Make your curly haired kiddo's wash day and hair care process enjoyable ones!
photo courtesy of @lucas_and_his_adventures / Instagram

One of the reasons I cannot wait to have a curly tot of my own one day is so I can apply all of the amazing hair lessons I learned over the years to their hair. Oftentimes I am asked by peers and on social media for advice about caring for their baby’s naturally curly hair, so below I have outlined a set of important points to follow when starting this journey with your own tot.

Understand the science of your child's hair

As most of us already know, baby's hair and skin are more sensitive than ours and is still developing when in the early stages. It is essential that you are careful to prevent irritation by using all-natural, mild, and baby-friendly lines. Here are a few of our favorite lines gentle enough for kids.

What to watch out for

When buying cleansing products for your baby make sure you take note of the pH level. Essentially, it should be balanced at 4.5 to 6 to prevent excessive curl tangling and stinging of the eyes.

No matter how difficult it may be to care for your tot's hair, do not relax or chemically alter it. Use this journey to take a closer look at the chemicals that are used in everyday hair and bath products, as well as the effects they may have on your child's overall health in the long run.

Learn to protect their curls

When it comes to curly baby hair, just like ours, it is prone to dryness and breakage. To combat this, cleanse their curls weekly with a mild shampoo, moisturizing and sealing with a lightweight oil. If you find your tot's scalp is unusually dry, try gently massaging coconut oil into it and using a soft bristle brush to eliminate the flakes. Then, follow-up with your usual hair wash routine.

Detangling is something you will have to be ever so gently with when it comes to your baby's hair. Soften your product by placing it into a bowl of hot (but not scorching) water. Take it out after a few minutes and apply a bit of oil or moisturizer and use your fingers to gently detangle. If needed, use a wide tooth comb but be extra careful to not yank on their roots.

Go the extra mile by pampering your curly tot with hair-friendly 'accessories' that, depending on their age, they can help pick out, like a satin pillowcase, a colorful shower cap and a fun bonnet to sleep in.

Know which styles to try--and which to stay away from

Let your baby’s hair stay natural and as healthy as possible by avoiding creating tight styles or braids in their early stages, as you do not want to interrupt the growth of their hair by promoting breakage.

Let your tot's curly hair breathe and do its own thing. During play time, pull it into a loose ponytail so that it is out of the way and does not tangle up or get dirty outside. Once he or she is a bit older, you can play around with other braided styles. Jazz up your child’s natural fro with cute hair accessories such as colorful barrettes, headbands, and ponytail holders.

Of course, make it fun!

Last but definitely not least, make wash day fun. The amazing thing about the world we live in today is that there are so many tools available with an aim at our kids and their hair care, including creative children’s reading and coloring books, products, and accessories to help make the process an enjoyable--and efficient--one as possible.

Make washday something they will look forward to once a week. Pamper your curly tot, put on a fun movie and spend some quality time with them during the process. Like when you were a curly kiddo, let this be a bonding experience between mommy and baby.

What are your favorite products to use on your curly tot?