If you are a new parent, via adoption or birth, and you're not sure what to do when it comes to hair, this post is for you. Not all children find their forever families at birth, so we not only address concerns that people might have with babies, but also the older children that come to us later in their young lives.
1. It Will Take Time, But You Can Do ItAlthough our daughter came home at 6 days old, we are well aware that not everyone gets to start caring for natural hair from birth. If you have been blessed with a baby, the natural hair care journey will be a learning experience for both of you, one that will be filled with much change and lots of trial-and-error. As your baby grows, you may encounter cradle cap, bald spots, a changing curl pattern and/or changing texture. It's all totally normal and there really is no need to worry about "messing things up" at so young an age. Baby hair requires little maintenance, and the less you fuss over it during the first year, the more likely it will grow. Keep things simple and enjoy that time as it will pass quickly.
By the time your child gets older, you will already have a foundational understanding of his or her hair when it comes to what it needs. You'll notice changes in how it feels and how it responds (or doesn't respond) to new products. You'll be at a good place to start establishing a styling routine and will have plenty of time to work up to more complicated hairstyles (if that's your goal). You can do it, just know that there will be plenty of time to learn as your child grows.
With older children, the dynamic of the journey will be different. You may be trying to solve past issues (like malnutrition, neglect, or transitioning from previous chemical treatments). Depending on the age of your child, it's always a great idea to get them involved; if your child is old enough to research with you, it's a great way to bond over your mutual learning experience. And as much as the immediacy of "fixing" a problem might be pushing you to find a solution fast, the best path is to learn about your child's hair needs. With as much as we talk about hair here, and as closely as it is related to self-esteem, it's really important to keep hair in perspective when it comes to the overall well-being of your child. Just as you don't know whether or not your new child enjoys certain foods upon first meeting them, the same is true of hair; you're not going to know which products your child's hair likes until you get to know it a little better. And that will take time and patience.