Wash-day is one of my favorite days of the week. It’s when Kensington and I get to spend time doing something that is unique to just us girls. I know firsthand what it’s like to care for natural kinky/curly hair. It’s not easy! And when you throw a toddler into the mix, it can be even more of a challenge.
Since I knew what would be ahead I prepared for it. I researched the best ingredients for cleansing, conditioning, and moisturizing natural hair. I searched for the best detanglers, the best sealers, and the best protectants. I googled toddler-friendly products, tips, and tools. I show up for wash-day prepared!
I’m no expert, but I think I’ve figured out how best to maintain Kensington’s hair. It’s healthy, shiny and our wash-days have been tear-free (so far!). It’s actually something we both look forward to.
So here are my Top 10 Tips to Care for Your Toddlers Natural Hair:
1. Start by determining your child’s curl pattern. Is it 2, 2A, 4C? If you have no idea, that’s okay. I didn’t either. Finding out was as easy as googling a curl-type chart and picking the strand that looks like my daughter’s hair, when wet and product-free. Take a look below, find your strand, and then you’ll know. Simple! Once you know the type of hair you’re dealing with, you can easily search for products, tools, and tips that are specific to your hair-care needs.
2. Get a good hair comb or brush (or a few!) The kind of tool you use should be based on the texture or type of the hair you’re caring for. A good tool can be used to detangle, style and maintain the health of your hair. We use a wide tooth come to get out tangles, a fine comb for styling pigtails or side parts and we use a bristle brush for smoother styles and to tame her cute little baby hair!
3. Find a great shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer. This is so vital. Great hair starts with good hair care. As I searched for the best products for Kensington’s hair type, there was one brand that kept popping up: Shea Moisture. I had heard about their products and wanted to try them out, so when I heard they were finally available in Canada, I rushed off to Walmart to pick some up. I decided on the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Marufa Oil Collection. It claimed to soften, rehydrate, detangle, and restore hair, so I had to try it out- and it has been a dream. We’ve been using it for about 6 months and it leaves her hair smelling like vanilla cream pie! Shea Moisture totally lived up to all the hype. *Bonus tip: you only need to use a dime size amount of the product for your little one (depending on the length and thickness of the hair). And lastly, you can feel good about indulging in Shea moisture products on the regular because they are part of the community commerce program that seeks to fight poverty and better the lives of women globally. You can find more information on the program here: https://www.sheamoisture.com/c/communitycommerce/
4. Keep a spray bottle, full of just water, handy to refresh curls between wash days. Water for your hair is just like water for your body.
5. Find a good leave-in conditioner. A leave-in conditioner is liquid gold for curly hair. It helps detangle, adds moisture, and seals and protects the hair. Shea Moisture also has a great leave-in conditioner you can find at your local Walmart. Try the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strength and Grow.
6. Do not wash your child’s hair every day. Besides taking a huge chunk of time out of your day, cleansing the hair too often can strip it of vital natural oils.
7. I understand that every parent is different but I personally do not recommend straightening your child’s hair using hot tools, or chemical straighteners. You want to preserve the health of the curl as much as possible. Manipulating it with heat or chemicals can cause damage and alter the natural curl pattern. I stopped chemically straightening my hair about a decade ago, after chemically straightening it since childhood and it was probably one of the best decisions that I ever made as an adult.
8. Find a few hairstyles that are cute but also protective. YouTube is an amazing resource for this. There are tons of how-to videos and step-by-step tutorials for protective styles. Kensie’s favourite is rocking a cute little afro, half up or half down and pigtails. She doesn’t sit still long enough for me to braid her hair but I did manage to put it into two French braids once and it looked adorable!
9. Trim her hair regularly. Trimming your hair 4-6 times a year is recommended for healthy hair. Unless you are a pro, I recommend finding a stylist that specializes in natural hair. This will prevent breakage and promote growth.
10. Treat the hair from the inside out. Keeping your child healthy will translate into their skin, scalp, and hair. Make sure she is drinking water, taking a multivitamin, eating healthy. This is important for overall health!
Now that you know my hair care tips, try them out and let me know how it works for you. And, be sure to let me know what you think about Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Marufa Oil Collection. Just head to your local Walmart to purchase.
Note: This post was sponsored by Shea moisture however all thoughts and opinions are my own