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Are Biracial Hair Care Needs Different?

Are Biracial Hair Care Needs Different

I’ve recently read an article stating that biracial hair, or mixed race hair if you prefer, can be very frustrating. I actually had to read that phrase twice. Humm… What is it about it that makes it so different from African and Caucasian hair? There are a lot of tips and advice circulating the web for this specific hair type. Many of the information is targeted at Caucasian mums who have biracial kids and don’t know how to deal their kids unruly, untamed and unmanageable hair. However, I’ve also noticed that there are African mothers who have biracial kids and seek advice to deal with hair that is different from theirs. Are biracial hair care needs different from those of Caucasian and African ones?

 

 

Where Is The Issue?


I don’t like to refer to biracial hair as a specific or different hair type to those many recognise in Andre Walker’s hair type classification because it is after all curly hair. It’s like we’re saying it’s neither meat or fish. That it’s different and once again different is something to be cautious of. It’s not as straight as Caucasian hair and it’s not as kinky, coily and coarse as African hair.

 

I mean people,  hair is hair!! There is no science here! Biracial hair (African mixed with Caucasian or Asian) is curly hair and curly hair is dry, prone to breakage, easily tangled hair that doesn’t reflect light, shrinks and frizzes (I hope I said it all). I think people, women especially, have high and unrealistic expectations about their hair. We always seem to be looking where the grass is greener and never taking care of what we have, that which is ours. If we have thin hair we want it thicker, if we have thick hair we want it thinner, if we  have curly hair we want it straight, if we have it wavy we want it to spiral, if its brown we want black… OMG, this is exhausting!

 

Why is this such an issue? I mean, I get that when your hair is different from that of your kids there is an adjustment period. However, do we expect biracial hair to be more African-like – more dry, dull, prone to breakage? Or more Caucasian-like – more smooth, straight, silky and not so dry? I think this is just part of a social construct about race. People need to have things put into categories to make sense of the world.

 

However, Caucasian hair has been seen as the standard of beautiful hair. This is why many of us are still relaxing and whatever else comes along to meet this standard. The natural hair movement is here, it looks strong and firm, but there is still a long path to walk. There are many places in the world, Africa included, where there is still a lot of stigmas attached to wearing natural curly hair. Check my post on Natural Hair Resistance – Ignorance or Prejudice? to know a bit more.

 

 

Do You Get It?


I don’t mean to drum your head with this matter. Well, actually, I do. I want people to understand and accept their hair, to stop comparing themselves to others. Understand this: because of its nature curly hair is dry, sebum has difficulties travelling along the hair shaft. For this reason, it will never be as smooth as Caucasian hair and it will never be as shiny, even with our best efforts. For it to shine it has to reflect light, something that is facilitated when the cuticle layers of the hair lay flat.

 

With curly hair, this doesn’t happen because of its shape. In fact, it can bend in a “Z” formation making it impossible for cuticle layers to lay flat and for hair to reflect light, which would make it look shiny. People this is science and common knowledge. African, Caucasian and Asian hair are different from each other. There’s nothing we can do about it and it’s nothing we should be focusing our attention on.

 

 

My Story


I present to you my personal experience. I am considered mixed race and so is my daughter. However, our hair is different from each other. Mine is thicker and has a looser curl pattern, it can take heavier oils and butters (check pictures on my about me page) and my daughter’s hair is thin, tightly coiled all over and can’t take heavy oils or butters as it is easily weighed down (see pictures bellow). Is her hair better than mine!? I don’t know, you tell me!

 

Her hair tangles very easily since it is so thin and curly. If she sports a wash and go for more than three days she better prepare herself for some “harm-wrestling” detangling motion on washing day with all the tangles she gets. Additionally, it frizzes more effortlessly than mine and shrinks like crazy(!!). This is my personal experience, yours could be different.

Biracial Hair

I never compare my hair to my daughters hair thinking that hers is more beautiful than mine. Yes, it’s different and beautiful, but so is mine. We, women, spend too much time and effort trying to have and/or achieve the impossible, instead of working with/for what we have. If we did this, we would be attuned to our hair’s needs and see the beauty in it. Straight hair is straight hair and curly hair is curly hair.

 

 

Let’s Move On and Beyond!


Let’s stop comparing and focusing on the differences. Let’s leave behind the labels we are placed into and focus on the needs. Yes, I agree that African and Caucasian hair have different needs, it’s unquestionable. Yes, I agree that there are general characteristics to each. However, as a society (human beings even) we like to compare and compete, it’s probably in our nature.

 

Let’s just agree that we all have hair and each is unique, even within the so-called groups. No hair is equal, there will be a different combination of shape, texture, density, porosity and elasticity and each hair will have different needs. That is why the same hair product may not work for two people with the same hair type or of the same race.

 

Straight hair is beautiful, I used to blow dry and flat iron mine all the time. Nevertheless, I also think it can be boring at times (sorry for all the straight haired ladies). Curly hair is more joyful, it comes in many different curl patterns. Probably, as many as there are fingerprints. You can use it curly, texturized, straight, it can be short one day and long the other day, you have endless hairstyles to choose from, I mean… Come on! Where can you have so much versatility? Curly hair is FUN!

