Natural Hair Care For Kids: Top 11 Tips For Parents
Thicker hair textures, including hair textures of people of African descent, are versatile, unique and require special care. There has long been a culture, especially within the Black community, of associating hair care with pain. However, this does not have to be the case. There are so many ways you can create a pain-free hair routine for your kids. This blog post shares 11 tips on natural hair care for kids that every parent should know.
1. Detangle from the bottom up
Thick hair textures take more time to detangle. Zigs, zags, coils, and curls naturally grow in a twisted format and therefore are more likely to get tangled with other strands of hair. However, a common mistake parents make when detangling kids’ hair is detangling from the root through to the ends.
This is not only painful for the child, but also causes breakage by forcefully detangling the most coiled parts from the root and pulling it to the ends.
Detangling hair from the bottom up means you are detangling in sections bit by bit and not forcibly detangling from the root downwards. This reduces pain for your child, as it can significantly reduce tugging at his or her scalp.
Being gentle with your child's textured hair is the best way to prevent breakage and to ensure your child remains comfortable throughout the detangling process.
2. Use natural hair friendly satin pillowcases
Satin pillowcases are great for maintaining moisture in naturally textured hair. Your kids will not have to worry about keeping on a hair bonnet or scarf overnight. Instead, they can peacefully lay their heads down on one of our natural hair friendly pillowcases and still reap the benefits of soft hair in the morning!
3. Avoid tight hairstyles
In the Black hair community, hair loss is rampant. And sadly, much of this is self-induced. Avoiding this issue starts with properly and attentively caring for kids' hair when they are young so they know how to care for their hair when they grow up.
Consistently wearing tight hairstyles commonly leads to hair loss. Although your child may not see it now, over time, tight hairstyles can cause problems for their hair and scalp in the future.
Instead of tight hairstyles, create hairstyles that are soft on the scalp with low manipulation. This allows your child's scalp to rest and the reduced manipulation provides more opportunity for growth. Examples of low manipulative, child-friendly styles include banding or hair threading. Here’s a cute example:
4. Check product ingredients
It's easy to pick up a hair product solely based on the attractive colors and graphics, or even the name of the product. However, the ingredients in these products are far more important and it's worth paying attention to them.
Scientific research has shown that there are actually a whole host of harmful ingredients in Black hair products. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) include parabens, which can negatively affect hormone function. These, along with asthma associated chemicals, are seen all too often in Black hair products.
So, avoid harmful chemicals such as parabens and sulfates that strip hair of its natural oils. Familiarize yourself with hair product ingredients such as the ones listed in this study and understand what it is they do.
5. Teach kids their hair routine
Teaching kids early on how they should care for their hair will only benefit them in the long run. Every head of hair is different, so the earlier kids know how to effectively care for their own tresses, the better! They're never too young to learn!
When kids seldom see elements of their own natural beauty reflected in visual representations of what society considers beautiful, they may eventually be compelled to alter their natural hair. But if your kid learns to love and care for their hair at a young age, this will help them become resilient no matter what society throws at them.
6. Make it fun!
Hair care should be a bonding experience and therefore is an opportunity for you to connect with your child!
Debunk the myth that hair care is boring by incorporating music, imaginative play or watching something that makes the experience more fun for both of you!
7. Find a time that works best for your child
Finding a time when your child is alert, not tired, is the best time to do his or her hair. When they are awake, you can bond with them more and they can learn what you are doing to their hair and pick up from this.
8. Take pictures of your kid's natural hair care journey
Taking pictures is a visual way to record the progress your child's hair is making. It can help them look back at their hair journey and be proud of how far they have come. They’ll get excited about how much more potential it has when they treat their hair right!
You could even create a photo album on your phone or a printed version for your child as a keepsake.
9. Add hair treatments into your kid's natural hair care
In addition to your child’s daily hair routine, hair treatments are also important. Hot oil treatments add extra moisture to their strands. Pure jojoba oil and avocado oil are popular options for this. Protein treatments are also key to strengthening their tresses.
We recommend doing moisturizing hair treatments at least once a month and protein treatments once every two months. Give your child’s hair the spa treatment it deserves!
10. Wash at least two times a month for kid's natural hair care
Thicker hair textures tend to lose moisture fairly quickly. Therefore, shampooing too regularly can lead to dry, brittle hair. We suggest washing your child's hair every 7-14 days.
11. Use the LCO or LOC method for kids' natural hair care
To optimize moisture in your child's strands, use the LCO (liquid, cream, oil) method. This focuses on lengthening the amount of time that moisture is retained in your child's hair. The liquid you use could be water or a leave-in conditioner.
Next, to add moisture, apply a cream-based moisturizer.
Finally, to top it all off, add in some natural oil to seal in all of that moisture into your child's luscious locs.
If your child's hair tends to be more porous and generally doesn't run as dry, you may prefer reversing the order of the cream moisturizer and oil, also known as the LOC method. So feel free to try it both ways and stick with the order that works best with your child's hair.
We hope these tips help you take great care for your child's beautiful textured hair!