We want to avoid putting chemical relaxers in our children’s hair, and at the same time instill a sense of self-esteem, but natural hair requires lots of TLC. We want them to see that they’re beautiful and that the hair they were given was no mistake, but what about manageability?
One of the hardest things about allowing our kids to be themselves and to go natural is managing their hair. The kinkier the hair, the more likely it is to tangle and mat.
If you can deal with the tangles, you’re halfway to winning the battle. In this post, you’ll find some great ways to keep your little one’s hair moisturized and beautiful so that they’ll grow to love their hair.
Moisturization is the Key to Managing your Child’s Hair
Fewer tangles mean fewer tears on wash day. Your child will be more likely to appreciate her natural hair and not try to change it chemically if she is happier during washing, detangling, and styling. But how do you get there?
Every natural head needs moisture, and children need even more because they’re active. Both girls and boys roll around, play, and stick their heads into all sorts of things that adults would never do.
Playing on a playground that has tubes, a jungle gym, or even just playing in a sandbox adds to dryness and friction that can lead to damage.
But you don’t want to limit their ability to play, get dirty, and be kids. We just need to protect their hair.
Moisturize their tiny curls on wash day, and once during the week. Wash day should consist of a wash or co-wash, a deep condition, and a finger detangle.
An easy way to add nutrients to a store-bought deep conditioner is by adding oils like Black Jamaican Castor, avocado, and jojoba oils.
The best routine for children is the LOC method because it will help lock in moisture to the hair shaft.
Here is a breakdown of the LOC method for natural hair:
Water is the best hydration on the planet. Use the shower or bath water as the first step in the LOC method. You should also detangle during this step with a detangler like Kinky Curly Knot Today. Try using your fingers to comb during most or all of your detangling session.
Oils help to seal in moisture to the hair shaft, and they give the hair nutrients too. Oils like olive and coconut are antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal, so they’ll protect your child against scalp problems like candida, lice, and dandruff. You can also add avocado and jojoba for good penetration into the hair shaft.
Using the LOC method works because you’re layering products and hydration. You should do the LOC method both on wash day and mid-week.
Protective Styles are Ideal for Kids
Using a low-manipulation technique will help your child’s hair to thrive and grow. You’ll also save yourself time because you’ll only need to refresh the hairstyle once during the week.
Aim to style hair into braids like cornrows, or into twists. Try to avoid doing high-maintenance hairstyles that require the hair to be loose. Remember the strands are likely to tangle and break because of their active lives.
Save the non-protective hairstyles for special occasions, like birthdays or Christmas. Even wearing a simple hairstyle like two puffs will put them at risk for breakage, so you’ll want to limit these types of styles and stick to the protective braids.
The happier they are on wash day, the easier it will be for both of you. They’ll probably grow to appreciate their African-American hair more if they understand how to manage and style it.
Do a style that only needs a simple LOC refresher during the week. Wet the child’s hair with a spray bottle, then re-oil, and apply a small amount of cream. The refresher will help the hair stay moisturized without having to pull apart the curls or redo the hairstyle.
A great weekly routine for your child consists of washing, deep conditioning, the LOC method, and a refresher mid-week. Use protective styling, and resist the urge to detangle and style your child’s hair too frequently, as it could lead to breakage.
If you take these measures to protect and care for your child’s hair, they’ll have a full head of hair that they’ll surely love for years to come.
Do you have kids? What are some ways you’ve taken care of their natural hair?