The sooner you get a handle on how to manage curly hair without losing your mind, the happier and healthier you, your child, and their hair is going to be. I reached out to some curly haired moms to share some of their advice/tips on how they care for their child's curly hair and some of the biggest challenges they face as a mom to hopefully help other mamas out there caring for their curly kids hair a lot less stressful.
Our first mom to share her tips is Amanda @mandapanda_xo
Share the biggest challenges you as a mom face and top tips on caring for your baby's curly hair:
The biggest challenge I think I have faced so far as a mom has been balancing work and mommy life. I'm sure many can relate to me when I say sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day, and you wish you had more time with your child. However, I try to remind myself that I do it ALL for her.
The greatest tips I have for caring for curly babies hair is keep it moisturized and make sure to deal with any bad tangles right away. Keeping their hair moisturized will help keep tangles to a minimum in the first place, especially because they're so active and, of course, not worrying about keeping their hair cute for days lol. If they do get tangles easily like my Bella does because her curls love to "hug," then dealing with those tangles right away (especially since I don't wash her hair everyday), make wash day much easier for us.
Image Source: mandapanda_xo
Recommended products and techniques?
My holy grail products for her right now are the Just for Me Curl Peace line. I love every single product from this line, and they smell so good. Her curls spring up so well when I use their Wonder spray and slime styler. Also, Righteous Roots Pre-poo is a staple product for us, and I've been using it on her since she was a newborn with cradle cap! Therefore this works great for cradle cap and tangles.
Do you prefer to share products or use a "kids line" on the kids?
I don't mind sharing maybe a leave-in or cream that can work for us both, but I am very cautious of the ingredients it may contain. For example, Honey Baby naturals leave-in has worked great for us as it's a family-friendly hair care line, as well as Bounce Curl Clump & Define Cream, (making sure to use a very small amount on her hair because it is quite potent.)
Cute and easy hairstyles to try?
I try to keep it super simple with her hair right now. I love doing two little ponytails or puffs on her hair, especially when I know we're just going out shopping or to run errands together.
Next, we have Eva's mom, Ericka @peytonspace. Here's what she had to say.
Having a child with thick, long curly natural hair can have its challenges. My biggest challenge with my daughter Eva's hair was how to detangle without the tears. The more her hair grew, the harder it was to detangle.
I had to find a technique and a pain-free way that worked for us both. Of course, with trial and error, I found what works. I use the Righteous Roots pre-poo and the EZ detangling brush (which is amazing for this process), and in less than 15 minutes, her detangled free hair is ready for wash day. The products I use on her hair is the Shea Moisture Low Porosity line. I found that this works very well with her hair. Eva's hair is protein sensitive, so when I found out about this line, I was elated. I also use Righteous Roots Oils to seal in the moisture and for scalp massages every other night.
Eva and I have the same porosity and use the same products. I remember using the Shea Moisture kids line and Curly Kids when she was about 2 years old. Those products helped a lot because they did keep her hair at that time healthy and strong. As she got older, her texture changed, so the products had to change. I learned a lot through the natural hair community, and I'm so glad there is a platform for us natural curlies to help and guide each other.
Our go-to style is the two-strand twist. Eva finds that it's quick and easy to do, especially on wash day. Other styles we adore are simple box braids, single high bun, two ponytail buns, fro out, or a mega puff. Eva will tell you in a heartbeat that her hair is magical because there are so many different styles she can choose from.
Our top wash day hair essentials are: Righteous Roots pre-poo, EZ detangling brush, plastic cap, and our heated thermal cap if we do any deep conditioning. To sleep, Eva wears her eboni curls bonnet that she absolutely adores and helps keep the moisture in her hair while she sleeps. We have come such a long way with hair care routines/techniques. I give thanks to the natural hair community, which I find to be supportive and helpful in so many ways. I'm grateful for them all.
Next, we have Megan @wavycurlychronicles. Here's how she takes care of her two beautiful girls.
The biggest challenge I've faced with having curly kids is learning the needs of their hair texture because they are quite different from mine. In the beginning, I made the mistake of using the same products and techniques on myself and them, without fully understanding how different textures have different needs. A friend with similar hair as my daughters reached out and helped me modify their hair care regimen.
My biggest tip to any parent with curly kids is to take them to a curly hair specialist who specializes in their texture. After getting advice from my friend, I found a hair stylist whose portfolio was full of transformations with similar textures to my oldest daughter. I carefully watched her wash and style my daughter's hair, even videotaped some of it for reference. This was a total game changer for me in properly caring for her hair.
