Like all of my babies, Wallace didn’t have much hair for the first year of his life. In fact, I think he may have been the baldest of all 4. I never imagined in 3 years I’d be stressing about how to manage a full head of my kid’s curly hair.
I mean, I don’t have to stress. We could just cut it all off, but also, there’s no way we could! Look at this! It’s too beautiful.
Luckily, I happen to know a fantastic hair stylist who is a curl specialist and also my friend. She cut Wallace’s curly hair last week, and I have some tips from her to share with all you other parents of kids with curly hair. I’ll get to that at the end of the post, but first, a little more about…
This Kid’s Curly Hair Journey
Wallace has only had one other haircut, and he really didn’t need it. While at Walt Disney World in 2018, shortly after Wallace turned one, we made an appointment for a First Haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street in Magic Kingdom.
The package is $25, and comes with commemorative ears, a certificate and a lock of hair (though W barely had enough for one). We did it for the souvenirs and the pictures, honestly. In hindsight, though, I do think that tiny little haircut set him up for his hair to grow in beautifully over the next two years.
He never had a mullet, and it all seemed to grow in evenly.
But it grew in stick straight for a long time! We didn’t even suspect he would have curly hair until the summer of 2018 when he was 1.5.
And even then, it only curled up at the nape of his neck when he got hot.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2019, when he was 2.5, that we started to see the top of his hair get super curly. The heat and humidity of Texas really brought his locks to life.
Styling & Maintenance
By last fall, I started “styling” his hair with SoCozy Sensitive Styling Foam to keep it out of his face. I’m not a huge fan of the smell of this stuff (it’s plasticky to me), but I do like that it’s not sticky and doesn’t make his hair crunchy. When I didn’t use the foam, I would just wet his hair with detangler (after brushing) and scrunch his curls up to air dry.
When his hair (and the weather) cooperated, it was STUNNING and I never, ever wanted to cut it.
But, the reality was it was taking way too much work to keep it from falling in his eyes and looking matted and wild in the back.
Pics I was getting from his “tiny school” sealed it for me- he needed a haircut.
So at my last hair appointment with Katie Astoria (Modern Muse Beauty Collective), I asked her if she could help me out. She talked to me about her process for cutting kid’s curly hair, and made me feel so much better.
If you’re in the Austin area, I think you should take your kids with curly hair to her, of course. But if not, here are…
Katie’s tips for working with a stylist to cut your kid’s curly hair:
In Katie’s own words-
A lot of parents think that if they cut their kids’ curly hair, the curls will “go away” or that the stylist will “cut the curl off” which is not exactly true.
A haircut cannot eliminate true natural curl – because curls begin at the hair follicle. If the hair is cut and the curls at the ends no longer exist, that is because the curls were truly “baby curls” and were never going to exist past that point anyway, because curl patterns can change as a child grows. SO, if the child truly has curly hair, a good haircut with the right person (and a little bit of proper home care) will actually enhance the curl.
Here’s what to do:
- Locate a curl specialist near you. A great place to look is the stylist finder at Naturallycurly.com or the DevaCurl Stylist Finder.
- Arrive with your child’s hair clean, air-dried, without any pins, bands, bows, or elastics. And definitely don’t go post-nap. The stylist will need to see how the natural curl lays without any physical disruption.
- Ask the stylist to cut your child’s hair with the curls intact, using little to no tension (a stylist will know what this means!) A lot of the time this is best done dry. Some stylists will lightly mist the hair to see if the curls can be further enhanced, and then cut accordingly.
My last tip for parents of curly kids is to just be chill about it. Truly embracing and protecting curly hair is quite a bit of work for curly adults, and nearly impossible for kids. Do the best you can according to the stylist’s recommendations (whether that’s certain products, certain hair-handling tips, silk pillowcases, etc). But don’t fret if your child’s curls are all over the place. They’re kids! Let ’em be and as they get older, you can revisit teaching them how to manage their own curls. – Katie Astoria, Modern Muse Beauty Collective
I’m soaking it up these blonde curls (and taking way too many pictures) while I can!
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