Our Natural Hair Care Routine
Hands down easy to say, Samson’s biggest trademark is his big, fluffy bed of curly, kinky, coily hair. When he was born his hair was black, sleek and wrapped like he just stepped out of the salon with a fresh duby wrap, prepared for birth. We realized we were right to name him Samson. We had no idea just how much more his hair would continue to grow. Seeing how big and long it’s grown these past 15 months, we don’t really have any plans of when we’ll cut it. I’ve tried trimming a few twists, but that turned into a mini-nightmare accident and let’s just say… I won’t be cutting or taking him to get a real hair cut anytime soon.
This post has been requested countless of times, but I’ve been hesitant. We were still in the stage of narrowing down on product favorites, but I think we’ve narrowed it down. Regardless, the actual technique of his hair care we’re pretty stable with.
I like to keep information organized and easy to follow so I’ll be breaking down this post in sections by age groups and what I did. I have photo’s of products we’ve used and how I use them for hair washing, styling and our daily morning routine. I hope you find this helpful, and of course if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with, nor have I been paid or received any of the products for a review by the mentioned companies or the stores I’ve linked the products to. Everything has been purchased by me and these are my honest opinions and reviews.
Newborn to 6 Months:
There isn’t much that is needed for an infants’ hair at the beginning, except to keep it cleaned, lightly oiled and moisturized. I washed Samson’s hair once a week. For washing his hair I generally used his bath soap (SheaMoisture Baby Head to Toe line) and afterwards rubbed a little coconut oil in my hands and applied to his hair to seal in moisture. If we were going out for the day, I would either add a little water to my hands with a about a dime size of coconut oil and try to encourage the curls by raking the water through his hair in large sections. Eventually, I started to use a mini spray bottle with water. This worked to keep his hair moist, but his curls would often get frizzy and the shape wouldn’t hold.
When he was about six months old I discovered Shea Moisture’s Kids Curling Butter Cream.
I used the same raking method (also known as shingling) to help define his curls. This cream kept his curls defined and in place for several hours. I used it every other day, and refreshed his hair with the spray bottle of water and raked by sections. A little goes a long way but it does leave some residue after a few days. I liked it enough to finish the jar.
7 months to 12 months:
We continued to wash his hair once a week or bi-weekly depending on how much product residue he had. I added in a shampoo and conditioner to his hair wash days. I started out with Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner and the 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Shampoo, only because I already had them and they are all natural without sulfates to strip the hair strands. Curly/Kinky/Coily hair is already fragile, so using a shampoo with sulfates strips it more and can be hard on the hair strands. If he needed more clarification then I’d use the shampoo. However, most times, I would do a co-wash (washing with just conditioner). While the conditioner was still in I’d do a loose finger detangle, to get the major knots out. After washing his hair, I always followed up with pressing his hair to get the excess water out with my hands, and then follow up with the towel doing the same. I always make sure that I don’t tossle his hair, but let it stay flowing down, as I have detangled it. This keeps his curls from becoming majorly tangled again.
I continued with spraying on a leave in conditioner/detangler, either SheaMoisture Kids Extra Moisturizer Detangler or Just for Me Hair Milk Leave in Detangler. Then I would add coconut oil, warmed in my hands, and apply it to his hair to seal in the moisture. Think of it like your skin, when you get out of the shower. You towel dry, but should add a lotion or oil to keep your skin moist to avoid it becoming excessively dry. The same with hair.
His daily moisturizing remained the same as before. But when I finished the detangling sprays, I made my own. I just added to his water bottle, oil and a few pumps of conditioner, shook it up really well and BAM leave in conditioner/detangler spray. Oils I’ve used are Argan Oil and Haitian or Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Pure Coconut oil doesn’t do well in spray bottles because of how it hardens when cooled. It’s better to use it warmed from your hands.
