Kids Curly Hair expert Cozy Friedman answers your questions
I have a confession to make. It took me 38 years to admit that I have curly hair.
As they say, the grass is always greener. So I spent most of my life trying to keeping my hair straight. I spent so many hours as a teenager blowdrying my hair and then re-blowdrying my hair!
There was a brief period of relief in the 80s when perms were in. But even then, straight bangs were the style. Fast forward to 2004. I am a very busy working mother that realized that I just don’t have enough hours in a day to spend doing my hair.
I saw the light. WOW! Not only did I start wearing my hair curly, but I embraced my curls and now actually prefer my curls. People say I look younger and happier with curly hair.
I’m in a unique position to work with curly children everyday, and to have curly hair myself. So I am blessed with the education of a lifetime with curls. I’m happy to share my knowledge with you!
Q: I am 14 years old. I have extremely curly hair that is very frustrating. I really need help learning how to loosen my curls so that my hair is longer and thinner, but still curly. However, I swim everyday, so I need something that I can swim with without damaging my hair. Please help me ASAP!
Cozy: Swimming every day is great exercise, but can be damaging to your hair. It is especially important for you to cut your hair regularly to remove the damaged ends. But that doesn’t mean you have to take off a lot of hair or have short hair. Frequent trimming is what is needed. Definitely use a swimmer’s shampoo that will remove the impurities and chlorine from your hair. So Cozy Green Apple Swimmers Shampoo has orange extract, which is a natural antiseptic that will purify and invigorate the skin. It also contains aloe, which soothes skin.
To help loosen your curls, try this after bathing: Instead of brushing or combing your hair, squeeze out excess water as much as possible. Get an alcohol-free gel (like So Cozy Groovy Grape) and scrunch into wet hair with your head upside down. Work through your hair one section at a time to distribute as evenly as possible. Let dry naturally or use a blow dryer with a diffuser.
Q: How do I begin to get my daughter to care about her curls? She hates fixing her hair in the mornings. I have a fairly simple routine for her: wet her curls (they were washed and conditioned the night before), comb through them with a wide-tooth comb, and use mousse or gel. When she goes through this routine, it takes her less than 10 minutes. She still doesn't want to take the time. Is there any advice you would offer a mother to give to her daughter regarding her curl care?
Cozy: You are smart for wanting your young daughter to have an awareness about proper grooming. Good grooming leads to healthy self-esteem, for which no one is ever too young! Simplifying the routine as much as possible is what is needed. When bathing at night, comb your daughter’s hair in the bath with conditioner in her hair. Use a wide-tooth comb to get rid of any knots. Do NOT rinse out all the conditioner. Leave in a little (mostly on the ends), and then ring out excess water after her bath. Scrunch in gel or styling cream (we like So Cozy Kooky Kiwi Styling Cream). Here’s the time saver: In the morning when she is brushing her teeth, wet your hands and scrunch her hair. That will re-activate the conditioner and styling cream from the night before and soften the hair. There is no need to start all over again. And if she is busy while you are doing it, she won’t even notice!
Q: My 2-year-old dear daughter has kinky hair. It's so thick and coarse. I've tried different types of products in her hair. One I think was called Pink Oil. I have no idea of what to do with it. Right now, I just keep braiding it. I would like to be able to find a product that will let me keep it down without tangling too much. I don't like the pain she goes through when I try to comb it out. Can you give me any help on what to do to keep her hair healthy and would also enable me to let down? When I used the Pink Oil, it was too thick and made combing though her hair almost impossible.
Cozy: It sounds like you desperately need to learn how to deal with your daughter’s tangles! Here is how to properly comb her hair: You take about an inch of hair and work steadily around the head, one inch at a time. We recommend doing this in the tub with conditioner in her hair (So Cozy Sweet Strawberry Conditioner is thick and creamy) with a wide-tooth comb. With the hair in one hand, start at the bottom of the strand, working your way up slowly but surely, holding the hair at the bottom to prevent from tugging on the scalp.
For detangling at other times of the day, always use a detangler and use the same combing method described above. A great detangler is So Cozy Fruity Delight Detangler & Leave-In Conditoner. It’s like a magical potion! It contains hydrolized wheat protein and wheat starch to condition, protect and smooth the hair shaft. This makes it possible for you to comb through the tangles. Now to prevent tangles, try putting her hair back in loose styles during active times and at night for bed. She can wear her hair down for less physical activities and special occasions.