Deciding on a healthy hair regimen for you child in the beginning can be down right scary! Healthy hair doesn’t just happen, it’s the result of proper care and maintenance. But what if you don’t know where to begin when it comes to a routine for your child’s tresses? Don’t worry; a hair regimen doesn’t need to be complex or super expensive, but you should set aside some time to really develop a proper routine to keep your child’s hair as healthy as possible.
Your little one’s basic hair care regimen should incorporate the following:
Shampooing your child’s hair and scalp is a must. Washing their hair once a week or once every two weeks is sufficient if their hair isn’t excessively dirty. Whether you use shampoo or prefer to do a co-wash, shampooing is just what your child’s hair needs to maintain ultimate hair health.
Some great natural hair shampoos for kids are:
- SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
- Bee Mine Moisturizing Shampoo
- SheaMoisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo
- Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo
- Carol’s Daughter CD4Kids Shampoo
- Mixed Chicks Kids Shampoo
- Curlie Cutie Cleansing Cream – Sulfate Free Cleanser
Detangling is the most difficult step in the regimen because it can cause a little bit of discomfort for your child. Gently removing tangles from your child’s hair helps you retain length and helps you dodge those nasty single-strand knots. Here’s how you should tackle those stubborn tangles:
After rinsing out the shampoo, apply a very generous amount of a cheap drug store conditioner on soaking wet hair. You can use your fingers or a tool such as a wide tooth comb or Tangle Teaser, to make certain their hair is tangle-free. Detangle the hair and rinse out the conditioner completely.
Some great conditioners to use for detangling your child’s hair are:
- Cantu Shea Butter Shea Butter Moisturizing Rinse Out Conditioner
- Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
- Aussie Moist Conditioner
- VO5 Strawberries & Cream Conditioner
- Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner
- Garnier Fructis Haircare Hydra Recharge Fortifying Conditioner
Deep Conditioning can be used interchangeably with a regular conditioner. Some people choose to deep condition a few times a week, however, deep conditioning once or twice per month is acceptable as well. Try warming up the conditioner (not too hot though, you don’t want to burn their scalp) and applying it to the hair after it has been washed and conditioned. Let it sit for about 30 mins – 1 hour and rinse. You can also apply the conditioner to their hair and have them sit under a hooded dryer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Some great deep conditioners to use in your child’s hair regimen are:
- Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner
- Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask
- Eden Body Works Jojoba Monoi All Natural Deep Conditioner
- Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque, Raw Shea Butter
- Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Treatment Masque
- Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
- Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner
- Or, you can make your own!
If you are starting to see a lot of damaged split ends, notice hair balls at the ends of the hair, or hear a lot of snapping or popping of hair strands during detangling, then it is time for a trim. Please do not confuse a trim with a hair cut. Trimming only removes about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of hair. Only trim the minimum amount needed to get rid of these damaged ends using shearing scissors or have a professional do it. Check out this hair trimming tutorial from Discovering Natural
Lock in moisture with The LOC Method
Applying a pH-balanced leave-in conditioner is important because it closes the cuticles of your child’s hair shaft. This ensures that all the nutrients and moisture that you added during washing and conditioning don’t escape. It also leaves your child’s hair super soft and alleviates breakage due to dry hair.Some great leave-in conditioners to use in your child’s hair regimen are:
- Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner
- Miss Jessie’s Leave-In Condish
- Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream
- As I Am Leave-In Conditioner
- Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner
Oil helps seal in moisture. Apply a thin layer of oil to your hair to help lock in the moisture. Common oils are coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and Jamaican black castor oil.Some great oils to use in your child’s hair regimen are:
- Tropic Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil
- Jamaican Mango And Lime Black Castor Oil Peppermint (This smells amazing too!
- Spectrum Naturals Organic Coconut Oil (You can find this in Target in the baking section)
- Darcy’s Botanicals Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Conditioning Oil
- Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan & Olive Oil Daily Hair Conditioner
- Spectrum Naturals Organic Refined Coconut Oil
- Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Extra Dark
Apply a butter-based, cream to your hair to seal that moisture in. Shea butter is PERFECT for this step!Some great cremes to use in your child’s hair regimen are:
- SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter infused with Frankincense & Myrrh
- Cantu Shea Butter Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment
- Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter
- Organix Smooth Hydration Argan Oil & Shea Butter Curl Enhancing Yogurt
- Camille Rose Naturals Curlaide Moisture Butter
- Or, you can become a mixologist and try your hand at making your own!
You may find that adding products in the order of Liquid, Oil, Cream does not work. Try other variations of this method and you may be surprised at just how your child’s hair responds to this small change.
Any hairstyle that protects the ends of your hair from breaking and over exposure to harsh elements is considered a protective style. Cornrows, braids, twists and the like are invaluable at growing out your child’s hair. If you are styling hair into a high puff or ponytail, then be mindful of the tension and pulling that these styles put on their edges. Try to switch up the styles to give the edges of the hair a break.
Adding moisture to your child’s hair in between washing is important. Depending on how dry their hair is, moisturizing it only once per day or even 3-4 times a week is perfectly fine. Moisturizing can be as simple as spritzing their hair with some water and applying oil afterwards or using a store-bought moisturizer. Some parents have had a lot of success with putting 2 tbsps of a leave-in conditioner and 1 tablespoon of oil (coconut or black castor oil) in a spray bottle with 1 cup of filtered water and spraying that on the hair when needed.
Some great daily hair moisturizers to use in your child’s daily regimen are:
- Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- Jane Carter Nourish and Shine
- CURLS Whipped Cream
- Miss Jessies Baby Buttercreme
- Africa’s Best Kid’s Organics Hair Nutrition
A Sample Regimen:
Sunday: Shampoo, condition, deep condition, LOC method, protective style
Thursday: Co-wash, moisturize
No regimen is complete without nightly protection! Make sure your little one either wears a satin bonnet to bed or sleeps on a satin pillowcase. This will keep their hair moisturized and also prevent breakage. You can find satin bonnets and pillowcases at The Natural Hair Shop(www.naturalhairshop.com).
Now, all of this knowledge does you no good if you aren’t consistent. With most parents, finding the time to do all of these steps is the main reason why hair doesn’t get the proper TLC that it needs. But, if you want your child’s hair to grow and be healthy, then you will have to MAKE time! Try setting up alerts on your phone to remind you that you need to deep condition their hair, or write them down in a day planner or online time management program. Most parents spend the weekend deep conditioning and protective styling so that there is enough time. Whatever you do, don’t give up! Your child, and their hair, will thank you for it.
What’s your child’s daily, weekly or even monthly hair regimen?
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