Curly Kids: How to Care for Your Child’s Naturally Curly Hair

curly hair care
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Oh my gosh the curls!

I love his hair!

Where did he get that hair?!

Can I touch it?!

OK, slow your roll, Miss Lady. He's a human, not a puppy. He doesn't want to be petted.

But I get it. The hair is big, and interesting, and eye-catching, and cool. It's fun to look at it, but as a mama in charge of caring for it, it's way less fun to manage.

If you've got a curly kiddo at your home whose hair needs a little TLC, here are some tips to help tame it. (Kidding, we all know that's not happening.)

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Curly Kid Tips: How to Care for Your Kid's Curls

Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Accept them for what they are.

Curly hair is, ummmm, curly. It's not going to look, feel, or behave like anything else. The sooner you get a handle on how to manage it without losing your mind, the happier and healthier you, your child, and their hair is going to be.

I'm a huge proponent of natural hair, especially when it comes to children, but if you decide to go another route, be careful with the products you choose (some of them can be damaging to your child's hair and scalp), choose a stylist that is trustworthy and knowledgeable about curly hair, and be prepared to have a real discussion with your child about why you're making this decision.

Remember how powerful your words and actions are, and know that if you act annoyed and unhappy with their hair, they will likely grow to feel that way about it, too.

Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Be gentle.

You cannot hurry through a detangling. You just can't. It's bad for your child's hair, and it's even worse for you and your child's relationship (lots of pain and crying and yelling and sadness). Take your time with the process. Plan ahead so you're not stuck rushing, and if worse comes to worst, pull it back in a bun and leave it for later.

Skip the dry styling.

Do not try to comb your child's hair when it's dry. Not only will it result in pain and suffering, but the result is not likely to be one you'll be super happy with.

Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Use good, healthy products.

I know, hair-care products can be expensive, and finding ones that work to maintain your child's hair appropriately can be a serious investment. I say it's worth it, though. Your child has an entire lifetime with his hair, and keeping it in a healthy, manageable state that they can be proud of is going to go a long way, especially into adolescence, when insecurities start to creep in.


Cut it.

You don't have to go short, but one of the most healthy things I do for myself and my children is to keep our hair trimmed nicely. I can always tell when it's time for a haircut because the ends of our hair begin to turn into rats' nests of evil.

dudes little
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Find a protective style.

As a mom of boys, when I get overwhelmed with their curls, I just take them to the barber shop. That's not always the best solution for little girls, however. I recommend finding a protective style (braids, for example) that will allow you to give you, them, and their hair a brief break from daily, invasive styling.

My mom never let me go to bed with my hair down at night; she wrapped it or braided it before I hit the sack. This technique saved her time in the morning and kept me from having to endure additional hours of detangling.

{ MORE: It's Okay to Feel Conflicted About Our Choices }

Do you have favorite products or tips for caring for curly hair?

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Curly Kids: How to Care for Your Child’s Naturally Curly Hair

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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