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Tame That Mane: 6 Tips to Get a Handle On Your Kid's Curly Hair


By Becky Mansfield of Your Modern Family. Becky Mansfield is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®

Our daughter Allie has the most beautiful curls! What more can I say about them? Well… except the fact that they are close to impossible to brush – whether wet or dry! 

How to manage kids' curly hair

Yes, close to impossible would be accurate… but it is possible. But trying to put her dry, curly hair into a ponytail or braid? Forget about it. It isn’t going to happen on its own. Wet hair is the key.

But the great part about her curly hair – other than the fact that I think it is just beautiful – is that I also had the same hair when I was her age. I can remember my mom breaking brushes in my hair, in an attempt to try to brush it for school. I’ve also learned that there are a lot of tools that will prevent painful brushing. I used to cringe when I would have to brush my hair and I did the same with our daughter… until I discovered five steps that make all the difference.

1. Wash – and condition – their hair.

How to manage kids' curly hair

It all starts in the bathtub. I will never get her out of the tub without being sure that she has used a conditioner in her hair. (I usually use a shampoo + conditioner while she is in the bathtub.) I love JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TEARS® shampoo & conditioner because as much as I say “Tilt your head back”, she always ends up looking down and the shampoo/water goes right onto her face!   

2. Before she gets out of the bathtub, I add a leave-in conditioner. This extra conditioner seems to be the trick to getting curls that are manageable and shiny. I only add the conditioner to the bottom of her hair, as adding it to her crown would make her hair look greasy. I use a small amount, roughly the size of a quarter. Trust me, a leave-in conditioner makes all the difference, especially during the summer months, when the chlorine from the pool makes her feel like hay –  extra conditioner can help fix that.

3. Pat-dry the hair just a bit, add a detangling spray and start to brush.

How to manage kids' curly hair

I pat her hair dry and wrap it up; I don’t rub it dry or use a blow dryer. When the hair is still damp, I spritz it with JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TEARS® detangling spray, then start to brush it. I always start brushing from the bottom to avoid knotting the hair. In my mind, I divide her hair into four parts. I’ll brush the bottom quarter of the hair and move up, quarter by quarter, until I get to the top. This helps to avoid breaking any strands of hair and helps the tangles come out pain-free.

3. Use a GOOD brush – one that has hard and soft bristles. I have tried everything with Allie, and these types of brushes seem to be the best. I can tell you from experience as a child that when you have wavy or curly hair, you need a good brush. I think my mom broke brushes on my own curly hair at least once a month!

4. Braid the hair loosely.

How to manage kids' curly hair

Left on its own, Allie’s hair is going to be a giant mess of untamable curls in the morning, but a very loose braid is going to help her hair dry and be manageable all at the same time. 

5. Find a fun way to pass the time.

managing kids' curly hair

If your child has hair that is hard to manage, let this be a time where they can read a book. Our daughter loves to read books to me while she is having her hair brushed.  I love it even more!

6. In the morning, choose a time-appropriate hair style.

Princess twist hair-do

If time is scarce, I'll just put her hair down with a hair bow or put it in a ponytail. If I have more time, we'll do one of our favorite curly 'dos (like this princess twist).

Doing her curly hair doesn’t take much time and now fixing her hair is our favorite part of the day. If I feel like it’s going to be a day where it will take a long time, I let her look at a book or even play on my phone for a few minutes. All in all, these simple steps make for very beautiful hair. With the right products & tools, it is easy to tame that mane!


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