 

Stop looking for the differences in your hair and “hear” your hair’s needs. Trust me, if you “listen” and act upon them your hair will respond accordingly and you will learn to love your hair and not somebody else’s hair.

 

Do you think biracial hair is different? Is your hair biracial? Do you have different hair care needs from Caucasian and African hair?

 

 

Featured image credit: Russell Mondy_Christina on Flikr (license)
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18 thoughts on “Are Biracial Hair Care Needs Different?

  1. Huh, I never knew it was so much of a debate! I agree, hair is hair. You really have to listen to what’s best for your own, and it’s different from day to day. Some days mine is naturally curly. Some days it’s super straight! Thanks for enlightening me!

    1. Hi Jean. I don’t know if there is a debate about this, but it’s something that bugs me. What is biracial hair? I mean, hair is hair. Stop the labels and start caring! I just wanted to know what people feel about this and shared my thoughts. Thanks for being a part of the debate.

  2. As a father of two bi-racial children I found this article very interesting. Thanks for posting.

  3. I’m just thankful I’m a guy and don’t have to worry with hair maintenance. Nonetheless, I’m glad I stumbled on your site and found your post to be very unique. Glad to see that you personally had found a solution to better hair and am sure this will come to be useful to so many out there!

    1. Hi Pete,

      Yes, sometimes I also think you are very lucky not to worry about hair maintenance, but then again carelessness can lead hair loss and baldness as well. So always take care of your hair. But you are right hair is an important issue for women and as you can see we can have strong opinions. Thank you for yours!

  4. I definitely think biracial hair is different, but I love it!! I have dead straight hair and if I even try to curl it, it’ll stay for about 30mins then go flat again!! haha. I’d love to have slightly curly hair so it’d style easier… but I guess the grass is always greener on the other side – I’m sure there’re plenty of people who’d prefer straight like mine…!!

    1. Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side. Biracial hair is different, but are its hair care needs different? In some ways it can be easier to style and at times not so much. But it is what it is, we have to work with what we have. All hairs have different needs even within the same race, I believe we should be focusing on our own individual needs and not so much in comparing differences, but in admiring uniqueness!

      Monica

  5. This is terrific – a very informative site for hair issues! I particularly liked the info regarding clarifying shampoo and braids.

    About the site, as I mentioned before, very informative about hair, navigating from page to page, and the overall look of it is very inviting, and I the banners added for other websites are just large enough to attract the reader’s attention, and not distracting from the content.

    Well done!

    1. Hello Margaret,

      I’m very happy you liked the website and the information in here. Hope to see you here more often.

      Cheers

      Monica

  6. Nice website Monica. I like your article – Are Biracial Hair care needs Different? because it talks about a common issue in my family. I agree with you hair is hair! however there are so many product on the market that it’s almost impossible to find the right hair care product. Your article was very insightful to me. I especially like that you highlighted the headings which made your thoughts stand out. I though your article was very well put together, it highlighted some important details about special hair care which was very helpful. I especially like that you included your own story. Nice website! job well done. Continued success.

    1. Hi Terry,

      I don’t think there will ever be “the right hair care product” for you to buy and use till the end of days. It doesn’t work like that because our hair changes its needs, depending on many factors (environment, chemical treatments, moisture, water, etc) and so sometimes you will need something else.

      Thank you for your feedback on the website and article.

  7. Hi Ana,

    Great post! I am Asian, and have straight hair. Sometimes it is boring to have straight hair. Mine hair is stubborn in a sense that even I will go to the parlor and make it curly, the next day it will be straight again. But straight hair is easy to manage and care. After shampoo, conditioner, comb a little and that’s all.

    I love seeing girls out there with curly hair especially the biracial hair. For me they are so beautiful. Yes it is true that this type of hair needs different hair care. But I think having curly hair is enjoyable because there are lots of hairstyle to do to make it more beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting post. More power!

    marcy

    1. Hi Marcy, in what sense do you believe biracial hair is different? Is it just in combing? In what way(s)? I personally believe hair is hair and we should be focused on what’s on our head and not other people’s head. Hair is like a fingerprint, it’s different to every person even within which hair type.

  8. i can’t agree more with your article Monica, yes we don’t have the same hair types and yes the treatment that suits my hair may not suit yours.. but i thinks its something in our nature that we don’t like what we have and want what others have. my sister have a naturally nice curly hair that she don’t like and always iron it, while i on the other side have a naturally straight hair which i don’t like and always curl it to have more volume !
    Thanks again for your article !

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Yes, we tend to want/desire what others have, thus why we want our hair more curly, longer, darker, voluminous or whatever we think it will look good on us. I guess we have to work harder at being happy with what we have and still be able to admire what others have without wanting it.

      Cheers

  9. Hey

    Great article by the way thank you for sharing this, I was just browsing for similar information when I came across you site and will save it for later I found some awesome tips.

    I personally love curly hair and would prefer it to straight i love the girls hair in the picture its wild but awsome

    I hope you will post more of the same quality content in the near future, I look forward to returning.

    thank you

    ~Jack

    1. Awww.. thank you Jack for the awesome comment! Happy you enjoyed the content in this article, please keep coming back.

      Monica

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