Contrary to many negative stereotypes about fathers, I see more single fathers raising their children then ever before. As a result of the growing number of single parent homes being held down by fathers it didn't surprise me when a male friend of mine recently contacted me asking me questions about how to maintain his toddler aged twin daughters natural hair. He addressed his concerns with being able to take care of their hair without using chemicals and that require excessive styling as his confidence in hairstyling wasn't very high. Needless to say, I was ecstatic and eager to share some helpful tips to maintain his little princesses tresses. Although I didn't have the advantage of actually seeing the condition of their hair or the texture and length, I was able to share basic knowledge of how to maintain their tiny kynxx with out causing him excessive preparation time when getting them ready each day.
Here is a very basic regimen, handling techniques and products for any Dad to use when caring for his daughters natural hair.
- Wide tooth comb and a very soft boar bristle brush
- Leave in conditioner
- Satin du rag or scarf
- Rat Tail comb used for parting her hair only!
- Wash her hair at least once every two weeks. As long as you are not using too much product on her hair and scalp, every two weeks is sufficient.
- Use a sulfate free shampoo. Shea Moisture, Organix, or Tiny Twirls Shampoo by Kinky Curly are some wonderful choices.
- When washing your little girls hair depending on the thickness and length use no more than quarter size amount of product, be gentle concentrating on cleaning her scalp more than her strands. During the rinse process her hair will automatically get clean to the ends.
- Rinse the shampoo out by leaning her head back in the sink or bathtub with her face upright facing you. This will ensure no water or shampoo will fall into her eyes while washing and rinsing her hair.
- Once all the shampoo has been rinsed out use a towel only to remove the excess water from her face. Leave her hair dripping wet. This helps eliminate pain of detangling which little ones dislike most about caring for their natural hair.
- Apply a generous amount of conditioner to her hair concentrating on her ends. Some great conditioners for her hair are Tiny Twirls Conditioner by Kinky Curly, Homemade mayonnaise and one cracked egg whipped together make a great natural mild conditioner, or any type of cholesterol conditioner. Be sure to saturate her dripping wet hair with the conditioner and allow it to sit or 2 minutes before you begin to detangle.
- Detangle her hair by parting it into 4 sections. One part down the middle from forehead to nape and another part from ear to ear. Be sure to have some type of clips to keep the hair separated into each section. Also, be sure to purchase a large tooth shower comb to aid with pain free detangling. Begin combing out each section from the bottom (ends) of her hair to the root. If shes crying, go slower and be more gentle, you may even want to add more conditioner to help with slippage. Once the section is detangled to prevent the hair from tangling again, twist or braid it. If you don't know how to twist or braid then just keep it separate with your clip you used Repeat this step until each of the four sections is completely detangled.
- Rinse with cool to lukewarm water until water runs clear.
- Since her hair was previously detangled even if after you rinse it should still be detangled. If not add the leave in conditioner like Knot Today by Kinky Curly, Tiny Twirls Styler by Kinky Curly, or Black Vanilla Leave-In by Carols Daughter, and detangle from ends to roots.
- Styling is where it gets tricky for most Dads. If you live in DFW and you don't have the time patience or will to style your daughters hair, I can style your little princess up! If you don't live in this area and opt to take her to a stylist, listen to your baby girl. If she is complaining her hair is being braided to tight or it hurts her, find a new stylist! If you re a Dad who REALLY wants to learn how to do it himself here are a few styles you can try that are easy breezy like Two-strand twists, Cornrows, and Afro Puffs. The only thing about the Afro puff is it may require maintenance more often then twists or cornrows. Be sure you spray her hair with the water to moisturize daily and add some type sealant like Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Raw Shea Butter to aid in keeping her hair moist throughout the day.
Above you see styles for little girls that are very easy to do and can be done with any hair type.Once styled you can tie her hair down with a satin du rag or scarf to ensure her style lasts. Take advantage of YouTube tutorials on natural hair styling for children as well.
I decided to post an article about my friends interest in maintaining his daughters natural hair as I am certain other fathers who are raising daughters may share the desire to learn as well however simply don't know how to or where to begin. Regardless if you're a Dad with or without your child's Mother in the home, you can become proactive in caring for your little girls hair. Even if Mom is in the home, it doesn't mean Dad can't give her a break every now and then and take part in his little ones weekly hair care regimen. By doing so, Fathers are building esteem in my opinion even greater than Mom can being natural herself. As women we learn what love from a man is from our fathers first. Little girls who have a loving and attentive Dad to tell them how beautiful her and her natural hair is, will ensure a sense of self acceptance no other man will ever be able to take away from her. Most importantly, as adults we pattern our mates after the image, or lack thereof, of our Fathers. Shout out to all the single fathers, and fathers in general, who actively participate in raising their children...they need you. As women, with or without you in our lives, we need you in their lives as well. Peace n' Blessings.