PHOTO COURTESY OF YOLANDA RENEE
With a huge influx of women accepting the natural aesthetic of their hair, the prospect of learning about products, your hair’s specific needs, and building a regimen can be challenging. To a degree, it can be even more challenging for parents, especially if your child’s hair is a different texture than yours (in curl pattern, porosity, density, or width). I completely understand how overwhelming this can be. One of our community members and mother Krissyakron34 asked for tips on styling her daughter's 4c hair on Curly Q&A, and we've received similar questions from lots of our curly moms.  Most parents do not opt for a wash and go with children due to playing, wild sleeping, and potential handling from other children. If you're a new mom in this boat, here are a few ways you can care for your kiddo's hair.

Question

Hi I'm new to this I want to get my 3 yr old's hair straight she has 4c hair.

Answer

Many mothers (and fathers) resort to straightening their child’s hair out of frustration but we wanted to give you a few more options. When it comes to children, especially in early childhood, it is important that the focus be on health rather than styling. Too much manipulation at a young age can potentially cause permanent damage and trauma to the scalp, which can then lead to emotional trauma as the child grows up. Every curl pattern can achieve every style, it is just a matter of using the proper technique and products. The first place to start is moisture. 

Moisture

When your hair is not in a healthy condition or properly moisturized, it can be extremely challenging to care for and potentially lead to damage. The first step to having healthy hair is creating a moisture-rich regimen. I suggest finding a gentle shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer for her hair. Something that is important to consider when selecting a products is your child's hair porosity.

Although there are plenty of parents who care for their child’s hair without knowing the porosity, it helps to have that knowledge if and when you do trial and error with various products. Due to the nature of non-straight hair, the curlier or coilier the texture, the more it tends to be naturally more porous due to the bends and curves of the individual strands. Having a higher porosity will require thicker products to maintain moisture while having a lower porosity benefits from lighter products. If you start off with a light moisturizer and her hair still appears to be dry, then try thicker products. I suggest silicone-free, natural products like SheaMoisture Mango & Carrot Extra Nourishing Shampoo, SheaMoisture Mango and Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Conditioner, and SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Curling Butter Cream.

Here are more Kids Hair Products.

Detangling and Tender Headedness

Detangling is essential to preventing breakage and reduce the amount of snarls, especially for coily hair. In the event that your daughter is tender-headed, it is important to detangle the hair in small section on damp or wet hair. You want to make sure you are starting from the ends with a wide tooth comb and working your way to the roots. Purchasing a conditioner, detangler, or leave-in conditioner with a lot of slip like SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Extra-Moisturizing Detangler will definitely help with this process. If the comb is not gentle enough, then consider finger combing with a conditioner, water, and oil mixture. This mix will assure that the hair is well lubricated and easier to detangle with less pulling. 

Styling Versatility

If you would like your daughter to wear a wash and go, 4c hair vloggers hair like Traeh can provide direction. If playing, wild sleeping, and potential handling from other children have ruled out wash and gos for you, then another great style for children is two-strand twists. This is a low maintenance style that will keep her hair moisturized. If you prefer a different style then Yolanda Renee is a great mommy vlogger to follow because her daughter Skylar has 4c hair too.

Check out this PonyHawk Style she achieves on Skylar’s hair!

You can also check out the Top 30 4b/4c vloggers list that we compiled to better help you find information on how to care and style your child’s hair.

Moms, do you have any tips for caring for 4c coily kiddos?