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Yes, I’m going to talk about African hair again…
It’s because I’m in the middle of a dilemma of how much to spend in hair and skin products for the children and if it’s really necessary.
First about hair.
I’ve been reading sites about hair care, blogs by adoptive parents, blogs by African Americans, etc, etc, and still don’t have clear which is “the best” hair product and if it really exists or if it is just somebody trying to sell us something that we don’t need, as always…
I know, natural is better than artificial, organic is better that processed, but really how much do we need to take care of black hair?
After all it’s just hair, right? Different from Caucasian hair, but it can’t be that hard to take care of!
Up to now I haven’t had any issues with my children’s hair, even when I’m using really simple and cheap products available everywhere. For example, you can use just two products, a gentle shampoo (and even this one is optional) and a good conditioner and that’s pretty much it. Or if you prefer, something “natural” and non expensive like olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter. Nothing fancy, the most plain things you can find.
I saw how they combed a girl’s hair in Ethiopia, and guess what? They just used oil; I went to an Ethiopian store, and they just sell olive oil. So, what’s the mystery then.
I shouldn’t be surprised, because the same happens with white’s people hair… They try to sell us “the” product that not only will clean and make our hair shine like the sun, but will also make us forever happy (as long as we keep using it, of course).
I discovered the big secret of African hair… LEAVE IT ALONE!
Yes that’s it. Just wash it gently when it needs to be washed, usually just once a week, specially for a child. Then lots and lots of conditioner, everyday. And pretty much that’s it. Don’t mess with you child’s hair.
Water, conditioner or oil, soft combing and some simple styling is all you need to do for a kid’s hair, the rest is… well, status… 
If you want to buy the same products that Angelina uses on her daughter Zahara, go ahead, but you don’t really need to. What you are really buying is the illusion of belonging to a certain group of people, the chance to feel famous just by using the same shampoo that celebrities use. But I bet that your girl won’t notice any difference, at least for now when she’s still is too young and innocent to be influenced by the ad industry…
Tightly Curly - Teri LaFleshI’m not against fancy products, it’s a free country after all (for those who can afford it, anyway), but it’s necessary for us to learn the basics about black hair, not just keep buying things, specially during recession… 20 dollars for a bottle of shampoo? Really? 
I have a page in this blog of adequate products for black hair and there are great ones of many brands and prices, but keep in mind that you don’t need to spend much to have healthy and beautiful hair.
If you really want to see how easy and cheap can be to take care of natural black curly hair read this website by Teri LaFlesh, she’s a biracial woman with gorgeous long hair, Tightly Curly. She has a list of all the products she used, all of them very easy to find and affordable and also has the complete procedure detailed step by step to have great curls.
Here you have the before and after photos of Feven, and to let her hair soft, untangled and curly only took me 5 minutes!!
Feven (before) Feven (after) Curls' detail

And about black skin, well it is the same story.
Do you want to keep your child’s skin healthy or you want something more?
Because if it is only about taking good care of the skin, the only thing you need to know is again… LEAVE IT ALONE!
The body has natural oils, that we remove every time we take a bath, so then we have to replace what we took away with some kind of substitute, that is to say, cream, lotion, oil.
Well, African skin is naturally drier that white skin, so the more we wash it, the more me need to moisturize it afterwards.
A baby doesn’t need to get a bath everyday, that’s a modern concept that probably was put into our minds by you know who… the ad industry again!
Moisturize daily, preferably at night and always after a bath, that’s the big secret.
And you don’t need to spend lots of money. Regular shea butter or cocoa butter will do the trick and leave the skin gorgeous.