While I've used some great kid-friendly lines on my children - Moptop kids line and Kinder Curls line by Curlkeeper – I've also used some of my own personal favorite lines on them: Jessicurl and Bouncecurl. Just as I try to keep my own regimen quite simple, I also keep their lineup simple. I typically do not layer products, usually just a moisturizing leave-in or cream followed by a gel to seal in the moisture and hold the curls. Our go-to combo is Bouncecurl Clump and Define Cream, followed by Kinky Curly Curling Custard.
Both girls prefer to wear their hair up for school and sports, so we use the Puff Cuff to keep their hair up, which prevents breakage and excessive pulling on the hair/scalp. My youngest sometimes requests braids or pigtails, and it's important to be mindful that pulling the hair too tight can cause breakage and/or damage to the hair line. Gentleness is key! If they wear their hair down, I style it by sectioning their hair and raking in their leave in or cream and Gel. I keep a spray bottle with water handy to keep the hair saturated as we go, which helps prevent frizz and keeps the hair hydrated.
Wash day essentials for my kids include Righteous Roots Pre Poo (helps with detangling and conditioning), a gentle shampoo and moisturizing conditioner, flexi brush for easy detangling, a tee-shirt towel, hooded dryer, and puff cuff.
Up next is Vivian @naomanerette.
One of my biggest challenges with my curly lil one is the all dreading "Bed Head." I, too, had the same issue as I lived to sleep with my hair free at night in an attempt to look like a never-ending snack for the hubby (haha) but short-lived due to the dry and brittle nest that formed throughout the night.
My lil one seems to suffer the same issue... of course not for the same reason. I've tried the satin caps, but they always end up on the other side of her crib by morning. Twisting her hair at night works, but sometimes I'm just too tired, and she's not always cooperating. So the next step is the Satin sheet! Thanks to my sister's suggestion... why didn't I think of that?!?
I like to use Righteous Roots Oils along with Camille Rose Sweet Pudding in her hair. Righteous Roots really helps to detangle and contribute to her hair growth. Parting and Twisting her hair works wonders and keeps her curl pattern strong.
I love to let her curls shine through and just add a cute bow or head wrap after defining her curls with the Camille rose sweet pudding. I also love doing several twists with different colored neon rubber bands.
On wash days, I have Shea moisture oat milk and rice water shampoo, and of course, I have my Righteous Roots handy to help with detangling. I usually wash her hair every three to four days. And finish off with The Mane Choice leave in. It's light, and I find it not as greasy as most products I've used.
Last, but not least we have Jillian @curly_boymason
I have a curly son named Mason, who is 7 years old. Having a boy with curly hair, I have had to overcome two of the biggest challenges. The first one was having to re-teach myself the correct way to care for curls because I grew up using many products that were not natural friendly, and my hair was always dry, crunchy (from Gel), and had little curl definition. The second challenge was teaching Mason that hair had no gender. Being bullied at the age of 4- 5 and having limited boy-friendly hair accessories definitely made it harder for him to embrace his hair.
Some of my top tips on caring for Mason's hair was consistency, patience, and to involve him in the process of caring for his hair regardless of his age. Teaching him about products, how to wash and style his hair, and what his hair should feel like when using these products, really went a long way for me. Teachers would ask Mason, "what products does your mom use on your hair," and he would be able to respond and tell them, lol!
When he was 2 years old, I started off using kids line hair products, but as the texture of his hair started to change, they no longer worked for him. So at age 3, I went straight to experimenting with non-kid lines.
Some products that I use on Mason's hair and would recommend are a combo of Cantu Leave-in conditioner with Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. And one of our new favorites is Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Line. I wash his hair every 4 days, but during the summer, I wash and deep condition more often because he sweats or goes in the pool. When styling his hair, I make sure to part it into sections, and his hair must be WET! After applying the product, I use a brush to give his curls a more defining look. And deep conditioning his hair AT LEAST ONCE every other week is one of the most important tips that I can share with anyone.
The hairstyles we usually go for loose and curly aka Crazy Hair (which he likes to call it), two braids, bun, and sometimes half up and half down. Even though we are limited (very limited) with the designs and colors for boys on bonnets, Mason still rocks out his pink leopard print bonnet, which he loves to wear to sleep. We also use neon color scrunchies, black headbands, Shower caps with silk linings, and our favorite curl essential is our mist spray bottle (it has a continuous spray of water).
What are your favorite tips and tricks for your kid's hair? Share them with us in the comments!