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Kids Curly Hair Routine

Posted on 24 June 2020

Keeping up with your little one and their curls can be a bit of work. Many mamas have a different curl type than their kiddos, and others may not even have curls at all, which can lead to a lot of guesswork when it comes to styling their hair. In this blog, we cover all the basics you'll need to know to care for kids' naturally curly hair.

Understanding Your Child’s Curl Type

The first step to knowing how to style your child’s curly hair is to understand their curl type. Curly hair has a range of different textures and patterns, so knowing what kind of curl you’re dealing with will help you pick the right products and techniques to style their curls.

The curl-typing system developed by Andre Walker is what most curlies use to determine their hair type.

It uses numbers to identify the family of curls: 1 typically representing straight hair, 2 for waves, 3 for curls, and 4 for kinks and coils.

Letters are used to identify the tightness or diameter of the curl pattern: A being large and loose, C being the smallest and tightest, and B falling somewhere in the middle.

To learn more about how to determine your kiddo’s curl type check out this blog here.

Washing & Conditioning

The best way to have the wash and conditioning process go smoothly is to make it fun! Set your little one up for success by making sure they’re well-rested and in a good mood. We know this is easier said than done, but it can make all the difference. Most kiddos aren’t super thrilled to be washing their hair so starting off with an already cranky kid could easily lead to a meltdown.

When rinsing or pouring water over their head, try to give them a warning. A ‘1, 2, 3,’ countdown can be enough to prepare them for a little splash-works, especially if they’re old enough to know to close/cover their eyes and tilt their head backward.

While applying shampoo and conditioner, try not to go overboard with how much you use. Their little heads have less surface area, so they probably won’t need as much as you might use for your own hair. It’s also important to be mindful when you’re rinsing out the shampoo and conditioner. Since most products can be irritating if they get into the eye, it’s best to rinse/pour the water away from their faces.

Bonus Tips:

  • Squeeze out extra suds before rinsing to avoid getting it into eyes.
  • Keep a towel close by to wipe away water/product off the face.

Detangling

For most kids, detangling is their least favorite part of the process. Detangling their curls while wet will help it go smoothly. We recommend combing or brushing after your conditioner is applied and has been sitting for about 2 minutes. Conditioner softens the hair and makes it extra slippery so that it’s easier to glide through knots and tangles.

The right tools

There’s no one way to detangle curly hair, but some tools work better than others. Here are some of our favorites for tackling tangles.

Fingers

Using your fingers is the gentlest way to work through knots because you can feel out the tangles and work through them slowly without snapping or breaking the hair. The only downside is that it’s time-consuming to do it effectively.

Wide-Tooth Comb

A wide-tooth comb is considered a staple since it can get through tangles on all curl types. When using it, it’s best to start combing through the ends of your hair and working your way up to the roots.

Fingers

Using your fingers is the gentlest way to work through knots because you can feel out the tangles and work through them slowly without snapping or breaking the hair. The only downside is that it’s time-consuming to do it effectively.

Wide-Tooth Comb

A wide-tooth comb is considered a staple since it can get through tangles on all curl types. When using it, it’s best to start combing through the ends of your hair and working your way up to the roots.

Brush

You might’ve heard that you should never brush curly hair, but we believe it all comes down to using the right brush. Choose one with flexible plastic bristles as they are best for waves, curls, kinks, and coils. These types of bristles bend easily when they come into contact with knots. By flexing with the hair, it reduces snapping and breakage and makes for a painless experience.

LUS Detangle & Style Brush Coming Soon!

Styling Your Kids' Curly Hair

What you use to style your little one’s hair is of the utmost importance! At this stage in their life, their curls are still changing and can be quite delicate. Be sure to avoid products with moisture-depleting ingredients such as sulfates, silicones, and drying alcohols.

And while it can be tempting to cocktail a number of products to achieve perfect curls, doing so can overload their strands and make them susceptible to dirt and build-up. So whether you use our line or another, we always advocate for keeping it simple!

Styling Techniques for Curly Kids

This is where understanding their hair type becomes really important. Typically different curls need different techniques to help define them. Check out this blog to learn which styling/defining techniques could work for your little one, or check out the vid below where our girl, Storm, shows us step-by-step how she handles her 3-year-old’s type 4 curls/coils.

Next-Day Curls

Protecting their hair at night would be the best way to ensure their curls stay fresh the next day. But let’s be real, a lot of kiddos aren’t willing or able to keep a bonnet or satin scarf on while they toss and turn throughout the night. It’s no big deal! If anything, you can always refresh their curls the next day or give them a protective style.

Protective Styles

For some mamas, having their little ones rock their curls in a wash n’ go every day is not a sustainable option. There are a number of styles that are adorable and can help extend their wash cycle. Pigtails, braids, buns, ponies, and twists are just a few different ways you can change it up.

Distract, Distract, Distract!

Keeping your curly kid occupied will help a ton! Whether it be with crayons and a coloring book, their favorite snack, or queuing up a playlist on YouTube, keeping them engaged can help distract them from what’s going on with their hair and make it easier for you to do what you gotta do.

Distract, Distract, Distract!

Keeping your curly kid occupied will help a ton! Whether it be with crayons and a coloring book, their favorite snack, or queuing up a playlist on YouTube, keeping them engaged can help distract them from what’s going on with their hair and make it easier for you to do what you gotta do.

Be Patient & Stay Positive

It’s important to stay empathetic and positive while doing their hair. It can be a big learning curve, especially if their curls are different from yours or if you don’t have curly hair yourself.

Be mindful of the words and attitude you use to approach their hair. They’re listening and it’ll affect the way they feel about their hair as they get older.

At the same time, try not to obsess over keeping their curls perfect. Your baby's top priority is having fun! It’s likely they aren’t super concerned about making their hair look good or keeping their curls intact. And that’s okay! They’re just kids after all. Let them do their thing without worrying too much about what they look like. Everything will be fine, it’s just hair after all. 😊

Tips from our LUS Mamas

We asked some of the LUS mamas from our community to share their tips/tricks for styling their curly babes. Here’s what they had to say:


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