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Curly hair for a complete beginner - please explain slowly using small words...

(26 Posts)

My 21mo DD has absolutely fantastic corkscrew curls, but sadly they are normally completely obliterated by the mass of fuzz/frizz that takes over every time her head touches a pillow or hat or when she decides to randomly roll around on the floor.

I've been reading up on the Curly Girl method and I'm gearing up to take the plunge. So far I've understood that sulphates and 'cones are bad m'kay and ideally I should be washing her hair with a 'thin' conditioner (in lieu of shampoo) most days, followed by a richer but still rinse-out conditioner (at which point I comb through any tangles), and finally I put a leave-in conditioner on her hair. Am I keeping up so far?

It's the next stage that confuses me. Most websites then say "and then use your normal styling products". Or "then just apply any gels, oils or serums as usual." HELP?! I don't have curly hair myself so I have no idea what a "normal" styling product to use on corkscrew curls would be. I'm also very reluctant to start loading up DD's hair with a ton of product everyday, surely 21mo is far too young for gels?!

Can some kindly soul please come along and tell me exactly what I need to do with DD's hair, from start to finish? At most I think I'd like to "style" her hair with just a light oil (or serum?) to give a little definition to her curls. Nothing heavy or gunky. She also has super sensitive skin (prone to eczema) so nothing with harsh chemicals. Up until now I've just been washing her hair with olive oil shampoos and conditioners filled with naughty sulphates and 'cones and putting the same shea/olive oil on her hair as I do on her skin. It's definitely not working...

As a final hurdle, I bathe DD and wash her hair directly before bed each night, and there's definitely no time to do a full hair wash in the morning. Is there ANY method that works overnight, or can be quickly revived in the morning? I'm already looking into silk bedding, should I also be wetting her hair with just a little water spray in the morning before applying some kind of super-secret-curly product?

HELP?! grin Any advice received with thanks...

MakingAnotherList Tue 28-Jan-14 23:53:06

I use Body Shop's rainforest range detangling spray on my curly haired child in the mornings. I'm reluctant to use anything else at 27 months but something was needed because the hair was huge in the mornings, now it's much more manageable.

rumtumtugger Wed 29-Jan-14 00:03:30

Ooh I want to know too!

IsItSummerYet Wed 29-Jan-14 00:06:47

Watching with interest, my daughter is nearly 5 and I still haven't a clue what I should be doing!

Lydiejo Wed 29-Jan-14 00:29:44

Yep, you got it. Sulfate free shampoo if any at all and conditioner without silicone. You will have to look up the different ingredient names to make sure and avoid them. I wouldn't leave conditioner in since she probably has fine hair. And then gel. I put gel on my babies hair, nothing wrong with that. Also, no brushing and air dry.

Weelady77 Wed 29-Jan-14 07:39:13

My dd has really curly hair and when she was a baby I bought baby products for curly hair but I cannot remember the name of it I'll google it later! I bought the shampoo detangling spray and mouse, don't ever brush just use a wide tooth comb when wet,

Weelady77 Wed 29-Jan-14 08:28:58

Had to google the products I used where original sprout products

mistlethrush Wed 29-Jan-14 08:32:46

The naked range is good for curly hair - either the ones specifically for curls or I use the one for dry and damaged to get extra conditioning in. They do children's shampoos that DS likes (although his hair is not as curly as mine).

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Wed 29-Jan-14 08:33:33

Never brush. Only comb when wet, to comb through conditioner.

That Body Shop detangler is good, you spray it on and leave it in, after you've washed her hair.

I don't shampoo DD every wash, her curls are much more defined if two washes out of every three are just rinses.

cjbk1 Wed 29-Jan-14 08:42:02

shameless rant all these curly MN children are so lucky! I see loads of these threads, my mum had access to a (a) hairdressers with mixed race experience, (b)my aunties who were good with hair, (c)word of mouth but she didn't listen to any and used to brush my hair into a massive dry frizzy mess every day until puberty so I got bullied then she has the nerve to ask me why I don't leave my hair 'curly' now confused
good luck to you all, my dd has European curly hair but i do wet brush it with a tangle teezer and luckily the curls come back grin

MadBusLady Wed 29-Jan-14 08:54:18

I would try the new shampoo regime without styling products at first, it might make a huge difference. Also try washing every other day if possible, almost no curly will wash every day.

