Q: My 4-year-old’s curly hair is so hard to comb after a bath that with the start of the hot, sticky weather, I’m about to cut it off. I use detangling spray and try to be gentle. But she still cries. Her curls were tight (like sausages) until she was about 3 1/2. In the last six months, her hair went from beautiful curls to half frizz/half curl. It’s past her shoulders when wet, but above her shoulders when dry. I don’t care if it is long or short as long as it is cute and easy. Any suggestions?

Mahisha: Are you only using a detangling spray for her curls? I understand why her hair went from beautiful curls to a frizzy mess. Her hair is lacking moisture! It is VERY important that you use a daily moisturizer on her hair. Our Moist Curls Moisturizer is a great option. It softens the hair, eases combability, moisturizes and conditions, and leaves a little goodness behind. You can use it on wet or dry hair.

You didn’t tell me much about her hair care regime (e.g. how often you shampoo, condition, what products you are using to do so, etc.) These elements are key for healthy, bouncing curls. You can use the best products daily on top of dried out, overly shampoo, under-conditioned hair and not reap the benefits you would expect. I do hope that you aren’t shampooing daily. Once a week is recommended. Also, conditioning her hair is very important. Look for thick, rich, moisturizing conditioners for her frizzy, curly hair. You can do a conditioning rinse during the week to get you through the week without shampooing.

Give her hair a chance to shine before you cut it all off. After all, a young girl’s self esteem is closely tied to her hair. She may get teased for having an “afro” by school kids, not that afros are a bad hair style choice, However, she may not be confident enough (yet) to sport such a hairdo. Besides, wouldn’t you just love to show off her beautiful curls? Try daily moisturizing, weekly shampooing AND conditioning. If her hair is a bit dry, use a natural oil for sheen and extra conditioning (e.g. avocado, jojoba, coconut).

Curly hair care may not be “easy” but the end results make the effort worthwhile. Her hair will never be as easy to care for as straight hair. This is something you should realize sooner than later.

Q: I used to have really soft curly hair when I was under the age of 5. Now, I’m a teen, and my hair is basically thick, a lil’ poofy and a lil’ wavy, but more just ugly. Do you have any tips how I can get my curls back? Thanks.

Mahisha: Can you tell me more about what happened between the age of 5 and now? Did you chemically alter your hair? How did you care for your hair (How often did you shampoo, condition your hair, what products did you use to do so, did you use grease or grease like products on your hair, etc.). Feel free to email me your response to [email protected] I would love to help, but I need more information to do so.

Q: I want to be able to establish a daily routine for styling my 5-year-old daughter’s fine curly hair. But at the same time I want to know exactly what types of products I should be using. Right now, I only wash her hair once a week. However, I was wondering if I should rinse her hair every night with a conditioner? Also, should I be using a gel, styling lotion, or styling cream to set her hair in a braid at night? Can I use a leave-in conditioner on her hair on a daily basis? I would really appreciate any ideas you could provide to me.

Mahisha: Weekly shampooing is recommended, so you are doing just fine there. However, I would avoid using gel on her hair. I certainly would advise against a conditioning rinse every night because you can over-condition.

Your daily routine should consist of using a daily moisturizer. This is the MOST important step in a curly girl’s routine. If her hair needs a little oil (which it doesn’t seem that your angel does), then opt for a natural oil (e.g. avocado, jojoba, coconut — these are my personal favorites) for extra moisture. Our Moist Curls moisturizer works as a leave in conditioner/moisturizer/detangler all-in-one product. If you are looking for a soft and natural curl hold for the days that she wants to wear her hair down, or if you want to set her hair in braids at night, then a styling lotion is the best option for your little angel. Our Curly Q Styling Lotion enhances curl formation, combats frizz and leaves a soft and natural curl hold without a greasy, sticky or hard feeling.

