Thursday, August 11, 2011


When ever I get an african american or biracial child people LOVE to ask me "How do you know how to do their hair?!?!"

Well, I don't.

But, I have learned a few things along the way.

#1 don't be scared of it...because I was.

I will never forget walking thru the "ethnic" hair care aisle and asking my first african american foster child "Does any of this look familiar to you?" He was 3 years old at the time...he wasn't much help :)

#2 everyone uses/does something different.

After going through the "ethnic" hair care aisle with my 3 year old and picking up the most natural looking product I could find, I still asked any african american woman that looked approachable what they would use.

They would usually say "Just get some grease from the dollar store...they all carry it." Little did I know that "grease" usually does not literally say "grease" on the bottle.

#3 you probably are not going to ruin their hair. probably.

I have used several different products on my kids and I haven't ruined anyone's hair yet. My newest little girl just came back from her mom's house and I can tell her mom used baby oil in her hair and I was surprised that I kinda liked what it did to her hair...even after I messed with it.

All this to say...I have really appreciated any help I could find in this area and one of my "soon to be" fellow foster moms has a great blog about her daughter's hair that has given me some great ideas! You can find her at

I would suggest brushing up on at least a couple go to items/products if you said you are willing to take any race! You never know who you are going to get and I would much rather have mom saying "At least you tried" than "Why didn't you do anything with her hair?!?!"


Kateri said...

A brush (but not the same type that my girls use) and some "JAM." That's what all the girls that have stayed with us have used :) We're covered for most situations with those two items :)

The House that Jak and Nick Built said...

Thanks for the advice & the link. I'm going to start brushing up now.

ashley said...

I agree with Kateri, "JAM" is the best!....I personally watched a ton of youtube videos on how to do different styles. :-)

Debbie said...

I love hair time! But I was afraid when I started. I've watched two of the families through our classes bring black children home and immediately started asking me what to do.
Good advice on having a basic idea before receiving a child.
And I had to laugh at #1. Isabel (3 yrs old) recognizes the products I use on her while we are out shopping.

(Thanks for the link)

the johnson crew said...

you are so funny. i really enjoyed this post. "grease doesn't say grease". LOL!!!

thanks for the link. i will have to check it out.

Alison said...

We haven't used anything on Boogie's hair yet, but I think we are going to have to start soon. I just comb the curls out at bathtime really well.

Kent was told by a co-worker to comb Vaseline through his hair. That sounded awful to me, so I asked a hairdresser who named some product I'll never remember, but also said baby oil is fine. Glad I don't have to worry about braiding! :)

CandCFamily said...

I love this site

I have learned a lot over the last 18+ months, but still have some more to learn,

Elle said...

Here's a great resource!