A child under the age of one still has a sensitive scalp, so her hair routine should only include cleansing and moisturizing. Avoid hair styling and manipulation.
As she gets older you can layer the hair care routine, if you don’t do her hair yourself and take her to a salon, make sure the cleanser/shampoo used is sulphate free and that other products don’t have harsh ingredients (see read the label). If the salon doesn’t have, bring your own products to the salon for them to use on your daughter’s hair. Insist that her hair is not blow-dried (heat damages hair) and that it is not plaited/braided too tightly. If the hair is done too tight you’ll see small red or white bumps forming along the parting and hairline.
There is no one-size-fits-all hair care routine, your daughter’s hair will dictate what needs to be done – for instance, if her hair is very dry then try deep conditioning twice a week. Seasons also require that you tweak the hair care routine, she might swim a lot in summer so you’ll have to add a co-wash (cleansing using conditioner) during the week.
Spray hair and scalp in the morning and at night with a moisturizing spritz (moisturizer must be water based with natural oils). By moisturizing your child’s hair, you are reducing frizz and damage. Make sure to spray the hairline, ends and scalp.
To lock in the moisture you must use a sealer, that is a butter. The ends of the hair are the oldest and need lots of love and care, ensure that they are well moisturized and sealed so the hair doesn’t end up with split ends.
A bow, headband or ribbon can make a beautiful difference to your little one’s hairstyle. You can never have too many accessories for your lil’ princess’s hair.
Satin pillow case
Make sure she sleeps on a satin/ silk pillowcase. Satin helps hair maintain its moisture and also prevents frizz, which will prolong your child’s hairstyle and keep it looking fresh. Cotton is very absorbent, it draws all of the moisture from the hair like a sponge, leaving it dry and brittle.
Most commercial shampoos have sulphates that strip the hair of its natural oils, use sulphate-free shampoos or try co-washing instead.
Divide the hair into sections and and apply the conditioner, focusing on the ends. Cover the hair with a shower cap and a beanie (to retain heat) and leave in for 15-30 minutes.
Before washing out the conditioner, finger detangle her hair. When you hit a snag do not yank or rip through it, work the tangle out gently. NEVER detangle dry hair, it will hurt and break healthy strands of hair. When done, carefully rinse hair, being sure not to re-tangle or ruffle up the hair.
After the washing process, that has infused your daughter’s hair with the moisture it needs, lock in the moisture with a sealer. Once you’ve sealed the hair, style it in braids, twists, or plaits. Try low manipulations styles that protect the hair and require no effort during the week.
Clarifying cleanse (mud wash)
Mud wash (bentonite clay) is known to draw dirt and impurities from the hair, without drying the hair of its natural oils. It’s an alternative to traditional clarifying shampoos that can leave the hair stripped and dry.
If you are starting to see a lot of split ends, notice hair balls at the ends of the hair, or hear a lot of snapping or popping of hair strands during detangling, then it is time for a trim. Only trim the minimum amount needed to get rid of the damaged ends using hair shears.