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How To Style Mixed Race Curly Hair

Having biracial hair calls for a lot of trial and error. If you’re a mother of a mixed-race child, you may have to learn about hair you didn’t grow up with!

When you learn more about your specific biracial hair texture and how to care for it properly, rocking different hairstyles becomes a lot easier. You can go for more natural and low-maintenance updos or try something edgy, like protective styling.

Wondering how you can show off your gorgeous curls in different ways?

In this post, we’ll be looking at how to style mixed-race curly hair.

Here’s how to make sure your mixed-race curls look snatched and defined, and how you can wear them depending on your mood.

How Different Is Biracial Hair From African-American Hair?

It’s important to understand that biracial hair is never something you can predict.

While thick curls are common in people of mixed race, it’s never guaranteed.



But one thing worth noting is that biracial hair is a bit more resilient than African-American hair, which is prone to a lot of damage.

Mixed race hair contains more para-cortical cells, the type of hair cells that make your hair’s protein structure more uniform.

Because of that, biracial hair usually isn’t as coily and frizzy.

These para-cortical cells also create extra cuticle layers in mixed-race hair, making it more fortified and resilient against heat or chemical damage.

This is a far cry from African-American hair that is naturally fragile and needs the highest amount of maintenance and attention.



That said, biracial hair has a lot in common with African-American hair, too.

Like super coily hair, mixed-race curls are prone to being dehydrated.

It’s just something that occurs naturally with textured hair since the sebum your scalp produces doesn’t smoothly travel down your hair strands, as with straight hair.

Consequently, mixed-race hair might not be as shiny and lustrous as straight and wavy hair.

Tresses look shiny when light is reflected onto smooth cuticles that lay flat.

But with African-American and biracial hair texture, the cuticles are a bit more raised, making it difficult for them to reflect light and luster.

Although mixed-race and purely black hair isn’t exactly the same, they have a lot in common.

It would be a bright idea to care for biracial hair the way you would coarse, thick, African-American hair.


Basic Hair Care For Biracial Hair (From Washing To Sleep Care)

To care for biracial curls, there are a few rules you have to follow.

They have to do with building a gentle yet nourishing wash routine and ensuring your hair is kept smooth and detangled to keep your curls looking luscious and defined.


Don’t Shampoo Everyday

The first thing you need to ensure is that you don’t shampoo your hair every day.

Overwashing with sulfate shampoos can be extremely stripping, leaving your hair dull, dry, and fragile.

Remember, your curls might already have a hard time staying moisturized because of their texture – you don’t need the added dryness from your harsh shampoos.

Switch to a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to make sure you don’t dry out your hair.

Wash your hair with this shampoo maybe twice or thrice a week at most instead of daily.

The more parched your locks, the harder it is to keep your curls springy and defined.


Use Nourishing Conditioner

That said, moisturizing your hair is key, so you have to use an ultra-nourishing conditioner in the shower.

Elasticity from hydration is the secret weapon to keeping curls lively, defined, and structured, so it’s pertinent that your hair is kept moisturized every day.

Detangling your hair is also a lot easier when you use a hydrating, smoothing conditioner.

Combing curly biracial hair while it’s dry is a huge no-no.

This causes a lot of friction that can lead to breakage.


Detangle Properly

You need a creamy conditioner with a good amount of slip before combing out the knots in your hair.

Keep it in for a few minutes in your hair before going in with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to get rid of all the tangles.

Smoothing down your hair is key if you want perfectly defined curls later on.


Avoid Tension

Lastly, you need to make sure that your hair doesn’t go through a lot of tension or stress.

Don’t sleep with high ponytails or too-tight braids.

You should also refrain from using elastic bands that tug on your hair.

If you can, switch to satin pillowcases to reduce the friction and frizz as you toss and turn in bed.


Tips For Keeping Your Biracial Curls Defined

The key to bringing your beautiful curls out is by infusing a lot of moisture into your hair routine.

So when picking out a shampoo and conditioner, choose one with nourishing oils and botanicals that will feed your locks the hydration it needs to spring up in gorgeous spirals.

But while moisture is the lifeline of dry, curly hair, you also need to balance it out with some protein.

Protein is what gives your curls that structure and bouncy definition, so you can’t sleep on it.


Shampoo Your Tresses

One good shampoo that can moisturize your curls and build up your natural hair proteins simultaneously is the Briogeo Curl Charisma Shampoo.

how to style mixed race curly hair

This shampoo is formulated with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, shea butter, avocado oil, aloe leaf juice, and many more.

These nourishing ingredients help define your curls and waves.

And because it’s sulfate-free, it doesn’t strip your hair of the natural oils that coat it and keep it shiny.

It’s also infused with rice and keratin amino acids, which help build up the proteins in your hair strands.

This strengthens coarse, curly hair to give it more bounce and resilience.


Condition The Hair

Always follow up with a moisturizing conditioner after shampooing.

Once a week, switch it out for something a bit more rich and creamy, like a hair mask or deep conditioner.

This will help increase your hair’s moisture levels and boost elasticity, making your curls uber-defined.

