I asked several Ethiopians what they did to their hair to make it look so good. Their curls were perfectly in tack, no frizz and looked great. I was told they just use regular mineral/baby oil on their hair. When we first got home that is what I used on her hair until I noticed it started to look dry. Although baby oil is what they use in Ethiopia I realized that they don't wash their hair as often and the climate is much different there than here which has a lot to do with hair. Also, baby oil will clog the pores of the scalp which will not allow the hair to grown and be healthy.
Thus, I jumped into the complicated world of African American hair. Never did I realize how in depth, complicated and time consuming hair care is...coming from a girl who really doesn't use hair product besides hair spray and texturing powder. I do her hair and try to add moisture at night and in the morning so it will look nice. I will also do it if we are going anywhere because I'm scared my sister in laws will physically harm me if I let Sanai come out of the house with her hair looking like a hot mess :)
I started out by using a product called Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter that I picked up at Sally's. It smells AMAZING! Besides water, the first several ingredients include fruit oil, olive oil and soybean oil. After using this for several months it doesn't really hold her curls in place all day and doesn't seem to add a lot of moisture to her hair. I still use it occasionally but I probably won't buy another tub.
I had read great reviews about Ms. Jessie's hair care line and was happy when I heard that it was available at Target. It doesn't smell nearly as good as the Moisture Butter but it does seem to hold her curls in place better and it works through her hair better. At $32 for an 8oz container it's a little expensive. But you don't need much so it goes a long way.
I have also read a whole lot about coconut oil and how it's really more of a moisturizer because it's a butter when it's in it's solid form. It's the most absorbent oil and is very good for skin and hair. Scoop some out in the palm of your hand and it melts completely. I have been using this on her skin and hair each night before bed and her skin is very soft in the morning. I got it at our local walmart and it was maybe around $6-$8.
By far the BEST website I have come across in learning about hair care is www.chocolatehairvanillacare.com. This website really breaks it down for dummy's like me and I have learned that I was using OK products but not putting them on in the right order and not really using them for what they are intended for. This website also recommended a great detangler/leave in conditioner that is Amaze-ziiiiing!
Her hair has grown quite a bit since she's been home, although it's still much longer on the top than the back. But we will get there!
I still have so much to learn about her hair and as she grows the texture will change but she's come a long way since we brought her home. She absolutely hated it when I did anything to her hair and would scream, cry and pull my hands down when I just put moisturizer in it. I would have to put her in the high chair just to comb through it. Now, she will continue to play while I mess with her hair or comb it. I've had to learn patience and be proactive in learning about new products and what will work best for her hair. I'm in search of a better moisturizing product...so stay tuned!