Think back to your childhood and the state of your curly hair at that time. Were the curls in prime health? Did you even use curl-specific products? Hopefully, you're fortunate enough to say "yes," but the reality is that most of us are not.
Maybe you didn't get curls until you hit puberty. Or maybe you had them all along but didn't know how to care for them. Maybe, just maybe, you have straight hair and don't have a clue how to care for your child's curls!
You probably fall into one or more of these categories.
The key to keeping your child's curls intact involves taking steps to create a healthy, simple routine that is achievable for you and your munchkins.
It's never too early or late to teach your children to love and nurture their hair, especially if it's curly! Their curls make them unique and beautiful. Kids must know that. Confidence in their natural hair and confidence in their routine will boost morale when it's time to "get ready" in your household.
Once you've mastered confidence, you must next master the best shampoo for kids' curly hair. Lucky for you, Vida Bars has options!
Hair Types and Ingredients
Start your kid's curly journey by taking the Vida Bars hair quiz with them. The quiz's results will give you bar options based on ingredients that target the hair concerns you or your child have.
The bars we suggest for kiddos are Hydrate, Soothe, Balance, and Clarity. As with all Vida Bars products, these shampoo and conditioner bars are free of sulfates, silicones, drying alcohols, parabens, and harsh chemicals. You should only search for styling products that are also void of these ingredients. Curls will be at optimum health if you follow this curly rule of thumb!
The Hydrate set of shampoo and conditioner bars is best for kids with dry, damaged hair.
The main thing curly hair craves is hydration! Soaking up moisture will allow the hair to fully morph into the waves, curls, and coils that it's capable of.
Curly hair is drier than straight hair in general, so feeding it high-quality hydrating ingredients is a priority for curl health.
Hydrate includes ingredients like carrot root extract and Kokum butter to remedy dry hair.
There's a good chance that your child needs some Hydrate in their lives if you're in the beginning stages of adequately caring for their curls. And that's okay! Pat yourself on the back for starting the curly journey with your kids, no matter how old they are.
The Soothe set is formulated for your babes with sensitive, irritated scalps. It includes ingredients like oatmeal and willow bark that heal the skin on your scalp and promote new tissue growth.
Soothe also includes moisturizing ingredients, of course! They combine with soothing ingredients to tackle more than one issue at a time.
Many children, and frankly, many adults can be insecure or embarrassed by having a dry, flaky scalp. But, it's common, and you can keep at bay with a product like Soothe.
We all know that children in their prepubescent or early teenage years have a common issue with their hair and skin - excess oil. This oil is hormonal and completely normal.
Often, preteens and teens wash their hair too frequently because they want to rid their scalps of said excess oil. Unfortunately, this causes the scalp to produce even more oil and the hair shaft to dry out.
The Balance set of shampoo and conditioner is a fabulous option for oily hair. We designed Balance to do exactly what it says - balance the hair. Balance shampoo, formulated with ingredients like kaolin clay, cleanses the scalp thoroughly while also including light mango butter to hydrate the hair.
Balance will prevent your teen from feeling the need to shampoo too often, but still provides curls with the moisture they need.
The Clarity set comes in handy for kids with fine, easily weighed-down hair.
Similar to Balance, Clarity contains kaolin clay to cleanse the scalp but lightly hydrates the hair so that curls stay lively and tight. When ingredients are too heavily moisturizing, they can pull curls and coils down, making them look and feel stringy and unkempt. Clarity is your friend if this frequently happens to your kiddo's hair.
Even kids with a lot of hair can still have individually fine strands that require lighter ingredients such as the calendula butter and oat protein found in Clarity conditioner.
Perfecting the Routine for Your Kid's Hair
Now that you've figured out your child's curl type and the best shampoo and conditioner for their hair needs, it's time to build a curly hair routine.
Cleansing and conditioning are essential, but styling is the next feat! Basic steps can include curly-approved oils, curling creams, hydrating sprays, or gels.
Here are a few things to consider when cleansing and styling your child's curly hair:
- Use More Conditioner Than Shampoo. Always! Curls need the moisture that conditioner provides. Only use shampoo to clean the scalp thoroughly. Conditioner resets curl patterns and brings hydration back into the scalp and hair shaft.
- Do Not Use Shampoo Daily. Curly-headed cuties only need their hair washed once or twice a week. There will be exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, shampooing is only necessary once a week.
- Condition Regularly. Even though you shouldn't shampoo several times a week, it is okay to condition several times a week if you need to reset your child's curl pattern. For example, if they've worn their hair in a bun for three days straight but have school pictures tomorrow, you could condition to reset their natural hair so it looks fresh. This practice is called "co-washing."
- Detangle Hair Only When Wet. Detangling while your child has conditioner in their hair will make your life much easier! Start at the bottom of the hair shaft and detangle in small sections if necessary. This process will be especially helpful for kiddos with hair that easily tangles.
- Wash at Night to Avoid Morning Mishaps. The curly hair method is specific! It requires time and commitment, which means it's best to wash your child's hair at night before they go to bed. The results are healthy hair and a confident child, which is for sure a win-win. Plus, who doesn't need a smoother morning routine? Getting kids out the door is an Olympic sport, and we all know it!
- Use Microfiber Towels. When plopping your child's hair after it's washed, microfiber towels or an old T-shirt prevent excess frizzing, friction, and tugging on curls.
- Limit Heat. If you must use heat on your child's hair via a blow dryer or hot tool, make sure the devices are on low heat or cold settings for blow dryers. Heat can cause damage and breakage and deflates the curl pattern as well.
The Best Shampoo for Kids' Curly Hair
Caring for curly hair requires the absorption of a lot of information because curls are complex. Expect to learn as you go, especially if you don't have curls yourself. Even if you do, give yourself some grace because each head of hair is different, which means that each routine will be different. Vida Bars is here to help make your life easier and your curls healthier. Best of luck on your child's new hair journey!