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Hassle Free Haircare for your little natural

Introducing natural hair care to your little one can be intimidating but we are here for you. With a growing community of naturals, we are excited to see your interest in learning more about your little one/s hair and how to maintain your kids gorgeous crown of curls. 

Our hair is a defining feature. It is our crowning glory. So it’s only natural that so much time, money and research goes into hair care. In recent times, more and more people are returning to their hair’s natural state. Naturals are flaunting and embracing the natural hair look. Gone are the days of Westernize Beauty with relaxers and other chemicals to force the hair straight, damaging our natural hair in the process, further encouraging the cycle of chemical treatments. 

The benefits of going natural are numerous Stronger, softer, healthier hair, no more expensive trips to the salon, understanding your child’s natural hair will be challenging especially if you do not know what you are doing, however it will be liberating as we at My Natural Hair made it our mission to help parents on this natural hair journey to help your little one embrace their natural hair.

This blog is based on the South African perspective on Natural Hair care. 

My Natural Hair has curated resource content written by South African naturals for South African Naturals. This is extremely important for us, as it crosses the cultural divide and speaks to you in a language you understand.

Hassle free haircare for your little Natural.

Welcome to the party.

What does it mean to be Natural?

Now if you made it thus far I want to say WELL DONE! To take the time to educate yourself is half the job. “When we know better, we do better”

As your child made his/her way into the world, that state that his/her hair was in is “natural” that’s why we use the term “return to natural” instead of going natural, we are returning to the texture we were born with.

All this means is that we have embraced our textured natural hair and that we will put down our hair dryers, flat irons and stop the chemical processing. It encourages the adoption of methods that promote healthy hair and the love for their unique natural curl pattern (The hair as it grows out of your scalp).

Which will be easier on your child considering that their has not been any chemicals added to their hair or excessive amount of heat damage used to straighten their natural hair pattern. However, all is not lost if you have done this to your child’s hair because with patients and the tools you will learn in this series you will be able to get back your child’s natural hair texture.

The most important factor when dealing with natural hair texture is to make sure the products you are choosing is best suited for your child’s hair and that all ingredients in the products you are using are safe for textured hair.

Understand that though it may take you a while to figure out a regimen that might work for you and your household, once you have it under control the results will be worth it.

Remember no matter how hard it seems, by educating yourself you have already won half the battle.

Top Tips

1. Create a Hair Care Regimen realistic to your child’s needs

This is a hair routine you do from the day you wash your little one’s hair to the next wash day. It is a regimen that helps train their hair to retain moisture and grow!
Doing this is tough therefore we suggest making sure you are realistic with the times you do it and the procedure you use as we know sitting still is not a child’s favourite thing to do so get creative.

2. Visit a salon or somebody who knows how to cut hair.

Should you opt to trim/cut your child’s hair, consider doing this on wet hair. Children do not need their hair to be trimmed/cut as often as grown-ups. If you cannot afford a trim, do your research and educate yourself on the correct method, technique, and scissors DO NOT use paper scissors or a scissor that is used for anything other than hair.

3. Understanding their hair needs.

As you are becoming familiar with your child’s hair through your regimen you will start to notice things like “hair getting dry faster” or “the curl pattern is not the same” all this will come to you and that is when you understand that either a product is not working anymore or you might not have washed his/her properly, however, when you start to see differences in your child’s hair that’s when it is safe to say that you understand your little one’s hair and what it needs.

4. Using tools on their Natural Hair.

While it is true, tools make the process go faster, however, tools if you are not careful can do the opposite to their textured hair and ruin all the hard work that you put in. This is why we have moisturising products that will help you manage their hair so tools are an option rather than a necessity. Should you have a child that is in school and you prefer to blow dry their hair because of this we ask that you always use a heat protectant and make sure the heat setting is on low. Though we do not prefer this method we also understand that you have a look in mind. Continue to read as we have a technique that allows for “school appropriate hair” without heat.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON THIS JOURNEY? 

Having healthy hair is all about investing your time and knowing what to do and what not to do. Now remember it takes time to perfect doing natural hair, however, once you know what you are doing and understand the state that your child’s hair should be in, you can say hello to lust-worthy natural hair! 

Here are some useful tips:

Wash their hair regularly, but not too often.
As we know wash day with children is a mission so you do not need to wash your hair every day. Washing your child’s hair often can be the cause of dryness, drying schalp and a rougher feeling texture.

Depending on the ages of your children you want to wash their hair as need be. Always use a sulfate free shampoo when you do. 

0 – 2 yr.: At this stage your children’s hair might not be long enough to need more than one product at a time or might not need to be washed as often.

