Has your kid been blessed with the same curly ringlets that you had as a child? As gorgeous as curly or wavy hair looks on our little ones, anyone with curly hair can remember the fear of hair brushing when they were little. But with the right type of hair care, you can enjoy the beauty of curly hair without worrying about the stressful bath times or fights with the hair brush. This article will share everything you need to know about looking after kids with curly hair.

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Work Out What Type Of Curly Hair They Have

There’s a whole scale of curly hair types that your little one might have, with a range going from 2A all the way up to 4C. If your child has S-shaped curls, they are known as 2C curls, and are the first stop on the journey from wavy to curly hair. If your kid has 2C curly hair, you can start to learn from care tips for 2C hair like styling or brushing hair when wet. Finding advice specific to your child’s hair type can help reduce a world of teary hair brushing and help them make the most of their natural hair type.

Teach Them To Embrace Their Curly Hair

Curly hair is a beautiful and unique hair type that kids can wear with confidence. Help them to feel confident about their natural hair type, and embrace the fact that everyone has different hair types and textures. You can also help teach them to learn to look after their curly hair, and give them praise when they take steps to look after their hair independently. 

Dove has a great hair care support page for kids with curly hair called My Hair, My Crown. It helps to encourage allyship with different hair textures and confidence when maintaining and loving curly hair as a kid.

Teach Kids To Appreciate Different Hair Styles

Teach kids to embrace their natural curls, but also have fun experimenting with different styles and also recognizing different styles in their friends. Consider playing with different hair styles like, braids, or pigtails for kids to enjoy a fun twist on their own curly hair. Share different hair accessories and let your kids enjoy some supervised play with new hairstyles to boost their confidence and awareness of different hair types.

Try Not To Over Wash Their Hair

Curly hair can tend to get frizzy or dry if it is washed too frequently, making it more difficult to brush or look after. Try to give two-three days between washing your child’s curly hair, and most importantly scale down on using too much shampoo. Giving your child’s hair a break between washes can help the hair replenish its natural oils, which can nourish the hair and avoid their hair drying out. 

Use Shampoo Formulated For Curly Hair

There are some specially formulated shampoos for kids with curly hair like the Little Curls Starter Pack that help ensure you’re nourishing your child’s hair with every wash. Check for products that contain oils like olive or natural plum seed oil which replenish the hair and avoid it being broken or drying out. Use a very small amount of shampoo, no bigger than the size of a coin, to avoid disrupting the natural oils in the hair.

Try A Specialized Conditioner

A conditioner formulated for curly hair will help give your child’s hair some bounce and most importantly, ensure you remove those heartbreaking tangles. Try to avoid conditioners with heavy oils or butters in them, as this can strip out the hair and leave it dry or frizzy. You’ll also need to use more conditioner than shampoo, so it’s important not to overload the hair with oils from both hair care products. 

Work conditioner lightly from the tips upwards, detangling along the way. If you work from the root down, you are more likely to make tangles worse as they will bunch up along the hair strand.

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Use A Wide-Toothed Comb Or Fingertips

Using a hairbrush for kids with curly hair is a bit of a nightmare. The brush will inevitably catch tangles and lead to tantrums and tears. Wherever possible, style and brush your child’s hair when wet if they’ve got curly hair. Use your fingertips to gently remove tangles when you put conditioner on their hair. For tougher tangles, use a wide-toothed comb to help smooth them out.

Leave Dry Hair Alone

You should leave your kid’s hair alone when it is dry. Brushing dry curly hair leads to frizz on a large scale, and it can often only be rectified with a further hair wash. Avoid fussing with or styling your child’s hair when it is dry, unless you’re using fingertips to comb out unexpected tangles. You’ll also avoid tantrums or upset if you pull hair when brushing out dry curls.

The same goes for nearly dry hair. Avoid using a towel to pat or rub the hair, as this can disrupt the curls’ natural angle and lead to broken, frizzy or damaged curls.

Don’t Fully Wash Out Conditioner

When you wash your kids hair, leave a little bit in until the next wash day. Let it set in a bit before you start to brush their hair, as it can help to break down some of the knots for you. Think of it as avoiding that final hair rinse as you’d do for your own hair. The conditioner can help to soften curls and avoid tangles. It’s also great if you leave it in during bathtime, as playing in the water can sometimes tangle the hair again, which can be avoided with conditioner.

Final Thoughts

If you’re lucky enough to have a child with curly hair, teach them to embrace it and enjoy playing with different hairstyles. Style and comb your child’s hair when wet, and avoid doing anything to their hair when dry or semi-dry. Leave a little bit of conditioner in to soften the hair in between washes, and use special shampoo and conditioners but avoid heavy oils or butters that can strip the moisture from the hair. Learn how to care for and enjoy your child’s natural curls so they can take care of it well into the future.