I absolutely love to get questions about the natural hair care of children. It gives me joy to answer as many questions as possible. I never shy away from them because I see them as an opportunity to share, learn and grow. I go as far as archiving all my questions, just so I’ll be able to observe trends and create products that directly address the needs of the parents that make up our child hair care community. I want to share the three most common questions I get asked by mothers on child hair care. I will do my best to answer the questions based on my experience on child hair care.
So let’s go!
The back of my baby’s hair is shorter than the front, how can I make it equal?
This is usually referred to as “Infant Balding” or simply “Bald Spots,” and is very common in babies and toddlers. The reason is because they are often in restricted positions that cause parts of their head to rub against harsh materials. The friction between their hair and the harsh materials rub off the natural moisture in their hair, leaving it dry and susceptible to breakage. This hair loss process often goes unnoticed, as it occurs gradually and only becomes obvious in its most advanced stage.
I was able to take note of this process when my baby was less than three months and still used her bouncer. I found that little curly strands were always caught in the area her head was placed. To prevent this, I placed a raw silk material behind her head each time she was to be placed on her back, be it in her bouncer, car-seat, or on her bed. Take a careful look at your child’s hair to see if there are areas on their head where it seems as if growth is stunted when compared to others. Also check to see if there are places where you can see through to their scalp. These are possible areas of baldness and uneven growth. To prevent this (or restore growth in bald areas on your child’s hair) you should give your child regular scalp massages every single day and focus on the problem areas. Another thing you need to do is get satin headrests for your baby (Blusters TM by Muna & Luchi) or satin bonnets for your children older than twelve months. These will provide a delicate, soft landing for the back of your child’s head. Also, keep their hair moisturized daily by applying an all-natural, baby-safe leave-in conditioner.
My baby’s hair is full and thick, how do I comb it?
This question usually follows after I give my very first child hair care tip, which is: “You do not need to wash your child’s hair every day. Excessive washing causes dryness, which results in breakage.”
Combing is the process of removing knots and tangles in your child’s hair. The process introduces mechanical action that could potentially lead to gradual hair loss. Should you comb your child’s hair? Yes! The next question is: What should you comb your child’s hair with? The best tool to comb the delicate, tender coils on your child’s scalp with are your fingers.
To finger comb your child’s hair, you need to ensure that you have applied some spritz of water, generous amounts of leave-in conditioner, and some oils/butter. Then take time to use your fingers to comb through your baby’s hair. You should only comb your child’s hair with a plastic comb when his/her hair is drenched in a mixture of water, conditioner, and some oils and be sure to use a wide-tooth comb. If his/her hair is extremely thick and full, you can start the finger combing (or plastic combing) process by parting it into sections, working through one section at a time.
Why is my child’s hair always dry and breaking excessively?
When I get this particular question from mothers, they usually complete the sentence by mentioning “…it is breaking my heart seriously.” This makes me want to offer help immediately, because as a mom I know what it’s like to feel you haven’t done enough for your child’s wellbeing.
There are a number of things that could contribute to dry hair in children. The first is excessive washing. The second is inadequate intake of fluids, fruits and vegetables. Then insufficient conditioning treatments in the form of daily moisturizing, regular conditioner washing, and moisture deep conditioning treatments also contribute to dryness.
Some mums also wonder why their children’s hair is dry when they apply coconut oil and shea butter daily. The reason is because, coconut oil and shea butter are both oils and not moisturizers, and as such will only coat your child’s hair strands. Moisturizers are creamy conditioners that can be applied to the hair without need for rinsing out. You need a combination of water, moisturizer and oil/butter to keep your little one’s hair moisturized.
Improper styling choices can also contribute to dryness and breakage in children’s hair. For example the use of extensions, styling your child’s hair in tight puffs and cornrows. These styles pull too tightly on the child’s delicate scalp, and it could potentially lead to breakage. Some things you can do to restore moisture and strength to your child’s hair are: keep their hair moisturized daily, do a deep treatment for your child at least once or twice a month, stop all forms of styling, allow their hair to breath and grow. Feed your child a healthy diet rich in proteins, fruits and vegetables.