The term is a misnomer in my mind. I’ve seen curly hair, wavy hair and straight hair. But biracial hair? No, I don’t think so.
I offer Simone and Nadia as Exhibit A and Exhibit B. They both have curly but very different hair. Simone’s hair is medium in its thickness. It is wavy, and fat, lush curls form on the ends. Nadia’s hair is fine, straight at the roots with ringlets on the ends. These same hair characteristics can be found in the hair of men and women who are not biracial. I rest my case.
Still, I can see how someone who didn’t know to start at the ends and work their way to the roots would be terribly frustrated with it and try to put it in a category all its own. Following a few simple rules can make it all better.
* Detangle the hair with a wide-tooth comb from tip to root, or from bottom to top. Those who don’t follow this rule will find themselves with a knotted mess on their hands.
* Moisturized early and often. Failure to do so will result in dry and brittle hair. Parched locks tend to break, causing even more frustration.
In the past, many folks, including my mom, relied on oil or glycerin to keep curly hair moisturized. Now the common method is to condition the hair with a water-based conditioner and then “seal” it with a light oil, butter or pomade, locking the moisture in the hair.
The trick is figuring out how often to do this. Some curlies wash, moisturize and seal their hair every few days, while others can go a week or even two between sessions. There is no secret formula. Use trial and error to design your own regimen.
Which brings me to my last tip.
* After you find a routine that works for you or your curly, do not depart from it. Some of us, including those of us who know better, often suffer a setback when we experiment too much. Unfortunately, there isn’t a next best thing. The research is in and we have known for a long time what is good and what is not good for curly hair. That’s why I like to call those new-fangled products that separate us from our money the next best expensive thing.