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Caring for your kids curly hair - A step by step guide

Plus recommendations for kids curly hair products Australia loves, all available in our Curl Store

washing a kids curly hair in bath


Wash days can be tough with curly hair kids - Keep it simple with these basic steps:

1. Wrangle your curly haired kid into the bath or shower - with bribes and treats if needed.

Use a curly hair Co-wash or conditioning Cleanser with a silicone scalp brush.

3 Silicone scalp brushes used to help wash curly hair
Silicone scalp brushes - great for helping to wash kids curly hair

The co-wash will help to make detangling easier whilst the scalp brush will help lift dirt, sand, smeared food, sunscreen and who knows what else.

Rinse and repeat (if your littlie is up for it).

*Save the curl friendly shampoo for sandy beach days, dinner bowls on head nights and once monthly deep cleanses.

Suggested products: EverEscents Organic Haircare Cleanser (Fine or Oily curls)

*EverEscents Haircare is a great brand for Australian Curly hair products - they're organic, cruelty free, eco friendly and fantastic, which is why I recommend them so often.

2. Condition those ends.

Remember to use less product, more water and really squeeze it into their hair. This will help loosen tangles.

I suggest taking around a 5-10c piece worth of your favourite curly hair conditioner, working it through and then using a plastic watering can to add more water. Work the water through and thenadd more conditioner if needed. Keep repeating water, conditioner, water, conditioner until the hair starts to feel nice and slimy.

Recommended Products: EverEscents Lavender Conditioner - for everyday curl care

Ecoslay Banana Cream Conditioner - for extra dry curls, afro curls and thick curls

Tangle Teezer Brush - Best for detangling Curly hair

3. Gently separate tangles with your fingers.

Then use a Tangle Teezer Brush to ensure it's smooth and knot free. If you're wondering the best way to brush kids curly hair, always start at the very ends, brush down and then move up a little at a time until all tangles are removed. This avoids knots "bunching" together, which can happen if you start your brush strokes at the roots.

4. Gently rinse while scrubbing their scalps.

Remind them the only reason it's going in their eyes is because they're moving too much and if they just stayed still it would be much easier (or is that just my house?!)

Leave some of your curly hair conditioner in the ends, don't rinse it all out - this will help ensure their hair stays moisturised.

6. For many little curlies, leaving a small amount of conditioner in is all they need.

However, if you have a little curly who tends to fluff and frizz, you can add a soft hold styler, or curly hair gel, if desired.

Recommended Kids Curly Hair Styling Products:

Ecoslay Lemon Butter Cream - moisturising with light hold, use sparingly

Jessicurl Rocking Ringlets - A curl enhancer, great to encourage ringlets

Treluxe Reflex Serum - Lightweight, keeps curls defined with gentle hold

Curly Hair child

7. For Little Curlies with BIG curls, tight ringlets and afro textured hair, a firmer hold product can be added to maintain definition and lock in moisture.

Ecoslay Orange Marmalade is a fantastic curly hair gel Australia curlies love.

Jessicurl Spiralicious is another fabulous hair gel option for little curlies

*note - these products will give a crunchy feeling when dry. Simply scrunch the curls and the hardness will soften.

I suggest adding all products while still in the bath or shower. It's less messy that way!

Curly hair towel for kids

8. Wrap those precious kids curls in one of our easy-to-use Curl Towels.

These are great for stopping the drips without taking too much moisture from the hair. A 'how to' video for little curlies can be found here.

Leave the curl towel on while they dry off, nudie run down the hallway, do a few twirls and eventually get dressed.

9. Take the curl towel off and gently scrunch & squeeze their curls.

If their hair is quick to dry - woohoo! You're done, leave it to airdry while they go about their day.

If they have thicker or longer hair that can take hours to dry, we've got a few more steps.

10. Pop one of our Satin Curly Hair Diffuser caps over their curls.

Tighten until firm but comfy and dry on low to medium heat for as long as they can handle (around 30mins is ideal depending on the power of your dryer). NOTE: Do not leave your little curly unattended while using the Curly Diffuser Cap and Hairdryer. Always ensure you check the temperature regularly. *If your curly kid won't tolerate the Diffuser cap, you can partially dry their curls by using one of our Scrunch It diffusers. These are similar to the Xtava Black Orchid Diffuser and the Amaxy Reviving Lotus Diffuser. My favourite hair dryer for curly hair is the Dyson dryer but for a more budget friendly option check out Parlux Hair Dryers.

11. Once dry you're done! Well done Mumma and/or Dadda... Your curly kid is sorted! (Keep reading for some bonus tips)

Child with curly hair playing with their mum


A few extra tips and tricks:

  • ​If your Curly Kid will tolerate it, sleeping in a silk bonnet or satin bonnet DRAMATICALLY helps with morning knots. If in doubt, opt for a silk pillowcase or satin pillowcase instead.

  • To refresh curly hair in the morning DON'T brush their curls out. If there is a noticeable tangle, gently undo with your fingers then either ~Use wet hands and a smidge of conditioner or styler to smooth over the fuzzy bits. Use more water on any areas you've detangled gently. OR ~ Use a spray such as the EverEscents Ultimate hair enhancer, Inahsi Pamper my Curls Spray or Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave in conditioner. Spritz over the hair and then smooth with wet hands. Alternatively you can spray into your wet hands and smooth over. Finish with a teeny amount of your chosen styler or curly hair gel and allow to dry.

  • For Days in between washing, I HIGHLY recommend investing in a good shower cap. This will protect little curls from becoming fuzzy with the steam and splashes.

  • For tying back their curls, a silk scrunchie or satin scrunchie will cause less breakage, therefore meaning less fuzz.


To Recap

  1. Cleanse 2x with a co-washing conditioner - use a scalp brush if needed

  2. Rinse well

  3. Condition adding water as you go.

  4. Detangle Gently then Rinse leaving the ends slippery

  5. Wrap in a curly hair towel OR add one of the curly hair gel Austalia loves then wrap in curl towel

  6. Use a Curly hair diffuser cap or allow to airdry

  7. Don't forget to use a foaming shampoo fortnightly/monthly to remove buildup etc

  8. Smooth with wet hands in the morning and a little of your favourite cury hair product if needed

Do you have any other tips or questions for how best to care for your kids curly hair? Let me know in the comments below xx

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