As a child, I dreaded wash days, actually hair days in general. Either washing or making the hair was always a struggle between my mom and me (I believe y’all can relate). One beautiful trend in the afro hair community is how we make hair care, SELF CARE. The mentality that because our hair is more textured, it should be a struggle to take care of, would soon become a thing of the past with the right products and techniques.
I’m pretty sure we don't want our kids to have the same negative experiences we had with hair care growing up. Wash days should be self-care dates and should be treated as such. Your kids are supposed to be happy and look forward to their washdays whenever it's approaching.
With the rising knowledge about natural hair care and trends going on in the natural hair industry, there can be a lot of information overload. However, we have put together a very simple as ABC guide to help your kid experience a tear-free washday. Are you ready?
- Detangle/ Prepoo: Our kinky hair type loves to cuddle aka tangle, and it’s not a bad thing. But how you treat the tangles can make or mar a tear-free washday. The essence of pre-pooing is to detangle first using a moisturizing conditioner and a wide tooth comb; remember to ALWAYS detangle from the tip to the root and do it in sections. This step is very important as it adds moisture to the hair making it easier to wash.
- Shampoo: This step can double as a scalp massage. Once the hair has been properly detangled and parted into sections, carefully apply the shampoo, massaging it gently into the scalp and hair. For ease, wash each section individually and also so you don’t miss any part. Rinse out once the scalp is clean.
- Deep condition: Next, you want to apply the deep conditioner evenly making sure it coats every hair strand. You can do this using your hands or a wide tooth comb. Again, it’s best to do this in sections; when done with each section, twist and set it aside. A deep condition treatment is very important to strengthen and nourish the hair. If you have a steaming cap and your child is above 5 years you can cover the hair with one for 15-30 minutes.
P.S: You can give your kid their favorite cartoon to watch or a favorite snack to eat to engage them.
- Style: After 15-30 minutes, rinse hair with warm water. Apply leave-in conditioner, some oil, and seal in all the moisture with a styling hair cream. Lastly, style as desired. Styling is one part of wash day that brings the most tears, but that can change when you do the following:
- Always comb hair with a wide tooth comb starting from the tips and then gradually move to the root.
- Leave-in conditioner is your best friend. Saturate the hair with it before styling, that would make manipulation easier and less painful.
- Protective styles should not be too tight or bulky. As much as possible, resist the urge to add excessive extensions and do styles that pull on their edges. Simple styles can be beautiful too. For kids, SIMPLE is always BEST.
Cheers to fewer tears and more giggles on your next wash day.