Keep it strong and beautiful, Mommy!
Packing your child’s lunch box is nothing compared to fighting with those stubborn hair knots. Say goodbye to endless tears and hello to healthy hair with these easy-to-follow tips.
Making sure that your child’s hair is always neat and clean can be daunting. But there’s no need for you to stress about it anymore: all you need is a few tweaks here and there. Here are 10 tips that’ll make it a breeze for both of you.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Making sure that your child’s hair is clean is important. It allows oxygen to penetrate the scalp so it breathes, and helps the hair to grow healthier and stronger. Washing your child’s hair regularly removes dirt and excess oils, which helps to reduce the risk of dandruff. But don’t wash it too frequently as this may disturb the pH balance and strip away too much natural oil. Use a mild sulphate-free shampoo, made specifically for kids, once a week. If you choose to relax your child’s hair, always rinse off the relaxer thoroughly and shampoo the hair twice or thrice, until the soap is no longer pink. Using your fingers and lukewarm water, gently remove all traces of the relaxer. It may seem tedious, but not rinsing properly is going to cause serious hair breakage – and you really don’t want all of those chemicals in the relaxer left over on your child’s hair and scalp.
Nothing soothes the scalp like a good conditioner. Conditioning your little one’s hair is like giving them vegetables so they can grow to be big and strong. Not only does it make the hair healthier, it also gives it volume. When you apply the conditioner after rinsing out the shampoo, massage it into the hair, starting at the roots and working to the ends. Leave it on for the time that’s stated on the instructions, and then rinse well.
We know that the comb is not everyone’s favourite tool. Children don’t like it because every time it emerges, they know that it will hurt their hair. To avoid the pain, be extra careful and gentle when combing your child’s hair. If the hair is long enough to require a little detangling, use a wide-toothed comb and gently work from the ends to the roots. Pull knots apart using your fingers instead of the comb. Work from the back to the front as hair at the nape gets most tangled during sleep. To minimise the pain, make sure that you use products that’ll make the hair feel slippery, so that the comb glides through easily.
Hair that’s moisturised means minimal breakage. A good moisturising lotion will also give it shine and make it easier to manage. However, to avoid product buildup, limit moisturising your child’s hair to three or four times a week. To ensure that the hair retains moisture, spray a little water on the hair first and seal with a hair oil before styling. Use moisturiser or opt for a leave-in conditioner that can be used with hair oil.
Water keeps the whole body hydrated, including the scalp. When your child’s scalp stops receiving hydration and nutrients, it can inhibit the action of growing healthy hair. Besides ensuring that they drink as much water as their systems can handle, there are other ways to boost hydration. Make sure that the products you use on their hair have water as the main ingredient. This is usually labelled as “aqua”.
Always make sure that your child eats their vegetables and fruit. The vitamins and protein contribute to the
health and growth of their hair. Vitamin A helps in the production of hormones, which influence hair growth. Give your child foods such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, oranges and mango as they are rich in vitamin A.
A hairdryer is the fastest way to dry your children’s hair, but be mindful not to dry it for too long as the hair will break. It’s best to allow a child’s hair to airdry. After washing, conditioning and applying a moisturising cream to the hair, let your child go and play outside. The hair will dry naturally and be exposed to growth-stimulating vitamin D. If you absolutely have to use the hairdryer, make sure that the heat setting is on as low as possible.
AVOID TIGHT STYLES
Kids have very sensitive scalps, so you have to avoid styles that are too tight. And wearing the same style for too long can damage their hair. Go for ageappropriate styles such as braids and cornrows, or cute ponytails. If done professionally, ask the stylist to be gentle with the child’s hair. Make sure that the baby hairs on the hairline are left intact and that the scalp is conditioned with oils that nourish the hair at the roots.
USE THE RIGHT PRODUCT
Most adult products contain chemicals that are too harsh for children’s hair. Using your products on your child will cause irritation, dryness or rash on the scalp. There are many haircare products that cater specifically for your little one’s hair texture. Make sure that you read the ingredients list carefully so you can avoid any harsh or nasty stuff that isn’t good for your child.
TEACH THEM HAIR CARE
Teach your child how to look after their own hair. Give them the tools, like a brush and comb, to nurture their hair. Teach them to be proud of their crowning glory, no matter what it looks like, and expose them to positive hair role models. Show them pictures of famous children like Yara Shahidi, Willow Smith, Amandla Stenberg and Thando Thusi so that they can be inspired to love their own natural hair.
Aunt Jackie’s Super Duper Softening Conditioner R99,95
ORS Olive Oil Girls Moisturising Styling Lotion R59,95
Caivil Kids Soothing Scalp Hair Food R16,75
Easy Waves Magic Detangler Spray R20,95
Cantu Nourishing Shampoo R149,95
Afro Botanics Natural Kiddies 3-in-1 Spray R70
Dark and Lovely Beautiful Beginnings Hair Food R24,95
Cantu Care for Kids Styling Custard R149,95
Sofn’free Avo& Honey Oil Moisturiser R24,95
Easy Waves Magic Oil Moisturiser R20,95
Sofn’free Avo & Honey Hair Food R18,95