Frustrated and need help!

My daughter is 9-years-old and has what her (very helpful) hair stylist called "corkicelli" curls (somewhere between Botticelli and corkscrew) - not sure where this falls in the number/letter reference this site uses. My hair is wavy at best, so I've had to research the issue a lot in order to get to where I feel we have a good routine in place. Well, at least, we have a good routine in theory...

You see, I'm at my wit's end with her. I've been trying and trying to teach her how to take care of her hair. We even took her to a salon and had a stylist show her how to take care of it. It's super easy, all she has to do is wash, condition, detangle, and scrunch in some gel... But this kid won't even put shampoo (well, no-poo) in her hair!

Every shower is a fight. She'll stand there, with product in her hand, and go on and on about how she can't put it in, she can't reach, she doesn't know how... any excuse she can come up with. I wind up getting frustrated and either storming out of the room, or doing it myself. Then the same happens with the conditioner. And when it's time to detangle she gets maybe 1-2 inches through on her right side, and then stops, either crying because it hurts too much, or just thinking that she's done. Again, I wind up having to do it for her (which is always met with screams and crying - even when it's not that bad!) We've tried finger detangling and using a wide-toothed comb - we even tried a brush at one point - nothing works to keep the screaming down, and she swears she can't reach to detangle the hair at the back of her head.

I've tried just about everything, but what it comes down to is, I don't know how to teach her to do this herself, and I'm getting tired of having to essentially do her entire hair routine for her. She's old enough that she should be able to do it herself - it's NOT that hard.

At this point, my mom (who we share an apartment with) is threatening to take her and have her hair cut short, which none of us want to see happen.

Any suggestions on teaching this kid how to do it? Or, at least, stopping the crying & screaming?
Not to be mean but why can't you do it for her? If she were 11 or 12 I could understand her doing her own hair but she isn't even a tween and obviously not mature enough to take of her own hair solo.

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3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
How were you caring for her hair before now. It may simply be that she is a little traumatized if you have been dry brushing up to now (i can still remember the pain from my mum brushing my hair, or not conditioning enough).

Also if her hair is long it may genuinely be difficult for her to do what you're asking.

Why won't you cut it short? It will always grow back and will be easier for her to learn to care for it if its a more manageable length, I would say shoulder length is the absolute maximum you should expect her to be able to care for on her own.

Simplify the process for now, have it cut shorter and just ask her to condition it rather than washing, conditioning and gelling. Finger comb it and help her tie it up. I suspect she cares a lot less about making it nice at this point than you do, so wait until she us motivated to make it nice, then it won't be such a battle.

Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
2C, Medium thickness, Low posity
Recovering from a year of keratin and bleach with CG

Routine

Low Poo, Condition, Leave in, Curl cream, Supersoak, Gel, Diffuse on high heat, with minimal lift to encourage waves and reduce frizz, Dry on cool with nozzle down to smooth hair and finish drying,Shine Serum

Weekly gelatin protien treatments.
Is it possible that she's hurting herself when she's detangling it? I can understand her screaming if you or her are pulling her hair as you detangle. She cant just brush it like her friends brush theor hair; she has to start at the bottom and gently work her way up with plenty of conditioner in it. Does she know to grip the hair at the top above a knot or rough patch so she isn't pulling at her scalp? Also, how much slip does the conditioner give her? Since she's a young kid, maybe she needs a conditioner that does more of the detangling for her. I know a lot of people with really curly hair need parental help longer than with wavy hair, because it's genuinely harder to detangle and deal with a big head of hair. Also, maybe you could look into getting a tangle teaser or denman brush, because that could make things work better. Or teaching her to divide her hair into three or four sections with rubber bands to make it less overwheming. Also, it might help to let her wash her hair, then put conditioner on it. Then come out with a towel on he shoulders and watch a show or listen to music while you or she detangles and lets the conditioner set for a while. That would help with the tedium.

