7 Bad Habits That Damage Your Child’s Natural Hair
Regardless of how many videos you watch and natural hair products you buy, it will all be in vain if you still have bad hair habits. It’s like going to the gym and working out for 2 hours, coming home and eating 2 Big Macs, a super sized fry and washing it all down with a large Pepsi and a sundae for dessert. You have to be all in with your child’s natural hair journey. If you aren’t, your child’s hair will likely suffer.
Don’t beat yourself up over it, though. Most parents don’t realize that these habits are so damaging to the hair.
Excessive Washing and Shampooing
Washing or shampooing your child’s hair frequently strips all of the moisture from the hair. Since our natural curls and coils don’t retain moisture as long as other hair textures, it’s best that you limit washing your child’s hair to once every 2 weeks or longer if possible. Some parents eliminate washing wish shampoos entirely and prefer to rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar or co-wash. If you prefer to wash your child’s hair with shampoo, use a moisturizing shampoo that is sulfate-free.
Rushing Through the Detangling Process
We get it. Your child has a head full of gorgeous locs. Wash day has been an all day event and you really just want to get this process finished. All of your hard work will definitely be in vain if you take short cuts during the detangling process. Ripping through the hair with the wrong tools will wreck havoc on their hair and make all of your hard work be in vain. This results in excessive hair breakage, pressure on the hair shaft, hair loss and split ends. Always comb your child’s hair gently, preferably with a wooden wide-toothed comb. It is recommended that you detangle the hair while it is soaking wet and loaded with conditioner. Any conditioner will work, but since you have to use a lot, use a cheap conditioner with a lot a slip.
Not Applying the Right Products
With so many natural hair products on the market, it is hard to determine what will and will not work for your child’s hair. What may work for your favorite natural hair blogger may not work for you. The best way to determine what products to use on those curls is by trial and error. The products that you use, along with the order in which you apply them, matters. If you are just starting their natural hair journey, try the LOC Method and take it from there.
Overlooking Damaged Ends
A lot of naturalistas hang on to straggly ends for the sake of retaining length. Don’t! It makes the hair look unhealthy and split ends will continue to split if they aren’t cut off. It may be hard to let go of those long strands but you must if you want your little curly cutie’s hair to be healthy and strong. If you feel comfortable trimming your little one’s ends then by all means. If not, contact your local natural hair stylist for them to trim it for you. Trust us, it will grow back and it will look better than ever.
Using Too Much Heat
There is absolutely nothing wrong with straightening your child’s hair when done properly and sparingly. While it’s best that hair straightening be left to natural hair stylists, you can safely straighten your little one’s as long as you are careful when doing it. Banding is the preferred method to straighten the hair because it doesn’t require heat. If you would rather blow dry the hair, do so on the lowest heat setting and apply a heat protectant to it first. Applying a heat protectant reduces the risk of permanent heat damage to the hair and helps keep those precious curls and coils in tact.
Not Protecting Their Hair at Night
When your child goes to sleep without sleeping on a satin pillowcase or without wearing a satin bonnet or sleep cap to bed, you can be certain that they will wake up with dry, frizzy hair. Investing in a quality satin night cap is a must.
Overusing Hair Accessories
Hair accessories for little girls are perfect for dressing up an up-do or adding a pop of color to a wash and go. The only problem with using some of these accessories is potential damage and strain that these can put on the hair. Rubber bands are very damaging to the hair and can cut into the hair causing it to split and break. Elastic hair ties, when tied to tight to the hair, tug at the edges of the hair pulling it out. If you must use rubber bands, soak them in olive or coconut oil first.
Whether you are guilty of 1 or 7 of these bad habits, the great thing about it is that you can stop them today! You know that the other great thing is? It’s hair and it will grow back! If you decided to cut all of your child’s hair off (not recommended) and start over, it will still grow back.
Which of these bad habits are you guilty of?
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