Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Care Tips for Mixed Texture Hair

Q: My daughter is mixed but has mostly her dad's hair texture (he is white), and her hair is thick, but not coarse, or afro. I do not want to use a relaxer in her hair, but she does complain that it is too thick, and sometimes gets frizzy. I use Pantene Shampoo / Conditioner in her hair, but should I be using something else, perhaps something for ethnic hair? Is blow-drying her hair a good thing? What suggestions do you have to help me maintain her hair? She is 12 years old.
A: The Pantene products are generally excellent for hair and given that your daughter’s hair seems to be more “European” in texture, I think it is the best choice. I can offer a few suggestions about caring for her hair:
First, make sure that you aren’t over-washing her hair. The hair only needs to be shampooed when it is dirty. However, the hair should be conditioned every day. I know that some parents encourage their children to shampoo daily because the children will play outside and become sweaty, and that sweat can leave a “sour” odor in the hair.
Yet, according to dermatologists, many times a rinse-through conditioner is sufficiently alkaline to remove the amount of soil that can accumulate daily in the hair. The daily use of conditioner will also keep the hair moisturized and easier to manage.
If you still have trouble in controlling frizz in your daughter’s hair, you should look into using a spray-on, leave-in conditioner and/or an anti-frizz serum. You can also find a light “spray laminator” made with fruit oils which will help to keep the hair smooth and silky.
Blow drying the hair is usually safe, provided you always use the lowest heat settings and use a diffuser attachment when possible. Furthermore, when drying the hair, direct the airflow in the direction the hair grows to ensure smoother and shinier hair results. Try to avoid over-drying the hair. In fact, it is generally a great idea to dry the hair only to the point that it is “mostly dry” and allow it to complete drying naturally.
You may also want to give her deep conditioning treatments at least twice a month. Whether you use a moisture-rich conditioner or a hot oil treatment is less important than simply doing something to add moisture and soothe and smooth the cuticle layer.
It may take some time (a couple of weeks) but if you maintain the hair care routine, you will find your daughter’s hair becoming easier and easier to care for.
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