As with most things in life it is easier with a routine. This is especially true with children. My goal with our hair routine is to make things as easy and quick as possible, because in all honesty there are lots of things I have to do with three kids in the house and hair time must be kept to a reasonable amount of time without compromising the quality of care. You should NEVER do hair when you are stressed! Avoid it as much as you can!! And if you find yourself short of time (we have all been there…) and have to do it in a hurry, I advise you to have one or two quick and easy hairstyles as a plan B for hair emergencies.
Ok back to the routine..
Tightly curly hair is by nature much more dry than straight or wavy hair for the simple reason that the natural oils of the scalp doesn´t glide down the hair as easily. But even dry hair needs to be washed regularly to be kept clean and believe it or not- moisturized! Water is moisture and no oil or cream will moisturize your hair without water. (Click here to read more about how we wash the hair).
I would suggest you to wash the hair once a week, or every other week if you are wearing a protective style. You should wash the hair with a sulfate free shampoo followed by a moisturizing conditioner or only with conditioner. If you only use conditioner to wash the hair then make sure to keep an eye on your scalp and hair for signs of blocked pores or build up which would indicate that you need to wash with a shampoo. Another sign that might mean you need to use a shampoo is if your hair doesn´t respond to your efforts to moisturize it. This might be a sign of buildup on the hair that is blocking the moisture from getting in. (Click here for more info on buildup and how to prevent it).
After you´ve washed the hair and it is nice and clean and full of lovely moisture, you need to do something to keep that moisture in there. There are several different methods of doing this and you will need to try different products and methods and see which way fits your hair.
I usually put a microfiber towel (to minimize risk of breakage) on my child´s wet hair and go to the living room where we sit and gently finger detangle the hair and applying a leave in conditioner followed by an oil to seal in the moisture. Depending on what we plan to do with the hair I then either band the hair to stretch it out or put it in eight to ten medium size twists to dry. By doing so I make sure that the hair doesn´t get tangled until it is time to style it which we usually do the following day.
I like to wash the hair on Saturday evening, let it dry overnight and then style it on Sunday morning. That way we don´t have to do it all in one day which can be a bit too much to ask from a child. The next morning we style the hair in a protective or semi protective style that should last at least until the next wash day(Click here to read more about protective styling).
By keeping the hair in twists while it dries and then in a style that lasts until the next wash day we minimize the manipulation on the hair and thus minimizing the risk of breakage.