Caring for African American babies' hair is a process, but doesn't have to be stressful. Actually, it is quite uniform with some basic rules. Learning what to do makes you learn what not to do. Once you get the rules down and practice them, before long you will be an expert at caring for your babies' hair so that it can grow healthy and long.
When washing black babies' hair, stick with products that are either all natural or specifically made for African American babies. You want a product that is mild enough for the infant's tender locks and has only the best ingredients. One natural shampoo that is made for African Americans, and is gentle enough for babies, is made by the Beauty 4 Ashes brand. Its Hair Puritea Red Tea Honeybee Shampoo is made from aloe vera, honey and red Tea. It keeps the hair moisturised and strengthens it against breakage.
Don't wash the baby's hair too often. With some African American babies, they have very thin hair, which is not coarse in texture. In this instance, it is OK to wash the hair once every week or biweekly. You may want to wash more often if the baby's hair is thick and long. When using natural products, it is OK to wash every three days. Do not wash any more frequently than this in order to maintain the natural sheen and lustre to the baby's hair.
Baby oil is a popular choice for moisturising black baby's hair. Applying it to the baby's scalp two times a day will keep it moisturised and promote healthy growth. Other oils that are optimum for black hair---even on infants---are coconut, jojoba, olive and shea. These oils clean the scalp and don't clog the pores. They also don't make the hair dirty so that you will have to wash the hair too often.
What to Avoid
Be sure to thoroughly read the ingredients on the hair care products you purchase for African American babies. Avoid products that contain chemicals that are harmful for your baby. Products to avoid contain petroleum, sulphates, silicone and mineral oils. Some parents like to use lotions to moisturise the baby's hair. This is fine as long as the lotion doesn't contain parabens; this chemical has been proven to have agents that cause cancer.
It may be stylish and cute to pull the baby's hair up in colourful barrettes and hair accessories, but try to keep the child's hair as naturally styled as possible. African American hair is fragile and these styling practices can cause damage and breakage. Do not to use rubber bands and keep the ponytails loose, if you must style her hair in a ponytail. Use a soft-bristled brush when brushing the child's hair.