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How to Grow a Black Child’s Natural Hair: Part 1 – Hair Types

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If you ask any popular search engine, caring, maintaining, and growing an African-American baby’s hair is a mystery. You’ll get a menagerie of articles outlining general maintenance, but not very many online outlets directly address the delicate strands that make up a normal African-American child’s head of hair, or what it is you’re supposed to do exactly to keep those delicate strands healthy and prime for growth.

I went for months without really knowing what exactly I was dealing with on top of my little girl’s head. I knew her texture was different from mine. Her hair was softer, and curled into these perfect little spirals when wet – Nothing like my full head of tight, exquisite, “ziggly” coils.

Related Content: How to Grow a Black Baby’s Natural Hair: Part 2 – Moisture

I trucked along, throwing braids in her hair here and ponytails in her hair there – sometimes even snapping a comb through her delicate tresses.  It wasn’t until she began to show signs of breakage did I begin to do some hard core research on African-American hair and what exactly made it tick. What I learned led me on an amazing journey of hair discovery and personal growth.

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Before you can begin to take care of your little brown baby’s hair properly and prime it for growth, there are two things you must understand. One: moisture is the key to EVERYTHING. African American’s hair, in general, WILL NOT grow without it; but we’ll get to that later. The second thing (and this is only my opinion based on experience) is that you must have a basic understanding of your child’s particular hair type. Without this knowledge, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hair care regimen that will make your baby’s hair grow.

What works on your cotton soft, wavy tresses may not work on your baby’s head of constantly dry, zig-zag-like “curls”. Knowing, or at least having a general idea of, how each hair type reacts to certain products is a must.

Click the button below to find a texture “typing” system that the majority of “curlies” live by. It was designed by the super-fabulous celebrity hair stylist Andre Walker; (This is the guy who does OPRAH’s hair.) and adapted by, one of my all time favorite natural hair websites, NaturallyCurly.com.

Keep lovin' that Afro Baby!
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3 Comments
  • Chantel
    January 22, 2018

    My sweet pea is a mixed baby with… very mixed hair 3a-3c
    I naturally have 4a/4b hair and really only learned how to care for it in the last few years after disposing of the aweful tactics used when I was younger

    I have employed all of the same methods of co washing, lots of hydration, diffusing, essential oils and scalp massage and of course only organic products, I feel like her hair is healthy-ish but it will not grow
    It hasn’t grown an inch in over three years 🙁
    I don’t know what I am doing wrong
    May I share some photos and thank you for the suggestions

    • Alexis
      April 19, 2018

      I had a similar problem with my daughter’s hair and realized that I was doing too much and her hair could not handle it. So I stopped everything, no more co-washes, deep conditioning treatments, oils and too many products. I started with a simple wash and conditon with Suave Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner (yes, suave) once a week and then I would grease her hair and scalp with Dax grease and keep it braided for the week. She went from healthy-ish hair to healthy hair and it grew from mid neck level to between her shoulder blades. Sometimes we just do too much and need to give their hair a break. Currently it seems that her growth has gone stagnant and I’ve learned that the suave shampoo acted as a clarifying shampoo and cleared away all the build up allowing for growth but now she needs a moisturizing shampoo. I’m switching to okay peppermint shampoo and conditioner, her first wash using it will be this weekend so I’ll see how that goes and from there maybe add more conditioning and moisturizing steps if needed but step by step so I can know exactly what’s working and what’s not.

  • Anonymous
    March 11, 2019

    I agree we do too much with our little ones. My daughter was born with nearly no hair and by the time she was 4, she had a cute curly afro, but it was thin. The very first thing I stopped doing was washing her hair regularly…sounds crazy I know, but I did. I washed her hair once a month; still keeping it moisturized weekly and braided. I kept this up for 6 more years and while my daughter is quite tender headed, her hair is thick and in the middle of her back. Currently I wash her hair every other month but still keeping it moisturized and her hair is actually very healthy.

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How to Grow a Black Child’s Natural Hair: Part 1 – Hair Types