If you frequent these here parts, you’ll know that I refer to my 16 month old daughter as “Curly” or “Curly Girly”. Well, that’s because the kid has a mop of hair that literally has a life of it’s own. Literally. Like, it is probably thinking up ways to make me feel as if I am mentally unstable as I type this. Tricks for curly chicks are needed! Aaack!
Okay, okay, I may be sounding a tad bit dramatic. But you see, the thing is, I’ve never been a curly girly, like ever, in my life. In fact, beautiful curls are a luxury to me. I’ve attempted to curl many times. Totally loved it! But totally sucked at it. So how amazing was it that God decided that my one and only (long awaited) girly should have a head full of curls? Well played God, well played.
I don’t mind at all though. I love every single aspect of being my girls mama! And I don’t plan to ever encourage her to straighten her hair or change anything about herself. So it is with this in mind that I decided to take her hair care seriously. If she is meant to have curls, then I will dang well make sure she has the best looking curls this side of the equator! .
Many (self proclaimed) experts have warned me not to make too much of a big deal about my child’s hair. “Don’t put anything on it!” They say. “Leave it as is!” I’ve been warned. All good and well, until you have to leave home and the child looks as if she has been mildly electrocuted. Not a good look. Even for the most beautifulest baby in the world.
“I woke up like this…”
Anyways, so I’ve been Googling and oogling, trying to find the best hair routine for my girl’s mane. I mean, besides for how it looks, I really want her hair to be healthy and well looked after. So here’s some of the stuff I’ve discovered (trial and error) and learnt thus far:
5 Tricks for Curly Chicks
1. Because curly hair does not get dirty as quickly as straight hair does, it wont need to be washed as often. Take this as you will. Because of the coil in your curl, the heads natural oils cannot travel as easily from root to tip. Which may be why curly hair appears to be drier than straight hair.
2. Traditional shampoos are a no-no for curls. This is because most traditional shampoos are too harsh for curly hairs. In a startling discovery I learnt that curlys, all over the world, swear that you can give your hair a quick wash using just conditioner! Conditioner gives dry curls that extra moisture and does a good job at cleaning your hair at the same time. If that seems weird or you think it won’t do a good enough job, rather opt for a co-wash (that’s shamps and condish in 1). Stuff to avoid, when buying hair products for your little curly is: Sulfates, silicones and parabens. Baby shampoos (esp the “no tears” products) are especially drying because of the active ingredients in them.
3. I try my best not to ‘over towel dry’ her hair. Yes there such a thing as over towel drying. Curly hair is more prone to breakage and some hair experts actually claim that using a cotton tshirt is more effective at drying hair, than a towel is! I’ll often loosely wrap a tshirt around her head, while she is being dried, powdered and dressed. It’s amazing how quickly the hair gets dry that way. I sometimes use my hair dryer (on low heat) if it’s really cold and I want her hair dry asap. Fortunately she loves the hairdryer. We make a game out of it where she blows my hair and I do hers. #parenthack
4. Do not brush curly hair. Ever. Ever ever ever. Ever. In fact, curls should only be combed when wet! Remember what I said about curly hair being more prone to breakage? The brush is not your friend. Finger combing is a great way to detangle the hair of little ones. Our routine consists of doing a quick finger comb and then I restructure the curl as best as I can with a 16 month old who refuses to sit still.
5. Natural oils are great for curly hair. On days where I don’t necessarily want to wet my girl’s hair (or apply copius amonts of baby condish) I simply rub some coconut oil on my hands and apply where needed. I mean, she is a baby after all and I will not allow the hair routine to become more important than she is. Other natural oils that you could try is olive oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and the popular argan oil. I prefer coconut oil because its one of the only oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft. (ooh don’t I sound smart). Basically, what this means is that the hair absorbs the oil, it doesn’t just chill there.
So that’s what we’re doing right now and it seems to be working. I’ve heard about a ton of fantastic products that are available for curly girly’s and I am yet to try it, but when I do, best believe you’ll hear about it first!
What type of hair care regime do you have for your little one?