Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dear Sugar: Hair & Skin Hacks for Black Children

Hi, Sugar:

A few weeks ago, I wrote an extensive updated post on my kiddo's hair, because I'm asked ALL THE TIME about hair styles, hair care, and books that promote pride in one's hair!   

Today, I'm sharing my favorite beauty hacks for Black children! Here you go:

1: The versatile product. 

The challenge:  Protecting hair.

The answer:   I love these satin pillowcases.  They come in multiple color options (let your child choose).  They are inexpensive, washable, and the open-end allows you to easily slip them over car seats, booster seats, bed pillows, etc.   If we are traveling a long distance and I expect my kiddos to fall asleep in their booster/carseats, we usually have them pop on their sleep caps.   

2:  Magic crib sheet.

The challenge:  Baby girl's hair is rubbing out due to sleeping on her back (safety first!) and her hair rubbing and resting on cotton crib sheets.  

The answer:  A satin crib sheet.  I know, they seem expensive.  And with my first three babies, I was like, NO WAY am I going to pay $30+ for ONE sheet.  But with baby #4, I decided to give it a whirl since she was losing so.  much.  hair. in her crib.  Sugar, this sheet is a game-changer.   Not a single hair has been shed in her bed.  Read that?  NOT A SINGLE HAIR.  I only bought one and just wash it as needed, since I'm not looking to invest in two sheets.   

3:  The detangling/moisturizing/re-braiding hack that saved my sanity.

The challenge:  My second daughter doesn't wear extensions; her braids are all her hair.  But she has SO MUCH hair and it's so long, not to mention she HATES detangling time with a passion.   

The answer:  I clip out rubber bands, which are at the base of her box braids, with nail clippers, then I wash and condition her hair (or just co-wash, depending on the week) with the braids in.  Then about every fourth wash, I do undo the braids before washing so I can really get at her entire scalp.   This is when I do a coconut oil deep treatment, followed by a shampoo and conditioning session.    Keeping the braids in during most washings allows me to moisturize, unbraid, detangle, and rebraid one braid at a time which is so much more bearable for a tender-headed girl!    

Also, some of you may be wondering about varying the parts, since it's not healthy to use the same parts over and over.   I usually start the month with bigger braids.  Then the next time, I take one section and break it into two or three braids (for more and smaller braids), thus creating more parts and varying the parts within the section.   The smaller braids last longer.

4:  It's not just for boobies: our secret beauty weapon.  

The challenge:  Chapped cheeks, cracked lips, super dry knees and elbows.  

The answer:  Ya'll.  I'm addicted to nipple cream.   Addicted.  Make sure to buy organic.   Vaseline is so incredibly unhealthy and disgusting:  I loathe it.  Plus nipple cream is in little containers, so it's portable!   When my son was sick with the flu and breathing only through his mouth, his lips were SO cracked and tender, so every chance I got, I put nipple cream on his lips and they healed nicely.

5:  Healthy skin on-the-go.

The challenge:  School, extracurriculars, daycare, summer camps, and day-traveling. 

The answer:   Create mini beauty-care kits for your children's backpacks and for your car.   This should include lip balm (buy in a multipack to save money), lotion (again buy in multipacks for a better price), and anything else that helps your child.  For example, my kiddo who struggles with anxiety (which manifests itself in the form of stomach aches) carries little organic ginger or peppermint mints in the kit.  (Buy the ones without artificial sweeteners or colors and again, multipacks are always cheaper.) We also keep hand sanitizer in the kits and for kids who need it, small fidget toys and ear buds (to cancel noise in situations where auditory sensory issues come up).   

Don't go buy a special bag.  Just find some of those freebie cosmetic bags you get, for example, and label it with a permanent marker with your child's name.    Be sure to remind your child it's there and what it is for, and emphasize the importance of taking care of one's body!   

I'd love to hear what you're hair and skin hacks are!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.    

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