Inside: 12 common mixed curly hair mistakes you’re probably making and how to fix them.
Curly hair is notoriously high maintenance because it’s naturally dry and fragile. It needs extra care to ensure those curls are healthy, defined, and gorgeous!
Now if you’ve got mixed kids with curly hair, their hair care routine may look a lot different than yours.
If you’ve never had experience with curly hair or biracial hair, you may treat their hair the same way you treat yours, which unknowingly can cause dryness, limpness, and/or damage.
Or maybe you have curly hair but your kids curls aren’t the same as yours, (as was my situation) and you have to start over with figuring out the best way to care for their curls.
There’s definitely a lot of trial and error that goes into figuring out exactly how to take care of your child’s mixed hair.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes on this list and had to learn the hard way, (so many tangles and tears!).
But that’s why we’re talking about these common mixed curly hair mistakes and how you can fix them!
Once you know what to avoid and what you should be doing when caring for your kids curly hair, you’ll be well on your way to a shorter detangle routine, and the health and appearance of their hair will improve inside and out!
12 Common Mixed Curly Hair Mistakes And How To Fix Them!
1. Sleeping on cotton
Your child should always be sleeping on a satin pillowcase and sheets or with a satin bonnet/scarf. If they sleep with their hair down, it’ll get tangled and frizzy especially if they’re sleeping on cotton sheets or pillowcases, (the cotton sucks the moisture out of their hair).
2. Never putting their hair in protective hairstyles
If you leave curly hair down all the time it’ll become dry and damaged. Protective hairstyles help keep hair from drying out from the elements, (weather) physical activity, and in general from constant rubbing, (on pillows, clothes, car seats, etc.).
Not to mention if you leave it down all the time it’ll get tangled really quick and it’ll be much harder to comb through the next time you detangle it.
3. Putting mixed hair in protective hairstyles that are too tight
While these hairstyles are great at protecting your child’s mixed hair, if they’re too tight and they’re left in for too long, this can cause hair loss.
One way to prevent this is by switching up the hairstyle. So if you have a tighter hairstyle, once you take it out, leave the hair in a looser style for at least a week.
Also don’t constantly do the same style. This will put tension on hair in the same places causing it to become weak in those areas.
I have a handful of protective hairstyles I regularly do on my daughter’s hair.
4. Shampooing too often
Shampoo is very harsh on curly hair. Since biracial hair is already dry by nature, shampooing too often is going to strip the hair of much needed natural oil, which again causes dryness and breakage.
To combat this, use a shampoo that’s free of sulfates and is very gentle on biracial curly hair, (these shampoos for mixed hair are fantastic). Or you can use a co-wash which is a gentle, moisturizing way to cleanse the scalp and hair.
Be sure to only shampoo biracial hair once or twice a week.
5. Not detangling with conditioner
Never try to comb through mixed curly hair when it’s dry! First, it’ll be hell to try to comb through and getting tangles out will be extremely hard too. You’ll likely end up damaging the hair by breaking it. Plus you’ll break up the curl clumps and you’ll end up with super frizzy hair.
Instead, make sure you’re only detangling when the hair is wet and loaded with conditioner. Not only does this make detangling much easier, but it’s letting the conditioner soak into the hair, giving it that much needed moisture.
6. Not using hair products at all
The natural oil we all have, doesn’t make it all the way down to the ends of curly hair. So if you don’t put any hair products in it, the hair will end up splitting or breaking. Plus it’ll be frizzy and the curl definition will be less than ideal or non-existent.
You’ll want to find products that put moisture in the hair and keep it there, along with some curl defining products. These are the mixed hair products I love and use for my kids.
7. Using too many hair products
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you don’t want to go overboard and put every single product in your child’s hair! If you overload their hair, it’s going to cause buildup on their scalp, (hello dandruff and stunted hair growth!) and their hair may look greasy, limp, or stiff, (this is a common problem for those with fine textured curly mixed hair).
Instead start with one or two, and gauge how the hair is handling it. If it seems like it needs more, then add one more product, and reassess after a few days.
An important thing to remember is even if you get the perfect combo of products, over time your child’s hair texture may change, which means you may need to switch up what you’re using.
8. Using heat
Exposing curly hair to heat too often is very damaging. The already fragile hair will split and break and eventually the curl pattern could permanently change. So avoid blow drying and straight irons as much as possible.
Let biracial curly hair air dry in its natural state as much as you can.
This is a great opportunity to teach your child to embrace their beautiful natural curly hair!
9. Not detangling often enough
If you aren’t detangling often enough and curly hair is left down, it’ll get really tangly. The ends of the hair can easily get intertwined, plus the hair that naturally sheds can get stuck on other pieces of hair, and eventually those tangles will turn into mats.
How often you need to detangle will depend on your child’s hair.
For my daughter, if I leave her hair down for the week, (or even in a ponytail) I detangle it twice a week.
10. Ripping tangles out
When you’re combing through your kids hair and you find a tangle, don’t just rip through it. That’s gonna cause the hair to break and split, and can cause future tangles in that same spot.
If you can’t detangle with a comb, try using your fingers to gently pull it apart.
If you still can’t get the knot out, you can cut it with scissors, (if the knot is very small and not high up on the head).
Or if you can’t get it out with your fingers but don’t want to cut it, visit a salon and have them help.
Read here for a more detailed explanation of how to get rid of knots in curly biracial hair without cutting or tearing them out.
11. Towel drying hair
Regular bath towels suck too much moisture out of the hair, plus they can cause tangles to form. If you’re rubbing the hair dry with a towel, this will cause breakage from the friction. It’s much gentler to use an old t-shirt to gently scrunch and blot the excess water out and then let the hair air dry.
12. Not getting trims
It can be hard to tell when your child’s hair needs a trim. Mixed hair can grow up or out, or it can have very tight coils and curls. This gives the illusion that the hair isn’t that long, so therefore it doesn’t need to get trimmed.
But remember how those ends are prone to being dry and damaged? If you don’t trim their hair, the ends can split and it’ll eventually split further up the hair strand, causing the hair to be weak and not healthy. Plus your detangle routine will be a lot harder and longer because there’ll be more tangles.
There’s no getting around it, biracial curly hair care does take more effort to make sure it’s healthy.
But once you know what to do, you’ll reduce the time you spend doing things like detangling, and you won’t be frustrated with issues like dry hair, limp curls, and knots.
Fixing these mistakes will improve the health of your child’s curly hair and will improve the look of their curls too!