Biracial Hair Care

Question: My Caucasian step-daughter whom is 12 has a scent in her hair that is unpleasant even after washing similar to wet animal. Could you recommend a shampoo that I can try for her?

Answer: Something you are putting on her hair is causing bacteria. I find that when I used Kera Care conditioner my hair stinks in a day or so. It does not smell with my products or others I have used so I know it is the product that is creating some sort of bacteria on my scalp and hair. Try changing her conditioner and shampoo to see if this helps.

Question: I am 34 years old; my father is African-American and my mother is Caucasian; my hair isn’t like most black people but it is not like most white people’s, either. It is naturally curly (but not overly curly) and about 3 inches past my shoulders (although, not evenly). The last time I ever had anything done to my hair (got highlights in it) was over a year ago. Lately, I have noticed enormous amounts of hair coming out in the shower and I also have a lot of hairs falling, here and there. I don’t think I am going bald (I don’t seem to have any bald patches), but it just seems like all of a sudden my hair is falling out and it is getting very thin. I am not on any medications. The methods you teach; will they help my kind of hair too; even though it is not completely black hair? Also, you say that you should not use a brush – is it okay to use a comb? (When I comb my hair out when I condition my hair, a whole lot of hair comes out). Lastly, my hair is very frizzy and in order to keep my curls looking halfway decent, I use hair gel; if this is not a good idea; could you please recommend something else?

Answer: My products and methods help to eliminate a dry hair condition. If you have dry hair this will benefit you. (The conditioner has a lot of oil so if oil makes your hair too heavy you cannot use it. Yes - a wide tooth comb (I talk about this in my book) I do not recommend you comb your hair when it is wet if it is chemically processed! If you have damaged hair and your hair is wet, you stretch it past the tensile length of the hair causing it to break. I recommend hair polish rather than gel.

Question: I have a six-year old multi-ethnic daughter and have been at a total loss as to how to properly take care of her hair. I have asked countless friends and professionals over the years what I need to do for her hair since it seems to "never grow." I got different advice every time. I've wasted lots of money on products that didn't help but made things worse. I've already begun doing a deep condition on her hair and I can tell that this is going to work. Her hair is relaxed and broken off all around the edges of her head. This has come from the tight braiding and ponytails, excessive brushing, and not enough conditioning of the hair. Plus, my mother-in-law had told me that I couldn't wash her hair very often and we would go for a couple of weeks without washing. I am ashamed. My daughter wants long hair. It has probably been about 10 or 11 weeks since her last relaxer. Her hair is in very bad condition. My husband wants to quit the relaxer for her hair. Can we grow out the relaxer without a retouch and not get a lot of breakage or are we condemned to a life with a relaxer?

Answer: First, let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with washing the hair often. The routine of washing the hair every 2 weeks is a myth perpetuated throughout the Black community by our mothers and the hair care industry. They reasoned that because we have dry hair, frequent washing would result in stripping the natural oils essential to beautiful Black hair. Afro-textured hair is the driest of all races of people and it appears that your daughter has inherited this hair type. Water is moisture and cannot possibly dry the hair out. It is not how often you wash the hair that causes the problem - it is what you wash the hair with! If washing the hair often was a problem, every Caucasian would be baldheaded! Secondly, give up the hairbrush as it is destroying her hair. Hair possessing a tight curl pattern should not be brushed because it promotes breakage.

Finally, a relaxer as you now know, permanently changes the structure of the hair. Once it is changed, it cannot be reformed. Growing out a relaxer is tough and takes patience, but you can do it if you keep the hair conditioned regularly and moisturized daily. You will probably want to deep condition twice a week. Exercise care when you handle her hair, as the hair shafts weakest point is between the processed portion and the natural hair. Ensure her hair is kept soft to minimize the breakage, which is very important when trying to switch from chemically processed hair back to a natural state. Be patient. Nurture the hair back to health using the above guidelines and your daughter will realize her dream of beautiful long hair!

Question: Hello, I am a biracial, black and white, female with about shoulder length hair. I have a couple of questions that I would greatly appreciate your advice with. I have been relaxing my hair for about three years, but I recently read where relaxers and perms actually break protein bonds in your hair, or something like that, real technical, but it has scared me into not wanting to use a relaxer anymore. What is your advice on switching from relaxers to pressing or blow drying straight (or is there even a big difference in damage from a relaxer and blow drying)? Also, along with my relaxed hair it was also highlighted. Talk about NIGHTMARE! I can actually see where my hair is breaking off at the lighter half of my hair. After I have grown my highlights out, do you have any suggestions for keeping new highlights healthy? And one more question, I have noticed that one side of my hair is just a tad bit longer than the other, anyway to get them even faster without losing the length of the long one? P.S. Sorry! I read where you said trimming your hair has nothing to do with the length. Does that mean trimming does not stop split ends? If not, what can I do to mend the split ends I have?

Answer: Relaxers do break apart the disulfide bonds and IF they are done correctly and maintained, they are fine to wear.

NEVER PRESS chemically processed hair. Relaxers were never intended to be used with extreme heat. You will destroy the hair! Weekly blow drying your hair after it is washed it the only time I would recommend this method. When I relaxed my hair I would only blow dry my hair when I was doing a show. I found they are very damaging to the hair cuticle as well as the hair ends. Now that I am relaxer free I blow dry weekly.

Nightmare indeed when you highlighted your relaxed hair! Now you KNOW this is a no-no. You cannot double process the hair. Lightened hair has to use peroxide or ammonia to lift the dark hair to then color it lighter. It is very damaging to double process the hair. If you choose to dye your hair it has to be the darker colors which use only water to mix. I use Oriental Black and Black Brown Bigen. Give up the relaxer if you choose to highlight your hair.

