Reader Q & A
Reader Q&A: I need help with my 4 year old’s hair
We constantly get questions from concerned parents wanting to know how to best care for their child’s natural hair. While we can provide answers that we hope will help, there is power and strength in numbers. We will pose reader questions to our @naturalhairkids Instagram family and post answers in these Q&A sessions. Feel free to also add your thoughts in the comments!
My soon to be 4 year old is natural and I have been relaxed all my life. I’ve tried different products to manage her hair but I’m not sure that they’re the best nor that they are working. I see things like sealing and locking in moisture, of course deep conditioning but I’m never sure if what I’m doing is right. Also I’m concerned that by combining her texture of hair daily it is damaging it.
Her hair is very soft but the curl is really tight. It also gets dry quickly and the edges are not the same length as the rest of the hair.
My current regimen is to wash one time a week. Right now I’m using Naturals shampoo and conditioner. It’s not the best but it’s better then the Kinky Curly wash I was using which seemed to make her hair extremely dry. I use to use Kinky Curly as a leave in conditioner but it is becoming much more difficult to find. Now I’m using Cantu leave in but I mix it with some olive juice, coconut oil and almond oil. I use this once a week and it helps with the detangling. I twist it and she sleeps with it like that. Daily I use the Cantu moisturizing cream and coconut oil.
I’m wondering if I’m hurting rather than harming her hair though especially with the detangling process. I sometimes get it twisted all over and that lasts about 3 weeks so I don’t have to keep combing it but how do I clean the scalp in that time? Usually I just oil it with the coconut oil.
To summarize, our Instagram family suggested that our reader:
- Use low manipulation protective styles so that the hair isn’t constantly being changed.
- Try not to comb and detangle the hair daily. If you must detangle, finger detangle and do that as little as possible. The less you manipulate the hair, the more length you will retain.
- Increase the time between washes. Washing once a week can really dry out the hair.
- Instead of washing with shampoo, alternate between washing a shampoo with oils in it and cowashing with a conditioner.
- Rinse the hair with water or aloe vera juice in order to reactivate the product instead of adding more product and causing product build up.
- Diet also plays a part in hair health. Make sure she is drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables.
Instagram Community Responses
mycandishoppe – You sound like you’re doing a GREAT job Mom… Don’t be so hard on yourself!! What makes you think what you’re doing is wrong?? Is her hair breaking off? Does it seem damaged? With my girls, I find less is more!! So I try to go with styles that require as little manipulation as possible. Even if I do ponytails… I may brush up the sides and retighten the barrette but I won’t necessarily comb through the actual hair daily. But it sounds like you’re doing AOK
jujusworldd – For my 2 year old I use Sheamoisture shampoo and cantu conditioner. I either use ‘As I am leave in’ or ‘cantu leave in’ but personally I like cantu better. In the morning I use a spray bottle to wet it a little and than moisterize it with ‘Cantu moisterizer’. Also I have a spray bottle with water and olive oil, i sometimes use that during the day to keep it from going dry.
curlygirl__amaya – Only thing I would watch is the weekly washing. It can he drying depending on what you’re using. Try alternating between washing and cowashing. Instead of adding more products throughout the week, see if water or aloe versa juice will re activate the product already in her hair. That will cause less buildup which will cut down on the frequent washes.
oh…and yes you can wash her twists! I find and its easier to wash braids though. Via @maczgurlz i learned to use an applicator bottle with diluted shampoo for easy access to the scalp. Apply it to the scalp only, gentle loosen any buildup, then rinse the length. Moisturize and band the twists to stretch it while it dries. I wish I could see her hair lol..
naturaz_hair – Hello! It sounds like you really do take great care of your daughters hair:) Most important is that you’re steering clear of chemicals at this early age:). Re combing: you don’t need to comb every day. When you do, if necessary, use your fingers as much as possible to detangle. The less you manipulate it, the less it will break and the more length you’ll see. You don’t always have to comb her hair to style it. Curly, coily hair is naturally dry because oils from the scalp don’t travel the full length of hair. It’s great that you use oils on her hair. But remember oils alone may not lock on moisture especially for a longer period of time. A product with humectant will probably help with moisture retention. You may want to use conditioner to wash her hair or a sulfate free shampoo with oils in it. It may also not be necessary to wash your daughters hair every week unless it’s necessary. Little kids scalp is sensitive and dries easily so unless she has a lot of build up, don’t worry too much about her scalp especially if she is in twists or braids. She’ll be ok. As you clean her hair and rinse, her scalp will enjoy the benefits. When you twist, braid or pigtail her hair, remember to spare her edges by not tightening the hair. All in all, keep it simple so that her overall experience is positive. That way she’ll get to really love her hair. Keep up the great work and we hope this helps. If you need more info you can check out our blog “Mommy I Love My Hair!” On www.naturaz.com. Or reach out to us on IG or email.
laylaroshay007 – Water…drinking more…and washing with organic cider vinegar & water then style with Shea moisture leave in
kmatt17 – I have found for daily use#Alikaynaturals lemon grass leave in conditioner and hair parfait work great. Just never comb her hair dry (something easy to do when relaxed) If you don’t want to comb everyday, try braids and beads. My daughter is 6 and I wash her hair when she had twist all the time. My new favorite shampoo is #sheamoistureblack castor oil line.
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