Caring for curly hair is no easy task, even more so when it’s your first time, and it’s someone else’s hair. Many dads may feel intimidated or awkward when they are asked to style their daughter’s hair. In fact, this challenging experience is portrayed magnificently in the Oscar-winning short film Hair Love. Just like the dad in the short film, dads reading this article will also find that they can triumph over their fear of dealing with their child’s curly hair.
The days of leaving household chores exclusively to women are over. Today, we recognize that women can work and lead just as well as men. In the same line of reasoning, we acknowledge that men can be nurturing and good at housekeeping. In other words, now we see nothing wrong with mums making a living and dads staying at home. But that doesn’t mean that dads (or mums) are automatically equipped to take care of their children’s needs, including hair care. So, let’s go through the basics of caring for curls.
Tip #1: Shampoo with care
Washing and cleansing hair is important regardless of texture and type. However, knowing your child’s curl type can help you choose the best shampoo and washing schedule. Generally, it is best to use a mild shampoo with no parabens, sulfates, silicones, or alcohol. For coarse, curly hair, applying conditioner before shampooing can help seal the hair’s natural oils.
Other parents of curly-haired kids recommend shampooing only once a week since curly hair requires lots of moisture. Some say shampooing every other day or every three days is more effective. The frequency of shampooing depends on the person’s hair, so feel free to experiment with this as long as you don’t shampoo your daughter’s hair every day.
Tip #2: Wash hair with cold water
If you wash hair with hot water, it will strip the hair of moisture. Using cold water for hair washing will help you retain the hair’s natural moisture and strength. Hot water also causes the cuticle to open up, causing hair to stand and be prone to frizz and damage. Wash and rinse your daughter’s hair with cold water.
Tip #3: Use old t-shirts instead of towels
Curly hair is prone to breakage due to a lack of moisture. So parents should ensure that their child’s curly hair remains moisturized at all times. Towels are good for drying up straight hair, but they can be harsh on curly hair. Drying with a towel may cause frizzy hair. Instead of a towel, use a cotton t-shirt because the smooth surface of the shirt allows water to be retained by curly hair.
Tip #4: Use a comb, not a brush
After a shower, you can run your fingers through your daughter’s hair if she has springy curls. You can also apply leave-in conditioner before raking through her wet hair. On the whole, using a brush to detangle curly hair is not recommended. It is not only painful but also ineffective. Brushing may also cause damage and breakage. A wide-toothed comb is best for removing tangles in your daughter’s curly hair. To get rid of knots, comb from bottom to top.
Tip #5: Dry hair safely
Blow-drying curly hair is mostly considered unsafe because it might damage the hair. Air drying your daughter’s curly hair is safer. However, if you wish to use a blow-dryer, position it at least 6 inches away from the surface of your child’s hair and put the dryer on the lowest heat setting. You may also use cold air to reduce the possibility of hair damage. In case you need to straighten your daughter’s hair, or when she asks you to, you could use a hair-straightening brush instead of a flat iron for convenience.
Tip #6: Trim hair regularly
Split ends are unavoidable. Unfortunately, the only way to lose split ends is to get a trim. Though you may trim your daughter’s curls on your own, you can always go to a professional for a haircut. Make sure to choose a stylist who knows how to cut curly hair. Just like straight hair, curly hair requires trimming every two to three months. This will give your daughter’s hair a healthy look.
Curly hair has unique characteristics which need to be considered by parents. Different curl types also require different treatments. But in general, curls need to be moisturized for them to be bouncy and healthy. Choose products that are friendly for curly-haired people. Don’t be afraid to research and ask curly-haired people and parents for more tips on caring for your daughter’s gorgeous curls.