Moms I have a special treat for you. Through my #ASKCOLE I receive a lot of questions about hair care. But my recent question was about caring for children’s hair. To make sure I provided this parent with the most accurate and precise information, I reached out to my good friend Janelle Sands to help me out. After a long conversation about children’s hair care, I told Janelle that this information must be shared with Moms around the world. Janelle has been a hair stylist for over 18 years and a CURLS – Brand Educator and I highly trust and respect her advice.
Question from parent: I live in South Carolina and I have a 2 year old daughter and her hair stays dry. I can grease it and within a few hours it looks and feels dry and she also has a sensitive scalp. What products would you recommend to help with this issue?
TNC: Janelle, what should parents really understand in the beginning when it comes to caring for their child’s hair?
Janelle: Children’s hair can be a bit tricky. Based on the age and development of the child, their young hair can be very different than how their hair will become after full bloom. Therefore, it is wise for parents to treat the child’s hair based on how it “feels” rather than doing what they perceive to be the correct thing to do.
TNC: I recently received a #ASKCOLE question from a parent about how to properly cleanse the hair for her 2 year old daughter, what do you suggest?
Janelle: For a 2 year old, it is wise to cleanse the hair as needed, or when it gets “dirty.” A parent will know when it gets dirty if they see that the child’s scalp is irritated, you see her playing in the dirt (for example), or if she is excessively sweating or has an itchy scalp.
TNC: Ok that’s a good point. So if the child starts to shows signs of an itchy scalp, that’s an indicator that it may be time for a good wash?
Janelle: Yes, that is correct. The sign of the itch could mean the child’s scalp is dry and in need of moisture, or it could also mean the scalp is in need of regulation. Cleansing will get rid of excess sebum, the scalp’s secretion, to allow more sebum to naturally flow. The cleansing process is a process of maintaining the hair and regulating scalp secretions.
TNC: So how often should she be washing her 2 year old daughter’s hair?
Janelle: Usually once a week or every 2 weeks is a good time to cleanse a child’s hair (ethnic hair). Use a gentle natural based cleanser followed by a conditioner each time. Non-Ethnic hair, on the other hand, tends to produce more oil and therefore, based on lifestyle may require more frequent cleansing.
TNC: Janelle, you know when it comes to natural hair retaining moisture is a huge issue. How would a parent keep the hair moisturized?
Janelle: Yes, your right. Moisture is a big issue and I always recommend using the L.O.C. method, which stands for Leave in Conditioner, Oil and Cream. Parents should use a leave-in conditioner and seal in and protect the moisture with an oil followed by styling with a cream based styler. Take it a step further for small children try styling their hair in a moisture preserving style like braids, twists, or buns to conceal the ends. If the ends are consistently exposed they may become drier, faster and could ultimately break off.
TNC: How often should the child’s hair be moisturized?
Janelle: If the child’s hair begins to feel dry I recommended once again to use the L.O.C. method to add moisture. This can be done every day if the hair needs it. For example, re-apply the Leave in Conditioner ( which will be water-based) followed by the oil and then the cream.
TNC: Which products do you recommend for children?
Janelle: I recommend Curly Q’s for Kids by CURLS. I know this line intimately because I have thoroughly studied the ingredients and I also use it on my children.
TNC: After all these steps have been taken, how would the parent protect the child’s hair at night?
Janelle: The parent would protect the child’s hair the same way as we do as adults. For bedtime, the child’s hair needs to be protected with a satin scarf or have your son or daughter sleep on a silk or satin pillow case.
TNC: Janelle, you’ve provided a wealth of information. Is there anything else you would like to add when it comes to caring for children’s hair?
Janelle: Yes, let’s go back to moisture for a minute. If the child’s hair is in need of more moisture but it doesn’t feel dirty enough for a shampoo-cleanse, I suggest doing a conditioning rinse to gently remove excess product and debris with warm water. Afterwards, proceed to the L.O.C Method – coined by Black Onyx.
TNC: So, what we like to call co-washing, this method can also be used for children?
Janelle: Yes, washing with a conditioning rinse and warm water will open up the cuticles, which allows for more moisture to be inserted. Maximize the moisture with the leave-in conditioner followed by the oil. Use a pure oil or oil blend and apply the same oil on the child’s scalp. Also, if the child scalp seems irritated, add a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil to your oil blend or to pure coconut oil.
Moms it was a pleasure speaking with Janelle. She provided an enormous amount of information when it comes to caring for your child’s hair. Be sure to check out the Curly Q’s for Kids by CURLS Curly Hair Products. You can find these products at Wal-Mart, Target, or online at www.curls.biz.
Was this information was helpful? I would love to hear about your child’s hair care routine. Leave a comment below.