I vividly remember my doctor’s appointment to determine the gender of my second child. With my first child, I “felt” like he would be a boy and I was right. With my second pregnancy, I “felt” like I would be having a girl. I also had several dreams that I was having a girl, so I think God was trying to tell me something. I really wanted a girl so that I could continue the tradition my mom started by giving me part of my grandmother’s name as my middle name. If you read the about me section of my blog, you know that my mother passed away suddenly just a few years ago. I really wanted to have a girl the second time around for more reasons than one.
When the ultrasound technician announced that I was having a girl, I immediately started crying. I prayed for a little girl throughout my entire pregnancy.
As I cupid-shuffled out of the office with excitement another thought came across my mind…
OH CRAP! This girl is going to have hair…lots of it! I barely know how to do mine. What am I going to do?
Yes, it was this dramatic.
Thankfully, watching YouTube videos and talking with other natural relatives and moms experienced with natural hair has helped me since giving birth to my little girl. I still have TONS to learn, but I’m doing a much better job than I used to. Here are some of the products that I use to care for my toddler’s natural hair.
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I have relaxed hair. I have been relaxed probably since I was 6 or 7. My mom did not have the energy or patience to deal with my hair apparently, so I was introduced to the creamy crack pretty early on. Receiving relaxers at an early age is a shared experience for many African-Americans. It’s just something that our parents did. They may or may not have realized how damaging it was. I maintain that if my mom would have left my hair in its natural state, then I would be natural to this day. Several of my relatives have tried to convince me to go natural, but I’m too far gone!
Even though I have relaxed hair, I made the decision early on that my daughter would be natural until she decided that she wanted to change her hair. When my daughter was born, there’s wasn’t really much to do to her hair. I brushed her hair and sometimes used a soft headband, but other than that I usually let her hair just be the way that it was. It was probably around the 6 month mark that I noticed a significant change in her hair texture. Early on I loved using Turbans for Tots headbands. As her hair grew longer (and wilder), I realized that I needed to start actually styling it.
I started watching YouTubers like Yoshidoll, and Keya J. to get ideas. I also watched Jolie Luvlee who happens to be a relative of my husband. I had no idea what products to use in my daughter’s hair…what brushes or combs to use…nothing! I guess if my mom were alive, she would have helped me figure it all out.
My daughter is now 1, and I have a routine that works. It will likely change as she gets older and her hair gets longer, but I’m willing to adapt. I try to follow this routine each week, but sometimes things get hectic and I have to change it up. For example, sometimes wash day happens in the middle of the week (or gets pushed back a week…oops) instead of the weekend because we have things going on.
My Toddler’s Weekly Hair Routine
-Wash and condition with Shea Moisture’s Mango and Carrot Extra-Nourshing Conditioner and Shampoo
-Oil scalp with coconut oil
-Massage in a bit of leave-in conditioner
-Comb out hair in small section
-Braid the sections of hair, applying Curling Butter Cream on each braid
-Keep the braids in all day
-The next day, undo the braids and apply Curling Butter Cream to the un-braided sections
This is what the finished product looks like. It’s basically 3 seriously curly puffs. As the week goes on, the curls get more defined. In this picture, she had been wearing this style for about four days. This is the style that my daughter wears practically every week. I have been hesitant to switch it up at this stage because she will only sit still for a short period of time. It takes me about an hour from the time I wash her hair to get it to what you see in the picture. As she gets older, I will definitely try other styles, but for right now, I like this style and it lasts until I wash her hair again.
What Products Do I Use?
The biggest difference that I see between natural hair care and relaxed hair care are the amount of products used. Goodness! It takes a bit more work and products to maintain my little girl’s natural hair as compared to mine. She has her own hair care store in this house with the amount of products I use!
I have listed the products that I’m currently using on my daughter’s hair below. I would like to use a different leave-in conditioner. Please share your suggestions in the comments below for a leave-in conditioner that you love. So far, I have liked the way these products have worked on her hair, and they smell so good. Her hair might need more or different products as time goes on. I have heard that the Denman brush is the brush to use on natural hair, so that is one thing that I would like to add to the arsenal.
Quick List of Products
Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Eco Professional Styling Gel-Olive Oil
Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Shampoo
Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Conditioner
African Pride Olive Miracle Leave-in Conditioner
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Curling Butter Cream
Wide Tooth Comb (for detangling)
Pintail Teaser Comb (for sectioning)
Evolve brush (for laying hair down)
Scunci Medium Hold Hair Ties
Proclaim Rubber Bands
I was totally lost as a new mom trying to style my toddler’s hair. A lot of time and experimentation has gone into trying to tame my daughter’s beautiful head of hair. As she grows up, I want her to know and understand that her hair is beautiful the way that it grows from her scalp. My prayer is that she stays natural for life, but as I stated in the earlier part of this post, I will leave it up to her to decide how she wants her hair once she reaches a certain age.
I hope that his post helps new moms out there who just looking for ways to start out styling their child’s hair. I am not expert by any means, so seek out other moms who either have natural hair themselves and/or have natural children. Try out products to see what works in your child’s hair. There are different hair types and not all products respond the same.
Do you use any of the products above? Do you have suggestions on other or better products to use? I am still learning the natural hair game, so any advice helps! Tell me in the comments below.
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