Taking Care of Your Child's 4C Hair
After Cinderella, Rapunzel is probably our second most favourite fairy-tale princess we loved as little girls, simply because of her long dreamy hair. We loved to have our hair straightened and falling on our backs, much like our Disney mentor. However, the thought of even passing a comb through it made us cringe and wonder is it really worth it? Now that we have our own children, taking care of it doesn’t need to be a fight if we follow these four simple steps:
1. Know your child's hair texture- This is probably the most important step in understanding your child’s hair and knowing what products will work best for them. Wider and less coily curl patterns work best with lighter products that don’t ‘weigh’ down the hair and leave it greasy. Tighter coils such as 4B and 4C hair types require thicker and heavier products that can fully penetrate the strands and keep it moisturized for longer periods of time.
2. Practice protective styling- If you already know how to do your child's hair, then way to go! If not, not to worry because quite a number of salons these days that cater to children. Depending on your town of residence, look for a salon that has hairdressers that are trained to attend to children. This way you’re assured to have someone who is patient and knows to be gentle when styling your child's hair. If this isn’t an option for you, then YouTube is your best friend. There are hundreds of videos on how to easily style your child's hair and keep it protected for 2 weeks or more!
3. Moisture is KEY!- Children’s hair can get extremely dry, from wearing hats in the colder season to swimming lessons in the summer; not to forget their rough and tumble lifestyle. So many external factors can zap that much needed moisture from your little one’s hair. Therefore, identify specific leave-ins, oils and creams that gel well with your child’s hair and keep it protected.
4.Create a routine/regimen- Routine is something many parents know all too well. Not only is it important to set a routine for your child to encourage organization, but setting a good hair regimen is important for the healthy growth of your child’s hair. Here is a simple example of a routine you can follow:
- Cleanse- washing your child’s hair is an important step. Make sure to get a good child friendly, sulphate free shampoo that will not only cleanse their hair but retain moisture.
- Detangle the hair in sections by spraying each section with water using a spray bottle. Detangling can be done using a wide toothed comb or your fingers for larger more complicated knots. This process can be done once you have undone your child’s hair from the protective style or in the bath or shower using your fingers. Investing in a good detangling conditioner, with good slip will also aid in easing this process.
- Moisturize the sections once completing the detangling process. Be sure to find a good child friendly Leave-In moisturizer, fit for their hair type. For our little ones with 4C hair, the Cantu and Shea Moisture Kids range have excellent moisturizers for you to choose from. Applying a good Leave-In conditioner in between wash days is also a good practice as it helps to add in moisture to their hair. Follow up with applying a natural oil to the scalp and strands to seal in this moisture.