As a Baton Rouge conventional newborn photographer, I knew that when I had my own kids I would more than likely be raising a curly kid. I myself have curly hair. I have spent years battling, fighting, and trying to tame my curls. My mother had beautiful silky straight hair. So when she had not one, but three curly daughters, she didn’t know what to do. I have vivid memories of my mom detangling my hair. So I thought I’d put together some tips for mamas with curly kids. Especially if you’re a straight haired mama with a curly kid. But even if you have curly hair yourself, you might end up with a child with a completely different curly type (like I did). So here are a few tips for mamas raising curly babies or kids.
The brush is the enemy of curly hair. And most definitely do not brush dry curly hair. Brushing not only breaks the curly patter, but it can be damaging to curly hair. If you absolutely must brush it, there are special brushes like the wet brush and the denman brush that can be used while wet.
2. Do not towel dry
Towel drying can make curls frizzy. All the rubbing against a cotton towel’s fibers disrupts the curls. It’s best to blot with a microfiber towel or a t-shirt to get it dry. Air drying is probably best. If you decide to use heat, use a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment. Pile the hair into the diffuser and sit with it on low heat. Then move around to the rest of the hair.
3. Don’t touch the curls
The more you mess with curly hair the more you disrupt the curls. This can cause frizz and mess with the curl pattern. I know curly hair is interesting and beautiful, but resist the urge to mess with it.
4. Consider a silk/satin pillow or bonnet
Traditional pillow fabric rubs against curly hair and creates frizz. Satin or silk pillowcases or bonnets don’t aggravate frizz. A pillowcase works better if your child doesn’t like keeping a bonnet on. For kids that can wear bonnets, there are some cute ones if you search around that might make them want to wear it more.
5. Figure out their curl type
Not all curly hair is created the same. From loose waves to tight curls and everything in between. But beyond curl type, there’s also hair density (how tightly the strands are packed together) and porosity (how the hair absorbs moisture). Knowing those things can help you figure out what their hair needs and products to try.
6. Find the right combination of hair products
I know this one is hard. I’ve been searching for what works with my hair for decades. Finding the perfect combination seems daunting and expensive. I’ve found my kids don’t need nearly as many different products I do. But they definitely need something besides just washing and going. In the end, it really depends on the curl type.
7. Find other curlies
When I first tried to seek out information I found naturallycurly.com. My world was rocked. There was so much information that I didn’t know. But when I realized I was also going to be a curly mama, I went right back there. But now with Facebook groups, there are lots of groups dedicated to curly hair. The groups are helpful and can help with products, defining hair types, and hair care recommendations.
I know that curly hair can be frustrating. I mean, I’ve lived it as a curly myself. But now I’m back trying to figure out how to care for my own children’s curly hair. All three of my kids have different curl types and needs. Two of them are completely different from my own. So even though most would think I know exactly what to do, I too was lost and trying to find information on caring for my kids’ hair.
Last but not least. I would recommend looking up and trying out the Curly Girl method. Many curlies love and recommend this method so it might be helpful for you. The main idea is to avoid damaging habits and ingredients in products to help encourage healthy beautiful curls. It originally came from the book “Curly Girl: The Handbook”. Definitely take a look at it and see if it might work for you.
I hope this was helpful to all the mamas out there with curly babies and kids. Enjoy and care for those beautiful curls.
Mariko Searing, Baton Rouge conventional newborn photographer, is located in Denham Springs, but serves Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. If you would like to contact her, please email [email protected] or head on over to the contact page.