How to Grow the Edges of African-American Children's Hair

By Oubria Tronshaw ; Updated April 18, 2017
Teach your child to love her hair.
Teach your child to love her hair.

African American hair has a texture unique to other races. The hair is extremely curly -- or kinky -- and should be combed and styled with patience and delicate care. Frequent and improper combing, tight styling, lack of sufficient moisture and chemical straightening treatments can pull African American's children's hair out at the edges.

Comb your child's hair gently with a wide tooth comb. Start at the tips and gingerly make your way up to the roots. Attempting to comb your child's hair from root to tip will hurt your child's head, and will break off her hair. Don't comb her hair daily. Leave it in neat twists or braids to keep it from tangling.

Keep your child's hair moisturized. African American hair is naturally dry and breaks off easily if the strands are not fortified with moisture. Don't wash your child's hair more than once per week, as you will strip her hair of its natural oils. Use a deep conditioner with every wash, and use a nonalcohol based moisturizer before styling. Suggestions from Baby-Center.com include using moisturizers that feature avocado oil, jojoba oil, virgin coconut oil and emu oil.

Don't use chemicals to straighten your child's hair. Perms and relaxers weaken African American hair, causing it come out more easily. Though it may be harder to comb and style, leaving your child's hair natural will help it grow around the edges.

Protect your child's hair at night by tying it up with a satin or silk scarf. Cotton pillowcases and sheets will snatch your child's hair out. Since the edges of African American hair are the most delicate, they'll be the first to go.

Gently style your child's hair around the edges. Braids, cornrows and ponytails pulled too tight can damage the edges of African American hair. Don't use rubber bands to secure ponytails as they will pull out strands of your child's hair when removed. Use this test to determine if you've styled her hair too tight: Have your child move her eyebrows up and down after you finish doing the front of her hair. If moving her forehead hurts, her hair is being pulled too tight.

Massage your child's edges gently with your fingertips after taking down braids, twists and other hair styles that have been up for awhile. This will stimulate blood to her hair follicles, encouraging rejuvenation and growth.

About the Author

Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.