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Taking care of curly hair is something I learnt after becoming a mom. Well, hair care in general! My hair care routine used to be – just dab a little coconut oil and apply regular shampoo. I did not know there were elaborate hair care procedures especially when it comes to taking care of your child’s curly hair.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while taking care of your child’s curly hair.
I will admit it – Curly hair maintenance is slightly hard and there are still many tantrums and cries while I brush or style my child’s hair. It is a learning process for me but what I want to instil in her is not only how to take care of them correctly but also to be happy and confident about her beautiful locks.
1.Curly Girl Method (CG) – Originally developed by curl Expert Lorraine Massey. Since curly hair is often drier, the method states to use products with no silicone, sulphate, mineral oil drying alcohols, waxes etc. (To know more about the CG method read Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine) The original method says to use a conditioner with no sulphates and silicones for washing curly hair, a method commonly known as ‘co-washing’. This method was not suitable for my daughter’s curly hair since it led to dandruff. I finally adopted the method what Asha Barrak says in her blog post and group – Use a clarifying shampoo with no sulfate and silicones etc.
2. Shampoo – The shampoo that we currently use is the Shea Moisture Mango and Carrot Kids Extra Nourishing Shampoo which comes highly recommended in the Indian Curl Pride group. It does not dry my daughter’s hair and has a good smell to it. There is a conditioner in the same line of products which is again highly recommended but we haven’t used it to give a personal review.
I have also used the Shea Moisture Fragrance-Free and Gluten-Free Baby wash and Shampoo which worked great for her hair (It is actually not Curly Girl/ CG friendly since it does contain Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate which is considered as a harsh cleaner (Source: Curl bot) I had bought the Sebamed Baby products for my daughter – way before I knew about the CG Method – The SebaMed Children’s Shampoo dries out curly hair very badly.
3. Conditioner – After washing your kid’s hair, it is important to condition either during the bath or immediately after bathing as a leave-in conditioner. Moisturizing is the key to taking care of curly hair. I have used both methods and I find conditioning during the bath is easier with kids. They will not allow for elaborate steps in hair care. The conditioners we have used is the Original Sprout Deep Conditioner and Leave-In Conditioner For Babies ( I think both are not CG friendly but it worked great for us ) Of late we have been using Taliah Waajid for Children Tangles Out Today Leave-in Conditioner Detangler – This is great on non-wash days to just spray and detangle. It is a great product but my daughter absolutely hates it.
4. Brush – Combing curly hair with the regular comb is an absolute NO-NO. Use a wide-tooth brush if you have to comb (especially before going to school etc) or use fingers. DO this when hair is wet. The Denman Classic Brush is often recommended in all curly hair groups. We use the Wet Brush Original Detangler since that is what is easily available here in Doha and economical. Brushing either with the Wet Brush or Fingers is an ongoing battle in my house.
5. Microfiber Towel – Regular towels should not be used for curly hair. Rather microfiber towels are recommended. Why? They have a high capacity to absorb water, yet at the same time, they reduce frizz and helps to retain the curl definition. We got ours from a local store in India, but linking one from Amazon for you to get an idea.
6. Satin/Silk Pillowcase – They are recommended for curly hair since they help retain the moisture in hair and reduces friction, frizz and tangles. They help in keeping hairstyle intact and not disrupt the curl definition.
7. Avoid negative comments about hair – As a parent, it is our duty to enhance our child’s confidence and self-esteem. Absolutely avoid any negative comments related to hair. When any negative comment is passed by others towards your child, either remind them politely to stop discussing your child or take your child away from the situation and explain to her/him that – A person’s opinion is just that – their opinion and that your child’s self-worth should not be tied to or valued by another person’s opinion. Something I wrote a couple of years ago regarding curly hair & comments.
8. Other tips and tricks – Using products for your child’s curly hair will be a trial and error method since we do not know if a product is suitable for our child until we use it (even if they have good reviews online) Children especially preschoolers and below will hate elaborate hair care steps, hence opt for simple steps that can be done quickly. Take your child to hairdressers who know how to handle curly hair. (I find this so difficult in Doha)
If there is one point that you take from this post, let it be this – Moisturizing is the key step to maintaining curly hair.
Do you or your child have curly hair? How do you take care of curly hair?