Q: I have a 9-year-old daughter with a lot of kinky to wavy blonde hair. It is all one length -- about 1 inch below her shoulder. She has so much hair that she looks like a cave girl. Is there a cut you would recommend to give it some shape? No one knows what to do with it.

Cozy: How lucky your daughter is to have hair like that! It sounds like what your daughter needs is a great haircut with some long layers and some of the “bulk” taken out in order to enhance her wavy hair and give it body. I always recommended bringing a photo from a magazine that shows the type of hairstyle you would like her to have. That way, the stylist knows what you are looking for. I would also recommend a nice finishing product for her hair to help shape and control it throughout the day. I recommend So Cozy Styling Cream for her because it is a light formulation that won’t weigh her hair down, and will prevent the “cave girl” look you are referring to.

Q: We have a sixth-grade Caucasian female whose long hair looks exactly like Rachel True's Type 3c hair. She is self-conscious about the appearance of her hair. The more active she is (track, basketball), the worse her hair looks. She was in her first beauty revue -- her aunt had "ironed” her hair almost smooth -- but by the time she made her stage appearance, her hair was big and frizzy from all the humidity. One of the judges commented about how her hair "hurt" her score. The mother has tried all kinds of products to smooth out the hair. What can be used to "smooth" the hair and keep it from turning into tight corkscrew curls in humidity? This is really interfering with her self-esteem, and will likely worsen as she gets older.

Cozy: Everyone knows that people with curly hair want straight hair, and vice-versa. But it is so important this girl to accept and embrace her beautiful curly hair! When she is exposed to humidity, the hair is going to curl and there isn’t much she can do about it. Instead, she (and you) should focus on enhancing her curls and preventing frizz. When bathing, she should use a nice creamy conditioner (I like So Cozy Sweet Strawberry) and leave a little in on the ends. After bath, she can squeeze out excess water and scrunch in Styling Gel with her head upside down, evenly distributing it throughout hair. I use So Cozy Groovy Grape Styling Gel, which is alcohol-free and won’t dry out the hair. Do NOT comb or brush. Let hair dry naturally about three quarters of the way and finish drying with a diffuser. When finished, she can scrunch in a little bit more gel, just to finish it off and smooth the curls.

Q: My biracial daughter (black and white) just got diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis. Before she was diagnosed, this was one big headache, and now I have two. Her hair is a mix between 3c, 4a, and 4b. When she was about three, she cut her ponytail out and now her hair is coarse 4b at her crown. She wants to wear her hair down, but she can’t because her hair is so thick in the middle and fine around the perimeter. Her scalp is always dry, hence the dermatitis. And her hair is dry as well. I was using Garnier Fructis, and then switched to Pantene for Relaxed and Natural Hair, and Nexxus Humectress as a leave-in conditioner, which aren’t helping. My mother uses hot combs and flatirons on her hair so that she won’t be embarrassed when she takes her to church. As a result, her hair is riddled with split ends and breakage.

I am at my wits' end about how to let my 7-year-old daughter’s beautiful hair be natural and manageable. Do you have suggestions about what I can do?

Cozy: Most people do not realize how important it is to take care of the scalp, not just the hair! Here are three important instructions for you: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! Her hair and scalp are begging for products and hair dressings that have shea butter in them. Shea butter contains natural fatty acids, and also has a high content of Vitamin A, E & F. These vitamins contribute to the regeneration process of skin and can be extremely effective in treating and soothing dry skin. You should also look for products with aloe and glycerin. They are also very effective in soothing and replenishing moisture. There are so many on the market that it can definitely be overwhelming.

A good place to start is on CurlMart, where only the best products are sold for all different types of hair. An especially good product line is Blended Cutie, which contains both shea butter and aloe. You might want to try Blended Cutie Curls & Swirls, Butter Me Up! and Down & Out Styles.

Q: My autistic son is 3 years old with very curly hair -- probably a 3a/3b. I currently use Johnson & Johnson shampoo on him once a week, and a very tiny amount of my own conditioner if he needs it. I also use a home-made detangler made with a watered-down version of my conditioner. I put a little leave-in conditioner on his hair whenever he gets the frizzies. Because of his autism, the whole grooming process is very traumatic for him, and he won’t go anywhere near the bathroom for days after his wash day. The entire act is just very stressful for him. The worst part is trying to rinse it out. I've tried bath caps and swimming goggles, but it didn't work. Do you know of a dry or no-rinse shampoo that is safe for toddlers? I found one at Walgreens, but no one at the store knew if it was toddler safe.

