Well I don’t know if I would consider myself the “authority” on this subject but I am definitely a subject of this subject. As a bi-racial individual my hair has always been made out to be a challenge by every adult around me when I was a child and later on by me, having taken on everybody else’s opinions about my hair as I was growing up.
I heard everything from “your hair is so thick” (said with a furrowed brow and much expression in the voice) to “girl you have TOO much hair” (usually said by the hair stylist who I was paying to do my hair) to “girl you have good hair! What you relaxing it for?” (this coming from those who said it with an attitude because they wanted hair like mine).
When I made the decision to go natural, after relaxing my hair for 30 plus years, I learned there was a whole new aspect to my hair that I had never discovered before. Now at first it was definitely a pull and tug scenario, with many days of temptation to go and buy a jar of relaxer and slap it on my head, but as I allowed my natural hair to make its way on to and out of my head, I discovered something beautiful. I discovered that I had amazing hair, with amazing curls that was easy to manage once I embraced what it naturally was.
The most important thing I learned about my bi-racial hair was that it LOVED and NEEDED water and that I couldn’t over water it. Water helps hair to maintain its elasticity, softness, natural shine and strength and is the most natural source of moisture.
I also learned that my hair performed better when it was conditioned more than it was washed. What I mean by this is that I learned that conditioner can be used to clean my hair without drying it out. So I cut my shampoo washes down from once a week to once a month in the beginning stages. Now, however because I do apply conditioner and gel to my hair in between washes, I co-wash (wash with conditioner) every other week and shampoo on the alternate weeks.
Many “naturalistas” will tell you to detangle with a wide tooth comb. I have found that this does not work well for the overall look of my curls. I find that when I detangle with a comb my curls have a tendency to swell rather than lay, which is how I prefer them. My preferred method of detangling is with my fingers. Now you may, with eyes wide open, be wondering how on earth you detangle a thick head of hair (which most bi-racials have) with your fingers. The trick is to apply A LOT of conditioner to the hair before detangling. This is true for whatever method you choose to use to detangle. I apply conditioner to my hair in four or six sections to be sure that my hair strands are completely coated with the product. I also detangle my hair in sections once I have applied the conditioner. I promise you that if you use this method to detangle it will be so easy to do. In addition to the section being saturated with conditioner, if it is also very wet the fingers tend to slide on through.
One of my favorite conditioners to use is the Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal.