You know when you walk around the mall on a weekend when all the families are up and about eating out and you see that one (or more nowadays) little girl with amazingly long and healthy curly hair... that right there just brings a smile to my face.
Natural hair care for a child takes time, patience and practice; the key thing to remember is that a little goes a long way. By this I mean all around 'less'! Less product, less manipulation and less stress!
Toddlers usually have sporadic hair growth patterns, parents need not bother or worry too much or fuss about hair growth at this point.
A clean scalp is essential for a baby's general development. Detangle the hair gently before a wash with your fingers. This will take a very gentle patient hand. Proceed to wash the babies hair using mild baby shampoo, as always DILUTE the shampoo. Be careful when cleansing the baby's central scalp portion. Baby hair still needs its natural oils for healthy hair, so be sure to keep wash days down to twice a week.
A simple bow may be all that you need to accessorize
Moisturizing is best accomplished using natural ingredients. Make a simple spritz made from pure water and extra virgin oil (jojoba, olive oil or coconut oil). I would skip the essential oil as these oils can be extremely powerful and the baby's sensitive scalp may not react well to them. I would also leave out the glycerin, but that is my personal preference; I like to keep it extra simple.
I am sure you have all heard the old wives tale that shaving off your babies hair will encourage growth. There is no evidence to support this, it will help with general maintenance and cleansing but will not aid growth in any way... I say let the hair be.
3 and up
Moisture is key! (I say that all the time don't I? I need to pick up a new phrase...) But seriously, regular moisturizing is essential for your child's natural hair development. Purchase a moisture rich conditioner and go to town!
Use conditioner when detangling; this is especially important as kids get a bit testy when it comes to the getting them to sit down for it. Take your time; this ordeal will be over soon and the both of you can move on with your lives. If done well, there should be NO 'ouches'. Use a lot of conditioner and work your way from the tips to the roots section by section.
"If there's one thing I regret about going natural, it's that I didn't do it sooner" Anon
I adore this picture. It's perfect
There are loads of products out there for moisturizing; I love the Kids Organics Shea Butter lotion. I use it on my hair and my nieces as well. (Please note that the new label is slightly different). This product has amazing slip and also reduces tangles. It is available in major super stores and Super Cosmetics, Our Price... to name a few.
When shopping for a product, remember the basics; avoid mineral oil based products, sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate (found in shampoos), Parabens (conditioners and shampoos), and all the other badies... (post coming up for those of you who need more information on the ingredients to look out for.)
Natural hair at any age grows and flourishes when in protective styles. The most popular style that most parents opt to adorn on their natural haired beauties are two strand twists, (complete with the cute bands at the tips and base.)
Three strand twists (rastas) natural cornrows (no added extensions) and loose buns are great protective styles to adopt. Never employ styles that pull or tug on the hair line (or hair in general); this could stunt the hair development causing traction alopecia.
Simple and age appropriate
I wouldn't advise having braids put in until the child is 8 and older; (again this is just my personal preference) if done, try to make them as large, chunky and lightweight as possible.
She is adorable!!!
Call me immature, but I have mad fro-envy
There will be more detailed posts on Natural Hair care for Children coming up! I think a solid foundation is the root (pun intended) for a future filled with healthy and beautiful natural hair.
Thank you all for reading.
Disclaimer: I would like to note that I claim no ownership over any of the images above. I attribute Google as my main source; I would like to state that I will immediately take down any image should the rightful owner have me take them down. Although I am not a parent, I would totally understand if they would prefer to not have their child's image up in the net.