Dry curly hair prone to matting

(48 Posts)
QueenCadbury Wed 26-Jun-13 12:48:33

My dd who's 2 has curly hair. Although this is my first experience of curls as I and other dc have straight hair I was managing to deal with it fairly well. However lately it's become really dry and prone to matting. It's not particularly long as it's seems to grow outwards rather than downwards so I'm not convinced a cut would help.

Any recommendations what shampoo etc to use???

libertychick Wed 26-Jun-13 13:16:17

My hair used to be very curly but has flattened out with age.

I would suggest let it grow, as it gets longer the weight will pull it down and it won't look so much like it's growing out - I find if my hair is any shorter than shoulder length it's like a cloud around my head!

Might be worth doing a search on here for 'curly girl' method as there have been a few on this - basically it involves not using shampoo at all and washing hair with silicone free conditioner. I tried it for a while and it does work but I missed shampoo!

Don't wash too often and when you do use sulphate free shampoo lots and lots of conditioner and look for a leave it conditioner. (Boots Naked range is suitable) Wide toothed comb helps - I have bad, bad memories of my mother tugging the head off me as a child with a hairbrush. In the morning's, use a spray bottle to mist it with some water, run a little bit of conditioner through and comb out gently to remove knots.

My sister has amazing mid back length, thick, blonde curly/wavy hair and she swears by putting it into a loose ponytail or bun right on the top of her head for sleeping as that helps to stop it matting.

BTW it will never look tidy!!! My mother had straight hair and she despaired about me and my sister looking unkempt. Curls are beautiful but they are not neat or shiny and that aspect messed with my mother's neat instincts - that may or may not be an issue for you grin


learnasyougo Wed 26-Jun-13 13:23:52

Curly hair is prone to dryness because scalp oils can't travel down the hair shaft so easily.

One thing you can do is a pre-shampoo treatment: oil it up with olive oil (really slap it on until it's soaked through) leave for 30-60 minutes and then wash out and then a conditioner.

Mind you, running after a greased up toddler might make this impractical, so maybe try oiling her hair up just before her bath.

QueenCadbury Wed 26-Jun-13 13:25:12

Thanks liberty. Maybe it's about time I took a brush to her hair! So far I hadn't been using one as everyone seemed to tell me never to brush curly hair. I'll have a look for that naked stuff as I need to stop using the l'oreael kids stuff.

Yes, it does mess with my neat instincts but dd1 can be dressed in the nicest clothes, have the loveliest hair and within 5 minutes looks like a bag lady. I do not have neat children. Sigh.

SavoyCabbage Wed 26-Jun-13 13:29:24

My dds hair is exactly like this. She's nine and I am just getting on top of it now.

I don't use any shampoo.
I only use sulphate free and 'no cone' conditioner.
Once a week I cover it in coconut oil overnight.
I Plait it before bed.
She sleeps in a satin hat.
I use a mason Pearson brush.

The hat, though utterly ridiculous, has been the best thing. It's made a huge difference.

libertychick Wed 26-Jun-13 13:31:04

Noo did I say it wrong - don't use a hairbrush!!! Comb with a wide tooth comb while it's damp with a little conditioner. A brush will break it and make it fuzz but it does need combing to prevent the matting.

QueenCadbury Wed 26-Jun-13 13:36:23

Sorry liberty I read it wrong grin. I'd better buy a wide toothed comb.

learn thanks, I'll try some oil at bath time.

savoy which conditioner do you use? Can't quite see dd sleeping in a hat yet but once she's older I'm sure I can bribe persuade her.

Just reading up on the curly hair method now. Who knew curly hair was such a pita grin

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 15:01:56

I have v v dry hair and use this as a conditioner (sometimes as a treatment but works as a normal one too) it's really thick and you don't need much

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 15:03:44

Forgot to say I use a no sulphate shampoo, then comb through conditioner with fingers
While its still wet I put curl cream on and then just leave it to dry. I don't own a hairbrush or hairdryer grin

BeCool Wed 26-Jun-13 15:27:45

My 2 DD's have mixed race corkscrews. I've tried everything over the last 4 or so years - here are my pearls of wisdom:

Avoid 'cones' - silicones etc. Feel good, but ultimately lead to more problems.

Boots NAKED range (mentioned above) is the best I've found for the price. There are very expensive products which might be good but I can't afford them. NAKED range is often on 3 for 2 offers. If your local Boots doesn't stock NAKED products you can buy online and get it delivered for free to your local branch.

