In just a few weeks, you can start looking forward to seeing your little ones coming home from a long school day. They’ll be busy playing with new friends, learning new skills, running in the playground, and, unfortunately, coming home with a few knots and snarls in their curls. Some of your kids may even be coming off the bus with some puffy ‘dos, something you did not send them to school with.

When it comes to kids, tangled hair is just a fact of life. Luckily, with the right tools and know-how, these tangled situations can be easily avoided and repaired.

Tackling Tangled Hair

They look nice now, but recess is only an hour away!

Always have a detangling product on hand for your little curly ones. There are lots of them out there, so it’s important to find something that nourishes your child’s hair as it repairs. Some leave-in conditioners can also be used as detangling products.

Have a wide-toothed comb at home so you can get the knots and tangles out. Detangling combs help control knots and snarls, with a lot less tears. It’s a good idea to keep one in your tub as part of your child’s nighttime hair cleaning routine, too.

  1. You can detangle hair wet or dry, but be sure you dampen the hair with the detangling product before you attempt detangling dry curls. If your child arrives home from school or a play date with tangles and knots, use the detangling product and some gentle motions of the wide-toothed comb to get the knots out while the hair is dry. Don’t wait until it’s bath time to work out the knots, they may only get worse as the afternoon and evening progress.
  2. If your child want to help,  stand in front of a mirror and show her how you’re helping care for her curls. Kids love to exercise their independence, so why not teach them the tricks of the trade, too?
  3. Make preventing tangled hair part of your nighttime routine once you’ve dealt with emergency tangles and knots. Shampoo hair by working hands through the curls, and avoid building up a big lather. Use your fingers like a comb to shampoo and condition, then use a wide-toothed comb to distribute the conditioning product through her hair.
  4. Use a leave-in for thicker curls to help avoid knots and tangled hair. Leave-in conditioners such as Kinky Curly Tiny Twists or Blended Cutie Soft Curls and Swirls can be a key step in keeping little curls looking their best and may help avoid the possible “poof” effect too.
  5. For little curls with less bulk or finer strands, a light leave-in, or even a combo of water and some conditioner, can be helpful in avoiding tangled, frizzy curls.
  6. Tell your little ones not to run their fingers through their hair too much either – and hope they’ll actually listen! Let them know that fingers in the hair could lead to more combing sessions and extra bath times, both of which lead to less play time – it’s true!
  7. For kids more prone to tangled hair, you may want to put your child’s curls in a loose pony tail, or even braid them at night. If your child is active during the day, and still gets lots of tangles, braids and pony tails can be good for those times, as well.

Expert Question & Answer Session

Can’t figure out how to keep her braids in? Need more detangling tips? Cozy Friedman has your answers. 

Final thoughts

Show your child how to make a quick ponytail, or even a braid, so they can be a part of the process, too. Remember, you’re teaching them the skills they’ll greatly appreciate one day, and how to love and care for their natural hair.

Oh, and if you find the miracle secret to keeping their hands out of their hair, please share!



NaturallyCurly has been on a mission to educate, empower, entertain and inspire women to have healthy discussions about hair and beauty since 1998. We explore everything from self-acceptance to finding the best hair care products for all textures.

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