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FEATURES May 7 2013 11:06AM

Tips for Styling Your Child's Hair

by Tamara Floyd, Natural Hair Rules

Many parents and their children face a certain amount of anxiety when it comes to styling sessions.  Sometimes its due to your child's tender scalp or the time one must dedicate to providing tender loving care to their crown.  Regardless, this time can be a wonderful bonding experience between mother and daughter or father and daughter. I don’t want to leave the dads out.

Use the styling sessions to open the lines of communication.  As a parent you are your child first line of defense against negative misconceptions centered around black hair care. It is very important to combat any negativity references with positive reinforcement.  I want to share some tips for overcome child hair care challenges such as the laborious nature of it, finding the right products to ease the process, helping your child embrace their hair and more.

Children are very intune to their parents.  If you approach your child’s hair care like a chore your child will perceive it with dread.  Have a conversation about their hair. Explain how beautifully unique our hair is. If your child understands that her hair is strong yet fragile it will be easier for her to accept the time intensiveness of it.  This conversation will also equip her with tools to handle her inquisitive or I hope this is not the case, taunting peers.

If the problem is your child is extremely tender headed try scalp massages.  A scalp massage will get the blood circulating in the scalp which can decrease discomfort.  

A pre-shampooing treatment with coconut oil and water will loosen tangles.  I don’t have to explain how this makes everyone’s life easier. Less tangles less discomfort. Happier child equals even happier parent. 

Finding the right product is the key to success in any hair regimen in my opinion. It should always start with a sulfate-free shampoo. And although everyone’s hair is different. I believe the combination of our individual hair type and texture is as unique to an individual as their fingerprint.  Identify these things will cut out some of the guesswork for product selection. 

Some key things to consider are not the “abc’s” or “123’s” of hair typing but porosity and how your child’s hair responses to products.  Porosity is the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.  Most of us have highly porous hair which is due to damaged or open hair cuticles.

Using natural products and oils will strengthen and improve the health of your child’s hair.  Look for products that are made from all natural ingredients.  Avoid products that have synthetic oils such as mineral oil or petroleum especially in hair moisturizers.  These oil sit on top of the hair and prevent water for entering.  A little bit of water and oil such as coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil go a long way.  These natural oil actually penetrate the hair shaft. This allows the hair the ability to internalize moisture from water and decreasing your hair’s porosity.  

There are a few child specific hair care lines on the market. But honestly if your products are sulfate-free and made from natural ingredients  hair will thrive regardless of age.

Styling your child’s hair is a labor of love that can be a wonderful bonding time.  Cherish the time you have to connect with your growing daughter or son.   As a parent you have the power to shape your child's perception and view of their individual beauty.  For many children especially girls this begins with their hair.  Each time you style invoke positive affirmation into the experience.  It will pay off in helping them to both embrace their natural beauty and individuality. 


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