7yr old with dry dry dry hair

Hi
My daughter who is 7 is going back natural. Let me explain a bit I'm a flight attendant so she is left with family while I'm flying. No one could manage her hair in its natural state and I wasn't very knowledgeable in protective styles. For the past year I have discontinued use of relaxers and taken her to get braid extensions. She's tired of them and I'm not fond of the price tag on them.
I've started two strand twisting which is going well and actually have gotten my daughters agreement to cut off relaxed ends which actually leaves about 15-20 inches of 4a/b hair. We haven't done it yet cause I can't get any moisture in her hair so I don't want to lose length and have it look dry. Right now It constantly looks dry. I've tried Miss Jessie's Curly pudding, Lesuire Curl activator, pure olive oil. Nothing seems to penetrate. Water just rolls off top of her hair. I do use knot today for detangling . I've been thinking to try Shea Butter but am clueless. Any ideas or advice? Thanks in advance

Last edited by skyqueen; 01-14-2014 at 12:54 PM.
I should probably add that her hair is EXTREMLY thick. I am mixed 1/2 Irish and half Black American and inherited the thickness of my Mum who's a red-head. My daughters father is Nigerian and I didn't think it was possible but her hair is 3xs thicker than mine. I.e. One ponytail isn't even possible- I have to separate half and half
Okay just from the little bit of information you gave us I have a few recommendations:

1. Before cleansing, try a pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment to get her hair prepared for the process. I saturate my hair in organic virgin coconut oil and put it into 4 twists. I leave the coconut oil in overnight, wrapping my hair in a plastic cap. This prevents the hair from taking in too much water during the cleansing process. Coconut oil is one the few oils that actually penetrate as well.

2. I'm not sure if you use shampoo to cleanse her hair. If you do, STOP. Use a sulfate free shampoo or use a silicone free conditioner to gently remove dirt and buildup from her hair and scalp without stripping the hair of its natural oils. I personally love using Tresseme Naturals as my cleanser.

3. Make sure to deep condition her hair at least once per week. I use Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque. After cleansing, I apply this liberally and cover with a plastic cap for 30-60 minutes. I rinse with cool water.

4. Get a better moisture routine down. You need a good leave-in conditioner. I personally take my Tresseme Naturals conditioner and mix it 1:3 with water in a spray bottle and use that as my leave-in. Since this product doesn't contain any ingredients that build up on my hair, I'm left with silky, defined curls.

Once you get the moisture in the hair using the leave-in, it's important to seal in that moisture. That's where your olive oil will come into play. Make sure it's Extra Virgin Olive Oil and apply it with a light hand. You could use your shea butter on the ends of her hair.

5. After the leave-in and oil, you'll want to apply a creamy styler. Shea Moisture has a wonderful line of creamy based stylers that moisturize as well as define curls. After adding that, you're free to twist, braid or put it up in a bun, or wear it down.


All of the products I mentioned are available at Target and Walmart. The most expensive one is $12.00. Make sure you're GENTLY detangling her hair, using only your fingers or a wide toothed comb and starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots. Whether you're detangling, washing or applying product, make sure you handle her hair in sections. It'll keep the hair from getting tangled, it'll distribute the product evenly and it'll keep you from getting overwhelmed in hair! Wrap her hair every night with a satin or silk scarf or bonnet, or have her sleep on a satin pillowcase. At her age, I'd advise against having her wear her hair down too much because it'll get tangled and matted from all her playing. Simple braided styles are really easy, fast, and can protect her hair while you're away.

I really hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions :-)
Honestly, with being a new natural I think you should consider cowashing every day or every other day for awhile. A lot of times it takes time to build up moisture in the hair. That is why some people don't see a definite curl pattern when they first bc but do later on. I cowashed super frequently in the beginning and I think it really helped hydrate my hair. But if you do that I don't rec you use a conditioner with silicones.
I think you should prepoo with either EVOO or coconut or avocado oils. These penetrate the shaft but pay attention to how the hair reacts to each oil. My hair hates coconut oil unless it's in very small amounts. Rather than sleep in it I put on a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 15 to 20 minutes. Heat helps treatments work better especially for low porosity hair. (Yeah, you should take the time to figure out her hair properties). As mentioned, after a li a sealant is important but you also need to find what works best. I like castor oil. While EVOO works well in my hair as a sealant is problematic because makes my face break out if I don't wash it out of my hair and it gives me dandruff. Make sure you keep her hair free of product buildup.
I think deep conditioning as often as you wash may help and use some type of shea and oil mixture.
"We Live From the Head Down and Not the Feet Up" ~Donnie
There are some very good suggestions here.

Question. Does it look dry or feel dry. Being natural means getting used to not having sheen or shine (I have one but not the other)

I would agree with trying Co washing.

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You are talking about moisture (= water) but then referring to products not penetrating which are not moisturisers (add or increase water) anyway. Anything rich in oils and butters is occlusive/ ANTI humectant/ a sealant. They either have no direct effect on water content or reduce porosity so reducing the ability to take up water.

Many ingredients in conditioners and styling products do not penetrate anyway, the molecules are too large. The issue is more pronounced on virgin or low porosity hair. See Natural Haven blog deep conditioning series for a list of what few ingredients can penetrate.

Moisturisers are comprised of water and humectants (attract water) - the major ones are honey, glycerin, propylene glycol and aloe vera. Fatty alcohols, cationic surfactants, panthenol and hydrolysed proteins all act as weaker humectants.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
You are talking about moisture (= water) but then referring to products not penetrating which are not moisturisers (add or increase water) anyway. Anything rich in oils and butters is occlusive/ ANTI humectant/ a sealant. They either have no direct effect on water content or reduce porosity so reducing the ability to take up water.

Many ingredients in conditioners and styling products do not penetrate anyway, the molecules are too large. The issue is more pronounced on virgin or low porosity hair. See Natural Haven blog deep conditioning series for a list of what few ingredients can penetrate.

Moisturisers are comprised of water and humectants (attract water) - the major ones are honey, glycerin, propylene glycol and aloe vera. Fatty alcohols, cationic surfactants, panthenol and hydrolysed proteins all act as weaker humectants.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
One of the products she tried was curl activator. I have used CAs before to moisturize my hair although not that particular one. They don't have butter but are high in glycerin which is a humectant. I find ca only works well for me certain times of year.

Whats the Difference Between Curl Activator Gel and Styling Gel? | KinkyCurlyCoilyMe!
Speaking of curl activators, the QP/ Elasta Care "feels like silk" is a great product that I suggestion for newbies. It worked very well when I first started out.
If a lot of water rolls off your daughter's hair I'm wondering if it is low-porosity. If it is then oils are probably not going to do what you want them to do.

I think she definitely needs a leave-in... CJ Smoothing Lotion has gotten good reviews from low-porosity people. Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkin Seed conditioner for rinse-out. Maybe other things like Curl Rehab. Leave on these deep treatments and maybe even apply a little heat. The As I Am leave-in has good reviews also. Even if you use a lot of a cheapie conditioner like Tresemme Naturals as a leave-in that might work.

I second the cowashing suggestions. There are good cleansing conditioners out there (like CJ Daily Fix) or you can use cheap light conditioners like Suave Naturals, Tresemme Naturals or V05
2BC/f/II. fine - low/normal porosity - medium density - normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Cowash: Cure Care diluted with water 1:1
RO: Cure Care, V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: CeraVe Foaming as low-poo, gelatin gel

light moisture, hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sulfates
Neutral on cones.

iherb discount code: CFN646
^^ good suggestions


water can also roll off if there is product build-up. You may need to clarify and/or watch the ingredients in the products you are using

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