Two out of three of my kids are curly, and I often have parents/guardians ask me what to do with their curly kids hair. I thought I’d share with you some tips to help you at home since curly hair can sometimes be a mystery, especially to straight haired parents of curly hair kids. Let’s get right down to it!
Things you will need (feel free to support a small business and order any of the products or accesories I mention in this blog here if you live within Canada)
~Sulfate free Shampoo ( like DevaCurl No Poo, Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream, Fuzzy Duck Shampoo & Body Wash)
~Silicone Free Conditioner ( like DevaCurl One Condition, Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, Fuzzy Duck Kids Conditioner)
~Silicone Free Detangler ( optional-like DevaCurls No Comb Detangler, Fuzzy Duck Leave in Conditioner & Detangler)
~REALLY Wide Toothed Comb ( or use your fingers)
~Fine Mist Spray Bottle
~Large Old long sleeved t-shirt
~Satin Pillowcase (a MUST!)
~Satin scrunchie, one-tie hair elastics, Buff or hair tube
~Gel or Styler ( Optional-like DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel, Jessicurl Spiralicious, Fuzzy Duck Kids Gel) nice to use for special occasions and events, or for tweens who are starting to want to style their hair)
With young active curly kids, it’s best to get their hair fully wet and detangled about every two days. This keeps the detangle-and-crying sessions to a minimum if you can keep on top of the rats nests that like to grow in their hair. As they get older and can start maintaining their own curls (12 and up), they can add a few more days of spritzing before they need to wash again. Until then, you are primary curl-giver and they need your guidance, so here’s what you do…
~Get them in the tub and do the scrubbing the body parts first and leave the hair until last. Cleanse well with your sulphate free cleanser, making sure you scrub in well, and also scrub out well while rinsing the water over the hair. Then add your silicone free conditioner, and don’t scrimp! Curls will only be ‘tame’ (and I use that word loosely!) if they are properly hydrated. As soon as the conditioner is in, add more water trickled on top. Then start raking your fingers through ( or using a wide toothed comb to get those tangles out) gently. Hair is at it’s most fragile state when wet. If you need extra help, spray on the detangler at this point (* for fractal and zigzag curls, detangle with coconut oil before getting in the tub to mimimize breakage from detangling).
~Once the tangles are removed, then start scrunch-pumping handfuls of hair up toward the scalp (squish to condish technique) and trickle rinse the conditioner off the scalp. Leave some conditioner in the ends of the hair. The rule of thumb is; the curlier the hair, the more conditioner you leave in. Alternatively, you can rinse it all out and scrunch some conditioner back into the ends. This will act as a styler for younger curly girls. It’s really important that curls are well hydrated by water, and the conditioner seals in the moisture and keeps the curls soft and supple. DO NOT run your fingers through the curls after you have rinsed out the desired amount of conditioner; it shatters those nice juicy curls. The conditioner acts as a styler to keep the curls intact and reduces frizz. For young curly girls, product is not necessary unless you want to use it.
The Low Down: If you want to apply the stylers, gently glide them over the surface of the curls, and then scrunch-squeeze into the ends while the hair is very wet.
~Once the conditioner has been rinsed out of the hair, you can scrunch-squeeze out some excess water using an old t-shirt. Then, instead of turban wrapping the hair and crushing the curls; plopping the hair in a large t-shirt is how you start to dry the hair. Then after plopping for a few mins to a few hours (or leave it on overnight!) you can gently remove the towel and let the curls air dry. The other option is to dry the curls with a diffuser attachment that goes on the end of your blowdryer. Low-Med heat and low speed, with minimal movement or touching while drying will give you the best results.
~Having your little curly girl sleep on a satin pillowcase will reduce breakage and maintain her curls better for multiple day wear. Last thing you can do before bed is Pineappling, or you can try sleeping with a hair tube on such as a Buff and I call it a Curl Defender. A cheap alternative is cutting the leg of an old pair of yoga pants to make a tube like one of my clients did for her girls!
~Refreshing the lion’s mane the next morning is as easy as using a water bottle, a dime size of conditioner, and if you like to add some optional drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil to your hand they’ll act as a natural lice deterrent). Spray the hair with water until it’s about 50% damp. Then scrunch your tiny bit of conditioner it into the hair from the bottom up, run your fingers through it to remove tangles, and let the curls air dry. No brushing the hair anymore…no more sulphates, and please, no silicone laced conditioners and styling products. Alternatively, you can spray the hair damp with a detangler and do the same process as mentioned here.
Curly hair is very simple to care for if you’ve been taught how. If you follow this routine, you will not only be fostering a healthy way of caring gently for your little ones curls, but you’ll also be showing them how to care for their own hair one day. I know my Mom would have loved to have someone teach her how to care for my hair years ago. There was a point that I refused to let anyone brush my hair, and you can imagine how that ended; a buzz cut due to the massive tangles as I wouldn’t let anyone brush my hair because it hurt too much!
Now that I know about caring for curls, I can pass these methods to my own daughter, and I am glad I can share the curLove with all of you. Please share this article with any parents you know who are struggling with their curly kids hair.
P.S. Safe ways to style little girls hair (protective styles) and keep the curls safe are: braids of any type, two strand twists, and if you put the hair in a ponytail, be sure to change positioning often so as not to cause breakage happening all in the same spot and use a satin scrunchie or the one tie elastics.