And unlike years past, when stick-straight hair dominated the hallways, curly kids will have plenty of company this year. The look is Bohemian, and texture is hot.
After a summer of sun, salt and chlorine, it's time to get their hair back into back-to-school shape, said Canadian stylist Ilona Reece, who launched Taria Curlz, a video about curly kid haircare.
That means conditioning the hair with a product for very dry hair. She recommends applying an ample amount of conditioning treatment or a moisturizing conditioner, starting at the ends and working up to the roots. When the hair is saturated, comb the product through the hair with a wide-tooth comb, clip the hair up and place a plastic bag over the hair tightly so the hair is contained. Let the conditioner stay on the hair 30 minutes and then rinse it out. The process should be repeated once a month to keep the hair moisturized.
A spray bottle can be filled with conditioner and water for a quick locker room pick-me-up.
Diane Da Costa likes to apply a light oil like almond or carrot to moisturize texturized hair. She leaves the oil in the hair.
Shampoo no more than once or twice a week, wetting and conditioning the hair on other days. Otherwise, the natural oils can be stripped from the hair.
Lavender is a natural lice deterrent, so parents of young children may want to buy a spray in lavender product such as Devacurl Mist-er Right or Tai Texture.
It may be time for a good haircut. But cutting curly hair can be tricky. And try to find a stylist who has experience cutting curly hair textures.
The younger the child, the shorter the hair, says Lorraine Massey, author of 'Curly Girl' and founder of Devacurl.
Boys are opting for longer looks that accentuate rather than hide their curls, whether it be long ringlets or an afro.
Reece cuts curly hair dry because of the shrinkage factor.
For extremely curly hair, Reece actually flat irons the hair straight with a ceramic flat iron so she can cut the hair evenly.
Da Costa likes simple blunt cuts for straight to wavy or curly long hair. A rounded angle layered cut works well for a textured afro, she said.
Parents should be aware that cutting a young girl's hair too short may harm her self esteem, even if it might look cute to them.
When styling curly hair, the less done to it the better.
Many stylists recommend using a moisturizing detangling spray before styling.
Styling products can help define curls and reduce frizz. There are several styling products available specifically for curly kids by such companies as Curlisto, Curls and Ouidad. Adult styling products can also work well in children's hair as long as they're not too heavy and sticky.
Pomades and curl revitalizers can be kept in the locker to zap frizz and redefine curls throughout the day. Christo of Christo Fifth Avenue suggests putting a a tiny dab of pomade in your hand, rubbing it between your palms and pulling the hair back as if you're making a ponytail. Then let it loose.
Hair accessories can create easy, fun looks that can help pull the hair back from the face. That can include everything from bobby pins to raffia to headbands.
Get creative. Instead of one ponytail, maybe put two in the back. Try one side up and other down. But when pulling the hair back, make sure it's not pulled too tight because it can cause hair loss.
For a fun curly style, Da Costa recommends apply a styling cream like her Tai-Texture TwistCreme, taking large sections and creating two-strand twists all over the head. Let it dry and separate the curls for a controlled look that should last as long as four days. Cover the hair at night with a satin bonnet to protect the curls.
For curls that have gone astray, wrap the hair around your finger, hold it there for 10 seconds and pinch it.
The look for high schoolers is a soft, tousled and textured, says Cutler -- loose updos, messy ponytails. If you want to pull it back, pull it back in a loose way.
Shampoos Curlisto Kids Tearless Shampoo
Ouidad KRLY No Time For Tears Shampoo
Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo Bar
Suave For Kids 2-in-1 ShampooConditioners
Ouidad KRLY No More Knots Conditioner
Leave-in-Conditioners and Detanglers
Bumble & Bumble Leave-in
Redken UV Rescue Daily Sun Milk
Johnson's No More Tangles
Ouidad Pump & Go Spray Gel