Monday, September 7, 2009

A's Hair and skin care...

So when we knew we were adopting an African American baby, I decided to do some research on how to do African American hair. I did not want my baby's hair to scream, "I have a white mom who clearly doesn't know how to do my hair!" So I did a lot of reading and tried to get familiar with what products and processes to use. I understand every one's hair is different but I figured research couldn't hurt!

So Once I got Ayana, I abandoned all that I had read. Ayana's hair was so soft and not at all what I thought it would be. I am not trying to stereo type people, I just read a lot of blogs of other children from Ethiopia and was expecting her to have more dry coarse hair. We washed A's hair every other time she took a bath with regular Johnson's baby all in one wash and didn't have to brush or put product on it after and it was soft and very manageable. The back was a little more dry than the front. (probably since it lays against the bed while sleeping)

Fast forward...I learned I need to go back to what I read. A's started scratching her scalp a lot. So much so it started bleeding. I felt so bad. The frequent washing was drying her hair and scalp out to bad. Not just washing it but too much water cab dry it out because it strips the oils that her scalps needs. Her hair is also getting thicker and longer so we did have to buy a wide tooth comb which we only use when it's wet. We only wash every 10-14 days now and it doesn't get greasy at all in between washes. Her hair and scalp are doing great now and she is back to having really soft and shiny hair.



Hair Products: I have a lot of friends who use "Carol's Daughter" products but I haven't tried that yet. We are using the "it's a curl" organic baby curl care and we love it. You can find it at this website.

We usually bathe A once a day which can dry her skin out if you don't moisturize daily. A loves baths!!! I told our nanny that A could not get her hair wet anymore and that I would wash her hair from now on. Sooo......One day I walked in from work and our nanny was giving A a bath so I could hear her giggling when I walked in the door. I went to the bathroom to see and what I walked into was HILARIOUS! A was sitting in the tub playing with her toys. The funny part is that she was completely naked of course except for a GIANT sunhat on her head that the nanny must have been using to keep A's head dry while A took a bath. LOL! I can;t get the visual out of my head. I wish i would have taken a picture. It was so funny!

~Sunhat she was wearing in the tub except she had the strap around her face to keep it on~

So this incident prompted me to go to the drugstore to get a shower cap for A so she doesn't have to wear her sun hat in the tub. She wore it today around the house. It was so cute and funny!





Skin Products: I love the smell of Johnson's baby lotion but A has really dry skin and I found she needs something a bit heavier for her skin so I have been trying Aveeno Baby Fragrance Free Daily Moisture Lotion and I like it but am open to comments if you have a product you like for babies skin. A does have a lot of bumps on her left cheek and it sometimes leaves white marks on her cheek where the skin pigment gets lighter. I'm not sure what it is. We will be going to the pediatrician on Wed to take a look.

I would love to hear feedback from other parents. What are you using for your babies skin and hair? How often do you wash? Any other tips?




19 comments:

Debbie said...

I have no tips because I'm in the hair tips collection mode at this point. I actually put a 'Hair Care & Products' list on my blog page so I would always have resources at my fingertips when needed :-)

Thanks for sharing your experience and I'll start collecting tiny shower caps in the not too distant future.

Leah said...

Thanks so much for sharing as this is stuff that's been on my mind as well. A really does have beautiful hair. I've actually noticed that from previous posts.
:-D

Paul and DeeDee said...

Olivia's hair is very soft like Ayana's but is curlier...i have to put in a moisturizer every day not because of the dryness really but more because of frizziness.

I also found that it helps to just condition her hair at night. So I get it wet every night or every other night in the bath (to rinse out all the food/dirt, she is messy) and then just put in conditioner to leave in while she plays and bathes. Then I rinse it at the end.

I still use It's a Curl also but she is getting a lot of hair and may need to switch soon. For hair moisturizer I LOVE this stuff called Hawaiian Silk. It is a light lotion that sprays. I just spray it all over and massage it in her hair and perfect ringlets emerge. I also use Garnier Fructeese curling spray sometimes.

Most products for african american hair are too greasy for Olivia so it has taken me a while to find what products I really like...I probably have close to 10 bottles:)

Oh and I use the same Aveeno lotion but also use the Aveeno baby lotion that is for eczema and it is much thicker and lasts for several days. I think it will be good for winter:)

Sam's Mom said...

Sammy has similar super-soft big, billowly curly hair. I've had to "train" Gregg and hair-body care, and usually end up doing it myself because I don't think he "gets" Sam's dry skin. We wash body & hair with Method for Baby. It's a light, pleasant scent, is tear-free, and is 99% all natural. We only wash his hair 1x a week, unless he gets food in it.
Oh, and he only gets a bath every other day. After bath (and in am on non-bath days) I slather he down with Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk lotion. I love the scent and again, it's 99% all natural. It's VERY moisturing, so Sammy ends up with SUPER soft skin, and no dry patches at all. EVERY day, I then shake up my spray bottle, which contains 5 parts water to 1 part oil (we are currently using Burt's Bees Baby Apricot Oil) and spray on his hair/scalp. I also use this mix to "refresh" his curls if he has been sleeping and it's all crazy. We never have to comb through his hair, and he looks amazing all the time. If Gregg forgets the lotion or hair oil, then it does get dry.

nancy said...

