Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Black Kids' Natural Hair: Our Favorite Products, Tools, Accessories, Books, and Videos

It's been awhile since I've given you an update on all of our hair faves! It's been over a year since I've done this. Ugh! Thankfully, my Facebook and Instagram followers were kind enough to remind me that it's time for some natural hair talk. So, here goes! 

If you're new, we have four children, all of whom have a different hair type, and if we're honest, very different personalities, needs, and preferences. Figuring out what works is an ongoing journey, including what products to use (and in which order), which tools are the best, which accessories my kids prefer, as well as our favorite hair books and videos.

I am not a natural hair expert, and I urge you to seek tutorials, stylists, products, accessories, books, videos, and tools from Black owned businesses. I'm not here to teach you how to cornrow, for example.

I'm simply here to share with you what works well for us, and some of our favorites. I regularly post my kids' latest hairstyles, tools and products we like, and favorite books on Facebook and Instagram. I hope you'll hang out with me there! 


Hair Styles

My big girls have only had one braiding appointment since March (!!!) 2020 due to Covid-19. I do hair every Saturday and Sunday. I've been posting all our styles which range from very simple--taking twenty minutes or so--to much more intricate. The goal for my big girls is that their style lasts from weekend to weekend, since school is back in session. The baby's hairstyle tends to last longer, as it's usually protected by beads.

Hair (and Skin) Products

We used to snatch up and try every new hair product we could get our hands on, but that was getting expensive. I ended up giving away so much to other friends with Black children, because as we all know, not every product works on on every head of hair. In fact, most products don't work out. We believe in buying Black-owned, natural hair products. Currently, I'm using Camille Rose Naturals products on all my girls. Our absolute fave is the moisture milk.

My son gets all the leftover products since he doesn't have a preference and his hair is in a short, bald-fade. He often uses Curls products, plus the coiling sponge. We love the Curls Creme Brulee most of the year, but we use the Blueberry Bliss in the summer. For shampoo and conditioner, we prefer Coconut Curls by OGX

On the topic of hair products, I'd also like to share with you our favorite skin products. We use Burts Bee's lip balm on our lips: natural ingredients and no scent or flavor.  For skin, everyone in the family uses Alba lotion. We buy the mega jug (a gallon) and refill our smaller bottles. We prefer this scentless lotion, but there's also a coconut option.

Hair Tools

I've posted several times that I'm a huge fan of this detangling brush. It works better than any other brush or comb we've tried, especially on my tender-headed daughter. I love this tool because it's cleanable, it's sturdy, it's adjustable, and it's relatively inexpensive (considering you don't have to constantly replace it like you do with the cheaper brushes). Be sure to read the directions when you receive it.

Besides this, we use a basic rattail comb for parting and occasionally a detangling comb. 

Hair Accessories

We have jumbo beads (and a beading tool--oh yes, I use one), GabbyBows (they NEVER fall out!), terry cloth ties, non-damaging rubber bands, ballies, etc. My big girls rarely wear accessories anymore, but my preschooler does. We also bought a big set of colorful bows that have lasted forever and are excellent quality.

Buying the set allows for consistency and saves money--instead of purchasing individual bows at stores on a whim. We use sleep caps for the baby from Africa Sleeps, and my girls wear cheap bonnets from whatever store we grab them at! 

Hair Videos

I learned to cornrow using this video on YouTube. I recently learned (finally!) how to add weave to braids using this video. We mostly stick to banded box braids. We really need to perfect cutting our son's hair. We've had limited hair appointments due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Hair Books

There are so many excellent hair books for Black kids, with more and more coming out all the time! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Best Empowering Picture Books for Black Boys and Girls: a Valentine's Day Tradition

If you've followed me for awhile, you know that our Valentine's Day tradition is to buy each of our kids a new shirt (usually red or pink and always with hearts!), a book, and a marshmallow chocolate heart. Why a book? Usually by February 14th, my kids have read all the books they received at Christmas and are ready for something new. (Plus, books are our love language!) 

Perhaps you've yet to start a Valentine's Day tradition with your kiddos and are ready to start. We are sharing our favorite empowering picture books for Black boys and girls to inspire you. Of course, February is also Black History Month, another reason to add to your child's library. (Though Black history is EVERY DAY of EVERY year.)

We strongly believe that it's always a good day to affirm your child. I've said so many times that the world works really hard to tear down Black children, so parents have the responsibility and honor of building them up. Books can be one way we do this. 

Think about your own childhood. What was one book you absolutely loved? One that touched your soul and inspired you? One that resontates with you to this day?


Filling your home with books is a powerful way to pour into your children, affirming their incredible Black selves. Valentine's Day is just one day that allows us the opportunity to gift our child a new book that uplifts them. 

Here are our favorite empowering children's picture books for Black boys and girls--plus a few easy readers thrown in. For more suggestions, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Click or tap on the book image to learn more: read a summary, check out the reviews, take a look inside, and purchase if you wish! Happy reading, friends!