9 ultimate tips for mixed kids' curly hair
Mixed kids' hair can be a real challenge, especially for parents with straight hair like myself. My children's hair routine is pretty much the opposite of mine and it took me many failed attempts to learn how to take care of them.
But of course, not all curls are the same. While Ziora has long, soft, and wavy hair, Uchenna was born with strong and small curs. So, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all hair routine. However, these 9 tips really made the difference for us:
#1 - Interval Washing
For someone that washes their hair on a daily basis, this may sound strange: Curls do not need to be washed every day - on the contrary. I was reluctant to try this, but ever since our kids have stopped washing their hair too often, their curls have been much healthier. For us, once a week is more than enough.
#2 - No Shampoo - can do
Yes, it is hard to believe, but curly hair does not need shampoo. My kid's hair used to get really dry each time I washed it with Shampoo, so I decided not to use it anymore and was surprised to see how well their curls reacted. If you can't be without Shampoo, try to use it only once in a while and thank me later.
#3 - Comb only when wet
I think the biggest favor you can do to your curls (and your child) is to stop combing the hair unless it is wet (and I mean really wet!). I only brush my kid's hair under running water or sometimes after washing with enough leave-in conditioner. Brushing dry curls can not only damage the curls but is also very painful for your child. So save yourself the tears and stop combing dry hair whenever possible.
#4 - Moisturize - the daily splash
Curls need moisture and it is important to hydrate them daily. Our kids use a simple water spray to wet the hair each morning and add some leave-in conditioner afterward. If necessary, this routine can easily be repeated during the day, especially on hot summer days.
#5 - Put a cap on it
I used to think that sleeping caps are for grandmothers only, not knowing the amazing effects a satin sleeping cap can have on curls. No more frizzy, dried-out, or sticky morning hair. Sleeping caps are available in many different colors and sizes, just make sure they are made of satin. And if your child does not like the idea of wearing a cap to bed, you can consider getting a satin pillow instead.
#6 - Pressing me softly
Hair in general, but curly hair in particular is very sensitive to friction. Therefore, never rub wet curls dry or "rub-in" conditioner. Instead, use your hands and softly press the hair inside a dry towel or apply any product with care.
# 7 - Breeze with ease
Unless it is snowing and we are in a rush to go out, I always leave my kid's hair to dry naturally. This way, their curls can soak in and keep the moisture better. If you need to use a hair dryer, I recommend you use a diffuser and apply low-heat only. And remember not to "comb" dry curls!
And for the ultimate care, here are two more tips you may want to try:
# 8 - Cold, Colder, Curls
A good friend once told me that cold water makes curls bounce and shine even more, and I can testify to that. However, washing young children's hair with ice-cold water can be a challenge. Therefore, you might keep this tip for hot summer days only, or apply it once your kids are older. In the meantime, try to avoid hot water and compromise on an "as-cool-as-feels-okay" temperature.
# 8 - A timely trim keeps off the grim
Just like straight hair, curls need to be trimmed once in a while. More and more hairdressers in Europe specialize in curly hair, but if you can't find anyone near you, don't be afraid to take take the scissors into your own hands.
Just recently, I cut Chijioke's beautiful curls myself. My learnings: Cut the curls when dry and try to cut off only the parts that have lost their bounce. If you feel insecure about it, cut small bits first and then decide the next day if you need to cut more. You can do it!
The magic products
Oftentimes, hair care advice comes with recommendations for that one magic brush or special conditioner that will solve all your problems. You are made to believe, that with the right product, your child's hair will magically be tamed.
I have been asked many times what products I use on my kids and honestly, there is no "one" product that I apply. I combine different products and change them from time to time because every hair is different and hair structure and needs can change over time.
So while I am happy to share the products I use, please keep in mind that they may lead to different results on your own children's hair.
@lolacosmetics Dream Cream (for the extra care)
@lolacosmetics Meu Cacho Minha Vida Conditioner (conditioner)
@lolacosmetics Meu Cacho Minha Vida Jelly Gel (for defined curls)
@cantu Leave-in Conditioning repair cream (conditioner)
@alaffia Beautiful curls Curl activating leave-in conditioner
Either way, I strongly encourage you to try out what works for you and be open to changing your routine if you do not get the results you want!
And most importantly - don't be afraid! With a little practice and patience, you will certainly get the hang of it!
Last but not least
I decided to always end my blog posts with an Igbo proverb or quote and a song (not necessarily Igbo) that speaks to my heart. Feel free to share your own favorite proverbs or a song that you are listening to at the moment!
Igbo quote of the week: "Mgbe nwoke otu ụkwụ ji ekele Chukwu bụ mgbe ọ hụrụ onye ngwụrọ" – A one-legged man is seldom thankful to God until he sees a crippled person.
My song this week: Asa - Jailor