On April 1, 2008, my beautiful daughter Georgia was born with shock of stick-straight silky hair. Of course, as with most babies of African descent, it wasn’t long before those silky strands started to curl…and curl…and curl…until she had developed an adorable little curly ‘fro. People are constantly telling me to put in bows, and ribbons, and headbands, but I have to say, my favorite ‘do is the one God gave her: her cute little “Baby ‘Fro.” Thus, she became my little “Fro-baby!”
Of course, in my day (or should I say “my mother’s day,”) hair care for babies consisted of three products: Vaseline (petroleum jelly), Vaseline Hair Tonic (fragranced mineral oil) or Baby oil (baby-fragranced mineral oil). Sadly, 36 years later, I found that not much has changed. There still seems to be a lack of both products and information about techniques to nurture the hair of babies of African descent. The two or three product lines targeted at African American children basically have the same ingredients as adult products, and are really for older kids, not babies. Which brings me to my next point:
By the time I was 7, I had a full blown Chaka Khan-style long ‘fro, that could only be contained in two braids in the back of my head (or two on the sides, or one up, one down). The curls in my fro were relegated to only being seen when wet (right after washing and right before they got braided up), or mercilessly pounded, twisted, and shaped around a broom handle into Shirley Temple curls using “Blue Magic” hair grease (blue petroleum jelly AND mineral oil) and water. Of course, in a few hours, I was mini-Chaka Khan once again! Caring for the hair of ‘fro-kids can be JUST as challenging!
Believe me, I know! As a teenager and now as an adult, I’ve weathered many hair-related trials and tribulations, a few flat out hairstyle mistakes, and some unfortunate product choices. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I want to make sure her hair is well cared-for from the very start. I want to make sure that we stay up on all the latest products and methods to keep her hair healthy, and to celebrate the beauty of her “baby ‘fro.” Therefore, I have made it my mission to explore new techniques, to seek out new products and new formulations: to boldly go where many moms have tried to go before.
These are the voyages of me and my little fro-baby, and anyone who has questions, comments, recommendations, or fun stories can come along for the ride! Feel free to share whatever insights you have
This blog is dedicated to all the ‘frobabies (both current and former) around the world, and across the universe!