By KAREN PETERS
Our hair is a beautiful, curious institute. We can have loose spirals, free-flowing coils, tight corkscrews, strong and determined tresses, or even a combination of each of these intertwined all on one head. Even more peculiar is our babies’ hair, because they’re born with one texture that’s easy to comb and style, and then somewhere between learning to walk and learning to talk, something happens.
As parents, we fear it, dread it, hate it, wish it away, try to stop it, and, of course, try to battle with it. But we need to remember that “The Change” in our babies’ hair is what was intended—a rite of passage that should be embraced and honored. Still, we do need to know how to make the transition smooth—not only for our babies, but for ourselves.
There is a way—a natural way—to usher our babies’ hair through “The Change.” To help MyBrownBaby answer the call of dozens of mothers who reached out to her on The Parenting Post for advice and tips on the best way to care for their babies’ hair, I’ve assembled a few recipes—with natural ingredients—for your baby’s hair regimen, plus alternative products that can be purchased in stores and online for those of you who aren’t up for the mixology.
Remember, there is no one product that will do it all; you will have to try some things, buy some things, and even mix up a few concoctions of your own.
Note: I did not include essential oils in these recipes because even though they are natural, some people—especially children—are sensitive to them. As your baby matures, you can experiment with the following essential oils as needed for…
• Oily Hair: Lavender, lemon, sage, cedar
• Dry Hair: Rosewood, Ylang-ylang, honey, Balm
• Dandruff: Yarrow, Sandalwood, Lavender, Cypress, Balm
• Stimulating hair growth: Coriander, Rosemary, Birch
• Helping split ends: Rosewood, Cedar, Ylang-ylang
GREAT NATURAL HAIRCARE INGREDIENTS TO KEEP ON HAND:
From your local health food store:
• Coconut oil (about $8)
• Jojoba oil (about $10)
• Sweet Almond Oil (about $6)
• 1 8-ounce bottle of Dr. Bonner’s Liquid Castile Soap (Lavender or Baby Formula, about $5)
• 1 ounce plant wax (about $2)
• 2 ounces water
To buy online:
• Castor wax – www.gardenofwisdom.com $6
• Sal butter – www.gardenofwisdom.com $8
Note: You will need clean, empty bottles and glass jars in at least 4-ounce sizes.
TWO GREAT BABY HAIR CARE RECIPES
GENTLE BABY SHAMPOO
Mix together in a bottle:
2 ounces of Dr. Bonner’s Liquid Castile Soap
2 ounces of water
2 ounces of jojoba oil
Voila! It’s a super rich, thick, conditioning baby shampoo that is gentle for your baby’s hair that isn’t drying.
GENTLE CONDITIONING BALM
Gently melt on your stove’s lowest setting:
• 1 ounce coconut oil
• 1 ounce sal butter
• 1 ounce sweet almond oil
• 1 ounce jojoba oil
• 1 ounce Castor wax
Pour into a jar and use as needed.
If you want to just buy and try products, visit the following websites and do not be afraid to “water down” or modify any of their formulas to suit your baby’s needs.
• www.carolsdaughter.com (Body Jelly)
• www.organicblessings.com (Foaming Shampoo)
• www.californiababy.com (Shampoo and Body Wash)
• www.100percentpure.com (Body Wash and Shampoo)
Products To Avoid:
• Tear free shampoos: They include an ingredient that numbs babies’ tear ducts and eyelids.
• Shampoos and body washes with 1, 4 dioxane: This is an extreme toxicant and carcinogen.
• Petroleum- or mineral oil-based ingredients: They’re made with the exact same chemicals that produce gasoline and kerosene.
About our MyBrownBaby contributor
Karen Peters is founder of The Peace & Beauty Project, a nonprofit organization that encourages girls to honor natural beauty while making health conscious decisions. To learn more about Karen's organization and her workshops for girls, click HERE.