One of the questions we are most commonly asked at NaturAll is what products or haircare routines we recommend for kids with curly hair or natural hair. Deciding on a hair regimen for your child can be scary! Many parents are afraid of neglecting or somehow ruining the health of their children’s hair. The task can seem most intimidating to parents who don’t have natural hair themselves or if their child is biracial and has hair that is significantly different from their own. Read our guide to find out more about haircare for children and toddlers with natural hair!
Steps to take care of your child's natural hair
A child's haircare routine doesn’t have to take all your time or money- it’s a matter of good ingredients, a good regimen, and consistency. And once you establish a routine that works for you and your child, you’ll be able to relax! Get ready to start your kid's haircare journey.
When caring for your child's curly natural hair at home, here are the important steps!
No matter what you’ve heard, you DO need to shampoo your child’s natural hair. Product residue builds up over time and can clog pores and block moisture from entering hair follicles. The result is dry hair! Also, don’t forget that your child is a child- their hair will get dirty while they’re playing. However, shampooing more than once a week is likely to dry out natural hair as well, since it strips out natural oils. Pick a gentle shampoo, such as NaturAll's all-natural and sulfate free Avocado Shampoo. Wash your child's hair every 7-14 days.
Your child’s hair probably accumulates more wear and tear than yours does- whether they’re learning to swim, playing out in the cold, running around and sweating, or playing with their own hair. Since kids are more susceptible to dry and damaged hair, be precautionary. At least several times a week, moisturize your child’s hair with water or a store-bought moisturizer, and seal it in with oil. Pay attention to those ends! They’ll dry out first.
We know, it can be painful for both you and your child. But it doesn’t have to be! Here’s what you need to know.
- Don’t avoid detangling. If you don’t detangle, their hair will become more and more unmanageable as well as prone to breakage and split ends.
- Use a wide-toothed comb, and don’t tug or yank! Start near the ends (always combing down), and gently work your way up to comb down the full length. With patience and this method, you should be able to detangle any knots rather than yanking them out.
- Detangle in sections so you don’t miss any parts.
- Never detangle dry! Hair is more likely to break when it’s dry. Whenever possible, detangle when your child’s hair is damp or full of conditioner. When needed, use a spray bottle and conditioner as you detangle.
Split ends and single strand knots are bad for anyone’s hair, but since they increase breakage and make detangling more difficult, they can be especially painful for little ones. So do regular trims! You can do them yourself, and they can be minimal- just trim off the dead ends, keeping your child’s hair healthy.
Low manipulation styles like braids and twists can be a life-saver for both your child’s hair and you- they protect hair from damage, dirt, and the elements, and give you a break from haircare that can be time consuming. But be careful! Never pull the hair too tight into a protective or secure style- this can cause hair loss and breakage and discomfort for your little one. Don’t neglect to moisturize their hair, even when in the protective style. And don't leave a style in for more than two weeks. Learn more about protective styles here.
There is no better way to ensure your child’s hair is getting the nutrients it needs to grow long and stay healthy. Deep conditioning will also give their hair that extra protective edge against all the dirt, sweat, and elements that tend to dry it out. We recommend using a deep conditioner with all natural ingredients, and nothing potentially toxic or hazardous. NaturAll's avocado deep conditioners are a great option!
NIGHT TIME CARE
Have your child sleep on a satin pillowcase to reduce friction and breakage overnight. This is especially important if their hair is past their shoulders.
My number one piece of advice is to teach your child to love their hair. In a world where natural hair can be seen as different, weird, or undesirable, you are an essential line of defense. Never criticize or imply that there’s something wrong with their hair, but instead treat your child’s hair (and your own!) with love, care, and pride. They’ll learn from your example!
We hope that these guidelines can help you get started on creating a specific hair regimen for your little one, as everyone’s hair is a little different.
Common questions about caring for your kid's curly hair
Help, I'm a beginner! I don't know how to use all these different products.
You might be new to natural haircare because you stick to relaxers for your own hair, or because your child is biracial or just has different hair from yours. Don't worry! Yes, you have some learning to do, but we promise you will be just fine. You've taken the first step by reading this article. Next, we recommend you explore the world of natural haircare. You'll slowly learn about key concepts like curl pattern, porosity, and density, and key products like deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, and moisturizers. The NaturAll Hair Blog is the perfect place to start exploring.
What are the best products for kids' haircare?
While the products certainly matter, it's even more important to use products properly, and develop a regimen that keeps your child's hair healthy and moisturized. For example, there are a lot of great sulfate-free shampoos out there, but it's even more important that you shampoo your child's hair at the right frequency (every week is a good starting place for most kids with curly natural hair.)
If you have a toddler, make sure to pick hair products that are gentle and safe for babies and children, and check the label to make sure they don't contain any toxic ingredients.