How to care for babies and children's hair is a question I have been asked very frequently. It's a large topic but in brief, for children, less is definitely more.
If your child isn't two years old yet I wouldn't worry about poor growth. There's a lot going on in that little body and hair growth isn't a priority. Most of the rules of maintaining a child's hair are the same as those for adults as outlined in the free ebook.
When should you detangle?
Ideally before you start washing the hair, as with adults. Soften the hair with water and a detangler to make it easier.
What shampoo should you use?
In the first 24 months shampoo is not even necessary unless your child was rolling around in mud. You can wash with water and as the hair grows out and becomes thicker you can start using a light, instant conditioner to keep the hair soft and more manageable.
Be careful about purchasing "no tears" shampoos too! They may be easy on the eyes but some will dry out your baby's hair. Many of these shampoos are no good for black or mixed hair. After 24 months you can introduce a shampoo. Look for a "no tears" shampoo that doesn't use sulfates as a surfactant.
For a baby/toddler you should look for shampoo that is:
What's the best shampoo schedule for your child?
What's the best type of moisturizer?
Something light and creamy usually provides the best hydration. All-natural shea butters and coconut based moisturizers tend to be the best in my experience.
How should you moisturize?
Depending on what works better on your child's hair use either:
1. Liquid only if the hair is very fine and naturally quite soft.
Use a very light leave-in conditioner or a light buttery/creamy moisturizer.
"Liquid" includes any light water based leave-in conditioner, detangler or spray moisturizer.
2. Liquid then oil.
If '1' doesn't keep the hair hydrated follow with an oil to lock in the moisture. I recommend coconut oil or jojoba for this function or The Junior Edition of our Hair Growth Stimulator.
3. For thicker hair or hair that dries out easily use either the LOC method or the LCO method.
Some hair types respond to one better than the other.
To protect your child's hair from damage I would avoid all the following:
Which products should you use?
Based on reviews I have added a "Children's" category to the Neno Natural Amazon store. I will change the products included there as I learn more about kids' products. I would opt for the cheaper products to see if they work before trying the more pricey stuff. Dilute to make it spread further! Yes, I am cheap. Always have been, always will be, I was brought up that way :)
As with all textures some experimentation is needed before you find the "magic formula"!
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx