Feeling pressure to relax my daughter's hair!!

Hello! I have been feeling some pressure to relax my soon to be 4 year olds hair. My husband and I really want her to wear it natural. We recently we had a consultation with a stylist (made my my mother-in-law), and she told us that the best route would be to relax it. Her hair is beautiful but it is hard to manage! I want her to embrace herself just the way she is. She is defitiniely a type 4a/4b, but think she has pieces of 3 in there as well. It does tend to look dry a lot and dreads up VERY easily. I will comb it in the morning and then if she sits on it wrong or puts a shirt on it looks frizzy immediately. I have tried some Mixed Chicks products- wasn't a fan of the shampoo. I also have tried some Miss Jessie's products- they are great but a little expensive. If it comes down to it, I am willing to spend the money. Currently, I wash her hair maybe twice every three weeks and put product (ie lotion or leave-in or straight conditioner) in it on a daily basis. I try to comb it out everyday, but some days I don't if we aren't going anywhere. I used to leave it in three braids, but she always asks to wear it down and don't want to discourage that.
Any advice??

(I tried to attach a picture but couldn't find one that didn't exceed the sites limits)
I'm sorry folks are pressuring you to relax a 4-year-old's hair. If you and your husband don't want to relax, you shouldn't do it.

Unfortunately, tangling gets worse the longer it isn't addressed. In other words, you've got to detangle or comb the hair on a daily basis. Secondly, reserve down styles for special occasions, such as picture day or a holiday. If she likes to glance at and admire her hair, give her a few minutes to do that after detangling and before you braid it. Third, it sounds like she might need a butter oil or oil in the morning and at night. I'm a big fan of shea butter, while many folks here love castor oil. The options, it seems, are endless. One last thing, if the ends are tangling, she may need a trim, as in an inch or less. If so, buy a pair of inexpensive scissors designed to cut hair (try a discount store or Ulta) and do that yourself. Good luck.

HTH.
Thank you for your response! It helped alot. I have been trimming my daughter's hair as needed....maybe once every 8 weeks or so. I haven't tried the oil treatments and am now going to look into shea butter. I am still having problems convincing my 4 year old that braiding is the style to wear!!! I also visited your blog and found it interesting and helpful. I am glad I finally decided to post on this sight! Thanks again Honeysmoke!
I am curious are you using a shampoo with sulfates? Are you using products with mineral oil and petroleum? Have you tried the conditioner only method for her? Have you tried natural products like Giovanni Direct Leave in? I wish my mother would have know what I know now about hair. Do you grease her scalp? Do you use EVOO of jojoba oil or Castor oil in her hair? I know I am asking a lot of questions, but with the right regimen her hair can be manageable. I am a 4B myself and once I eliminated hair grease, embraced natural hair care products and co washing my hair is as soft and manageable as it wants to be. Oh and Miss Jessie's has mineral oil. You can get better products and cheaper and Whole Foods.

As for the "stylist" recommending a relaxer she is trying to make money, don't listen to her.






I'm sorry you're going through this. Do you section her hair when you wash it and make sure you're putting the shampoo on her scalp not her hair? When you're about to comb make sure you have a good detangler / leave in. A leave in conditioner makes a good one. I've heard good things about oyin honey hemp but I use aubrey organics conditioners and people rave about those too. As for a cream or butter try all natural whipped shea butter if her hair and scalp are dry. If oily try aubrey's green tea finishing rinse or a blended cutie. Make sure you have a a satin pillowcase or bonnet for her and braid it at night. Use oil to seal in whatever type of moisturizer you use.
I know it must be hard and she's your daughter bt please don't relax her hair. I've been natural almost 5 years and although I've had growth I wish every day tht my mom never permed my 3c/4ab hair.

Last edited by mslittlelala; 09-19-2009 at 09:38 PM.
If you nor your husband think your daughter should have a relaxer then I wouldn't go that route. She is afterall only 4 years old. You said you are washing her hair twice every three weeks. Not sure why you are washing so infrequent and if you are using shampoos with sulfates or not. But, I would try at least co-washing twice a week and detangling while their is a ton of conditioner in it and maybe section it while detangling and twisting it as you go. That way it will be already sectioned off when you go to style her hair. Personally I like the Curls products for children. My son loves them.

As far as her wanting to wear her down I guess I am old school. A child does what their parents tell them to do not what the child wants. That being said she is only 4 and there is no way I could imagine letting a four year old run around with her hair loose. I mean you are the one that has to comb and detangle it at the end of the day. Well, you know what....that could be a lesson for her. Letting her wear it down and have to sit through the combing and detangling may be a good lesson.
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okay....thanks again for responses...information is knowledge and this all helps!!! I do have a few questions...
1. The shampoo I am currently using does NOT have sulfates. It is the Miss jessie's creme shampoo. Any other suggestions as far as a good sulfate free shampoo?

2. Do i want to avoid or use products with mineral oil or petroleum?

3. What is the conditioner only method? I am assuming that it is only conditioning her hair, but want to make sure.

okay, I think that is it! Once again, I want to thank you all for your help!!
okay....thanks again for responses...information is knowledge and this all helps!!! I do have a few questions...
1. The shampoo I am currently using does NOT have sulfates. It is the Miss jessie's creme shampoo. Any other suggestions as far as a good sulfate free shampoo?

2. Do i want to avoid or use products with mineral oil or petroleum?

3. What is the conditioner only method? I am assuming that it is only conditioning her hair, but want to make sure.

okay, I think that is it! Once again, I want to thank you all for your help!!
Originally Posted by bandsbaby6
I looked up the ingredients for the shampoo, personally I think you can get better cheaper. Nature's Gate, Burt's Bee's, Aubrey Organics.

