Three Tips for Natural Haircare
African American haircare requires a different approach than caring for other hair types. Especially in foster care and adoptive settings, it is important for parents to know the difference. Proper haircare helps a child build confidence, which contributes to their social and emotional wellbeing. Recently, as part of our It Takes a Village initiative, Leslye Traylor from JustUs Beauty joined us for a training session on caring for natural hair. Here, Leslye shares her top three tips for natural haircare.
Caring for Your Crown
Leslye Traylor, a professional natural hair and braid stylist, is an expert in teaching people to care for African American hair. “Hair is the crown, it builds confidence,” Leslye shared. “But it’s a night and day difference between natural hair and other types.” That’s why it is important for parents to know these three tips for natural haircare.
Use the right shampoo
The shampoo you use for natural hair makes a big difference. You want to stay away from sulfates and choose a moisturizing or clarifying shampoo for your child’s specific type of natural hair. Individuals with hair that is coily, curly or springy will each have unique shampoo needs. Some shampoo weighs hair down, and you want to make sure your child’s hair has the correct amount of moisturizer.
Wash less frequently
African American hair does not produce as many oils as Caucasian hair. Therefore, it is easy to dry out natural hair with water. You do not need to wash your child’s hair every day. Instead, wash African American hair every 1–2 weeks. This will keep moisture in the hair to avoid drying it out.
Care for protective styles
A protective style is a hairstyle you do on your natural hair to give it a break. It is a style you can set and leave it alone, such as braids, twists or other up-dos. “My philosophy is out of sight, out of mind,” advised Leslye. “You’re not going to see growth if you’re playing with your hair.” Leaving hair in protective styles helps it grow healthily.
Haircare and It Takes a Village
Arms Wide’s It Takes a Village initiative addresses disproportionality of African American children in foster care and provides resources to foster and adoptive families. Leslye believes that haircare is an important part of this village. “Caring for African American hair even helps behavior,” Leslye said. “Sometimes kids get teased for how their hair looks. It builds confidence when children can experiment with their hair and find hairstyles that makes them feel proud of how they look.”
Education is the first step in addressing haircare in this village. “We can all use more education,” Leslye said. “What one parent knows, another parent might not know.” Sharing resources and knowledge with each other—for the sake of the children in our care—is what this community is all about.
About JustUs Beauty
Anyone is welcome to connect with Leslye and JustUs Beauty to learn more about natural haircare or to use her services! She offers professional braid services and natural hair maintenance for African American hair. Additionally, she offers all-natural oils and Just Flourish Hairdrops to keep hair moisturized. Leslye can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at @justusbeauty or Instagram at @justusbeauty_.
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