Caring for afro-textured hair which comes in a range of curls, from wavy to tight coils, can be challenging. Snags in your baby’s hair could make them cry and squirm every time you try to comb or clean it.
And it can be stressful for both the mom and the baby.
Hair moisturizers are nourishing hair care products that can ease the process of giving your toddler’s hair some much-needed TLC, minus the fuss. But,
Here’s what you should consider when buying hair care products for babies with an afro and curly hair:
Understanding your toddler’s curl pattern and hair density can help you make informed decisions about what to use on their hair.
If your toddler has tight coils, massage their strands with a rich, high-power moisturizer. It will “fill” in the pores of the cuticle layer for some intense hydration, which can minimize the risk of breakage.
If your toddler has looser curl patterns, use sulfate-free lightweight moisturizers. They’ll nourish your baby’s locks, give you more freedom in the styling and drying process, prevent frizz, and won’t weigh the hair down.
Hair porosity refers to how well the hairs absorb water.
If you’re not familiar with the porosity of your toddlers’ hair, try this method. Wash your baby’s hair to ensure it’s free from products. Let it air dry. Then spray some water on their hair and see how the water droplets react to it.
If the hair absorbs water quickly and the wetness weighs it down, your toddler has highly porous hair. If the hair is water repellent and you have to massage the water in for it to be absorbed, the hair is low porosity.
Once you’re familiar with the hair type, density, and porosity of your child’s locks, you’re free to explore the world of hair care products.
Most hair products made for black toddlers are safe to use. However, it would be wise to err on the side of caution and sneak a peek at the ingredient list.
Ideally, you want to avoid anything with:
- Mineral oils
- Artificial fragrances
These ingredients can cause dehydration and discoloration, trigger frizz, and ultimately lead to breakage. Because damage control is not exactly a walk in the park for afro and curly hair, prevention will be your best course of action.
With an extensive selection of moisturizing products available in the market, it can be confusing to select hair moisturizers that cater to your baby’s unique hair care needs. We understand how daunting that can be, which is why we’re taking the guesswork out of the equation.
Take a look at our top picks for moisturizers for toddlers with afro or curly hair:
1. Aunt Jackie’s Coco Repair
Aunt Jackie’s Coco Repair conditioner is great for your baby’s hair.
It treats hair and gives it lots of volume, vibrancy, moisture, and sheen — without weighing down your baby’s head. The conditioner works wonderfully on hair with low porosity and is especially good for 2C to 4C textures.
It’s made with a delightful blend of lightweight ingredients like flax seeds and mango oil as well as moisturizing ingredients like avocado and coconut oil.
In essence, it pulls nutrients into the hair shaft to help strengthen the locks.
- Delivers nourishment throughout the hair strands
- Improves the look and feel of dry, fragile strands
- Hydrates dry, brittle hair
- Could damage curls (according to some reviewers)
- The pack can sometimes appear tampered with
2. Camille Rose Fresh Curl
Camille Rose’s Fresh Curl Moisture Milk is a light gel cream that provides great texture and moisture. It can be used as a detangler and a leave-in conditioner to nourish and revive hair — without making it look like it’s weighed down by grease.
The product is made with rice milk, which is blended with avocado, castor seed oil, and macadamia seeds to promote healthy hair growth. Using it is easy as well, simply apply it on wet or dry hair and fluff to style.
- Has an incredible aroma
- Multi-functional: can be used as a leave-in conditioner and detangler
- Delivers moisture to the tresses
- Paraben and sulfate free
- Not suitable for those with a tree nut allergy
- Can feel heavy and greasy at times
3. Cantu Care for Kids Conditioning Detangler
Cantu Care’s Conditioner + Detangler is an effective two-in-one product that works on a range of hair types from 3 B/C to 4 A/B. It’s made with ingredients like shea butter, honey, and coconut oil, and is free from harmful ingredients.
It also smells amazing and quickly detangles curls to make hair wash days a breeze.
The product comes in a spray bottle, allowing for easy application — perfect for babies who are too naughty to stay put in one place. You can also use a little amount of the product as a leave-in conditioner to keep your baby’s hair moisturized between washes.
- Free of toxic and harmful ingredients
- Tackles tangles and softens strands for easy combing
- Reduces breakage
4. Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Combo
Mielle Organic’s Pomegranate and Honey Sculpting Custard and Twisting Souffle are two great products for thick and curly hair.
The lightweight gel provides a curl definition that lasts all day. It contains ingredients like pomegranate extract, coconut and babassu oils, and honey that intensely moisturize your baby’s hair.
This duo soothes frizzy hair to make styling a breeze.
- Made with natural ingredients
- Soothes frizz
- Provides you with manageable curls
- Offers nourishment and definition
- Not efficient in humid weather conditions
- Can be too flaky
5. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Curling Styling Cream
SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Cream works incredibly well on thicker curls, such as type 3c and above. It is a curl activator for creating soft holds.
The hydrating and nourishing styling aid teases the strands into a smoother, more defined look — and works best when applied before plaiting or twisting your toddler’s hair.
The cream’s consistency is thick enough to coat the hair for optimal moisturization, yet light enough to not make it look and feel greasy. It keeps hair healthy, making the tresses less prone to dryness and breakage due to frequent styling.
- Keeps hair moisturized and nourished
- Prevents flyaways
- Offers frizz control
- Does not contain harmful ingredients
- Smells like Play-Doh
- Can come with the seal broken
- Use your fingers or wide-toothed combs to detangle hair and keep your baby’s curl pattern intact. They’re mild alternatives to brushes and are less likely to pull, tug, or snag your little one’s curls. They will also put less stress on your child’s scalp, which is a plus.
- Don’t detangle hair when dry, as it can lead to the breakage of your little one’s precious tresses.
- Avoid alcohol-based products. They can strip the strands of essential moisture, which can make your toddler’s hair dry, frizzy, and unmanageable.
- Know what fabrics to use. Avoid anything with cotton, as it is a moisture-wicking material that will soak up all the moisture, which can be rough on curly hair. Use satin or silk fabrics to lock in moisture instead.
- Some curly hair types can benefit from daily washing, but for the rest of them i.e type 3A and higher, it would be ideal to limit hair washing to once or twice a week. Experiment with different frequencies, and settle with one that works best for your baby.
Caring for Afro and curly hair can be a challenge, but the right products can make hair care fuss-free and manageable for you.
Trial and test your way through them to find one that is best for your baby.