Do you sleep in a bonnet? I find that hair that is often matted at night when we sleep and wearing a bonnet or scarf at night fixed a problem I had in the back of my head. There were shorter ends in the center of my hair caused by my hair moving around on the pillow. Get yourself a bonnet or scarf and see if that helps.

Trimming has nothing to do with split ends. Hair splits because of how it is cared for. It can also split anywhere along the hair shaft not just the ends. If hair splits in the middle of the hair shaft it is not logically to trim all the hair. Stop doing the damaging things to your hair and you will avoid most splitting hair problems! Throw away that hair brush! Leave your hair ends alone unless they are unsightly and raggedy. It will not hurt to keep them on your head.

Question: Cathy, my daughter is mixed (her father is Bermudian and mom is Caucasian) and therefore has quite unique hair, and living in North Dakota doesn't help much as very few salons will touch her. She had her hair first relaxed by an African- American woman here in town a few years ago. Now she's gone and we've relied upon a local salon the last few times. They don't seem to want to touch her hair close to her scalp so, to me, she never gets the results she should be getting. My questions are: 1) Are the relaxers on the market safe enough for a "white" mother to use on her 15 year old? I've been very tempted several times, but get nervous and back out. 2) Secondly, she seems to have very bad dandruff. It's been like this for quite a while although she's been using Head and Shoulders forever. I don't have anyone here to talk to about it and would very much appreciate any advice you could give. As a teenager, Katherine is very much concerned about it, and looks to me for answers. Please help a very frustrated mom! (Thanks for listening.)

Answer: Kelly, If you have never done a relaxer before, I would be very foolish to advise you to perform one on your daughter when you don't quite know what to do or what to watch for. Your daughter would hate you if you burned all her hair off or she could be severely burned as a result of you applying the products inappropriately. What I would advise you to do is go to the website and look for someone close to your area that will do an Affirm relaxer on your daughter. (Keep getting an Affirm thereafter) The smart professional will choose the relaxer strength based on the texture of her hair. (Something you cannot do right away) Affirm was the only relaxer I used when I relaxed my hair. After her hair is done with the chemical, Katherine will need to understand what is required to keep her hair on her head and my book is critical for this. Chemicals will dry and break the hair if misapplied or left unmaintained. Is Katherine putting any kind of grease on her scalp? Is she washing her hair at least 2X per week? Is she using a lot of alcohol or gel products? She is doing something that is perhaps causing the flaky scalp problem. She may have a buildup of products too. Get the book, and get in touch with someone to do the Affirm relaxer.

Question: I need some info, and was hoping you could help me! I am a 15 year-old Bi-racial female. I used to have long natural curly and wavy hair that was extra thick. Through my growing years I started to experiment with different appearances. Now, I have VERY THIN, damaged, and short hair. I was wondering if you could help me grow my beautiful thick and curly hair back, by giving me some tips and info. PLEASE HELP!

Answer: Yes, read my book. You need to understand why your hair is short now and how to correct the problem. The book defines the problems we have and gives solutions for how to make changes to grow your hair or just how to maintain it. The book will open your eyes.

Question: I just ordered your book and I am so excited to try your method. I am a bi-racial woman with what my hairdresser says is type 2 hair. I have had so many relaxers and perms and have had so many disasters. I was convinced that I could never relax my hair. I am going to try again. :) You mentioned that in the past you used Affirm. With my type 2 hair, can I still use Affirm? My hair is course, but real fine, a very strange combination. I am really desperate. I want to do this right this time. Any suggestions? My hair dresser is willing to order anything I need. Thanks for your time and thanks for allowing us women to share in your success. May God Bless you!!! Angie.

Answer: If your hairdresser knows what she is doing, yes you should be able to have your hair relaxed with perhaps the mild Affirm. Just ensure you care for your hair after you have the chemical with the method.

Question: I completed reading your book and found it very fascinating and educational. Last week, I ordered your conditioner and spray moisturizer. I am anxious to try it. I will pass on your knowledge to other African-Americans about your book, conditioners and website. You are wonderful and beautiful. My questions are these if you will: My biological daughter loves swimming and we are planning a visit to Marco Island, Florida. My in-laws have a swimming pool, and my daughter can’t wait to get into the water. My concern is the chlorine. Her hair gets relaxed at a salon, but I do the maintenance like shampooing, conditioning etc. I know that chlorine is bad for all hair, but more so our hair. My other 2 daughters will be in the pool a lot as well, but they are Caucasian and it is just a matter of jumping in the shower and air drying straight whola! Please give some suggestions. I don’t think swimming caps keep out much water do they?

Answer: Forget the swim cap as it is merely to keep hair out of the pool, not to keep water off the hair. Braid her hair before she gets in the water to prevent tangling and matting. After swimming, use a clarifying shampoo or swimmers shampoo to remove the chlorine from the hair. Remember these shampoos can be quite harsh so you don’t want to use daily but only when you need to remove build ups or chlorine on the hair. Ensure she moisturizers her hair daily with our crème moisturizer to prevent excessive dryness.

Question: I shampoo plus condition my daughter’s hair once or twice per week and blow dry just to remove water. I use the curling iron at the root to remove kinks. My biracial daughter is 11 years old and has healthy shoulder length hair. The only complaint is her sides and neck line get curly and are shorter. I appreciate any suggestions you can give me.

Answer: If her hair is relaxed get rid of the blow dryer and dry her hair under a hooded dryer then straighten with the flat iron. If her hair is natural you can blow dry to straighten also ensure she is sleeping in a bonnet or scarf to keep her hair from tangling and matting. Bet this will help her side and neckline problems. And please tell me you have tossed out your brush!

As I discussed in my book, because from your past relaxer disasters you know your hair will become drier now more than before. So just ensure you follow my techniques for maintaining your relaxer AFTER you have it done.

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