Have you tried being there and guiding her through it? Like, sitting with her and seeing if she is able to do the steps? What parts she's having trouble with? I also agree that if it's past shoulder length, that is a lot for a little girl to deal with. Shoot, My curls are loose and shoulder length, and I didn't start really putting gel or leave in conditioner in my hair until high school. I agree with people who are saying that maybe she really is too young to do it herself right now, especially if this is a new routine to her. Maybe you could just start by having her take over one aspect. Like, she can shampoo, and you can make sure she's doing it right. Then she can have you detangle and help style it. Also, I don't know how often you guys do this but you probably only need to be doing it 2-3 times a week. I agree with people suggesting updos and ponytails too.
Fine Texture, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity. Dyed to brown a few months ago.
Lowpoo:
Trader Joe's TTT Shampoo
Rinse Out:
Yes to Carrots, AOHR, Aubrey Organics Rosemary Peppermint
LI: Yes to Carrots
Stylers: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, LA Looks Sports, Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Whipped Mousse

Last edited by rainboe; 04-08-2013 at 07:44 AM.
Not to be mean but why can't you do it for her? If she were 11 or 12 I could understand her doing her own hair but she isn't even a tween and obviously not mature enough to take of her own hair solo.

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Originally Posted by multicultcurly
Agreed, at the age of nine there was no way i could manage to take care of my own hair, heck I didn't even try till high school. Maybe instead of getting her to scrunch etc, try simple updo's like a ponytail or braid that don't require much upkeep. Just try to remember she is a child and it is important for her to learn to take care of her hair just maybe a bit later in her life.
I also just re-read your post and you say its not that hard, well I have to disagree, its hard enough that many people here got to their 30s and beyond feeling like it wasn't worth making their curls nice because it was too much hard work. It was less work for me to spend an hour every day blow drying and straightening, and I'm a loose curl. You obviously find caring for your daughters hair hard work too, so try imagining how she must feel.

Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
2C, Medium thickness, Low posity
Recovering from a year of keratin and bleach with CG

Routine

Low Poo, Condition, Leave in, Curl cream, Supersoak, Gel, Diffuse on high heat, with minimal lift to encourage waves and reduce frizz, Dry on cool with nozzle down to smooth hair and finish drying,Shine Serum

Weekly gelatin protien treatments.
Maybe 9 years is a little young for expecting her to take care of her hair, but.... I'm divorced. My daughter will go off to see her father's family for a week at a time, and return with her hair matted because nobody thought to have her shower, or even braid it to keep it from tangling too badly. I've tried talking to them about it, but they're just as irresponsible as he is, and it doesn't make a difference. I can't be there with her when she goes, so she needs to learn how to take care of it herself.

I understand that, for a lot of people, taking care of curly hair is hard. If we were trying to do anything beyond the basics, there's no way she'd be able to do it herself, but our stylist took my daughter's age into consideration when picking a routine, so she could have one that was easy for her age and didn't require a lot of fuss. It's honestly even easier than taking care of my hair, and I don't blow-dry or anything, just wash & wear (and brush every single day.) If there wasn't all the fighting, it would take no more than 10 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Right now, though, it takes an hour (and she's lucky our hot water heater is decent enough not to turn cold on her!)

Now, it IS possible that she really is hurting herself when she's detangling and/or that she's traumatized from the years of dry brushing (with a horrible nylon fake-boar-bristle brush that my mom always insisted on - evil thing that fried even MY hair) I've tried to teach her how to comb her hair without hurting herself, but our shower is cramped, and asking her to step out to show her results in even more screaming because it's too cold, even with a bathrobe on. If her hair was straight, it would be a lot easier, because I could have her practice combing it dry, but that's just not an option at this point. Her conditioner does help a lot - lots of slip - but even that doesn't seem to help. And there's still the issue of even washing it herself, which she refuses to do without a fight...

My daughter loves her curly hair. When it looks good, she gets excited and wants to show it off to everyone. She beams when she gets compliments on it (and they come pretty often.) The last thing she wants is to get it cut. It's shoulder length - not down to her waist like mine is (though she tells me she wants it to be... Not going to happen.) My mom wants to cut it to about 1" long so that all she has to do is brush it (with that horrid brush) in the morning.

If teaching her to do this herself is out of the question at this age, what other options do I have? Is there a way to do her hair up for a week away from home where nobody is going to take care of it? And what about swimming? She can't turn down a dip in the pool, but if she can't take care of it until days afterward, is it going to cause more problems? What about salt water?

At this point, I don't know what to do. I thought teaching her to take care of it herself would help, but if she's too young for that, then I'm totally lost.
I used to battle with a looooot of tangles before I accepted my curly hair, and it hurt like hell, and I would scream as well... as a 21 year old... when my mother combed my hair.

