my curly-haired boy

Thane’s first picture showed us a sleeping baby with a halo of curls. It melted my heart. And since he joined our family I’ve gotten to know a lot more about his type of hair and how to keep it healthy, it’s so much fun having a curly-haired boy. A few other moms have asked me to write about his hair care routine, so here it is. I admit I struggled with writing it. I’m not an expert, I only know what works for us. And I’m also not a routine person, at all. So I tried to pay attention to what I did, most of the time at least, and write it down in something resembling cohesion.

To learn about curly hair care, specifically AA hair, I enjoyed reading on think they do a great job of explaining different types of curls and how to care for them.* I had no idea that curls came in so many different beautiful types. (So jealous.) From that website I fell down the rabbit hole and read blog after blog of ladies who have “gone natural”, ie not straightening their hair. I think as a white mom of a black child it’s important to learn a bit more about the social history behind things and reading blogs of AA woman who love their hair and speak about it is a great way to learn. *Learning about the different type of curls was eye-opening to me. I had a certain look I thought I wanted for Thane, but then I realized that wasn’t what his hair wanted. His hair type is darling ringlets so tightly curled that even at six inches up top his hair springs down to about an 1.5’’ long “look”. A look I have to say looks pretty amazing on him.

hair cute

{{On the left: long bath day, on the right: no bath day. Both pictures from a few months ago.}}


Now for the routine. First, the pinterest/simple/pretty version:

hair care routine

As for as how often we do each routine I would guess in any week we do the long bath routine 2 times, the quick bath routine 2 -3 times, and the no bath routine 1-3 times . It just depends on the time of year and how active the little one is that day. For combing out hair I use the Tangle Teezer which is awesome, and I only ever comb wet hair.

hair products copy

And now the overly wordy/unnecessarily complicated version.

Long Bath Days:

  • I only use actual shampoo when I start to notice product buildup. Otherwise I just co-wash his hair (washing with conditioner.) If the hair is full of dirt, leaves, sand, etc I’ll rinse it out really thoroughly after combing the conditioner through and then apply some more to sit and soak in during the bath. Otherwise I don’t worry about thoroughly rinsing out the conditioner, just do a quick rinse and then squeeze the excess water out with my fingers. Then I apply a moisturizing/defining curl product and finger comb it through the hair, the more you coat each curl from root to tip the more defined they will be. I also make sure to massage some of the product into the scalp to make sure it doesn’t become dry and itchy. Then it’s out of the tub and time to pat/squeeze hair with towel. Don’t rub. Rubbing creates tangles. Then we lotion his skin and get dressed then apply the sealing product, sealing all that good moisture in. I spray it all over his hair and then finger comb/fluff it through, coating the strands. This entire routine probably takes 10 minutes, not counting the play time in the bath when the conditioner is just soaking in.

Quick Bath Days:

  • Pretty much the same as Long Bath Days, we just skip the conditioner and deep combing and go right to the moisturizing/defining and then the sealing. By finger comb I mean just grabbing a small about of hair at the root and then pulling it straight up letting my fingers coat the strands with product and get the larger tangles out. I usually use the Tangle Teezer on the spots that get tangled the worst.

No Bath Days:

  • This is the 1 min, oh my goodness we need to leave now routine. Just finger fluffing and apply the “Hold & Shine Moisture Mist”. The stuff is magic. We use it after naps too if hair needs a little refresh.


{{My favorite picture showing off his baby hair. Back then I only used the Hair Milk. Taken about a year ago.}}

Things I still want to find:

  • A great detangler. Right now we use conditioner and lots of water, it’s working great but something might work better.
  • A deep conditioner. I’ve tried a few but haven’t liked any of them.

Things I probably do wrong:

  • I’m fairly certain I detangle hair more often than most people would suggest. The concern is that the pulling on the hair weakens it or makes it break. For us, if we do it more often I’ve found there is less breakage because the tangles aren’t as severe. But if I had a girl or was concerned about getting length I might be more concerned. As it is his hair grows plenty fast for me.
  • I don’t use a sleep cap or satin pillowcase or satin sheets.
  • I don’t always keep the satin headrest in his car seat but when I do it helps cut down on tangles tremendously.
  • I don’t use any “protective styles” meaning braids or twists or anything else. His hair is free 100% of the time. While I love the look of styled hair I have a health condition that makes doing that kind of work with my hands challenging, if the time ever comes he wants to do that (and I would love it) we’ll be finding a great barber.


If you’ve actually made it to the end of the page just remember, hats are the universe’s answer to bad hair days and if you’re a mom of your own curly haired boy and you’ve blogged about your routine or your favorite products would you please leave a link in the comments? I’m always up for a reason to buy and try out new hair products. Thank you!


9 replies »

    • Well… that’s the problem. I just use a satin pillowcase that I throw over the top of the car seat. I keep intended to put it on with Velcro but never get it done and then it slips off, and then: TANGLES!

  1. Not sure how I missed this the first time around, but our process for our AA son and daughter (Caucasian b-mom, we believe AA b-dad) is pretty similar to yours.

    We were using the Aveeno conditioner at bath time as well as the Aveeno spray in conditioner w/ water in the morning, but we now use the Wen (“as seen on late night TV!”) conditioners. We noticed a pretty dramatic improvement in my daughter’s long curly hair with the Wen, and their conditioner balm is pretty good for really dry areas.

  2. Carol’s Daughter has a Milk like that works really well on curly hair. I make up my own “Elixir” comprised of glycerin, different moisturizing oil (rose, vitamin E, jojoba oil, shea and olive oil-to name a few) in a spray bottle with distilled water. I also moisturize the scalp w/100% coconut oil. Also, comb hair from the tips up. That will prevent breakage. Hair shedding is normal, but you can tell by the length if those are the strands you’re getting. I hope this helps. You have a beautiful son and I just love the pix!

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