What to do with hair that's straight on top but has loose curls on bottom?
My 12 year old step-daughter has curly hair but no idea what to do with it. She's never be taught anything about her hair. I just taught her how to make a ponytail but that's it. I know zero about curly hair. Her hair is always tangled into rats nests in the back, and she doesn't like her hair getting pulled so she just leaves it. What kind of product should she be using to care for her curls instead of just ignoring them?
It sounds like she definitely needs to start using more conditioner if its always getting tangled up. With that kind of loose curl, start by putting a generous amount in her hair only about ear level and down and then just a little on the top so that it doesn't end up getting greasy. Add a bit of nice leave-in conditioner after the shower if it still tends to be dry and then rake and scrunch in some curl cream or gel that you like and hopefully that will help!
I agree with kait22 and would suggest these Curly Girl Method (CG) friendly products: Tresemme Naturals or (un)done conditioner. Kinky Curly Knot Today or Giovanni Direct leave-in conditioner. Herbal Essence Totally Twisted gel or Tresemme Extra Firm Hold gel (it's actually pretty light). Finding a sulfate free shampoo also helps b/c it doesn't strip the moisture from the hair that curly hair needs! Good on you for being a good step-mom ;)