The styling thing I use most often is Boots Curl Creme, pink goopy stuff, comes in a little clear pot, couple of quid. It's cone-free and very easy to use, I can't say on sensitivity tho.

VillaVillekulla Wed 29-Jan-14 09:03:27

Sounds like you've got it. I wouldn't use any styling products at all on a 21 month old. On fine baby hair you probably don't need to use as much heavy conditioner as you would on adult curly hair.
I would try just using a thin conditioner to wash the hair (try Faith in Nature), comb through, rinse out then maybe put a bit of a light leave in conditioner on the ends.
I also wouldn't wash her hair everyday. You can spritz her hair with water or diluted leave in conditioner in the morning and scrunch up the curls to get the definition back. Definitely no brushing when dry.

jennimoo Wed 29-Jan-14 10:05:39

DDs hair sounds like yours. What we do is:
-only wash once or twice a week
-sometimes use body shop rainforest shampoo, always use lots of matching conditioner, comb through and don't rinse it quite out.
- sometimes use bodyshop hair butter
-each morning squirt with water spray (39p from home bargains!) and gently brush with tangle teaser. Then I gently scrunch with hands to 'ping' the curls.
- I don't bother with styling products at the moment.

Good luck! Has made a big difference with DDs hair.

Thank you so much everyone! Some really clear and useful advice there, and I will definitely be following lots of it!

I've bought Mini U sulphate free shampoo to wash once a week; Mini U 'cone free conditioner to "co-wash" twice a week; Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner for after washing; a water spray bottle and Original Sprouts Curl Calmer for morning revival of curls. Staying away from styling products for now, just using the conditioners and detangler listed. Wish me luck!

(Any further advice or appraisals of my plan gratefully received!)

Horsemad Wed 29-Jan-14 21:33:29

Come back and update when you've tried the new regime out please!

randomfemale Wed 29-Jan-14 21:47:02

I have naturally curly hair, my teenage daughters have naturally curly hair and when they were little bairns I did nowt! They both have waist length gorgeous natural curls and still don't use loads of lotions and potions. If it aint broke, don't fix it smile

Scarletohello Wed 29-Jan-14 22:19:23

Lots of good advice here!

Last year I saw a hairdresser in Birmingham who had trained for ten years in New York with the woman who wrote the Curly Girl handbook. He was fantastic and has transformed by dry wavy frizzy hair. He recommended Body Shop Rainforest shampoo and cinditioner due to no sulphates and silicones. He also recommwnded Umberto Gianni gel ( in a pink tube) and drying with a diffuser.

You are on the right track. Would recommend getting the handbook to give you more understanding and ideas. Curly hair is not like straight hair and needs v different handling and products. Good luck..!

Lydiejo Thu 30-Jan-14 02:46:56

Sounds like you've got it figured out! If you have some laying around I say try some gel. I have really curly hair and gel is the only product that I use, after trying sooo many! Curly hair tends to have so much volume and frizz that gel just helps to define the curls. It doesn't make it too stiff.

jennimoo Thu 30-Jan-14 07:24:14

Good luck! I recommend a tangle teaser brush for any toddler hair though. You can hold then still with one hand while brushing with the other without pulling ;)

Lydiejo Fri 31-Jan-14 03:07:53

No need to brush curly hair smile

jennimoo Fri 31-Jan-14 12:24:10

If I miss brushing DDs hair just one day the knots are terrible...

Weelady77 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:34:41

I couldn't not brush dd hair either and now it's cold weather I need to dry her hair at night if not it's a mass of tangles in the morning hmm

jennimoo Fri 31-Jan-14 14:37:13

I don't wash it every day, just squirt before breakfast with the spray so it has time to mostly dry before we go out.

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Sat 01-Feb-14 13:37:14

I wash DD's hair in the morning, that avoids the overnight tangles.

mammadiggingdeep Sat 01-Feb-14 14:05:50

I rinse it (wash with shampoo once every other week), lots and lots of conditioner, rinse off. Comb through and plait. Her hair gets re combed and plaited every day. If she didnt wear it in plaits the curls get so tangled.

Mixed chicks leave in conditioner is great. A little olive oil rubbed in held to add shine

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