Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kidz Corner

Detangling Tight Curls


I've been caring for my niece's hair since she was an infant, so I was able to gain experience working with children's hair prior to my son's birth. My niece has a beautiful head full of tight curls, and I've found it quite challenging keeping her hair from getting tangled.

The thing with kids is that they have very little patience, and some are tenderheaded (or at least they pretend to be). Trust, I've had to endure nightmare detangling sessions in which my niece screamed her head off and acted as if I was torturing her, even though I was using a conditioner and olive oil mix! However, I've recently discovered, in dealing with curls that are tighter than mine, that it is really important to either a) keep the hair moisturized at all times to prevent tangling or b) keep the hair in "stretched" styles, such as braids or twists to prevent tangling. Since stretching out the curls helps the hair retain moisture (we all know it's easier to keep straight hair moisturized than it is curly/kinky hair due to the natural oils and hair products being able to travel down the length of the strands easier), b appears to be the better option.

When my niece was younger and had less hair, my sister or I would often style her hair in what we call a pony puff:

Or, we'd just allow her natural curls to be free, and would add an accessory or two for style:

However, now that she's older and has a lot more hair, these styles are a big NO NO! 

As you can see from the pics below, her hair was looking very dry and "fuzzy" when she came over for a visit a few weekends ago:

Unfortunately, the fuzz is a result of broken hairs from styles that led to too much tangling. There's even been times when we've had to cut out pieces of her hair that was just too matted. I know that she doesn't have the patience to allow me to do all the things I do to my hair (i.e. a pre-poo treatment, detangling prior to wash, washing, deep conditioning, etc.), so I decided to focus on the one thing that I felt would benefit her hair most, and that was a good conditioning treatment and detangling session. 

I started off by taking her hair out the braids:

I didn't do any combing or detangling until AFTER I wet her hair:

I don't have a salon chair, but luckily she is small enough to lay down on my counter so that her head can lay back into the sink. This is actually the best position to wash your little one's hair in, because it keeps the hair in the direction it will fall once styled, and therefore prevents more tangling from moving the strands all around (as would be the case if you were to wash the hair with one's head flipped over into the sink).

I washed my niece's hair with Johnson's baby shampoo, because it's mild and I knew it would be kind to her curls. Another fav of mine is the Just For Me 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo. 

After shampooing the hair, I applied some Mixed Silk Nourishing Deep Conditioner section by section. Since I had such great results with it, I figured she would too:

Mixed Silk is da bomb! Great slip ;-)
Here I am distributing the conditioner with a wide-tooth shower comb. I work my way through the ends first, then up to the roots, then back down to the ends to ensure that all the tangles are gone:

In case you missed it, my niece gets a ton of shrinkage:
Shrunken curls, saturated with conditioner

Curls stretched out
After rinsing out the conditioner (in cool water of course), I applied some Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer to small sections of her hair, then sealed with pure coconut oil prior to placing in braids:

Her hair was well hydrated, moisturized, and best of all, tangle free!


B.Good said...

She is so blessed to have you in her life and teaching her now how to properly care for her curls! She has a beautiful head of hair. The end results looks great!

DPrincess28 said...

@B.Good: Thanks hun! Oh, and I forgot to mention the best part: She didn't cry while I was doing her hair! That mixed silk conditioner is really good at providing the right amount of slip to detangle tight curls.

EbonyCPrincess said...

I do all of my lil cousin's hair...Unfortunately, once I moved away it seemed my "message" about healthy hair didn't stick and I sit them down for a hefty big cousin lecture every holiday now that they are teens! Oh well...there is still hope for the younger ones! lol. Your niece will definitely reap the benefits of auntie's knowledge!

Cat said...

That's wonderful that u are teaching her to love her natural hair, and instilling that natural curls are beautiful. Her hair is gorgeous and I LOVE the again appropriate style!!!

Sola said...

When washing her hair, have you tried washing in sections? I do this with my daughter and find that it leaves the hair with less tangle. By the way, you are such a great "auntie".

Taniya Funches said...

Hello, first I wanted to say that you're doing a great job with the hair regimens. I have a daughter,6, that is natural and i put a texturizer in her hair a while ago and I have been trying different products to get her hair back and I can't seem to find the right regimen. Another thing, is that her hair is uneven and I don't know if I should clip her ends because she is too young & her hair is always dry. I don't know how to do hair. I always put her hair in either ponytails or I let my aunt braid it. Is there any tips on how I can get her hair back to its natural look? Thank you!!

DPrincess28 said...

Hi Taniya! Considering it is now winter, the best thing you can do for your daughter's hair is give it moisture! I spray my son's hair with water, then apply pure coconut oil and a curl setter. Those products combined help lock in moisture, which is crucial for growth retention. Your daughter could actually benefit from a trim as long as she's willing to sit still. I trimmed my niece's hair after I straightened it. Clean ends make for a healthy head of hair, and it means less snags and breakage down the line.

Good luck with your daughter's regimen!