How To Care for Your Kid's Scalp: Top 11 Tips for Parents
Scalp care is important, regardless of your age. Scalp care for kids, however, is particularly important as they need extra care since it’s more tender than an adult scalp. Here, we share tips on how to look after your child's scalp.
1. Scalp massage
Research has shown that massaging the scalp can help boost hair growth. Massage increases blood circulation and in turn helps strengthen hair follicles. To leverage this technique on your little one, use a natural oil while massaging the scalp to moisturize and increase circulation at the same time! It's recommended to perform a 5 minute scalp massage daily without and with oil at least once a week.
It's also a nice spa treat for your little one--it's very relaxing!
2. Avoid tight hairstyles
Tight hairstyles can damage the scalp and actually cause children to scratch it, which also isn't good. Using hairstyles that aren’t too tight against the scalp allows it to breathe effectively.
Instead, use non-manipulative hairstyles such as banding, which are great for helping kids' hair grow and giving their scalp room to breathe.
3. Use gentle moisturizing hair products
Maintaining moisture in textured hair is important to avoid dandruff on the scalp. However, it's important to use moisturizing hair products that are more suited for children because they tend to be lighter. Using light moisturizing products such as argan oil, for example, is a good way to moisturize without being too heavy or risking excess product build up.
4. Avoid harsh chemical treatments and heat
Thankfully, the use of relaxers is on the decline and we would certainly never recommend using kiddy perms or relaxers on your tender headed kiddos! These harsh chemicals can leave burns on the scalp and are just generally not good practice for taking care of your child's scalp.
However, it's not just relaxers that should be avoided. Straightening your child's hair regularly and using excessive heat can also be harsh on the scalp.
Avoid straightening your child's hair before their teenage years. Leaving their hair in its natural state as long as possible is the best way to let their scalp organically mature with minimal tension.
5. Examine the scalp for problems regularly
Common signs of scalp issues include itchiness, irritation, redness, hair loss and more. By examining the state of your child's scalp routinely--and their hair directly--you would notice any changes and determine whether or not you need to spend more time caring for their scalp and/or hair. Prevention is always better than cure!
6. Shampoo regularly
There's a myth that exists in the Black hair community that says that you shouldn't wash afro hair regularly. However, this is simply not true.
In fact, by choosing to neglect cleaning your child's hair and scalp, you are depriving them from a healthy hair journey. Trichologists recommend shampooing and washing your hair at least every 7 days-14 days.
Shampooing regularly helps cleanse the scalp from product build up and remove any gunk or dry flakes that may be present on your child's hair.
We know kids play a lot, so shampooing also helps remove anything that may have got caught in their hair.
Think about it- would you neglect washing your body for over a month? Of course not, so why do the same with your scalp? It is skin after all!
7. Condition regularly
Once you've shampooed your child's hair, follow up with a gentle conditioner to help impart moisture back into the hair. Shampooing cleanses the scalp, whereas conditioner moisturizes it. This is particularly important for textured hair that is naturally more dry and therefore needs extra help to maintain moisture.
8. Eat Well
Whatever we put into and onto our body will inevitably impact our body’s performance. So, yes, what you're feeding your kids can make a difference when it comes to the health of their scalp.
Developing a regular habit of feeding your kids well balanced meals that include nutrient dense foods such as whole fruits and vegetables is definitely worth the extra effort.
Teaching kids to eat well at a young age will serve them well physically, mentally and emotionally when they grow up!
9. Consider other pre-existing conditions
Although the scalp is considered to be a part of hair care, the scalp is comprised of skin. So, if your child has pre-existing conditions such as psoriasis or eczema that make the skin dry or flaky, these conditions can also manifest on the scalp.
If this is the case, you may need to create a more tailored hair care routine for your child. Be more mindful of the type of ingredients in the products you are using in your child's hair.
Some of the ingredients may aggravate the scalp and make it worse. Simple products with few ingredients and fragrance free hair products may be a better option in this case. We also highly recommend consulting your child’s dermatologist or pediatrician before using any new products to treat your child’s scalp if he or she has a pre-existing skin condition.
10. Don't Over Moisturize
While it's good to moisturize the scalp to avoid dandruff, it's equally important to not overdo this, as it could lead to scalp damage. When the scalp has too much product build up, it can lead to clogged scalp pores. This makes it more difficult for the natural oil, sebum, from the scalp to push through and naturally moisturize the scalp. It becomes difficult for the scalp to breathe, so ensure your child’s scalp has a healthy balance of moisture.
11. Follow a Nighttime Haircare Routine
At the end of the day, when your child lays their head down to rest, you want to make sure their tender scalp is comfortable. Thankfully, our pillowcases are specifically designed for this! They’re soft and gentle against your child's hair and scalp, giving them the protection they need for a good night's rest. Also, check out our super soft and cozy pillows, here!
Here's a scalp massage tutorial worth checking out!