with some loose strands around the face that stick out at random angles.
- Straightness is also genetic—you can inherit straight hair from both parents! This strand has no curl pattern; it’s perfectly smooth without any kinks or bends in its structure.
If your child has biracial hair, you’ll want to avoid products containing sulfates and parabens, and alcohol-based ingredients.
These kinds of ingredients can cause dryness and frizziness in curly hair.
Instead, look for moisturizing conditioners with ceramides (a natural lipid found in the skin) that will help keep your child’s locks hydrated even when it’s cold outside!
I would suggest trying out Carol’s Daughter Curl Refresher Spray which has worked for each of my kids, regardless of curl pattern.
The Curl Refresher Spray has a light formula that won’t weigh down your child’s hair or leave residue behind.
Use an oil or balm-like shea butter on your child’s curls daily to help retain moisture.
To keep your child’s hair moisturized and protected from the cold, it’s best to use shea butter or another balm-like moisturizer.
These products will help retain moisture in the hair and prevent it from becoming brittle.
They can also be used as detanglers—rub a small amount into your child’s curls after washing her hair, then comb through with a wide-toothed comb or brush.
If you’d like, add a few drops of oil (jojoba oil is my personal favorite) to the shea butter before applying it to your child’s curls.
Deep condition once a week.
The best way to keep your child’s hair looking healthy, thick, and shiny is with a deep conditioner once a week.
Moisturizing deep conditioners will give your child’s hair the extra boost it needs during the dry winter months.
Moisturizing deep conditioners claims to seal moisture into the hair shaft and aid in detangling.
And when you find the right one, they will do just that!
My go-to deep conditioner for my kids (and myself) is Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein-Strong Treatment.
You can find amazing deep conditioners at your local Walmart, Ulta, Target, and even the grocery store.
Keep your child’s hair combed, detangled, and styled.
When your child’s hair is combed, detangled, and styled with no stretching or tension on the scalp, it will be less likely to break.
The same goes for braiding.
However, it would be best to avoid braiding extensions (like weaves) into biracial hair that has not been properly treated because this can also cause damage.
I’ve seen a lot of parents of mixed children either throw their kid’s hair into a matted ponytail puff or get a long-term protective style that eventually damages their child’s hair.
Protective styles like this are great, but only when done properly.
Protective hairstyles include braids, buns, twists, and cornrows (also called box braids), which protect against dryness caused by cold weather.
If you’d like a protective style but aren’t sure how to do it yourself, consider visiting a salon or beauty school for help.
Before school, put your child’s hair in a loose protective style such as twists or braids.
Make sure to help your child get dressed, too.
The right clothing is important for keeping warm in cold weather and staying dry if snow or ice is on the ground.
Your child should wear a hat covering their ears, gloves, and a scarf.
Thanks to the curly hair movement years ago, retailers are making hats and caps with satin lining.
I wish I had these as a kid (and even in college) because satin linings are perfect for maintaining your child’s hairstyle on the way to and from school but also protecting their strands simultaneously from the elements.
Moisturize your child’s hair with a water-based spray.
Moisturizing your child’s hair can help protect it from the harsh elements that come with winter.
To do this, use a water-based spray that contains natural oils and/or moisturizers.
When choosing a moisturizer to use on your child’s hair, consider what type of products they usually use on their skin.
If they have sensitive skin or allergies, look for something free of fragrances and dyes.
Also, keep in mind that oil does not mix well with dry climates.
If your child tends to run into dry patches during cold months, opt for a lighter product instead of something more oily or greasy-feeling (and avoid any conditioners containing silicone).
Invest in satin (well, everything).
First of all, it’s important to note that hair (in general) is a very delicate part of our body, and it needs special care.
You can buy a satin pillowcase or use a satin cap or bonnet to minimize damage from the dry air, friction, and heat from your heated bed.
Amazon has several options to choose from, but I prefer these without the drawstring.
Do not buy cheap ones because they will not last long, especially with little ones.
Buy only good quality ones so they will last longer (these are great and super affordable at only $6!).
A high-quality satin pillowcase should run about $25-$30 dollars depending on where you buy one from (maybe for mom or dad after a hard day’s work — we have to care for ourselves, too).
These are basically normal caps, except they’re made of satin instead of cotton fabric.
It’ll feel nice against your kiddo’s scalp while sleeping at night which helps reduce friction between strands (especially if they’re rough sleepers like mine)!
If you prefer satin caps with a drawstring, here is another option with cute prints for your curly-haired kids.
This post was all about biracial hair in cold weather.
My husband and I know how hard it is to be a parent, so if you need more resources or advice on caring for biracial hair in the winter, check out the posts below.