By Onicia Muller
I was on YouTube drooling over some natural hair porn videos when I came across a baby haircare routine by JusMarie TV. Did my baby need a haircare routine? About 10 years ago I started following KimmayTube (LuvNaturals) tips for growing afro-textured hair (namely, low manipulations, PH-balanced products, and finger detangling).
I have often lamented that I probably wouldn't have gotten a relaxer had my mother known how to treat my hair. I pulled out my mental notepad and pressed play on the video. (View: Baby Hair Care Routine, by JusMarie TV on YouTube).
No. My baby does not need a haircare routine. This decision is not a judgment of the babies or the stylists. After watching a few videos, I determined that as for me and my house, we will be following the Blue Ivy Carter routine: free da afro and stay nappy happy.
Here are three reasons why your baby doesn’t need a (strict) haircare routine.
Tender scalp and soft hair
Black, white, brown, yellow – whatever the race – infant scalps are super tender. Applying tension and scratching the scalp with your nails, jewellery, or combs is no bueno. Baby hair is distinguishable from adult hair because it’s softer and not as thick. Just let the afro do its thing. If you can, try to reserve hair tools for special occasions or when your child becomes a toddler.
Doesn’t fit lifestyle
Babies wiggle, squirm, and spend half the day on their backs; there's no reason to be lathering their coils with expensive products. If you're worried about your child rubbing away their edges or tangles, don’t be. They have their entire life to regrow their edges.
A few videos mentioned using satin bonnets and pillowcases. Please know that bonnets and pillows are suffocation hazards. Do not let your child sleep with these items. Most tiny tots’ schedules consist of going to daycare and eating sand from the playground. Slayed edges and popping curls are not a priority.
Baby boys don’t have elaborate routines.
I don't think baby boys from my generation had elaborate haircare routines and they all retained the ability to grow a full head of hair. Although we have all these new techniques and products, starting from day-one and sticking to a strict schedule is not necessary.
Again, not judging the babies or their stylists; just don’t freak out if your baby isn’t Instagram-ready or doesn’t have tresses down to their butt by age three. Are these videos completely useless? Nope. It’s fun watching babies and drooling over juicy curls. That said, here are some fun wash day routines featuring babies with curly hair.
- Ryan's Hair Routine! Baby Curly Hair Wash Routine! by IAMTRAEH
- Styling Tips & Tools for Little Boys | Natural Hair Care for Children Series, by MariaAntoinetteTV
- Baby Curly Hair Routine + Space Buns Tutorial, by Destiny's Life
- How I Moisturize My Toddler's Dry Natural Hair, by MahoganyCurls
Onicia Muller is a Caribbean writer and comedian currently freezing her buns off in Chicago. A former crime reporter and children’s columnist, she's found her happy place writing about women in entertainment. If you're into oversharing, read her weekly humour column “Just Being Funny” in The Daily Herald’s Weekender. In June 2018, she received IGNITE Caribbean's 30 Under 30 Caribbean American Emerging Leaders and Changemakers award for her work as a cultural influencer.