I wash hair once a week and brush it through with the conditioner on to get all the knots out. As good as the NAKED curl conditioner is, I have recently taken to using Aussie 3 minute rescue as a conditioner - to get the knots out. It makes a huge difference.

I use a blend of pure argan oil and macademia oil post washing - buy online and mix together at home. This keeps the hair soft and lovely.

it took 5 years for DD1's hair to stop growing out, and 'drop' at the back. Finally this has happened. I do brush her hair (using Tangle Teaser brush) every couple of days when I redo her pig tails. Now her hair is longer keeping it tied back or in plaits make a huge difference to knots.

DD2 (2yo) hasn't had her hair cut yet - I'm too scared she will scream the joint down! (She can be VERY loud) smile She has major matting at the back issues.

The Tangle Teezer brush is OK for DD2 - but no longer suitable for DD1 - she needs the stronger Tangle Tamer now (both at Boots).

When the hair is shorter I give it a spray in the morning with a blend of water/NAKED conditioner and if at nursery/school a few drops of tea tree oil. Spray hair liberally and 'fluff' curls with fingers.

craigslittleangel Wed 26-Jun-13 15:53:00

Becool, can I ask, do you use the NAKED shampoo on your 2 year old? I have two mixed race little girls. The eldest is 2.5 and although I have been ok with the shampoo I have been using, but her hair has gone through another change and it is getting very dry and matted. I'm looking for a different shampoo. She hates having her hair washed, so I always use a leave in conditioner.

Ihatemytoes Wed 26-Jun-13 16:48:57

My DD is mixed race too. The Naked range completely knackered her hair.

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 16:51:56

Naked range doesn't work on mine. Except for mask I linked to before I use l'oreal everpure. I think the pink one is for coloured hair but seems most moisturising. No sulphates or silicone

BeCool Wed 26-Jun-13 17:18:25

Naked do a couple of children's shampoos - we use the JAM (red) one. I use it on 2yo yes. It's ment to also be a detangler - seriously I don't know what a detangler would do in our house. I am not aware of any detangling impact at all.

I've only recently out of desperation started using Aussie 3 minute miracle on them. I prefer to use the NAKED/natural Curl Conditioner but although it is quite rich, the Aussie stuff cuts the brushing & combing time in half. And when your 2yo is crying/screaming that is very attractive.

I forgot to mention above I use a combination of wide tooth comb & brush on the wet hair/knots. I know you aren't ment to brush wet hair, but there is no way we'd be getting knots out without using both.

I need to start a thread on nice short curly hairstyles for girls!

QueenCadbury Wed 26-Jun-13 21:11:39

Thanks again everyone. I found a wide toothed comb lurking in the back of the bathroom cupboard and washed her hair in conditioner and combed it through tonight. She went to bed with beautiful, soft, gorgeous ringlets. Bet it'll be a matted mess again by morning grin

auldspinster Wed 26-Jun-13 22:01:29

I find a wide toothed comb can't deal with my tangles, I use a denman tangle tamer and coconut oil along with detangling spray for kids.

I have two mixed race dd's.

We use Luster's Pink hair range. I comb the hair through when the conditioner is in. Once dry I use the oil moisturiser, comb through and plait.

My mixed race niece swears by Soft N Free curl activator.

SingingBear Wed 26-Jun-13 22:17:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wallison Wed 26-Jun-13 22:29:55

Plaiting hair before going to bed definitely helps - it keeps the curl in but stops it matting.

Also, find a hairdresser that 'does' curly hair - a lot of them don't. Curly hair needs to be cut in a different way to straight hair. I would say, after many disasters at the hairdresser, that this is one of the most important things in terms of curly hair looking even half-way decent - I spent my entire childhood with shit hair because the (very expensive for our town) hairdresser my mum took me to didn't have a clue about how to handle my hair. It actually had a massive impact on me and my self-esteem etc. I am not a hairdresser but what I have gleaned from years of listening to them when they do my hair is that you have to cut into the curl and also that cutting curly hair is more about shaping/moulding it.

It's best not to brush at all and curly hair doesn't need it - I haven't brushed my hair in years; I just condition it and then do it with a wide-toothed comb before rinsing the conditioner out.

Serum is great for getting the curls to sit nicely and be all defined.

SavoyCabbage Thu 27-Jun-13 02:45:22

I think it's trial and error with finding the right conditioner for the right hair.

In fact, I use different conditioners on my two dc. Their hair looks the same but I have found that it responds differently to different conditioners.

