Can’t Get to the Salon? Here’s How to Care for Your Child’s Natural Hair at Home

Are you dreading the thought of managing your squirming child’s hair? Here’s how to make your child’s hair wash day easier!
Caring for your child’s natural hair is one of life’s most precious blessings. The time you and your children spend together bonding while you detangle, twist, and style their hair will be something you will all remember with deep affection. (Even if they’re currently less than enthusiastic about sitting still!)

If you aren’t used to caring for natural hair on your own but want to start building a manageable routine, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

DO YOUR BEST TO MAKE HAIR CARE FUN!
Very, very few young children look forward to having their hair combed, washed, and styled. Some might even start fussing or throwing temper tantrums rather than submit to the ritual. Let your little one spend time with a tablet or playing a game on her smartphone. If electronic devices aren’t an option, just watching TV can be enough to distract them if they start fidgeting.

You can also let your kids select their own styles and accessories so that they feel empowered to control and celebrate their own appearance.

DETANGLE CAREFULLY.
The easier the detangling session, the faster and more pleasant the whole routine will be. Invest in a wide-tooth comb and detangling brush, as well as detangling spray or gel before tackling a tough job.

You can make sure to minimize pain and tears by detangling in small sections. If you’re dealing with lots of really stubborn knots, saturate the sections with the detangling product of your choice. Use your fingers at first to separate the strands before you start using any tools (brush or comb). Once you’ve loosened the knots with your fingers, start combing the hair gently at the ends, moving up to the roots as it becomes easier to slide the comb or brush through the length of hair. Once the section has been detangled thoroughly, either braid or twist that section and move to the next.

DETANGLE FIRST – WASH SECOND.
After you’ve thoroughly detangled your child’s hair, it’s time to wash. You can use a shampoo or cleansing conditioner, depending upon your preference (if you have an active child, a shampoo will clean her scalp more effectively than a cleansing conditioner). You can wash the hair in the sections you created during the detangling session to make the process easier.

Concentrate on the scalp, using the pads of your fingers to massage the cleansing product thoroughly to dislodge any dirt and buildup. After approximately one minute of massaging the scalp, rinse the section, allowing the water to carry the cleanser down the length of the hair. Repeat on the remaining sections.

APPLY CONDITIONER.
You can deep condition or not as you choose. (Kids aren’t usually thrilled about putting on a plastic cap for 15 minutes and rinsing again, so skipping the deep conditioning step may spare you a struggle.) For curly-haired kids, a leave-in conditioner is essential. If your child’s hair is very tightly curled or coiled, a thick leave-in conditioner will make managing and styling easier.

Comb through leave-in conditioner from root to tip (or follow the instructions the product provides) and style as you please. Styling the hair in twists or braids is the easiest option, because it can be done when the hair is wet and – weather permitting – can be allowed to air dry while your child goes about her normal activities.

While the hair should be washed weekly, your pre-wash detangling sessions will be significantly easier if you keep your child’s hair in braids or twists throughout the week.

AK Hair & Healing specializes in natural hair care and maintenance. To learn more about our line of products, services, and philosophy, please visit our information page.

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