Ages

This is where you build the regimen with them. As babies you might not want to over-wash their hair or apply too much product as one depending on the season you do not want your child’s hair wet for a long period of them during this stage of childhood.

Because they are less active at this stage you are able to get away with using ONE product to moisturise, nourish and style their hair. The less products you use the easier the next wash day will be because let’s face it, washing hair is probably not your little one’s favourite task.

At this stage you will only need THREE products in your bathroom: Gentle Shampoo, Oil and Curling Crème/Butter 

Shampoo his/her hair as needed but preferable once a week. This will get rid of the product as well as the sweat and dust that lingers.

Oil especially in the newborn phase can help moisture retention and hair growth, while some babies have a head of hair on them we recommend only the oil as you don’t want his/her head to be wet all day also because their hair just needs protection. 6 months and onward should your child have longer hair at this stage you could add our curling cream or butter as a styling product to keep the hair soft, manageable and tangle free for the week. 

Make sure you are using a micro-fibre towel to remove access water or product as it is not as drying as a cotton towel.

3 yr. – 6yr.: By now you will have an understanding about how your child’s hair behaves and what it needs or doesn’t. Around this time you will want to create a stable regimen that will not change. At this age you can start playing around with Conditioner and Deep Conditioner. Introducing a weekly regimen that consist of during the week touch ups.

At three you might want to start with conditioning only, at this stage your little one’s personality is probably flourishing and activities are not few and far between so we recommend low manipulation styling to keep their hair from tangling from all the fun they will be having.

Conditioner will help soften the hair so that tangles are easier to get out. We know that one tug and you baby will be out of there so consider letting the conditioner sit for a little while before going in to detangle. 

7 yr. – 13 yr.: Deep conditioner will be easier at this age as your children understand the wash day process. At this time, you also will be experimenting with different hairstyles so a full wash day is recommended. A deep conditioner can be added with every wash and wash day can be once a week. A wash day can consist of Shampoo, Conditioner/Deep conditioner, curling crème, butter and oil. Our products are moisturising which will help with finger detangling as the scalp is still sensitive at this point, however, we know the goal is to keep the hair in a protective style for school. Key point to remember is that the more product you use during the week the more effective your wash day needs to be.

Avoid using any chemically damaging products.
It remains to be said, teach your child to embrace their natural hair and you will never need to use chemicals as natural hair has a certain structure and chemicals such as relaxers, perms and straighteners break down that structure. 

By eliminating the use of these products, you are allowing your child’s hair the freedom to just be itself.

Detangle. Be gentle but effective 

Detangling is the key to keeping your children hair knot free. When knots are formed in our hair, we tend to pull them apart or use an ordinary scissors to cut them out and this results in hair breakage. To avoid knots ALWAYS detangle your child’s hair on wash day or whenever you see the need for it.

Keep his/her hair moisturize on wash day with conditioner, water and/or oil to make sure that your fingers, combs or brushes can runs smoothly through your child’s hair without snagging, dragging or breaking off their hair

Top tips:


Never detangle your hair when it is dry.

Ages:

0 – 2yr.: During this stage tangling usually happens closer to naptime. This age you do not want to keep the hair/scalp wet for a long period of time. A key trick that we learned from a mommy blogger is to use the conditioner first before you enter the bath. Apply a generous amount of condition (before washing your little one’s hair) let it sit for 1-2 minutes, wet hair using a spray bottle one the section you are working on and finger/brush detangle. This allows for an easier process as we know this age and sitting still is not in the same whatsapp group. Dry his/her hair with a micro-fibre towel.

3yr. – 6yr.: If wash day is easier for you in the bath at this age then make sure your child’s hair is fully saturated with water, do not dry off the water on their head make sure you go in immediately with conditioner/deep conditioner and let it sit on their hair for 3-5 minutes. Go in to detangle with a brush/fingers as the hair should be softer at this  stage but always work in section to avoid pulling and snagging the hair. Once you rinse use a micro-fibre towel to not dry out the hair as cotton towels do that will take away the hard work of detangling that you just did. 

7yr. – 13yr.: Before detangling with your fingers/brush make sure you have section the hair between 2-6 sections depending on the thickness of your child’s hair. Always work in sections especially if his/her hair is thick and apply conditioner to wet hair and let it sit before detangling in sections. If the hair dries out while you are working on a section, rewet it with lukewarm water out of a spray bottle and continue to detangle. 


Once you rinse use a micro-fibre towel to not dry out the hair as cotton towels do that will take away the hard work of detangling that you just did. 

Bonus Tip: Your ten fingers are perfect for the job. If you need a more thorough tool for detangling, use a wide toothed comb or a denman brush. 