One year and beyond:
We moved on to a kids shampoo and conditioner. I was using the Cantu Care for Kids Nourishing Shampoo and the SheaMoisture Kids Extra Nourishing Conditioner. For his leave in conditioner we used the Bella Curls Coconut Whipped Creme . You can find Bella Curls at Dollar General. To be honest, the shampoo is a bit drying, but it’s tear free. The conditioner, I really like because it’s very moisturizing and a great detangler. I have even used it in his spray bottle with water and oil as a leave in conditioner. I do enjoy the Bella Curls leave in conditioner, it smells AMAZING and helps to detangle but I still have to moisturize again the next day.
SheaMoisture Kids Review:
Last week I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and found SheaMoisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner. I also found their Mango & Carrot Styling Smoothie. Since I was already a fan of the Mango & Carrot Conditioner, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the styling smoothie. I looked up a couple of reviews online and saw that people found it to be nourishing and moisturizing. The 2-in-1 shampoo conditioner, I thought this could save some time and cut down a step.
Folks…. I loved them both! Since the shampoo/conditioner doesn’t have sulfates, it is not overly sudsy, however it cleans very well and helped make detangling really easy. It smells great, has a good slip and I get to cut down on a step. I rinsed his hair with the water going down in the direction of his hair, to not disturb the curl pattern. I pulled his hair back in a ponytail to get the excess water out, and then squeezed it dry with his towel. Then I added the styling smoothie and maaaaaaan those curls and coils were pop pop popping! I sprayed on the castor oil/water mix just to seal all that juiciness in.
The next day his hair was smooshed of course from sleeping, but I noticed his curls were still defined. To refresh, I just sprayed on the castor oil/water mix until his hair was damp, and then grabbed large sections and loosely raked the mix down from root to tip. This wakes up his curls and brings back some definition. I do this every morning, a daily refresh, it only takes like 3-5 minutes. By the time I get him to daycare, his hair has mostly dried. With the styling smoothie, I didn’t have to reapply it till around day 3, because his defined curls were holding up pretty well and his hair stayed moisturized. I think we’ve found our holy grail products.
Tips and Last Thoughts:
Every curly child’s hair type is different, therefore not every product will work the same for everyone. However, the order of hair care will work for everyone. Shampoo, Condition (leave on for a few minutes for deep conditioning), Leave in Conditioner and Oil.
- It’s easier to wash hair at bath time or in the sink.
- When choosing a hair product, search for products that are organic or all natural with minimal to no harsh chemicals. Baby and toddler skin is sensitive. The same way we are cautious with what goes in their mouth, and on their skin, we need to be cautious with what you put on their head.
- Curly, kinky, coily hair is fragile and prone to dryness and breakage. Natural oils from the scalp have to work harder to get down the hair shaft. Although you may not have to wash the hair more than once a week, a daily moisturizing spritz is helpful. Just like you keep your skin moisturized with lotion and oils to keep it from cracking and drying out, we need to treat the hair the same. Hair growth is stunted when it’s dried out and breaking.
- Never comb curly, kinky, coily hair when it’s dry. Always wait until the hair is wet and use a conditioner or detangler to help with detangling. Always Always start from the ends of the hair and work your way up. Start off with light finger detangling for the major knots, then move on if necessary to a detangling paddle brush or wide tooth comb.
- Protective styling and low manipulation styles! The less you have to comb and detangle the better. Also, be mindful of styles that cause extra tension on their edges. For girls you can do buns, braids, twists, fros and plaits. For boys, I usually leave it as a fro, a double bun (vertical or horizontal) or twists.
- Look out for areas that cause extra friction on the back of the hair. Carseats, crib sheets (baby lying on their back rubbing their head on sheets), bassinets, swings, gliders, etc. Samson never experienced balding on the back of his head. However, he has had some thinning and that part of his hair is coarser and gets dryer fastest. To help, I bought a piece of silk like fabric and wrapped it around the head of his carseat. This way as he’s rubbing his head back and forth and all around, the hair is not rubbing against the fabric, snagging his hair. Since doing this, I’ve noticed a decrease in the thinning.
I tried to get a video together for my visual people, but it didn’t work out. When I get it up and going I will make an additional post for it. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. I’m obsessed with hair care, and don’t mind chatting about it at length. If you have more ideas of specific hair care posts, let me know.