Dry hair is prone to breakage and tangling so it is important to establish a natural hair care routine from a young age. Moisturizing their hair and scalp will also encourage new growth. Little ones don’t like to sit still so this routine is designed to be fast, easy, and effective.
You should begin applying coconut oil, or your preferred natural oil, to your infant’s hair and scalp daily. Infants under the age of 12 months old are too young for shampoo and hair care products, so start with a tiny dab of oil that you comb or brush through. This will keep their growing hair moisturized and get them used to a daily hair care routine.
In their first year, use their infant-safe body wash to shampoo once every week or two. If their hair is thick or grows more than an inch in their first 12 months, you can wet their comb or brush or spray with a water bottle to make combing through and styling easier.
Sleep Bonnet Or Satin Pillowcase
Most kids won’t let you wrap a scarf around their head at bedtime until they are a bit older, but their cotton pillowcase will absorb the natural moisture in their hair. Even if they will let you wrap their head, kids tend to toss and turn a lot in their sleep, so a scarf is likely to fall off. The easiest way to start is with a satin beauty pillowcase. As they get a bit older, between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, transition to a satin sleep bonnet. When they are ready, transition to a scarf or wrap. The goal is to l maintain natural moisture, minimize breakage and tangles, and keep braids and protective styles in place.
Choose A Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Once your child is more than 12 months old you can transition to Fro Babies Honey Bubbles Moisturizing Shampoo. The entire Fro Babies line is designed specifically for curly kids. It is formulated with natural ingredients, like honey and avocado, and is sulfate-free. Sulfate is added to many shampoos to gently exfoliate the scalp, but sulfates will strip and dry your child’s natural hair.
Maintain A Shampoo Schedule
In addition to selecting a curly shampoo, you must understand how often to shampoo your child’s hair. Shampooing too frequently, even with natural hair shampoo, can strip and dry hair. Here’s a quick guide which we cover in more detail in this blog post.
- Shampoo 2A to 2C hair 2 times per week
- Shampoo 3A to 3C hair every 7 to 10 days
- Shampoo 4A to 4C hair every other week
- You may need to shampoo more when it’s hot and humid
- You may need to shampoo less when it’s cold out
- Always shampoo when their scalp is sweaty, oily, or itchy
- Always shampoo when there is product build-up, after swimming in salt or chlorine, or if hair is dirty after playing
If you must shampoo more than once per week you can alternate shampooing with a conditioner instead of shampoo to cleanse their hair and scalp without stripping the moisture from their hair. If you are shampooing more frequently because your child’s hair is itchy or oily, just shampoo their scalp, but don’t spread it through to the tips. Even if you are just shampooing their scalp, you will still need to apply a conditioner, which we cover below.
Condition After Shampooing
To repair damaged and dry hair, and lock in and restore moisture, always condition after you shampoo. We prefer the So Super Soft After Shampoo Conditioner. Just like Fro Babies shampoo, it is gentle and formulated with natural ingredients. It is also designed to release tangles. Feel free to finish with the L.O.C. method by applying a leave-in conditioner, natural oil, followed by a shea butter sealant.
For daily use, apply the Detangle Me Baby Leave-In Conditioner to wet or dry hair. This help will retain moisture and making it easier to smooth, brush, comb, and style your child’s hair. A daily leave-in conditioner is particularly important if your child’s hair is already dry or damaged as it will help repair and protect. As their hair grows longer and thicker you may need to section their hair to condition and comb, particularly when it’s dry.
Use A Scalp Oil
Just like when they were an infant, continue to oil their scalp at least 2 days a week. Coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, and jojoba are top picks. Oil their part and apply a tiny bit to your fingertips to massage into their scalp. Remember, a little bit goes a long way, so too much oil will build-up, and even weigh their hair down.
Curly Kids Styling Products
Styling products help to define curls, minimize frizz, tame flyaways, and hold hairstyles in place. You must be as selective when choosing natural hair styling products as you are your shampoo and conditioner. General products designed for kids will likely be too harsh for natural curls, which can strip moisture and increase the risk for breakage.
Fro Babies has you covered with both a curl cream and a flake-free gel. Both products dry soft, not crunchy, making daily comb through easy. Just make sure you are using a wide tooth comb or brush designed for natural hair. For Babies products are also formulated to minimize product build-up, so that you can stick to your shampoo schedule.
Not Sure If Your Child’s Hair Is Dry Or Damaged?
The steps above are both proactive and reactive, but you might be wondering how to tell if your child’s hair is dry or damaged. Damage can happen gradually so you must be mindful of the 5 Signs Your Child’s Hair Is Damaged:
- It feels rough or brittle
- Constant or increased breakage
- Increased tangling
- Decreased elasticity
- Split ends