AVOID MINERAL OIL AND PETROLEUM! These actually block moisture from the hair and sit on the shaft. Try using essential oils like Jojoba oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. However, these are sealents you will need to find a good leave in I like Giovanni Direct or Afroveda Numilk.

And you have the conditioner only method correct. I use VO5 Moisture milk and Suave Coconut Naturals.






lovestosamba
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I may be sticking my neck out here. But I think I sense an identity issue here. If your little girl is around other little girls that have long flowing hair, she may want to look just like them. Hence her resistance to braids. I remember when I was six and after my mother relaxed my hair, I swung my head and said " I have hair like white girls, mommy" How sad is that. I applaud you for resisting to relax your daughter's hair and I think she may need reinforcement that it is ok to have kinky curly hair. When she is older, she may decide on her own that she wants relaxed hair and it will be her decision. For now, I think that working with what she's got is crucial for her positive self-image. Some product suggestions are: Darcy Botanicals daily leave-in conditioner. Detangles like a dream. Natures Gate chamomile conditioner to co-wash. Hairveda products are very affordable (hariveda.com) and workd to moisturize the hair w/o mineral oil.

If I've overstepped. Let me know and I will glady delete this post.
If you have reservations then don't do it. Besides, 4 yrs old is very young for a relaxer and those chemicals are stronger than the relaxers used on adult heads.

I have 4a/b hair myself and when I was younger, I used to HATE having my mom do my hair until she took us (sis and I) to a salon to get out hair braided. I don't know what shampoo and conditioner they used but that was one of the few times my sis and I did not cry out in pain having out hair combed out.

My point is, maybe it's time to up the shampoo/conditioner up a bit. There are plenty of great sulfate free poos out there like Sweet Sunnah. You already have Miss Jessies. As always, I recommend coconut oil (extra virgin) if you can get some but don't spend more than $10 on that.
Revenge is a dish best served with a splash of irony.
first, lovetosamba- I would completely agree with you- we live in a very NON-diverse community- and she loves her cousin Emma who has stick straight hair (as do I). I guess my goal raising my two daughter is to instill in them a wonderful sense of self confidence and self worth- to embrace themselves! I agree that I want to work with what she's got and encourage her to embrace herself who she is! So, thank you for putting in your opinion! You did not overstep!

I have gotten some great pointers here and am definitely trying out so many things to make this a positive thing for my four year old! I am excited, she truly has a beautiful head of hair!!!
first, lovetosamba- I would completely agree with you- we live in a very NON-diverse community- and she loves her cousin Emma who has stick straight hair (as do I). I guess my goal raising my two daughter is to instill in them a wonderful sense of self confidence and self worth- to embrace themselves! I agree that I want to work with what she's got and encourage her to embrace herself who she is! So, thank you for putting in your opinion! You did not overstep!

I have gotten some great pointers here and am definitely trying out so many things to make this a positive thing for my four year old! I am excited, she truly has a beautiful head of hair!!!
Originally Posted by bandsbaby6
If your community's not so diverse, be crusaders for a cause. Seriously, be prepared for comments like you wouldn't believe but be strong. Many of us have your back. Moisture is key and shea butter helps (I mean the hard,stinky, yellow stuff the Africans sell you).
Revenge is a dish best served with a splash of irony.
lovestosamba
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first, lovetosamba- I would completely agree with you- we live in a very NON-diverse community- and she loves her cousin Emma who has stick straight hair (as do I). I guess my goal raising my two daughter is to instill in them a wonderful sense of self confidence and self worth- to embrace themselves! I agree that I want to work with what she's got and encourage her to embrace herself who she is! So, thank you for putting in your opinion! You did not overstep!

I have gotten some great pointers here and am definitely trying out so many things to make this a positive thing for my four year old! I am excited, she truly has a beautiful head of hair!!!
Originally Posted by bandsbaby6
You are very welcome! In looking for products to detangle your daughter's hair, make sure that Behentrimonium methosulfate,the mildest hair-detangling ingredient available, is listed high on the ingredients list. I don't buy conditioners without it because I know they won't detangle my fine kinky hair. As far as moisture goes, aloe vera juice, glycerin, honey and/or agave are good natural moisturizers.
To answer your question the conditoner only method is the practice of leaving conditoner in for detangling and styling. It was developed by the blogger at tightlycurly.com.She has pics, tutorial and product recommendations

I would recommend conditioner washing at least once a week. For my one year old I use suave kids(because it's tear free and cheap). then I gently detangle with aubrey organics honeyuckle rose on wet hair with a wide toothed comb. After a section has been detangled I twist or braid it so that it doesn't re-tangle. I rinse with the twists so some of the conditoner is still there.

I apply shea butter and braid or twist. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you sart braiding or twisting her hair regularly, You don't have to do it everyday but with little girls and tightly curled hair, tanlgles are eminent. It would drive me crazy to keep trying to constanly groom my daughter hair so that she looked nice. I apply coconut oil for sheen.

My daughter also sllep on satin sheets. that helps
maintain moisture. Her braids or twists usulally look raggedy after about three to four day. I use giovanni direct leave in (from target) to remove the braids gently, restyle and add a little more coconut oil.

Lastly I would recommend working on your daughter's self esteem by books or activities that involve other girls with hair like hers like.. like african dance classes or form a mommy playdate group near you (like meetup.com). I will look on Amazon for book titles that may be helpful.
thanks you afrikurl for your advice! That would be great if you could look up some titles. I will do the same! I tried kinky curly custard yesterday and it seemed to work great, but only used it once so I will have to see if it is a keeper! Also, ordered some shea butter to try!

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