The stylist, who I’ve since named the ‘magical curly hair fairy,’ imparted her curly hair wisdom, teaching me some game changing techniques and recommendations for hair styling products. We both left the salon with bouncy, soft curls that I was actually able to replicate at home.
So I’m now paying it forward and passing along this newfound knowledge for you to try. I guarantee before long you will be embracing those curls! Without further ado, here are 5 easy steps to tame curly toddler hair:
1. Find a stylist skilled in curly hair: The best techniques and products won’t work their best on hair that isn’t cut properly. So it’s best to do some research (online or talking to other moms with curly haired toddlers like I did) and find a hair stylist who knows curly hair and works with kids. S/he will cut curl by curl, adding shape and layers to work around the quirks and remove extra bulk. And s/he will do this while the hair is dry for the desired length since curly hair loses a lot of length after it dries. Your toddler’s curly hair will need to be trimmed often to control split ends and take it from me, it’s much easier to maintain when curls are short and layered.
2. Buy toddler curly hair products: The key to healthy, tame curls is hydration, so you’ll want to avoid products with sulphates, silicones and alcohols that dehydrate the hair. Instead, look for hair styling products for toddlers that are organic, natural and sulfate-free. Low lather or a foaming shampoo, otherwise known as “low poo” is a great option.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Avoid washing hair with shampoo everyday – this can be drying. Aim for 1-to-3 times a week. But, you’ll want to condition during every shower or bath. Apply it generously while the hair is soaking wet and gently detangle with your fingers or a wide toothed comb. Then with a little water in your palm, squish the conditioner to work deep into the hair before rinsing. For maximum hydration, use a leave-in conditioner or styling product with coconut oil.
4. Avoid heat: Heat from blow dryers causes dryness, damaging curly hair. It’s best to wrap your toddler’s hair in a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt (regular towels absorb too much water, causing frizz), then letting it air dry. If air drying isn’t an option, use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer at the lowest heat setting.
5. Skip the brush: To avoid frizz and damage, forego hard bristle brushing, especially when hair is dry as this can break curly hair. You can use a wide toothed comb, then scrunch on a toddler curly hair styling product if desired - a cream or spray are a great option for extra taming. Finish by styling with your fingers.
Be prepared for some trial and error when it comes to products, especially when there are changes in weather, but you’ll get the swing of it in no time. Sure, curly hair requires more maintenance and effort than straight hair, but after seeing my toddler’s beautiful curls I wouldn’t have it any other way.