Hey Amber--thanks for the tips--I am definitely going to check out that hair care line. A's hair looks a little softer than E's. We shampoo about as often as you do. A couple times per week, we dampen her hair in the tub and put in a "hair smoothie" and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Then every night, I squirt it with a water bottle, put in a leave in conditioner (either Carols' Daughter or Loreal Fructis leave in) and comb it through. In the AM, I do the same thing--basically conditioner twice a day or else it mats and looks bad....
A is a DOLLY!

dan and rachel said...

hey amber!
great post! i learned so much from this post. thank you! i, too, have done some reading/research on african american hair, but figured i would follow a "wait and see" approach.

i loved the story about the nanny. i thought you were going to say that you came in to see her washing her hair. i am so glad she went in the other direction of taking great lengths to avoid getting it wet. that's really sweet! :)

love the shower cap. Ms A is absolutely adorable!

my kids had a lot of problems with eczema and we swear by Vanicream. it is free of fragrances, dyes, lanolin, masking fragrance, parabens, preservative, etc etc i have had a couple people tell me that the mayo clinic recommends it. we had tried everything. usually we like to use natural/organic products, but in this case only vanicream did the trick. we had to use it twice a day whether they needed it or not. eventually their skin cleared up. it's quite heavy. now we don't need it, but i have it on hand. you can get it in a 1 lb jar. oh, and they make a sunscreen which is awesome as well!

Kat said...

Not sure I'll be much help :). I use Carol's Daughter's products and LOVE them. Black Vanilla Leave in conditioner after bath and then Hair Milk is WONDERFUL. I also use Mango Shea Souffle (think that's what it's called...pulling a brain hiccup after a long day) on Bekah's skin and it smells SOOOO good! Wetting her hair didn't seem to be a problem as long as I highly condition it after, but the shampoo does much of the stripping of the hair and we only do that once every week or two. Have a ton more info on our Adoption Support site, but I think it sounds like you ROCK on info :). BTW...Ayana just gets cuter and cuter every time I see her!

anangel4us said...

Amber, you are so right about African American hair. I am AA and I have 2 girls with thick hair and I use Optimum moisturizer on their hair because you don't want it to get dry and brittle because then it will come out. For the skin, mix the baby lotion with a dab of baby oil. I too love that baby smell.

aroundtheworldand2kids said...

I think everyone has to go somewhere and get advice when you get home because there is such variety in their hair. Your daughter's hair is so soft and wavy, while my daughter's is uber-coarse and sooooo curly. If you grab one of her curls that rest just above her eyebrow and unstraighten it...it goes to her chin. It's just definitely the learning curve we're all on!

We have made adjustments to our routine that have made it easier. Will have to check out your products. We are definite Carol's Daughter fans around here, though. We love that stuff!

You're doing great, though...her hair is so pretty and her skin is the most lovely tone! And man...the shape of her eyes is killer!

Lisa J. said...

Wow! Ayana's hair is gorgeous! I don't have any recommendations for hair as our little guy's hair is coarse and closely cropped. For lotion, I use Johnson's Creamy Baby Oil. It's like Johnson's lotion but better for really dry skin. I love the smell and I even rub it in Ezra's hair after his bath. Not too fancy, but it works for us!

AliciA said...

Amber,
Shea butter or cocoa butter for the skin, there are many brands to choose from. Tree Hut has a good selection at a good price. I used Tree Hut Body Shea Butter body wash and then apply Tree Hut Coconut Lime Shea Body Butter, but if my children have a really "dry skin" day, nothing works better than Cocoa Butter and it heals all those little bumps on their skin in a couple of days (there is an unscented version if you don't want your daughter to smell like chocolate!)
For hair, shea butter or olive oil are great, again many options to choose from. Don't forget to add a leave in conditioner every time you wash her hair.
There is also this blog that has a lot of tips about little girls' hair, from products to styling: http://www.happygirlhair.com/

AliciA

Anonymous said...

Hi
aquaphore before going to bed at night is very good for kids of african origin .also please use proclaim oil products from sally's (not the olive oil based ) the one which is clear with clear container .sorry for not having the exact name you will thank me for that .i hope it helps .i am an ethiopian and i have three girls .

michelle365 said...

One product that I love is called 'Rose H2O' by a company called Mizani... http://www.mizani-usa.com/?m=11&p=5081&rid=300

You can typically get it at the Hair Cuttery or a lot of Asian beauty supply stores that carry African American hair products. It smells great too and provides great moisture. I'm African-American and I like to wash my hair a lot so I have to keep it moisturized especially when I wear it natural.

Paula said...

I'm still experimenting with products too, but I do love that Aveeno lotion... although I will probably need something heavier when winter comes as the girls do have very dry skin. I only wash their hair once a week unless they've been in the lake a lot and it smells funny. :) I do find that conditioning it between washes helps keep the curls soft.

Leah Reeves said...

Ayana has amazing hair!!!! Gabre's is getting very hard to work with, and we do use Carol's Daughter.....love it! Still Gabre has very curly hair and is gets knotts BAD.

From the pictures it looks like you are going something right!

~Leah

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Kellyann said...

My daughter who is Asian gets those bumps but on her face and backs of her arms. Our pedi said it is a form of eczema. Triple Paste, the company that makes diaper rash ointment is now making a Triple Paste lotion as well. It is very thick. I have found it helps a lot with Ts dry bumps.

Anonymous said...

Your daughter is so cute! I have hair a bit like your daughter's but its of a coarser nature. Anyways, yes it is good to not wash it every night or it will get damaged. I used to have hair that got damaged easily no matter how expensive the shampoo was but then I read that if you shampoo once a month and the other times condition then the hair improves so much. I also use shea butter for my hair that is melted in the hand or over a bit of heat.

rbrum said...

Eucerin Aquaphor (sp?) is the BEST for dry skin for kids. Thick but works great.