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Tips for Little Ones
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Here are some great photos by Jennifer (thank you so much Jennifer!!) of her adorable daughter Arden. These photos show all the different steps for taking care of a baby or child's curls.

Jennifer starts out by using a heaping handful of a good conditioner on Arden's hair after washing it.

About washing:it's best to wash very curly hair only every four days to once a week. Concentrate on gently washing the scalp only. Do not pile hair on top of the head and rub it in. Shampoo the scalp, and when rinsing, let the soapy water run over it and down the hair.

Any of the recommended conditioners will work well, but an excellent conditioner for children (since it contains no irritating fragrances or colors) is Paula's Choice Smooth Finish Conditioner .

If your child has very long hair, you may need to use two full handfuls. I use two full handfuls of conditioner for my hair.

The first photo shows Arden's mom brushing her lovely curls using a Denman brush. She brushes Arden's hair while it's still soaking wet, with lots of the conditoner in it. * Notice how she is holding Arden's hair with her left hand. She is firmly gripping a small section of hair between the scalp and where she is combing. This keeps combing from hurting (believe you me, it hurts more than you can imagine to have tight curls combed with no buffer like this. Also notice that while she is combing her daughter's hair, her daughter is happily playing. Combing does nothave to hurt!* The second photo is how I comb my hair to keep it from hurting. I always squeeze my hair between my scalp and where I am combing to keep it from hurting.

This photo shows Jennifer twirling little sections of Arden's hair around her fingers. Notice how the conditioner looks all white and gloppy in her hair. This is a good thing. The conditioner keeps her curls weighed down, and the twirling helps define all her little curls, and keeps them from fuzzing as much. For more pictures of twirling, you can look at Aja's pictures on the Before & Afters page.

Now Jennifer lets Ardens little curls dry. She leaves them completely alone. She does not brush, comb, pick, or finger comb them once they begin to dry. Remember: brushing or combing equals frizz. You can see there is still lots of conditioner in her hair. This is fine. You need lots of a good product in there to weigh down those curls, and keep them clumped together.

This shows Ardens happy little curls once they are dry. Notice that there is no trace of conditioner. If there did happen to be too much conditioner when her hair dried, her mom could just wet her hands, and run them over her curls a few times to remove excess product.

At night, when Arden's hair is totally dry, Jennifer could put her little curls in several twists, braids, or buns. You can twirl the ends around your fingers to keep them in happy little spirals. This keeps them from tangling up as much at night. Braids and twists have the advantage over buns because you don't need to use bobby pins to hold them in place (curly hair usually stays in place if you braid, twirl or twist to the ends). However, neverput their hair in any style that's pulled tight. This could damge their tender scalps. Be very careful with bobby pins (or any other kinds of clips) because they can be a choking hazard. If you do use bobby pins, be very careful about where you put the bobby pins, so they don't jab her anywhere, and be sure to use the kind with the rounded ends. Also, be sure there isn't a bun at the back of her head that would press into her head as she sleeps. That's why putting in several little braids or twists may be a better alternative.

When Arden's hair gets longer, her mom will be able to just put her hair in one or two braids or buns at night. I sleep with my hair in one braid.

(Above) This shows Arden's hair in the morning, before and after her buns are taken out. Her hair looks fuzzy from sleeping, but this is easily taken care of in just a few minutes.

Done! After taking out the buns, Jennifer simply smooths a little water on her hands, adds a bit of the good combing conditioner, rubs her hands together and smooths over any fuzzy or flattened parts of Arden's hair. She can add more water and conditioner to her hands and re-twirl any little curls that got fuzzy or smashed during the night as needed --OR--

She could also use a spray bottle with water in it to lightly dampen Arden's hair. She'd spritz Arden's hair a few times (just so it's slightly damp), then add a little conditioner to her hands, rub them together and smooth them over her child's curls. *Be careful not to spritz cold water onto their face or skin. I don't use a spray bottle because I don't like the jolt of cold water on my skin.

If there was too much product used the night before, you can just wet your hands and smooth your wet hands (without adding additional conditioner) over her hair.

Also, it's best not to pre-mix conditioner and water together and put them in a bottlefor two reasons: On different days you may need more or less water, or more or less conditioner. When you've mixed them in the bottle, you can't adjust the amount of water or conditioner in it very easily day to day. The second reason is that when you add water, the preservatives in the product are watered down and may not be able to do their job of keeping bacteria and other organisms from multiplying inside the spray bottle.

This shows lovely Arden three days after washing her hair. Every night she pins up Arden's happy little curls, and in the morning she smooths over her fuzzy parts with a bit of water and conditioner. She will do this until time to wash and comb again (about every four days to once a week). Arden's curls look as shiny and fresh on day three after washing and combing as day one.

Arden at Three

Jennifer was kind enough to send in these absolutely adorable photos of Arden at three years old! Wow, has she grown!

These two photos shows How Arden's curls look when her hair has been defined and dried:

This shows Arden with her hair wet, combed with conditioner, and her curls defined (seeing this picture makes me smile):

These are pictures of Arden's pretty coils up close, showing a tighter curl and a looser curl:

Thank you so much again for your great photos, Jennifer and Arden!!

I grew up with Sesame Street, and this video would have meant so much to me had I seen it as a child. But it's still wonderful now:

Picture taken by Margot of Coffee and Vanilla.com

Photo by Margot of CoffeeAndVanilla.com


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