The hats have made the biggest difference. Although it looks like I have two tiny bakers racing around my house at bedtime!grin

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 10:37:51

Wallison if my DD's didn't get their hair deknotted at least weekly, they would have dreadlocks.

Savoy what are these hats please?

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 10:42:03

I have used one of those thick hairnets from Boots on DD1, held on with clips. It ALWAYS comes off after an hour or 2 in bed.

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 10:43:19

Queen this is why I now wash the DD's hair on a Sat or Sun morning - so at least we get to enjoy a day of gorgeous curls before they are ruined by bed!

SavoyCabbage Thu 27-Jun-13 11:03:07

sleep cap.

You can get children's ones too. They are called sleep caps or satin bonnets...

ZolaBuddleia Thu 27-Jun-13 11:05:20

DD has curly hair, with flatter, straight hair on top. The Body Shop spray in conditioner is quite good, and is silicone free, if memory serves. We still use baby shampoo on her, a Green People one I think.

ZolaBuddleia Thu 27-Jun-13 11:08:20

stitch, your link is taking me to a page about measles! grin

cjbk1 Thu 27-Jun-13 11:32:42

wallison ditto about the self esteem
funny iv was just remembering yesterday how mum suggested a 'head transplant' so i wldnt have problems with my teeth (crowded) eyes (short sighted) or hair!! shock and she'd say this kind of thing in public too...she'd always brush my hair wet into a frizz after washing and was always suggesting I get it all chopped off--stops self ranting on-- and it's made me very careful with dd1's hair...by way I'd say freshly trimmed ends really will help x

cjbk1 Thu 27-Jun-13 11:33:05

stops self ranting on

ohcomethefuckon Thu 27-Jun-13 11:41:00

Another idea, if the ones above don't work (took me years to find the right products for my mixed race curls) Paul Mitchell leave in conditioner, seems to keep the hair soft, and a tangle teaser as an alternative to a wide tooth comb. I don't comb my hair, i use my fingers but my 4 year old loves her tangleteaser and screams blue murder if I use a comb on her!

IvanaCake Thu 27-Jun-13 11:57:48

My 3 year old has inherited my ringlets and they are a real pain if I'm honest! They look lovely the day after they're washed and then she spends a few days looking like she's been dragged through a hedge!

I only comb it when its wet and has lots of conditioner on it. I also spray it with boots coconut leave in conditioner.

I can't wait until she's old enough to look after it herself!!

Yy to the self esteem issue. My mum didn't have a clue what to do with curly hair so kept nine cropped short. I looked like a boy until I rebelled and started growing it when I was 11. I felt like a complete misfit in amongst all the girls with their long flowing locks and was so self conscious. It didn't help that other kids would regularly ask me if I was a boy or a girl!

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 12:02:44

Yes keeping ends nicely trimmed makes a HUGE difference.

I dream of the day the DD's can look after their own hair. I talk to women who have similar hair any chance I get and they will often say they never brush it! shock

I've promised DD1 an ipad when she can wash & brush & de knot her own hair. I can't wait for the day to arrive - sadly I think it is far far away. Still it's really got her trying!

ZolaBuddleia Thu 27-Jun-13 12:05:20

ohcomethefuckon (love your name!), is the Paul Mitchell one silicone-free, do you know?

celestialsquirrels Thu 27-Jun-13 12:10:03

I have this hair. The key is to use shampoo rarely and to effectively wash in the shower with loads of conditioner which has enough detergent in it to clean. Then CRUCIALLY towel dry hair briefly to remove excess water and finger through a big blob of conditioner and let dry naturally with the conditioner in it.

Pantene conditioner for normal hair is good - the stuff for dry hair is very heavy and greasy. Aussie brand conditioned are also good - the one called something like daily conditioner.

That's what works for me anyway. Little Miss Shiny Ringlets grin

Arkady Thu 27-Jun-13 12:17:39

We use this:


It's amazing, and can even get out the dreads that start to form if we don't condition it enough.

We just refer to it as the hair magic at our house, and forget that this isn't actually its name. However we do use about 10x as much at a time as it says on the bottle. A squirt would do nothing for us.

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 12:47:53

Right I'm off to Boots for some Hair Magic!

Wallison Thu 27-Jun-13 13:37:10

Sorry to hear you had bad experiences too, cjbk1 and IvanaCake. My hair didn't get properly sorted until I was 16! The bloody hairdresser and my mum kept on brushing it in an attempt to make it straight. Not blow-drying it straight properly or anything like that; just drying it and then going at it with a brush. I looked fucking awful until I finally went to a different hairdresser who showed me how to wear it curly. It was a revelation!

