HELP! 6 year old, 4b hair, clueless mom and sister!

yespreaseyesprease Registered Users Posts: 5
Hi! This is my first post, so if I do something wrong, don't hesitate to let me know~

Anyways, I'm not a parent, I'm a big sister- my little sister (6 y/o) is biracial, our mom is caucasian and her dad is from the Ivory Coast. When she was really little, her hair was great and we had no problems managing it at all, but as she gets older, it seems to get worse and worse. She REALLY wants to have long, straight hair, but her hair is fluffy and dry and curly near her scalp, but she hasn't had a trim or a cut in a while (actually, I don't think she's really ever had one, but idk.) and the ends are straight and fried. I'm trying to encourage her to leave it natural, however, and we're running into problems. My mom used to use relaxing cream on it and straightens it or curls it when she goes to school. As of right now, my mom uses pink lotion and this carrot cream stuff (idk what it's called) and we try leave-ins and I've even tried to convince my mom to start the CG method with her, but nothing helps. I even tried shingling about an hour ago. Also, her hair is very thick, so it tangles REALLY EASILY.

tldr; My sister's hair is unmanageable, and we have no idea what to do with it to make look and feel better and healthier! Help please~ :sad10:

Here are some pictures of her whole head and some of the nape of her neck, too, just so you guys can see the little curlies around there.

Picture 1: her hair, from the front
Picture 2: hair from the side
Picture 3: near her neck
Picture 4: hair pulled up

also: we have tried doing research, and everything we try seems to fail, probably because we're doing it wrong. x_x; I just want her to have hair that she can feel proud of and take good care of and appreciate!

PHEW. SORRY THIS IS SO LONG YOU GUYS. :sad: Any advice is truly appreciated! THANKS~ <3
SHAMPOO: Aussie Moist
CO-WASH: Suave Naturals - Coconut
RINSE OUT: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration!
LEAVE IN: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine
PRODUCTS: Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel, Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse

natural and mod-cg since May 2009!


  • madhuri_dixit_fanmadhuri_dixit_fan Registered Users Posts: 310
    Sorry you guys are experiencing hair troubles with your little sister. Your sister's hair looks like a few of my cousins' hair who are multi-racial and had relaxer damage. My mother is multi-ethnic and had the same woes, losing most of her thick long hair in the process over the years to work on growing it back now. I'm a mix of stuff like my cousins, but it all boils down to me being African-American with hair like your sister's (the front part of her hair). I've had relaxer woes were my hair just flatout fell out, and had hair that grew long with relaxers. But, had the best results when I stopped using relaxers and flat irons and went natural. Therefore, I have a huge bias to hair being most healthy when it is natural and properly cared for. And, I think you're on the right track by encouraging her to keep it natural.

    So, my first suggestion is to transition your little sister's hair back to it's natural state. No more relaxers. It will take work, but it's not impossible as so many women do it. I transitioned from relaxed hair that was very long but damaged on the edges like your sister's hair to all natural hair that is not damaged and is long (but now I have dredlocs, but just recently started them). To transition I did a number of things:

    []Stop getting relaxers and stop flat ironing.
    It's cleary damaging your sister's hair. The str8 parts of her hair are different lengths, choppy and dry. The front edges and her nape seem like her natural hair, have curl pattern, and actually look healthier to me than her str8 parts.

    []Use protective styles.
    This will help you be able to deal with the str8 parts and the edges, nape and sides. Styles like non-tight braids, twists, and such using her real hair will help protect her growing edges, nape and sides and help those areas blend more to her str8 parts.

    I wouldn't get braids or twists using extensions or weaves because her sides are thinning, and fake hair will add more stress to those areas and just pull on it more. Find someone who can braid natural/half relaxed hair, and who can do it without making the braids too tight. Good stylists can make braids look great with intricate patterns.

    If you don't have anyone like this where you live, then try to find online braiding tutorials like ones on YouTube. Specifically search for ones aimed at children who are biracial. I can't braid to save my life, so I had my niece braiding my hair when she was only 10! I forced myself to learn because I have 3 girls with hair down to their butts and had to learn to take care of their hair myself.

    Check out the forums here located in the 4a and 4b areas, and especially the Transitioning forum here if you guys decide to stop relaxing your sister's hair. Most of the ladies there have hair like your sister's hair who have embraced their natural hair state or are trying to do so. There is a wealth of information there that can help.

    Or, you can search for black hair care forums on the internet, like Long Hair Care Forum where many of those ladies still have relaxers and have managed to get their hair to grow long and not break off. That site also has ladies, like me, who have been able to grow their natural hair super long.

