Hair care for textured hair can be a frustrating experience between parent and child if not done using proper techniques, hair care products and tools. Building a simple hair care regimen is the key to healthy hair growth. Learning how to better care for curly and afro textured hair can be a fun and instill confidence in our children by helping them develop their own hair care regimens as they grow.
Hair Care Products: Styling Methods
Shampoo is not recommended for young children birth to age 5. Very young children with curly and afro textured hair can be cleansed with conditioners since their hair is very fine, fragile, prone to dryness and breakage. Seek a mild sulfate-free conditioning shampoo for very active young children or if their hair is heavily soiled from sand, swimming and food. Many parents opt in for no-tears shampoos since they are gentle on the eyes but they can can be very drying especially if they have no moisturizing ingredients. Look for mild moisturizing sulfate-free shampoos which are more gentle on the hair.
Always seeking moisturizing formulas created for dry, brittle, and damaged hair. The best conditions to use are deep conditioner with moisturizing benefits and oils for lubrication. Avoid rinse out conditioners since they only coat the hair without any real penetrating moisturizing benefits. Remember curly and afro textured hair is prone to dryness and dry hair thrive on moisture.
Moisturizers, Oils and Butters
Moisturizers are crucial in caring for curly and afro textured hair since it is prone to dryness. Lubricating oils and butters help reduce friction, frizz, and help with locking moisture in the hair hair shaft. Seek moisturizers with water as the primary ingredient. Avoid products that contain mineral oils and petroleum since they tend to act like saran wrap by locking moisture out. Seek moisturizing products such as leave in conditioners with natural oils, humectants, and hair strengthening agents. Hair styling aids, oils and butters should be created with all natural ingredients for optimum healthy hair growth.
The best tools to use for curly and afro textured hair is your fingers, wide tooth comb and a rat tail comb for parting the hair into sections. That is it!
Children’s Hair Cleansing Method:
- Shampoo (conditioner wash depending on state of hair)
- Deep Condition
- Leave-In Moisturizer/Detangler
- Seal with oil or butter
Textured hair should be detangled with fingers only! Avoid using combs or brushing when detangling hair. When detangling the hair should be parted into four or more sections using fingers. Don’t worry about straight and even parts when doing doing this method. The primary purpose of finger detangling first is to feel for and remove any large knots and tangles. Thoroughly detangling the hair is unnecessary until the moisturizing and detangling process.
All shampoos used in childrens hair should always be sulfate-free. Moisturizing and conditioning sulfate-free shampoos are the best shampoo for textured hair. If you have to use non conditioning sulfate-free shampoo try adding a little olive or coconut oil to the shampoo to provide more lubrication. Since curly and afro textured hair have the tendency to be very dry a conditioner wash (co-wash) is optional. If you choose to co-wash your hair always remove product build-up dirt and grime with a moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo or natural cleanser.
A quality deep conditioner is the best product to use for maintaining moisture in dry curly and afro textured hair. Seek ingredients rich in lubricating oils or butters, natural moisture driven ingredients and proteins that aids in hydration, elasticity, manageability and restructuring of the hair.
Excess water should be be absorbed with a micro-fiber towel or T-Shirt only! Using a cotton towel should be avoided since it causes friction to the hair and potential damage over a period of time.
Leave-In Moisturizer/ Detangler:
A leave-in moisturizer/detangler adds additional moisture to the hair while providing ease of detangling at the same time. Making detangling process less painless when styling textured children’s hair. Detangling the hair should be done in small sections at a time starting with the fingers first then using a wide tooth comb followed by an optional denman detangling brush for smoothing.
Seal with Oil or Butter:
Always seal the hair with an oil , butter, or oil/butter based styling aid. Why seal the hair? Sealing the hair prolongs the moisture level in the hair over time while providing lubrication and preventing hard, dry, and frizzy hair.
Avoid tight ponytail, braids, flat twists, and buns. These styles are very stylish on the hair but can also be very damaging to the hair, scalp, and thinning edges around the hairline over time. Aim for loosely styled ponytails, braids and buns by testing wiggle movement or asking your child if the braids or ponytails are too tight. Loose hairstyles that evolves less tension to the hairline and scalp prolongs the overall health of textured hair.