Healthy Hair Awareness
We love to see our kids growing happy, healthy, and thriving in all areas of life. If their hair is not growing or getting shorter, it can be frustrating. There could be many factors that play a role as to why the child’s hair is not growing, and we will discuss hairstyles that cause significant damage to your child’s hair amongst other factors.
Rest assure if you correct these issues your child will be on the way to retaining their length and restoring healthy hair before you know it!
Traction Alopecia, or gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force to the hair, this can cause hair loss in a child.
This type of hair loss commonly happens when kids wear tight ponytails, pigtails, and braids. The first few signs are redness, soreness, inflammation of the follicles, and tenderness of the scalp. Over time, large amounts of broken strands around the scalp are noticed.
If ignored long enough balding can occur. If you see any of these signs, be sure to take your child’s hairstyle out.
Lack of Moisture
Moisture is the key to growing healthy hair.
There are plenty of benefits to keeping your child’s hair well moisturized; such as strengthening the hair, helps growth, and helps the hair to get essential nutrients. If your child’s hair lacks moisture breakage will occur.
Also, water is your child’s hair best friend, so be sure to keep a constant moisturizing schedule which will depend on your child. Also, think about implementing the LOC Method, which is a three-step process.
You would use a liquid moisturizer first, oil second, and a moisturizing cream last, which helps give shine to the hair, as well as seal in moisture.
Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Hair Moisturized
- Use shampoos with moisturizing ingredients
- Be sure to use a good quality conditioner
- Co-Wash when you can
- Use a leave-in conditioner
- Use cold water when using conditioner, cold water seals the cuticle
- Dry hair with a T-Shirt or Jersey Knit material, towels tend to pull out moisture and oil, where jersey knit and T-Shirts are gentler.
- Have them sleep on satin pillowcases or wear a silk bonnet to bed
- Re-Moisturize your child hair every 4-7 days, depending on your child’s hair and you will need to figure out the best schedule. Do this by adding cream and oils as well as spraying their hair with water.
- Avoid products containing alcohol and mineral oils; this can make the hair drier. These harmful ingredients can clog pores, and cause your child’s hair not to grow.
- Avoid “hot tools” on your child’s hair, if needed be sure to use heat protectants.
Use products having ingredients such as:
- Olive oil
- Avocado Oil
- Shea Butter
- Jojoba Oil
- Pomegranate seed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Coconut Oil
Using Too Much Heat on Your Child’s Hair
Blow drying, straightening, and curling can cause heat damage and breakage in your child’s hair.
Although, when done sparingly and correctly it can be done without causing damage. If you’d instead style your child’s hair with a hot tool, do so on the lowest heat setting and apply a heat protectant first.
Applying a heat protectant reduces the risk of heat damage that may occur using hot tools.
Detangling your Child’s Hair too Quickly and With the Wrong Tools
It is recommended to detangle your child’s hair while wet and full of conditioner using a wide tooth comb.
Detangling your child’s hair dry can cause significant damage and breakage to your child’s hair. Combing through your child’s hair with the incorrect tools, will result in excessive breakage, place pressure on the hair shaft, and cause hair loss and split ends.
Tip: Be sure to start from the ends versus the roots when detangling your child’s hair
Not Paying Attention to Damaged Ends
A lot of parents hang on the split ends for the sake of retaining their child’s hair length. Do not, split ends continue to split up the shaft and will cause major damage to your child’s hair if they are not cut off.
Not Applying The Correct Hair Care Products
A lot of commercial hair care products contains chemicals that are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and serve no definite purpose in your child hair care regimen. If you see hair care products containing the ingredients below you may want to opt for something more natural and organic to use for your child’s hair.
This ingredient is known to dry out hair and cause breakage.
Mineral Oil and Petroleum:
A better moisturizing alternative is using carrier oils instead of these mineral oils that weigh the hair down.
Examples of Carrier Oils
- Oily hair
grapeseed oil, apricot kernel oil, almond oil
- Dry Hair
Shea oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Hair loss
Castor Oil, coconut oil, Avocado Oil
Avocado Oil, Shea oil, Olive Oil
Parabens ( Propyl, Methyl, Butyl, and Ethyl):
In this year past many products have claimed to remove Parabens. Parabens are used to increase the shelf life of hair products, yet some chemicals lead to cancer
Propylene Glycol (PG):
PG is the main ingredient in antifreeze, this chemical is stated to cause dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, amongst other reactions.
Using Hair Accessories to Often
Of course, we all love accessories, and hair accessories are perfect for dressing up outfits or adding a pop of color.
The only problem with using hair accessories is that they can be potentially damaging to your child’s hair due to the strain. Rubber bands are known to cut into the hair when used to tightly and causes the hair to split and break.
Elastic hair ties, when tied to tight tugs at the edges of hair pulling them out.
Tip: If you must use rubber bands, try soaking them in olive or coconut oil.
Hair Accessories That Don’t Cause Damage to Your Child’s Hair
Head wraps are an excellent choice because of the material they are non-naggin fabrics, aren’t too tight, easy removal, and comfortable.
Be sure to look for the headbands that are non-constraining with the sharp edges that may snag or tangle the hair
Claw Clips made with a smooth finished are ideal for your child’s hair
Hair Ties are less damaging then elastics
Not Protecting Your Child’s Hair At Night
Investing in a good quality satin bonnet, sleep cap, or pillowcase while your child is sleeping can ensure that your child’s hair won’t be dry or frizzy from rougher materials.
Five Hairstyles That Cause Major Damage To Your Child’s Hair
1. Tight Braids:
Applying braids has been a long time tradition in the African American household.
Braids are a great way to promote growth, avoid breakage and keep hair neat when done correctly. However, braiding your child’s hair too tightly can cause damage, tensions, and hair loss. If your child complains check for tension bumps along the hairline, breakage, or sores if so, you should start loosening their braids.
Many parents believe blow drying their child’s hair after each wash is necessary to detangle it for hairstyling. Blow drying their hair too often can cause heat damage and breakage. Opt for a detangling product to help with the detangling process.
3. Flat Ironing/Curling:
Just like any other hairstyle using hot tools, curls and flat ironing your child’s hair continually is a hairstyle that causes significant damage to your child’s hair.
Excessive braiding, tension, and weave can cause breakage and hair loss in your child’s hair.
The weight from weave will cause tension on the scalp, and the thread used for sewing in the hair causes tension. With wigs clips used to secure the wig can cause major damage to their hair.
5. Wash N’ Go:
Although cute, Wash N’ Go’s can cause more damage than good by allowing your child’s hair to tangle and dry out. Try opting out for a twist out if you’d prefer a free-flowing hairstyle for your child.
No More Damage From This Point Forward
Many factors cause significant damage to your child’s hair. It’s up to you as a parent to determine what is best for your child’s hair.
If you are diligent in the health of your child’s hair, you can avoid damage. Avoiding the common mistakes listed above will assure growth and minimal damage to your child’s hair. Have any other ideas on how to protect your their hair from damage?
We would love to hear them below in the comments! Been on the other end of the spectrum dealing with child hair loss? Let us know how the journey has gone to reverse the damage.
May your best hair days be ahead of you!