I’ve had a few questions recently from moms who are dealing with children who have super dry hair. Dry hair is common for many of us with kinky textured hair and for children it can be especially worrying.
For one if your daughter or son is active and exposed to the sun and a ton of sweat you might find that their hair simply does not hold the moisture you put in. Additionally, many of our kids tend to have porous strands which mean they do not hold moisture for a long time at all. To help with dryness I have 8 tips, check them out.
1. Keep the hair clean
Clean hair absorbs water better than strands that are covered in debris, salts oils, and product, so make it a weekly habit to cleanse her hair with a sulfate free shampoo. Any sulfate free shampoo will be enough to clean your little one’s hair but here are some of my recommended ideas.
2. Moisturize with water based products
To moisturize thirsty strands you need to use water-based products such as leave in conditioners or a spray bottle solution.
Stylers, butters, oils or any kind of sheen spray are not moisturizers. To determine if a product is moisturizing, check the ingredient list if water is listed as the FIRST ingredient then that product can moisturize the hair.
A super simple moisturizer recipe that you can make for dry hair can be found in this post. (Skip the essential oils if you do not have them readily available)
3. Deep condition
Most children do not like sitting still for a good deep conditioning session but if she has very dry hair then a 20-minute deep conditioning session is imperative.
Put the conditioner in her hair cover with a plastic cap and allow her to play for a bit, the heat from the activity will warm up the conditioner and her strands will thank you for it.
If your child is great about conditioning, then, by all means, sit her under a steamer or overhead dryer for a 20-minute session.
4. Add a leave in
Even after deep conditioning your child’s hair once you rinse out the deep treatment do not forget to re condition the hair with leave in conditioner.
There are some great leave-ins on the market, to start you off I recommend Kinky Curly Knot Today or As I Am Leave In Conditioner. Both great products, both I have personally used and they are easy to find.
Remember those oils and butters we talked about earlier, these are added after you moisturize your child’s strands thoroughly and they can help prevent dryness by trapping the moisture in the strand.
If your child has fine hair, use a light oil like coconut oil, grapeseed oil or olive oil. I would avoid manufactured oil mixes unless you are sure the oil mix is 100% all natural. Again check the ingredient list, make sure you do not see anything weird.
For little ones with thicker coarser hair, try a heavier oil or butter like castor oil or shea butter to seal the hair.
Note- If you are using a styler to set her twists or braids, add the styler last, some stylers can play a double role of molding the hair as well as sealing the hair. Either way, it is the last thing you add to her hair.
6. Does she need protein
Everyone processes protein differently, for some people too much protein in the regimen can lead to hard brittle dry hair. For other too little protein leads to moisture loss because the hair is porous. If you find that you add moisture to your child’s hair and seal it but then her hair is immediately dry again try adding a little protein to her regimen.
Deep condition with a conditioner that has protein in it so that you can strengthen her strands and help her to retain the moisture you put in.
7. Be careful with coconut oil
Coconut oil has the amazing ability to travel through the strand unlike other oils and if your daughter is protein sensitive then too much coconut oil will lead to dry hair. This is not the same for everyone though but since it can be a problem for low porosity users it is worth the mention.
8. Protective styling
Protective styling should be a staple for busy moms and even busier kids, honestly it’s just easier fro everyone including your child’s hair.
After you cleanse, moisturize and seal, add some braids or twists that can be maintained throughout the week. Keep the style in until wash day which should be weekly. Protective styling protects the ends of the hair, gives the hair a break from manipulation and moisture loss.
Always work in sections when you care for your little one’s hair, sectioning helps you to ensure all of the strands are covered when you add your products. Be deliberate about everything!
I wanted to update this post with a real life example of how mom Janelle Stewart moisturizes her daughter’s hair during the week in just five minutes.
Check the video out:
Bonus – If you still need help, grab my book A Comprehensive Guide To Kinky Curly Hair Care For Children With 4C Hair. This book is exactly what it says it is and if you need something to take with you on your device then I highly recommend that you invest in it.
Hope this helps, email me or comment below with any additional questions.
Image – @ellePstewart