Q: My daughter is 8 years old. I texturized her hair two years. ago, but decided to stop eight months ago when I noticed that it looked stringy and dry. She has combination curls — a combination of my hair (spirals), and her fathers (tight, kinky, but soft) curls. I’ve decided to grow out the texturizer, and allow her natural curls to grow in. I don’t know what to do with her hair. I’ve been washing her hair once a week, with a deep conditioner, and braiding her hair with coconut oil. What products are best for her hair while allowing the texturizer to grow out?

Mahisha: Your current hair regimen sounds good. You are using a deep conditioner and a natural oil for her hair during this transition time. I would also advise the following:

  1. DIY Deep Treatments at Home — Invest $40 in a hard hood dryer from your local beauty supply store as well as a few plastic caps. Give her a deep conditioning (with heat) at least once if not twice a month. Her processed hair desperately needs this! I do recommend that you try our Curly Q Coconut Dream conditioner for her hair. It’s great! It is guaranteed to soften, moisturize, detangle, and condition the kinkiest curl. You can use this conditioner as a thermal conditioner (under a dryer with heat) or as a daily conditioner.
  2. Moisturize Daily — I feel like a broken record, but it is worth repeating. Using a daily moisturizer will help keep breakage at bay. Remember, her hair is especially prone to breakage at the point where her natural and her relaxed hair meet, and dryness further encourages breakage. You do not want her to become dry at any time. Our Moist Curls Moisturizer is a great option for her hair. It softens, defrizzes, moisturizes, and detangles all in one!
  3. Treat Her Hair Like a Fine Silk Blouse -– Detangle her hair gently, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top. Make sure you detangle the hair in four to eight sections. Never comb through her processed hair when it is dry. Avoid using fine-tooth combs and always use a wide-tooth pick when detangling. Invest in a quality brush; natural boar brushes are the best.

Q: I can really use your help. I have three biracial daughters (African

American/Caucasian), with three completely different heads of hair. My 11-year-old has thick, thick wavy hair that is really dry. Her texture is probably a medium/coarse. I am sick of her always wearing her hair in a pony tail, but she refuses to wear her hair down unless I blow it out and straighten it. Her hair tends to break off a little too. My 3-year-old has fine, wavy hair that looks nice down, but has one section in the back of her head that is a frizzy mess. Her texture is very soft. Now my 2-year-old has extremely thick, tight curls with straight roots. Her texture is coarse. Her hair looks adorable down, but I don’t know what to do about the frizz!

I would really like to know how to style my daughters’ hair with the least possible damage. Also, they really need trims, but when I take them to the black beauty salons, they are very reluctant to cut their hair at all.

Should I look into having them visit a Hispanic salon? Your thoughts would

be very much appreciated.

Mahisha: I hear three common concerns for all three of your girls — dryness, frizz, and breakage. The way to battle all three is to moisturize their hair daily. I would recommend Curly Girl Potion for your oldest and youngest and Moist Curls moisturizer for your middle angel. Also, their hair care regimen is very important. Shampoo your 11- and 2-year-olds’ hair once a week max! If needed, do a conditioning rinse in the middle of the week. Your 3-year-old, based on what I gather about her hair texture, can be shampooed once every three to four days with a moisture-packed shampoo.

Regarding styling, girls and ponytails seem to go hand and hand. Here are a few tips to avoid pigtail disasters. Do not use rubber bands to secure her pony tails. Instead use elastics and covered bands without metal connectors. Rubber bands can cause undue breakage and damage. ALWAYS remove the ponytail holders before bed time. Make sure you braid (or twist) the hair completely, all the way to the ends. Exposing the ends to environmental elements will guarantee split ends. I recommend adding a coat of conditioner to the ends before braiding for extra protection. Remember, the ends are the oldest and most fragile part of the hair. They require extra attention. Also, review my answers to all of the previous questions for further insight.

Regarding regular trims, not all African-American stylists are against cutting hair. However, I would advise you to look for a stylist who you feel comfortable with and trust with caring for your angels’ tresses, regardless of ethnicity. My stylist is Caucasian, and I love the way she cuts my hair. NaturallyCurly.com has a salon finder with salons in most, if not all, major U.S. cities, complete with curly girl reviews. This is a great starting place!