I am obsessed with Sonny’s hair. Cutest curls in the world. I hope they NEVER go away. A lot of you are always asking me how I manage them. When he had extremely long hair it wasn’t easy. He used to hate having his hair washed because it would get SO tangly. His hair is much shorter now and thankfully he doesn’t mind having it detangled. He gets a head massage! Who doesn’t love that? I hope he grows up to love his hair as much as I do.
I was recently connected with Lorraine Massey, a pioneer in the booming Curly Girl movement. She created the CG Method, which has since been adopted by hundreds of stylists worldwide. Lorraine is the sole owner of Spiral (x,y,z), a multi-disciplined salon, and founder of CurlyWorld, a line of hair care products. Lorraine spends her days teaching the Curl by Curl method to stylists worldwide. Curly Kids is her third book, following bestsellers Curly Girl: The Handbook and Silver Hair: A Handbook with Michele Bender. For more information visit Lorraine Massey at curlyworld.com.
Below you will find amazing tips from Lorraine for how to take care of your kids’ curly hair!
Teaching Your Curly, Coily, Wavy Kids—From Infants to Teens—How to Love the Hair They Were Born With by Lorraine Massey
Many adults with curly hair have unpleasant childhood memories. They talk about straight-haired moms who didn’t know how to maintain their curls and painfully brushed their “knotty” strands—or cut them off completely. Others were teased for having a halo of frizz or endlessly longed for a friend’s silky, straight strands and smooth, swinging ponytail. The good news is that today, natural textures are far more accepted than they used to be and not seen as something to be fixed, tamed, or hidden.
Curly Kids: The Handbook: How to Care for Your Child’s Glorious Hair focuses on caring for your child’s hair at each age and stage—from infancy to young adult—and the nuances of each one. Why is this important? Of course, it will make your child’s hair healthier than ever and make it look its best, but teaching proper care from a young age is also about empowering your child because how they feel about their hair is more than skin deep. Helping kids cultivate a positive self-image is crucial, but not always easy when curls, waves, and ringlets can be viewed as something to hide or cover-up. Curly Kids is a book about loving the hair you were born with, but this is just a metaphor for loving all that we are and all that we have from a young age. And what could be better than that? Here are some top tips for curly hair care from birth to teens:
- Use only sulfate-free cleansers and conditioner on your child’s hair. At first, you may miss seeing frothy, foamy lather as you get with sulfate-filled products, but lather doesn’t do anything for hair fibers except cause dryness (which is bad for all hair types but especially curly hair which tends to be drier), tangles, and a matted feeling.
- The amount of conditioner you use depends on the length and thickness of your child’s hair and takes some trial and error to determine. Generally, the tighter or drier the curl, the more conditioner you need to properly hydrate and detangle. Often, the amount used will change as your child’s hair becomes healthier.
- With conditioner in the hair, gently massage the scalp from the crown of the head to the nape of the neck. Be firm but gentle. Try not to over-whirl your child’s hair around their head, because too much motion can cause frizz, knots, and tangles.
- Avoid forcefully pulling at knots and tangles. Instead, cover the knot with conditioner and gently use two hands to untangle it.
- Rinse your child’s hair with a plastic cup, pail, ladle, or watering can or by cupping your hands together and putting them under the running faucet. Deciding whether to rinse out all the conditioner or just some of it also takes some trial and error to see how the hair responds best. You can rinse out most or all of it if your child has looser curls or waves. For coarser, tighter curls, leave in more conditioner, because those curls tend to be drier and more frizz-prone. Some people with really tight curls may not need to rinse at all.
- Gently use your hands to squeeze small sections of your child’s hair in an upward motion toward the scalp. You can have your child tilt their head to one side and then the other or have them bend over at the waist.
- When your child gets out of the bath or shower, use a paper towel, an old T-shirt, or multipurpose towels, which you can find at Home Depot, office supply, or other big-box stores, to gently squeeze small sections of the hair upward toward the scalp. This will remove excess water and encourage each curl’s natural shape. A traditional terry-cloth towel has fibers that can ruffle the hair’s cuticle, causing frizz and disturbing each curl’s natural shape.
- Try not to touch your child’s curls as they dry and tell your child not to touch them either. Also be mindful when dressing your child, because pulling clothing on and off over the head can cause strands to disperse and frizz.
- Curly Kids also offers tips and tricks for curly hair when it comes to sports and school since the last thing our kids should be worrying about is hair when they’re on the field or trying to learn.
This Daily CG Detangling Spritz is great for everyday use on knots, matted hair, or to spot cleanse and refresh on days you don’t want to fully cleanse your child’s hair.
- 2 cups of boiled water
- 5 drops of lavender, rose, rosemary, or clary sage essential oil (optional)
- ½ cup silicone-free conditioner
- Combine all ingredients in a large jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Shake vigorously until it looks milky. If the solution separates, the conditioner may have silicone, oils, or butters in it. That isn’t ideal, but if you shake it well before each spritz, it’ll be okay.
- Pour into spray bottles.
To refresh hair on days you don’t want to cleanse:
- Spritz evenly all over the hair so it’s lightly damp not soaked.
- Use fingers to gently comb through hair.
- Take small sections of hair in your hand and gently scrunch up toward the scalp.
- Allow hair to air dry.
To detangle a knot or two:
- Isolate the knot and spritz the WhatKnot spray into it.
- As the knot absorbs the milky conditioner, gently begin to pry open and separate the hair strands, releasing the knots.
- You may need to spritz several times to soften the strands before finger-combing the knot out. Scrunch up and move on to any remaining areas.