QueenCadbury Thu 27-Jun-13 14:04:27

Those gorgeous ringlets she went to bed with looked like she'd spent the night with her fingers in the electric socket by this morning grin. Still, at least it wasn't matted, just some huge ball of frizz. When she's in the buggy and people can't see the wild mess at the back, I'm forever being told by strangers what wonderful hair she has.

I went to boots this morning and bought the naked stuff so I'll give that a go and if it doesn't work I'll try some other of your recommendations. I'll also try and find a hairdresser that cuts curly hair. I can see they managing her hair is going to cost me a bloody fortune. Thank goodness the other 2 dc are straight!

craigslittleangel Thu 27-Jun-13 16:39:10

I have also just got back from Boots and have purchased the Custard children's two in one and an adult one - hedging my bets. I forgot to write down the name of the conditioner everyone recommended, however I still have some Mixed chicks stuff leave in that I will use up.

QueenCadbury do you want to report back are success with out girls?

cjbk1 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:34:56

thanks wallison my hair's always changing so its even harder to get the mastery of it...but it's okay the mo x

QueenCadbury Thu 27-Jun-13 19:05:06

Yes craig I'll report back. Will probably do it tomorrow as it's starting to look matted agin. Sigh.

craigslittleangel Fri 28-Jun-13 09:03:18

My daughter is due to have her hair washed on Sunday, so will let everyone know on Monday.

craigslittleangel Mon 01-Jul-13 20:10:06

Well I washed her hair Sunday morning and I think I used to much shampoo because of the lack of suds. I could tell instantly the difference between this and other shampoos as her hair curled beautifully from the root, and not just at the tip.
As to matting, I haven't noticed any difference in that respect. I tend to plat her hair the second or third day after its been washed, which cuts down on the matting.
All in all I like the shampoo. I'm going to look for some other products along the same line.

QueenCadbury Mon 01-Jul-13 20:25:14

I used the naked stuff on her hair and it makes it lovely and soft. It's still frizzy in the mornings but not quite as bad as it was and at least it's not so dry and matted.

I used the naked on my hair too. It's lovely and soft but as I have straight fine hair I think I need some chemicals to give it some oomph!

Drhamsterstortoise Mon 01-Jul-13 23:16:03

Ivanacake- you are not the only one.My lovely curls were chopped off when I was four.Really affected my self esteem as a child.My daughter has the most beautiful long curly hair .It takes a lot of looking after-use Aussie three minute miracle,mane and tail leave in spray conditioner,some serum and a tangle teaser, tied up at night too.

nannybun Mon 01-Jul-13 23:24:55

Morrocan oil- one word- AMAZING!!

TerribleTantrums Mon 01-Jul-13 23:36:57

I found Naked a bit harsh on DD's mixed-race hair. I use Burt's Bees on her and only wash it at most once a week. I always oil it after washing and also wet it, oil it and brush through with a tangle teaser at least once in between washes. I sometimes rub in a little more oil at the back at bedtime onto dry hair. I use Murumuru butter, but one day accidently put this body butter on her hair (it's a similar jar) and it was amazing. It's a little too oily for regular use but I still use it if her hair is looking particularly dry. I pop it onto dry hair at night and by morning she has lovely glossy ringlets.

BeCool Tue 02-Jul-13 09:51:11

Desperate situation - the girls were with their dad over the weekend and he didn't wash DD2's hair. I'm going to have to do it tonight after work - she will be tired and cranky, and the back of her hair is almost one huge flat dreadlock.

I'm so annoyed with ExP as he didn't do it as he knew it would be tough. He chickened out, he couldn't be bothered - leave the tough jobs for me. angry But doing it on a weekend morning isn't half as tough as doing it on a week night after work!!

Any suggestions as to what I could do to help detangle before I wash it? I will try putting lots of coconut oil on before I wash it - any other ideas please?

Redlocks30 Wed 03-Jul-13 12:59:32

Arkady, I have just bought some of this magic stuff on your recommendation!


Can I ask how you use it? I tend to wash my hair two/three times a week, put lots of conditioner on and then scrunch hair jelly/gel into it and leave it to dry. On the days that I don't wash it, I scrunch water into the curls to pep them up a bit! What is the Aussie stuff good at-holding the curl in or putting through after you've washed it to get the tangled knots out?

Many thanks!

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