Cozy: The grooming process of a three-year-old isn’t easy under the best of circumstances. So with an autistic child, it is even trickier. Autistic children are so sensitive to the way things feel that a simple hair wash can be a major event for them. What is important for you to try to do is to have the most simple and speedy grooming regimen possible. I recommend a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. That will save time. You should also try to have him hold a wash cloth over his eyes in the tub when rinsing his hair. A lot of times, it is the water dripping down the child’s face that is so upsetting to them. I have also seen “bath visors” that children wear to prevent drips. To take care of the frizzies, you do it without him knowing you are doing it. Try scrunching in a light Styling Cream (I recommend So Cozy Kooky Kiwi) while he is brushing is teeth or busy with something else. Distraction is the key to life with young children!

Q: My daughter used to be a 3a/3b as a toddler/preschooler. But now she’s almost seven and her curls have relaxed, and she is more a 2a. A few years ago, we started using Aveda Be Curly and then Aveda Confixor, a light gel. Now, whether we use that combo or anything else, her hair ends up looking stringy and blah. It is slightly wavy on top, and more curly toward the ends. When it’s still wet, it looks great. But then it relaxes and looks kind of dull. We have had a hard time getting a decent haircut (any suggestions in Seattle?). I was thinking that it would perk up with a haircut. But even after taking an inch off, it doesn't do much. Her hair is a bit longer than her jaw when dry. It is slightly layered, but the last stylist thought that too many layers was part of the problem. Our problem is basically the opposite of frizz: lank hair. I would welcome any cutting or styling advice. It seems the less I do to her hair the happier we would all be, so any advice would be greatly appreciated by everyone in my family.

Cozy: You shouldn’t give up on layers. Perhaps her layers are the wrong length. Long layers sound like they would solve some of your problems. Continue to trim the base of the hair regularly to avoid split ends. You should try a light styling cream rather than a gel, because it sounds as though the gel is weighing down her hair and making it limp and lank.

Q: My child's hair is, in my best estimation, mostly 3a. As an infant, his short, fuzzy hair was very straight. But as it finally started growing when he turned two, I spotted his curls starting to make their appearance. At that time, I stopped using shampoo on him (about the same time I stopped on my own hair), and have always used whatever conditioner and gel I use on myself. His curls turn to waves if they're cut too short.

Lately, over the last two months or so, it's like his hair has started changing in texture. Even though I'm still keeping it the same length as always was, it seems sort of limp and looks more like 2a or 2b waves. When I first wash his hair and put the usual product in it, it looks normal and curly. But by the end of the day, it is flat and limp has hardly any curls left -- only ill-defined waves. I clarify his hair on a regular basis, using either baking soda or apple cider vinegar. Any thoughts or suggestions on what I can do to keep his curls from going into hiding?

Cozy: The first thing you should do is start using children’s hair-care products for your son, because they are more gentle and will provide him with the vitamins and nutrients a child needs. Washing his hair once or twice a week with a gentle, tear-free shampoo is a good idea. A leave-in conditioner would also be a good idea. When the hair starts to look flat and limp, just use your hands and scrunch his hair to re-activate the conditioner. I recommend So Cozy Fruity Delight, which contains wheat protein and panthenol to strengthen the hair while keeping it smooth and shiny.

Q: My 2.5-year-old son is biracial, and up until eight months ago had little more than peach fuzz on his head. I believe he is a 3c, and though it is still very thin in places (and very fine), the length varies from 1.5-4 inches (longest on back of his head). His curl is very nice right after I comb it, but gets fuzzy very quickly. I also fear that I may not be caring for it correctly and could be damaging it. How do I know if he is over or under conditioned? How do I know if he is sensitive to protein? Are silicones always bad?

Currently my hair routine with him is:

  1. Shampoo once a week with L’oreal Kids conditioning shampoo (it has sulfates, but I think we still need the tear-free feature)
  2. Garnier conditioner for frizzy,hard to control hair with a few drops of coconut oil mixed in. I don't rinse.
  3. Finger and tangle comb to remove tangles, then extra soft boar-bristle brush to smooth and pull the curls together.

On non-shampoo days, this is my routine:

  1. I use Johnson & Johnson No More Tangles to wet his hair
  2. Finger comb to remove tangles, then tangle comb smooth out. ??some other products I've tried and didn’t like.
  3. Pink Lotion makes his hair greasier and frizzier. Styling cream does nothing. Gel is too stiff and requires us to wash his hair every day. Olive oil cream moisturizer is too heavy and practically pulls all his curls out, making it stringy. And organic suflate-free baby shampoo leaves his hair feeling too coarse.

Cozy: I’m glad to see that you aren’t over-washing your son’s hair. Once or twice a week is really all that you need. I find that many people are under the misconception that they need to do it everyday. You can cut your routine back by using a detangler that is also a leave-in conditioner. That way you are killing two birds with one stone. You really don’t need to use the boar-bristle brush on his hair. That is probably adding to the “fuzz factor.” Instead, use a wide-tooth comb in the tub while conditioning, and just scrunch in the detangler/leave-in conditioner after the bath. You will love So Cozy Fruity Delight Detangler (and so will your son). It smells so yummy and removes tangles like magic!