For deep conditioning natural curls, look no further than the Cantu Deep Treatment Masque.

It’s thick and creamy because it’s made with shea butter, which is known to repair damaged hair while providing intense moisture for parched curls.


how to style mixed race curly hair

Curl-Activating Product

Your styling routine also needs to be super moisturizing.

If your biracial hair isn’t as kinky as you want, you’ll need extra help to get the curls popping.

But instead of going for crunchy gels and lightweight serums, go for a curl-activating cream or lotion.

One great product for styling and defining mixed-race curls is the Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Milk.

It’s not so thick that you risk weighing down your tresses, but it quenches your dry hair’s thirst just enough to enhance and encourage those natural curls to take shape.

how to style mixed race curly hair

Because of its nourishing ingredients, it can also work as a leave-in conditioner.

It’s made with coconut oil and papaya butter for deep moisture and smoothness.

These ingredients also add awesome slip, making it easy to work into your hair.

Freshen up your curls between wash days with a moisturizing serum or leave-in.

It’s a terrific way to bring your curls back to life and eliminate frizz from haggard days.


How To Style Mixed Race Curly Hair

While biracial hair can be tricky to navigate and get used to, there is one big advantage: your mixed race hair can be styled in any texture, from straight to curly.

It’s easy to work with when experimenting with different styles.

After all, biracial hair can range from wavy to curly and is resilient enough to go through heat styling once in a while.

But at the end of the day, there’s no denying that embracing your natural curls is still the best look for mixed-race ladies.

Here are some hairstyles you can try out if you want to show off those beautiful, defined curls:


Wear Your Hair Down And Naturally Curly

The easiest way to wear your mixed-race curls is by letting them be.

Wear them down to show off those springy spirals, freshening up in between wash days with a moisturizing leave-in to make them even more defined.

how to style mixed race curly hair

It’s a no-brainer for any curly gal.

This is a terrific way to let your hair breathe and recuperate when you’ve been braiding or tossing it up in a tight ponytail.

Wearing it naturally curly means no heat or tension is stressing it out.

It also helps you retain your natural hair structure instead of losing it to excess heat-styling.


Protect Your Curls With Hip Box Braids

Putting your curls in a protective style like box braids keeps them out of your face and rescues them from the threat of extreme heat and humidity.

It’s a great go-to especially in the summertime when hair can swell up and get poofy or become dehydrated.

Whether you do the braids yourself or have them installed by a professional, is up to you.

But either way, you still have to practice proper aftercare to make sure your braids still look fabulous and on-point.

This includes moisturizing with a leave-in or natural oils daily, and cleaning your scalp at least once a week.

What’s great about braids is that you can easily wear them in other hairstyles, too.

Braids can be put in usual ponytails and buns, except with a little more edge and attitude.


Put Your Hair In A Ponytail For A Balance Of Sleek And Curly

This is yet another way to keep your hair away from your face.

Slick back your hair and smooth it down with a leave-in or serum, bringing all the locks together in a sleek ponytail.

how to style mixed race curly hair

Comb down your baby hairs and edges to make sure your hair is completely neat and is flyaway-free.

Then, allow the curls in your ponytail to run wild and free.

This is a great way to flaunt defined curls and waves without having to deal with poofy hair.


Keep Hair Out Of Your Face With Buns And Knots

This can be either a messy bun or a more sophisticated chignon.

They’re low-maintenance yet stylish and trendy.

Show off your curls by letting some bangs and tendrils fall by your hairline to frame your face.

It’s a great way to keep your huge curls tidy instead of getting caught in the wind, while still embracing your natural curls.


How To Take Care Of Your Child’s Mixed-Race Hair

Many moms struggle with caring for their children’s mixed-race hair, especially if their little one ends up with a curly texture while they grew up with straight hair.

Here are a few tips to help care for and style biracial children’s curls:



When combing through your kid’s hair in the shower, be patient.

Just let the conditioner do the work as you brush their hair in the shower until it’s completely rid of any fairy knots and tangles.

Be gentle so as not to cause your child any pain while combing their hair.

Related Post: Best Detangler Spray for Toddlers 



Always moisturize their hair with a light serum or oil after wash day.

This locks in all the hydration from the conditioner.

It also keeps frizz and flyaways at bay so your child can keep running and playing freely but still sport cute, defined curls.



Experiment with fun hairstyles so that your child is more confident about their curly hair.

Change it up every day, going from space buns to Heidi braids to letting them wear their curls naturally.



There are no standard rules when it comes to styling biracial hair.

You need to assess and identify your own hair texture and come up with a routine that will be beneficial for bringing out your unique curl pattern.

Even if caring for mixed-race curls sounds intimidating, it’s not that different from maintaining African-American tresses or just keeping hair healthy in general.

As long as you know the basics of caring for textured hair and not putting too much stress on it, you’re golden.

There are a few extra steps you have to focus on more than others, like detangling and defining your curls.

But at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping your hair smooth, moisturized, and happy overall.

And when you do that, you can sport any hairstyle and make your ringlets look perfect.

Recommended Post: Best Leave-In Conditioner For Mixed Curly Hair

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