Building a healthy hair routine for your child
A very important part of your Natural Hair journey is to teach your child to love and embrace their natural African hair; passing the torch of enlightened knowledge from one generation to the next. In a world where straight hair is favoured over textured, kinky, coily, or curly African hair, it’s important that they look to you as their defender and source of knowledge. As parents, what you say pales in comparison to what you do. So, lead by example. Treat their hair with loving care and teach them how to maintain their Natural Crowns.
Choosing the right products and hair styles for your gorgeous little angel needs to be done with the highest consideration. This can be a bit intimidating to some parents and may seem like a lot of work. Many times, this very anxiety could lead to parental neglect, resulting in the ruined health of their kid’s hair, which could further lead to permanent damage in their adult years (e.g. a receding hairline). As their parent, you must avoid tension when braiding or tying, chemical products, and direct heat. After all, the golden rule to natural African hair care can be summed up in these few words: The effort you put in is what you get out.
Now, the fun part begins – creating a healthy hair routine based on your child’s unique hair type. A hair routine doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. The trick is to be consistent and experiment to determine the best approach.
Regardless of the many debates about using shampoo, the best way to get rid of dirt and build-up that clog pores and prevent moisture from penetrating the hair follicles is to use shampoo. When washing your child’s hair, remember that children are active, so their hair picks up dirt much faster than yours. Use My Natural Hair Kids Gentle Shampoo (sulphate- and paraben-free) that won’t irritate your child’s skin or eyes. Focus on cleansing the scalp and allowing the soap to run down the hair shaft, and not tugging and pulling on the hair. Try not to shampoo more than once a week, depending on the ability of your child’s hair to retain moisture, as this can strip the hair of natural oils.
Deep conditioning gives your hair an extra coating of moisture that is always needed for natural African hair to protect itself against dirt, sweat, and the weather elements that dry out your hair. It also makes detangling easier, which can help to ease the painful experience of detangling that every kid resists with all their might. The My Natural Hair Kids Soothing Conditioner and Kids Hair Repair Tooty Fruity Mask coat the hair shaft effectively, thus providing slip to make the texture softer and more manageable for that dreaded detangling session. All natural deep conditioners will give your child’s hair the extra boost of nutrition that they need for healthier, stronger, and longer hair, and is essential in a natural African hair regiment for kids.
Keeping natural African hair moisturised even when styling in braids is a must. Children are specifically prone to dryness and damage of their hair because of their daily activities. So, it is important to moisturise their hair as often as possible. This can be done by hydrating with water and then applying a small amount of My Natural Hair Kids Curly Whirly Cream or Kids Kiddy Hair Butter to the damp hair. These products are specially made for natural African hair. To complete the L.O.C. method, seal the hair with the Moisture Locking Oil to keep it moisturised.
Yes, you read right! This is not made up – it’s an element that quite a few Naturals do not incorporate in their natural African hair regiment. If your hair is not protected during this time, it will be prone to breakage and losing moisture. During your child’s night routine, use a silk bonnet or pillow case to avoid the friction that causes breakage, and to prevent the hair from losing moisture and its natural oils.
This is usually the part where things get a little crazy. The unpleasant pulling and tugging with screams of “you’re hurting me!” and the mom’s impatient reply of “don’t be naughty; just sit still!” The worst problem is single-strand knots, which make detangling difficult and cause breakage to the hair.
Here’s how to avoid “traumatic” detangling.
DO NOT AVOID DETANGLING. This will just worsen the situation.
Split ends can also cause dryness and knots on the ends, so try to trim off dead ends.
Make sure that the hair is hydrated and moisturised. Don’t detangle dry hair.
Use a wide-toothed comb, detangling brush, or vent brush. Section the hair to make it more manageable and to ensure that you don’t miss any parts.
Start gently from the ends and work your way up. Do not tug and pull on the knots. This must be done with patience.
Protective styling like braids, twists, and knots can be a real lifesaver in terms of giving you and your kid a break from styling every day. It protects the hair against damage, dirt, and harsh elements.
These 3 points are vital for styling:
- The style should not be tight. Do not pull or tug the hair into the style. This causes discomfort, breakage, and hair loss.
- Never leave the style in for longer than 2 weeks.
- Moisturise the hair before styling and whist in a protected style. Use oils or oil sprays to retain hair moisture and protect the hair.
Curl Patterns and Porosity
The My Natural Hair products for African hair are well known for their moisture-rich features. Knowing your curl pattern and hair porosity helps when using the products.
Type 2 Wavy to Type 3 Curly Hair may need less amounts of products to prevent weighing down the curls, especially when your child has fine hair. After washing and conditioning the hair, you might want to apply the Kids Curly Whirly cream and then seal it in thereafter with a small amount of the Moisture Oil to fascilate a smoother defined curl.
Type 3 Curly to Type 4 Coily/Kinky Hair that is thicker usually needs a lot more moisture, which will require something extra added to styling, like the Kids Kiddy Hair Butter.
- Low-Porosity Hair– Lighter or liquid-based products will help prevent product build-up. Use moisture-rich products with ingredients such as jojoba oil, shea butter, or coconut oil.
- Medium-Porosity Hair – Avoid using products with protein in them for daily use. Deep condition periodically with a product that does include protein.
High-Porosity Hair – Leave-in conditioners and moisturisers will provide your hair with moisture throughout the day, but use a sealer, such as the Moisture oil, to retain moisture and prevent dryness.