Caring for my biracial children's curly hair wasn't always easy. It took a lot of research, trial and error to get their curly hair routine down pat. If you're having a difficult time styling your child's curly hair, consider these 7 helpful tips to maintaining healthy curls.
1. Water is a curly kid's best friend.
We've always been taught that the body is mostly made up of water. But did you also know that water is great for hydrating curly hair? Everyday I add water to my kids' ringlets to moisturize and detangle knots. This is an important step to breathe life back into their curls each day. I spray their hair with water every morning and style as usual.
2. Humid days are not always bad for curly hair.
For many people, stepping outside on a humid day could lead to frizzy hair. But that's not the case for some curlies. I won't deny that curly strands may lose some definition. However with the right products, you'll find that you can maintain a well-defined curl pattern.
With the higher humidity levels now, I take advantage of the moisture by adding leave-in conditioner and a cream that controls frizz. Then I let Mother Nature do her magic. The combination of the moisture in the air along with the products allow for bouncy curls.
It's hard to imagine that I've never used a brush on my children's hair.
3. Avoid using brushes.
It's hard to imagine that I've never used a brush on my children's hair. But it's true. Brushes could be damaging to curls and can cause breakage, especially hard brushes. Many naturally curly hair vloggers and bloggers that I've come across promote brushes that are "designed to enhance curly hair," but I beg to differ. It's not easy to comb through curly hair using a brush. There are times when ringlets intertwine. If you use a brush to comb through curls, it can get caught in between the strands and forcing it through could cause curls to snap.
4. Fingers are the best and safest way to detangle.
If you look through most sites dedicated to caring for curly hair, you'd find that many advise to use a wide tooth comb to safely detangle hair. While I do agree, I also believe that using your fingers is the best and safest way to detangle curls.
Please be advised that whether using a comb or your fingers, it's important to start from the ends and work your up to the root of the hair. Any knots or tangles can be easily felt when using your fingers. It's easier to isolate each knot and carefully detangle.
Once I find the source, I'll add some water and leave-in conditioner to loosen the knot. Then I use the tips of my fingers to remove it. If it becomes too difficult, I use a small rat tail comb to gently comb through the already moisten section until hair is free from the knot.
5. No two curl patterns are alike.
My son has tight curls while my daughter's are a bit more loose. So when it comes to styling hair, I don't use as much product in her hair as I do his. I also find that they each have different textures throughout their heads. For instance, my daughter's hair is a lot less curly in the front while the back has a curlier texture. And my son's hair has a much looser curl pattern at the crown while the rest has tighter curls.
That said, I find that with my daughter less is more. Aside from water, conditioner, and a light oil on occasion, I don't use much product in her hair. My son, on the other hand, is able to use heavier products. However, I never apply any oils (other than what's already in each product).
6. Curly hair routine changes with the season.
As a meteorologist, I track weather patterns. I've learned how hair reacts to different environments over the years. In fact, curls tend to become dry during cold months because the air has less water. So I usually add more moisture to curls during those months to alleviate problem. However when the temperature is mild, there's no need to pile on the moisture because it's already in the atmosphere.
7. You don't need shampoo.
Can you believe I rarely shampoo my children's hair? Seriously. I don't shampoo my son's hair at all. Because he has a tighter curl pattern than his big sister, all I do is rinse with water and massage his scalp with my finger tips. I follow up with a leave in condition, a curl defining lotion, and a frizz control paste. That's it!
When it comes to his sister's hair, I may shampoo once or twice a month. However, I mostly just co-wash her curls and follow up with a leave-in conditioner.
I've come along way over the past few years. Caring for my children's curly hair hasn't only been about me learning about their texture. It's also been important for the kids, too. That is, they love their curls and are comfortable in the skin they're in!