    Or you can take a look at the site by a bi-racial woman named Teri who went through the same issues as your sister (and myself) with relaxed and seemingly umanageble hair and ended up changing her methods to grow her hair super long past her waist. Her site is here: I actually used her methods, with some personal changes, to help my natural hair when I wore it curly and to try some new moisture methods for my daughters who now have long hair. I don't do everything Teri does, such as we can't use products with cones in them in my house, but the basic principle of applying moisture and being relaxer-free I do practice.

    Now, the braids or getting rid of relaxers may not be a favorite or even liked by a child who is used to thinking str8 hair is beautiful and easiet to take care of. Trust me. It's not a judgement call on anyone in your family. I grew up around family members and friends who were half-Caucasian, half-Asian, half-East Indian, half-this-and-that and they all had silky hair or str8 hair or curly hair that seemed to take little work to maintain. My mom and sister had extremely long and relaxed hair (before damage over the years set in) and my father made me wear my hair natural until I begged for a relaxer in my early teens. I had this gigantic bush of loose and tight curls that all easily tangled. I jumped at the chance to get my hair pressed, relaxed or flat ironed. Then, my hair got damaged. So, I know what it's like wanting your hair to be something you can deal with and not feel stressed over. But, it's only after I understood that my big curly hair needed water (moisture) and gentle care that it grew down my back.

    So, everyone in your family might need to change how they view your sister's natural hair or how much importance is placed on str8 hair being the easiest to take care of. And, it may take telling your sister that she has to love her hair, and love styles such as braids, and that her hair is beautiful and can be healthy. Truth is, even with a relaxer, her hair will never ever be like yours or your mother's. Never. Even with a relaxer her new growth is going to come in kinky--the kinks will never go away for all time. So, she has to accept whatever it does and help it do that the best way it can.

    []If you stick with relaxers and flat ironing, get it done professionally by someone who is very good and knowledgeable.
    It's super important to know what you're doing with a relaxer. It's too easy to damage hair with chemicals.

    []Get moisture in her hair stat.
    Find good moisture spray, like a braid spray or make one that is mostly mostly water mixed with a cheap conditioner like VO5 and spray her hair daily with it. Her hair type, which looks close to mine, needs moisture. It just does.

    []Find good products for dry hair.
    These don't have to be ones aimed just at African-Americans. I can use the same products as my significant other and he's Nepalese, and I use the same ones as my kids who are Italian-African American-Irish-Hispanic-Asian. The products should be ones formulated for dry hair. So, they just need to be good for giving moisture to the hair. Get a good shampoo, conditioner, moisture spray, and try to stay away from hairdess/grease/creme that has mineral oil and petroleum. There are many good products here in CurlMart, and some of them are ones that can be found locally depending on where you live.

    I wish you good luck. I also wish I could actually help more. But, do check out the Transitioning, 4a and 4b sections here at CurlTalk and Teri's Tightly Curly Site for things you can do right now to help your sister's hair recover.
    RIP Natasha Richardson

    Holy Grails: Alba Botanica Leave-In Conditioner, AVG, EVO Coconut Oil, Amla Oil, KC Spiral Spritz, Brahmi Oil, Tea Tree eo, Rosemary eo, Distilled H2O, Aloe Vera Juice, Neem Oil, ACV, Dr. Bonner's Skikakai Castile Soap, Avocado Oil

    Sometimes: AOMM Jelly, KCNT, KCCC
  • EkaetteEkaette Registered Users Posts: 356

    4b natural
  • yespreaseyesprease Registered Users Posts: 5
    Thank you sooo much, madhuri_dixit_fan! This is soooo helpful :thumbright: It's so much better to get advice from those who have firsthand experience than just random googling and experimenting~ I really appreciate that you took out the time to write all of that out, it's really awesome of you!

    Anyways, I'm a curly too, and especially appreciate natural hair after years and years and years of straightening and damage, and I tried doing what was good for my hair for hers, but I realize that we're completely different types and textures, so she needs her own haircare routine. My mom actually wanted to have her hair braided, but I really think we should show her her hair's true potential so she can really understand that it's not just some fuzzy lump on her head that isn't as pretty as the other little girls'.

    I'm so excited to help her hair recover! I'll definitely be going to Sally's after this to see what I can find there. I'll also definitely check out the 4a & 4b forums and do some more research. Thanks soooooooo much for all your help!! :D<3<3<3
    SHAMPOO: Aussie Moist
    CO-WASH: Suave Naturals - Coconut
    RINSE OUT: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration!
    LEAVE IN: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine
    PRODUCTS: Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel, Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse

    natural and mod-cg since May 2009!