Only one thing helps, and it does miracles... really...
As mentioned by someone else before: a tangle teaser! removes tangles painlessly... what a relief... gently comb her hair with it (when wet ofcourse... never ever comb/brush hair when dry since after a couple of minutes our hair tangles even more I noticed) and she'll notice that it doesn't hurt ^^
Try searching protective hairstyles AMD see if you can pick one with her that she could wear while at her dada, twist outs and braids can be worn over longer periods. That way you and her can also get a break from the drama.

Try being as patient as possible and taking it real slow, perhaps also get a family friend with curly hair to work on it with her, sometimes it just needs someone other than a parent with a different approach.

Truthfully, I can go 5 days just tying.my hair in a pony each day without washing or brushing, so if she can so this or a low braid there are daily options too. Then when I detangle I use acreally thick condish, and lots of it. So try experimenting with products with her too, see if different ones make life easier.

Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
2C, Medium thickness, Low posity
Recovering from a year of keratin and bleach with CG

Routine

Low Poo, Condition, Leave in, Curl cream, Supersoak, Gel, Diffuse on high heat, with minimal lift to encourage waves and reduce frizz, Dry on cool with nozzle down to smooth hair and finish drying,Shine Serum

Weekly gelatin protien treatments.
I have a few of suggestions that might help.

1) Use more conditioner and finger comb. Whenever I can't get my hair detangled easily, I just pile on more conditioner until the knots come out. As a kid I also found that finger combing was easier than using combs and brushes and it hurt less.

2) Braids! If you put her hair into a secure braid it should last a day or two at her dad's. Maybe she can master a simple braid and wear it like that all week? It might not be as pretty as the curls but it will save you the trouble of detangling a week's worth of matted curls when she come's back to your house.

3) Maybe a a shoulder length or collarbone length cut would work best for her right now? It will be so much easier to detangle and take care of.

Good Luck!
Now that you've replied, I think we have a better idea of your situation, which helps a lot. Can you tell us what products youre using? I think she can learn her hair care routine, I just don't think you should thrust it on her all at once. Take steps, and don't let her get overwhelmed. Also, don't get mad at her for not being able to do it, because that probably makes her feel worse about herself and dread doing her hair more. If you do wind up needing to cut it. A kids bob is a middle ground between way too short and shoulder length. If she doesn't want to cut it, though, then there are other things you can do. I don't think she will ever have a ten minute routine. It takes a while to detangle and style curly hair.

I'm going to say again that I think it might help to get a tangle teazer. It isn't ideal to brush curl hair, but with a brush she would be able to detangle more quickly. I think, at least at this point, that she should actually put conditioner on in the shower, then come out of the shower so you guys can detangle her hair together in front of the tv or listening to music. If its too cold to step in and out of the shower, then you could wash it in the kitchen sink. That said, its almost summer so it should be getting warmer. I think that would be fun for her, it would give the conditioner time to work, and it would help the process feel less stressful. You can use a spray bottle to wet it f it becomes too dry. Show her, maybe in a mirror or by pull her front hair within her view, how to start at the bottom and take little sections. Tell her to tell you if she's in pain. Have her practice on the front sections while you work on the back. Then she can hop in the shower to rinse out. This wouldn't be a permanent think, just something to do for a whole until she's able to manage on her own. Detangling should become easier as her hair becomes more moisturized. Also, if the tangles are caused by dryness then a deep conditioning treatment might help reduce tangles for her.

At her dads, maybe you could teach her how to do two braids, like pigtail braids. She can do it on dry hair without brushing, and that should minimize tangles. Also, eventually she will learn her hair routine.

Eta: swimming and salt water can dry it out some, but they shouldn't be too bad. You should tell your daughter to wash off at her dads house. Even if she doesn't so the full routine, just the act of putting in conditioner (even without properly detangling) should help a little. Then she could braid it while its wet or put it in a ponytail.
Fine Texture, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity. Dyed to brown a few months ago.
Lowpoo:
Trader Joe's TTT Shampoo
Rinse Out:
Yes to Carrots, AOHR, Aubrey Organics Rosemary Peppermint
LI: Yes to Carrots
Stylers: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, LA Looks Sports, Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Whipped Mousse

Last edited by rainboe; 04-09-2013 at 01:06 AM.
My daughter is 9-years-old and has what her (very helpful) hair stylist called "corkicelli" curls (somewhere between Botticelli and corkscrew) - not sure where this falls in the number/letter reference this site uses. My hair is wavy at best, so I've had to research the issue a lot in order to get to where I feel we have a good routine in place. Well, at least, we have a good routine in theory...