Deep condition/hair mask once a week.
Starting age 7, and especially if you use heat on your child’s hair. This is to give hair an extra boost, with all the tension, weather changes and product application, apply a deep conditioner or hair mask once a week. Hair is guaranteed to soak up all the nourishing moisture and oils and appear visibly different afterward. To get the most out of the treatment, lock in the moisture and create natural heat by wearing a shower cap after application. The shower cap acts like a greenhouse and the heat stored inside allows your product to work in a thriving environment. Leave the treatment on for 3-5 minutes and rinse it off with cool or lukewarm water.

Ages

7 yr – 13yr: After you have washed your child’s hair with a shampoo, and detangled his/her hair with conditioner you can now deep condition to invite moisture back into the hair and repair the damages we do not see. Use a plastic shower cap to infuse heat and rinse with lukewarm water then follow with a styler such as a curling cream, moisturizing butter and oil.

If you children are between the ages of 0 – 6 years old, you do not need to deep condition, because it may be too much moisture for their hair strands which will lead to brittle hair and or moisture overload which will end up breaking the hair. 

Make sure hair is always moisturized.
Healthy hair is always moisturized. Use water as your base moisturizer and follow it up with a leave in conditioner, cream, custard, lotion or butter for added moisture. Distribute the product evenly throughout his/her hair, from root to tip, making sure that you have covered your full set of hair. If you have very thirsty hair or you experience dry patches during the course of the day, use a spritzer bottle containing water, conditioner and water mixture or curling cream. This is a very handy trick and all you have to do is spritz the contents onto your hair. Make sure you follow the LOC method on wash day.
L.O.C – Liquid. Oil. Cream/Butter
L.C.O – Liquid. Cream/Butter. Oil
Liquid can be Water or Leave-In (this decision is based on how much moisture the hair needs)
Should you do any protective stylings (one hairstyle for the week) then sprits his/her hair during the week to make sure you hair is properly protected during the week so there won’t be any dry patches. Avoid tight hairstyles at all costs, do not attempt styles that pull at the root but especially for all children under the age of 6.

Ages

0 yr. – 2yr.: You want moisture in their hair but not so much that their sculp is wet for a long time. So Applying the oil for newborns and curling cream for the older babies and oil to seal it in while in the bath will give the hair added moisture and when you take your child out with a hooded towel that towel will soak up the access moisture. During the week for at least two days you can go ahead and spray water on his/her hair and seal that with an oil for moisturized hair 

3 yr. – 6 yr.: On wash day you want to use a nourishing or thick creamy product especially if you are planning to do a protective style for the week. There after every second day/as needed you can applying a water-based leave in to spray on his/her hair. This can be a store-bought leave-in or you can make your own spritz with water, leave-in conditioner and oil. 

7yr. – 13 yr: Moisturize with a curling cream/butter on wash day, during the week sprits hair with a water-based leave-in and lock in with oil every second day/as needed. If hair is in a protective style take a leave-in conditioner cream and apply in over the protective style to moisturise the protected hair. Oil the roots and ends as needed.

Protective styling
Wearing your hair loose and exposed to the elements everyday will end up damaging it if you are taking precautions such as doing a LOC method on wash day and spritzing his/her during the weak. Protective styling is perfect for maintaining healthy hair because his/her ends are tucked away safely and the chances of you having to manipulate your hair are less. When protective styling, remember that it is all about hair being protected from too much touching and manipulation.

The most common and easy to do protective styles are buns, plats and braids. To hold your style for the maximum amount of time, sleep with a satin bonnet or scarf on to keep your hair in place and to prevent your cotton pillow from absorbing your hairs moisture.

When doing a protective style on your little one’s hair, make sure that there is no tugging on the sculp as that can cause breakage also make sure to have the hair properly moisturized before you start any protective styling. No amount of styling will protect you from “not enough moisture” be sure you are doing your weekly moisturising to protect the hair while in a protective state to avoid breakage.

Using heat to braid hair

If you do not understand natural hair you might not know that you can do braids, protective styling or low manipulation styles such as buns without needing to blow dry your child’s hair.

In order to get the look, you need to stretch the hair and let it airdry if you are not comfortable with braiding wet hair. Once you have done the Shampoo and Conditioner section of the wash day you can then move on to using a crème or butter, apply this in section and allow to air-dry, thereafter you can use an oil and braid the hair to your liking. If you want a stretched braid when applying the cream or butter you could do a loose braid/twist/bun and let the hair air-dry this way you will have length. 

Recap

  1. Have fun experimenting with your child’s hair
  2. Teach your child as you learn, and become better at it
  3.  Ask questions when you are overwhelmed, or need extra support
  4. Follow our social media, where we are happy to assist you with any queries
  5. Tag us when you use our products. We would love to feature you!

And last but not least: Help other moms when you have it all figured it.

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