Hi Dawn Michelle,
I wanted to reach out to you in hopes that you might be able to help me out. I’ve tried a couple of other people, tried their regimens, and it hasn’t worked thus far. Basically my six year old daughter and I have extremely dry hair. I’m not so worried about my hair as I am her’s right now.
The problem started about three months ago when we started using Shea Moisture Products. After about two washes, I noticed the dryness and stopped using the products. Since then, nothing I’ve used has helped with the dryness, tangles and breakage. Her hair has gone from below her shoulder bone to right below her neck. I have to constantly “trim” it every two weeks because the ends get rough even after protective styling. Her hair is usually just single braids (with her own hair) or two strand twists. She wears a silk cap most of the day especially if she’s not going anywhere.
I’m so sorry to bother you but I really need some direction. In the past few months, I’ve reached out to about three “experts” and taken her to the salon where her hair was blow dried and flat ironed out of my own desperation. I see no improvement. Instead all I see now is broken hair, frayed edges and dullness. I know it’s just hair and I should take it easy, but for my six year old that I have taught to love her hair and let her know that it should not be painful for her to get her hair done, she now cries every time I style her hair. Please help me, if you can. I found your site today and I’m reading up on it.
Her hair tangles after I wash it, does not retain moisture, breaks easily, and no longer retaining length because of the dryness. Products seems to sit on her hair. Her hair is soft and easy to detangle only when it is soaking wet with conditioner on it.
I hope I gave you enough info that you can help with. I would appreciate any advise you can offer. Thanks!
Thanks for your message! I am a big advocate for natural products and also making many of them from simple ingredients. I’ve also not had the best experience from using even low heat on my hair. I refrain from heat and usually air dry my hair.
Dry hair could result from many different things. Your hair may not be absorbing water when it is washed because of product buildup or because it is extremely low in porosity. Therefore moisture from water is not able to penetrate the hair shaft and products applied on top won’t seal in that moisture.
No matter what has already happened to your daughter’s hair, try to remain calm around it. Your daughter may be picking up on your concern and stress about her hair therefore now disliking that time you share together even more. Most children don’t like to have their hair done, yet creating a peaceful environment with music, games, or anything that you can think of to create a new sacred mother/daughter ritual will be really good.
For starters incorporate drinking more water as well as flaxseed oil, coconut oil, or even fish oils into your diet based on your own preferences.
Healthy oils in the diet really help with dry skin and hair. Also I would suggest washing your daughters hair in braids, not twists as they may encourage knots and tangles, to help make the process easier and much more gentle. Use a heavily diluted natural shampoo or even an aloe vera and clay mixture. Rhassoul or bentonite clay will work fine. 100% Pure Yummy Ice Creams 2 in 1 Body Wash and Shampoo may be a great kid’s natural shampoo option that you and your daughter may like that can be used as is. It applies like a foam, is all natural, and smell wonderful. I don’t find their products to be drying at all.
I also think that using a very slippery detangling conditioner is necessary to further cleanse the hair and also as a leave-in. Easy detangling is key. To seal in the moisture I’m currently loving shea butter. I haven’t used it for a very long time and just started using it again. (Update: Shea butter can sometimes be too heavy for low porosity hair or for those who co-wash exclusively as it can seal moisture out of the hair on wash day. Light oils can be a better option.)
Use an applicator bottle to apply your diluted hair wash, unless using 100% Pure, and gently massage into the braids and scalp. Rinse thoroughly. Next add the conditioner of your choice and rinse. You may also want to use the conditioner diluted with aloe or water for easy application and rinsing during the cleansing process since her hair will be in braids.
Out of the bath or shower remove one braid at a time and finger detangle her hair with tons of conditioner to remove shed hairs. This time you are leaving the conditioner in the hair. If you feel like you need to comb her hair only use a seamless wide tooth comb. Add an oil or butter and braid. I would keep your daughters hair in braids constantly to keep organized, free from tangles, and moisturized. I would use hair friendly accessories that will not snag or break hair.
I would try and wash her hair at least once a week. The consistent full saturation with water will really help with moisture. You can spritz her hair with a mixture of aloe vera, water, vegetable glycerin, natural oil, and essential oils as needed throughout the week.
Here is an example of a simple braid style that you can cleanse and style the hair. Make 4-6 symmetrical braids on each side of the hair with a center part. Cross the matching braids in the middle and secure with bobby pins. Add adornments as you desire.
If you notice that detangling is still difficult with this method, you may want to do a bit of dry finger detangling prior to washing the hair in braids.
Unravel each braid one at a time and remove shed hairs using a light natural oil to coat the strands, then rebraid. Once you feel comfortable with your weekly routine you may want to incorporate doing henna treatments as needed a few times per year for extra strengthening. Body art quality henna is natural, and would be safe to use on your daughter’s hair.
I hope that this will help. Keeping curls stretched and in braids helps with hair growth retention and moisture. Have a wonderful day!
Do you have any other tips that may help with dry hair?
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)