You see, I'm at my wit's end with her. I've been trying and trying to teach her how to take care of her hair. We even took her to a salon and had a stylist show her how to take care of it. It's super easy, all she has to do is wash, condition, detangle, and scrunch in some gel... But this kid won't even put shampoo (well, no-poo) in her hair!

Every shower is a fight. She'll stand there, with product in her hand, and go on and on about how she can't put it in, she can't reach, she doesn't know how... any excuse she can come up with. I wind up getting frustrated and either storming out of the room, or doing it myself. Then the same happens with the conditioner. And when it's time to detangle she gets maybe 1-2 inches through on her right side, and then stops, either crying because it hurts too much, or just thinking that she's done. Again, I wind up having to do it for her (which is always met with screams and crying - even when it's not that bad!) We've tried finger detangling and using a wide-toothed comb - we even tried a brush at one point - nothing works to keep the screaming down, and she swears she can't reach to detangle the hair at the back of her head.

I've tried just about everything, but what it comes down to is, I don't know how to teach her to do this herself, and I'm getting tired of having to essentially do her entire hair routine for her. She's old enough that she should be able to do it herself - it's NOT that hard.

At this point, my mom (who we share an apartment with) is threatening to take her and have her hair cut short, which none of us want to see happen.

Any suggestions on teaching this kid how to do it? Or, at least, stopping the crying & screaming?
Originally Posted by cahliah
I agree with the others that 9 is probably way to young to manage curly hair. Heck I'm in my 40's and struggling so imagine a kid who doesn't know a modicum of all the curly hair rules like starting at the ends to comb or brush, ensuring conditioner is in your hair, etc.

Have her watch some Youtube videos to get a good understanding of curly hair and some of the basics so that she understands that she may not be able to poo like her straight haired friends or what she sees on tv.

Check out Teri Laflesh (I think that's how you spell her last name) and the tightly curly method on Teri's website and she has videos on Youtube. There are also kid styling videos that I've seen by various people on Youtube. The woman who owns HennaSooq has videos of her doing her daughter's hair and simple braids that she puts in with product, etc.

Best of luck to you!!
Ok, just a little update.
After the suggestions here, I had her start stepping out of the shower for each step, and so far, it's working out pretty well. There was a lot less fussing this last time, though that might have been because I decided to just do it all myself - at least for another week or two, until she gets used to the new process.

The good news is, the Deva Curl products we've switched to are amazing on her hair. The last shower, when I had her rinse out the conditioner, she was confused, asking if I was going to detangle first... She didn't even realize that I had done so already because the tangles came out so easily.

This weekend is going to be, essentially, a dry run. She's going to visit her father's family for a birthday party, and she knows she's responsible for putting it up at night, and putting it in a ponytail or braid during the day. These are things I know she can do herself, so hopefully she'll remember to do them... I figure, if her hair doesn't come back matted after 3 days, there's a chance she might actually survive a whole week at some point.

Thanks for all your advice. It really is appreciated, and it helped me to not only find a way to make shower time easier, but it made me think about my expectations a bit.
Wow, I so glad things are going well for you guys! that's just awesome.
Fine Texture, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity. Dyed to brown a few months ago.
Lowpoo:
Trader Joe's TTT Shampoo
Rinse Out:
Yes to Carrots, AOHR, Aubrey Organics Rosemary Peppermint
LI: Yes to Carrots
Stylers: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, LA Looks Sports, Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Whipped Mousse
That's great news, hope thing work out this weekend.

Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
2C, Medium thickness, Low posity
Recovering from a year of keratin and bleach with CG

Routine

Low Poo, Condition, Leave in, Curl cream, Supersoak, Gel, Diffuse on high heat, with minimal lift to encourage waves and reduce frizz, Dry on cool with nozzle down to smooth hair and finish drying,Shine Serum

Weekly gelatin protien treatments.

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