It doesn’t take much for kids to get a serious case of “bed-head” - snarls, knots and flat spots and frizzy ones. You could almost form a Dr. Seuss story out of kids hair! Due to active play habits, kids, curly kids get tangles and "bed-head", too. They may not be the first to pick up a brush or comb, or simply know how to style their own hair. Luckily, with the right tools and know-how, these tangled situations can be easy to avoid, and repair.
1. Choose a "kid-friendly" detangler and leave-in.
There are lots of them out there, and finding something that nourishes your child’s hair as it repairs is important. Some leave-in conditioners can also be used as detanglers for your child. Kids like bright packaging and tasty scents, so look for something that appeases to their senses. That way, they'll get more excited about this step rather than dreading it. Make sure part of your nighttime hair care routine for your kids is helping prevent tangles.
Try one of these faves:
- Mixed Chicks Kids Tangle Tamer
- Carol's Daughter CD4Kids Detangler
- Original Sprout Miracle Detangler
- It’s a Curl! Ring Around the Curlies Leave-In
2. Keep a wide-tooth comb by the bathtub.
It’s a good idea to keep one by your bathtub as part of your child’s nighttime hair cleaning routine so you can get the knots and tangles out while their hair is wet. But don’t wait until it’s bath time to work out the knots, they may only get worse as the day progresses. Here's how Zoie's mom detangles her hair.
Here are some perfect detangling combs for the bathroom:
3. Walk them through the styling process.
If they want to help, let them know what you’re doing and how. Stand in front of a mirror and show them how you are helping care for their waves, curls, and coils. Kids love to exercise their independence, so why not teach them the tricks of the trade? Have fun with the process.
Need some inspiration? Watch this adorable video of how Giselle's mommy cares for her hair during her bath time routine.
4. Cleanse their hair routinely.
Shampoo and condition as usual. For kids with thicker curls and coils, you may opt to also use a leave-in in addition to a moisturizer. Leave-in conditioners can be a key step in keeping little curls looking their best and may help avoid the possible “poof” effect kids tend to have throughout the day.
For wavy-curly kids with finer strands, a light leave-in (even a combo of water and some conditioner) can add some much-needed moisture and prevent frizz. Remind your little ones not to run their fingers through their hair too much either (yeah, right!).
Some "kid-friendly" cleansers to try:
- Fuzzy Duck Kids Gentle Shampoo
- Ouidad KRLY No Time for Tears Shampoo for Kids
- Carol's Daughter CD4Kids Shampoo
- SheaMoisture Mango and Carrot Kids Extra Nourishing Shampoo
Some leave-ins/moisturizers to try:
- Kinky Curly Tiny Twists
- Original Sprout Leave-In Condtioner
- Blended Cutie Soft Curls
- Mixed Chicks Kids Leave-In Conditioner
5. Before bed time, braid it up.
At night, for kids more prone to tangles, you may want to put your child’s curls in a loose pony tail or even create twists/mini braids. Their next day curls, coils and waves will be smooth and shiny. Try using a silk or satin pillow case--like the “big kids” do--to help avoid tangles and matted-up curls at night.
In the morning, show your child how to style their hair. Model it with them so they learn just what to do. And yes, while children can certainly have a mind of their own at times, they will appreciate their beauty lessons. Encourage them to style their hair with their fingers, or just some refresher spray for their curls. You may also want to show your child how to make a quick ponytail or a braid for quick fix moments. After just a few tries, you may just catch your child spending a few extra minutes in the mirror practicing on their own. It may be time to say goodbye to kiddie bed-head once and for all!