How to take care of my baby’s curly hair
- New parents have a lot on their plate, and caring for your baby’s curly hair might be an unexpected challenge. Baby hair requires different care than adult hair, and changes in your baby’s hair and scalp might cause concern. To care for your baby’s curls, focus on the products that you use and styling the hair with care.
Using Hair Care Products
- Use a gentle, sulfate-free baby shampoo only once or twice per week. Over-washing your baby’s hair can cause dryness, resulting in dull curls. When you do use shampoo, avoid rubbing or tangling the curls. Massage the scalp gently to wash the roots only, avoiding the ends.
- Curly hair has less moisture than straight hair, so you’ll want to preserve the natural oils in the hair by using shampoo sparingly.
- Make sure that you choose a shampoo that is formulated for babies rather than for adults.
- ”Wash” with moisturizing conditioner every 1-2 days. Pick a conditioner that is specifically formulated for children, which you can find at most grocery stores, beauty supply stores, and drugstores. Apply it to the hair and rinse with warm water.
- The conditioner acts as a cleanser on the days when you don’t wash their hair.
- Look for products that contain moisturizing ingredients such as olive oil, aloe, coconut oil, or shea butter.
- Do a deep conditioning treatment once per week. If your baby’s hair is very dry or damaged, apply the conditioner and put a shower cap on their head. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse out.
- This nourishes the hair more than a regular conditioner application.
- Avoid doing this more than once per week which can cause over-moisturizing and make fine hair look oily, especially on babies.
- Apply detangler to the bottom of the hair and work in small sections. Use a spray detangler that’s safe for kids on just the ends of the hair. Work through the hair with a wide-tooth comb slowly and in small sections to avoid tugging and pulling the hair unnecessarily.
- Detangler is especially important for curly hair. Tangles can cause damage to the hair and result in stubborn knots that can be painful.
Styling with care
- Dry the hair gently with a t-shirt instead of a towel. Regular towels are often too heavy for delicate curly hair, causing pulling, tugging, tangling and ultimately breakage. An old t-shirt is much gentler for the hair because it doesn’t have the weight of the towel.
- For longer hair, work from the ends of the hair to the roots, gently patting the hair with the t-shirt rather than pulling or squeezing to remove moisture.
- If you want to use a towel, try a microfiber towel instead of a regular bath towel. A microfiber towel will be gentle enough for your baby’s curls.
- Comb out the hair with a wide-tooth comb or Wet Brush. A wide-tooth comb is the best option for detangling, especially when it comes to wet hair. There are also specific brushes made for wet hair that are safer for curls, because they have wider bristles that cause less pulling.
- Avoid using regular-bristle brushes on curly hair whether it is wet or dry. They can easily cause breakage from pulling and tugging on knots and tangles.
- If your baby doesn’t have much hair, then you may be able to just finger-comb the hair. This works well on hair that is fine, thin, or short.
- Air dry or use a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment on wet hair. After you’ve towel-dried and combed the hair, it’ll still be a little damp from the bath. It’s best to let the hair air dry to avoid pulling moisture and oils from the scalp. If you need longer hair to dry quickly, use a hairdryer on the lowest heat and power setting with a diffuser attachment.
- If your baby’s curly hair is wet when they lay down, lay a t-shirt under their head to help dry that spot and prevent tangles.
- Use ribbon-style hair ties to pull hair back from the face. As your baby’s hair grows longer, it might be tempting to use clips, barrettes, and pretty hair ties to pull it out of their face. However, these can be damaging to curly hair. If you absolutely have to pull the hair back, do so gently and only use flat ribbon-style hair ties.
- Try to limit pulling their hair back to once per week or only on special occasions. Securing the hair too tight can cause breakage and can irritate the scalp.
- Make sure the ribbon or headband isn’t too tight around the baby’s head.
- Trim their hair every 2-3 months once they turn 2 years old. Curly hair is easier to manage and tends to be healthier when it’s kept short because trimming removes dead ends. Take your baby to a stylist who has experience with cutting curly hair.
- Most babies go through a period of time where they shed a lot of hair in their first 6 months. Don’t panic if your baby loses hair during these months, especially during months 3 and 4.
- Look for products that are formulated for specifically for children because they are more likely to be fragrance free and gentle for sensitive skin.
- Always be extra gentle when washing, drying, and styling your baby’s hair. Their hair and scalp are much more sensitive than an adult’s.
- If your baby has an adverse reaction to a product, such as a rash or itchiness, stop use of the product immediately and contact your doctor.