Teaching children to love who they are from very early on, is something most of us would agree, is a top priority. This includes loving who they are, both inside and out.
You might just be at the point where your girl or boy has been observing others and their hairstyles and comparing those styles to their own hair. They might decide very early on how they want their hair to look, or that they simply no longer want to sit through the pain and game of achieving a certain look you may have had in mind for them.
When it’s time to start teaching your child about natural hair, there are going to be some hoops and hurdles you and your child will have to jump through together to figure out what natural hair style works best for your child and why. Here are some tips from our side of things on how to teach your child about their natural hair.
1. Ask your child what they like
Chances are, if your child is already talking and expressing his or herself, then they have already formed an opinion of what they like and what they don’t like from their favorite color all the way to their favorite pajamas. Sometimes all you have to do is ask your child what they like, if they like two strand twists, braids or if they favor locs.
Now, you may need to prepare yourself, because sometimes they come up with answers which wasn’t what we had in mind for them. But if we want them to happily sit through a session, then chances are, if we give them the choice, they won’t put up a fight, or at least not one you can’t quickly soothe and quiet down.
Have your go-to styles with your kids and they will learn a system that works from them which they love. Depending on your kids' hobbies and habits, you might have a different style for them for summer than you would in winter months.
Keep it simple, ask them what they like, what they want. Sometimes we make things too complicated when our kids actually just want the simple route or style.
When you’re taking them to the salon, let them watch something while the loctician or stylist is working on their hair. And let them watch what they want to watch. Most of the time, when kids are distracted by their favorite tv shows, chances are, they won’t complain as much and the job will get done much quicker than without the distraction.
And if they get overworked, explain to your boy or little girl what’s going on in a calm way. Because when you’re calm, most likely your child will feel calm too.
When you're choosing a loctician or stylist for your child, make sure they are someone who works with children. It’s best to find someone who does really well with children, because they have more patients and go slower than your average loctician or stylist. They know how to work with children, which is not the same experience as working with adults.
3. When it’s detangling time
When it’s time to detangle your child’s hair, use a wide tooth comb. Never use a fine tooth comb, otherwise it will tear their hair and hurt their scalp. The hair needs to be wet or damp when detangling. You can also opt to add in a conditioner for a smoother experience.
When detangling, hold the hair at the root, but never detangle from the root. Sections will make a huge difference for both you and your child. Section off the hair into four sections or more and detangle the hair by holding the hair up like you would a ponytail and detangle from the tip while moving closer to the root.
Detangling from the root hurts a lot, and will be painful for both you and your child. Find a soft brush that won’t hurt, and maybe even let them pick out the brush, so it’s an object they like and not one they fear.
4. Using Dr Locs line on Children
Of course you can use all of Dr Loc’s products on your child’s hair because it is both safe and natural. Both the Leave-in Conditioner and the Yaya Oil are great for keeping your child’s hair soft and easier to work with.
The LOC method works great on both children and adults. This is an acronym for Liquid/Leave-in Conditioner, Oil and Cream. Apply your leave-in conditioner to your girl’s or boy’s hair, then add a thin layer of the Yaya oil and end with an all natural cream to seal in the moisture for softer and healthier hair.
5. Hair Lotion without Alcohol
Stay away from products promising to define those curls. They will create flakage and make the hair feel hard and stiff. We don’t want to create false curl patterns, not for ourselves and certainly not for our children.
Before you start trashing some products on your shelves, just know that Cetearyl alcohol is safe to use and doesn’t act as an alcohol. It’s actually an emulsifier which allows oil and water to mix together. This is not alcohol, it's just helping the product hydrate and nourish the hair with both oils and waters and helps the product mix in the bottle itself.
How have you taught your children about natural hair? What were some of the challenges and how did you and your child overcome those challenges together? We’d love to hear your story!