  • yespreaseyesprease Registered Users Posts: 5
    Ekaette wrote: »

    Thank you sooo much! These blogs are really helpful! :D
    SHAMPOO: Aussie Moist
    CO-WASH: Suave Naturals - Coconut
    RINSE OUT: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration!
    LEAVE IN: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine
    PRODUCTS: Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel, Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse

    natural and mod-cg since May 2009!

  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Registered Users Posts: 5,136 Curl Connoisseur
    Curious -- Have you started a new routine? Also, your little sister is such a pretty little girl. It's a good thing that she has you to help her understand that her hair is great just the way it is.
    3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
    HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
    Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
  • lesliegonnacurllesliegonnacurl Registered Users Posts: 478
    I am mixed and I wish my mom had never relaxed my hair. I only skimmed the other suggestions, but I like what the one person said, you don't have to just have black hair products.

    Now this may seem like a radical idea, and won't be popular, but I say just cut off all the damaged relaxed hair. Your sister is only six, and it should grow back quick. Better to cut it off now than when she gets older.

    Then it can be all natural and healthy.
    Mostly relaxed, yet still curly hair, which I am going to try to grow out with daily conditioner rinses and a shampoo once or twice a week.

    Officially Transitioning since March 2011.
    Last Relaxer September 2010

    Got some kind of curly bangs going here! And I think my bangs are all natural!

    I think that my natural hair is somewhere between a 3b and a 3c, I hope it's not too soon to tell! :blob4:
  • rdgjd2002rdgjd2002 Registered Users Posts: 22
    First let me say - you are a great big sister for trying to do what you can to help your little sister!

    I am biracial and have been through hell with relaxers and I really wish African-American women would stop using them or find a hair stylist who knows what they are doing and pay the money to get it done properly.

    I have been relaxer free for about 5 years now and I must say, I feel free. I felt like I was a slave to the relaxer. The interesting thing is that I found out that my hair texture is not so bad and if I work with it, it will respond in the way that I want it to ( with a little help from some of the products on of course).

    From the pictures you posted, I dont' think her hair is really 4b. I think she is a 4a with some 3C in the back of her head. The problem is that since her hair is damaged and dry its hard to know her realy curl pattern. I can say from experience that if you hair is damaged and depleted of its moisture retaining properties, the natural curl pattern can be very undefined and hard to determine.

    My first question is would your sister be ok with cutting off the damaged part? I ask this because you do not want this process to be traumatizing to her.

    If she is ok with cutting her hair shorter, this will help the process move along a lot faster. If not, you will need to deep condition her hair weekly to restore some of her hairs elasticity and suppleness.

    I would suggest some of the following products:

    Blended Cutie - by Blended Beauty

    Kinky Curly - Tiny twirls

    If you can't order these products or find them near you, my suggestion would be to use the Deva Curl line. It is not really for kids but a lot of the harsh products in most adult shampoos and conditioners are not used in this line. You can find this product in the Salon/Store named Trade Secret which is in a lot of malls.

    One thing with the Deva Curl line though there are water based gels for the hair for to create definition. Don't use ArcAngell. Use the other one Angell. It's not as heavy and since her texture will already stay in place she won't need extra hold.

    I will say this again.. Deep Condition, Deep Condition, Deep Condition! You should start to see her hair transform after a while and you should see a real difference after a few months.

    Hope this helps.
  • famus_darlingfamus_darling Registered Users Posts: 85
    Your sister is a doll, too cute. One of my little girls who has curls similar to your sisters hair, when I look at the curls in the back they look just like my little one. Her hair was breaking really bad, so I took her to the doctor to see if it was anything health related. Her pediatrician (also a CG), told me to immediately stop putting rubber bands in her hair. So, besides stopping the heat and chemicals I suggest you all stop using rubber bands.

    That said, I started washing and twisting her hair weekly and the results have been phenomenal. I used a combination of shea butter, essential oils, and twist and lock gel, but never anything with alcohol.

    I suggest you start twisting, this is a super-protective style and would be great for getting your sister's hair back in shape.

    Good luck
    Me: 3c, very thick
    BC- May 2010
    Current routine:
    pre poo: avacado, banana babyfood, grapeseed oil, and silk amino acid. Cleanser: DC No Poo 1x a week and BC 1x a week. DT: GVP Cond balm and grape seed oil
    Co-wash: GVP CD, TJ tea tree
    Leave-in: GVP CD, TJ tea tree, and grape seed oil
    Styling: HETT and castor oil
    DD (8 & 6 yo): both4s (1 thick, 2 thin) – keep in 2strand twists
    DD (4yo): 3b (very thin, hard to grow) – keep in single braids with lots of beads for protection

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