Make Hair Wash Day Fun For Your Daughter

Mommy stop yanking my hair!

Brianna where are you girl? Why are you hiding, its time to wash your hair!

I used to have a neighbor who had a tough time when it came to washing her daughter’s hair on Sundays. The ritual was formed because she wanted her daughter’s hair fresh for school on Monday. However, her daughter who was ten at the time was finding wash day so stressful that she would hide in the bushes beside my yard. It had gotten so bad that the poor girl would hide for hours sucking her thumb at the side of my fence.When her mother would finally find her and wash her hair she would scream down the whole neighborhood as if she was being abused. We would have to endure Brianna’s screams for an hour or so while her hair was washed.

Unfortunately, her mother gave up, processed her hair, the hair broke off and she braided it. At thirteen Brianna is rocking braids but she goes to the hair dresser every three months or so to wash it and her hair side is gone leaving only thin tufts at the sides. Her mother gave up, couldn’t deal with it anymore.

If you have a daughter or know of a young person in your family who lives with you and is of African American descent with thick curly hair then you can help to make wash day fun. Even if a child’s hair is as wiry and thick as a pot scourer there really are ways to make the washing of hair a pleasant task. Instead of running to the hairdressers and having the hair relaxed or braided, which may end up giving your child traction alopecia here are some ways to send the right message that there is absolutely nothing wrong with black natural hair and to make taking care of it fun:

1. Make her wash day, your wash day too. Make it a spa event. You can do your hair and hers at the same time, and maybe a skin treatment, throw in some essential oils and massage her scalp and let her massage yours. My baby cousin who is five does a really good scalp massage because her mother taught her.

2. Use the right products for natural hair. These days, there are thankfully a myriad of products on the market that can make the curly hair texture more manageable. The truth is hair is hair (there is little difference between kiddies hair products or adult hair products besides packaging). Most times things are labeled ‘kids hair products’ so that you can buy a separate product for your child. My advice is to buy enough of the stuff that you know works on your hair and use it on hers, just remember the basic rule of thumb- shampoos with sulfates, moisturizers with petroleum and mineral oil–will dry out the hair and make it harder and drier than before. The following shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers work for children with curly/kinky hair really well. There are loads of others these are just my suggestions.


* Note- can’t find any sulfate free shampoos, then try co-washing your little girl’s hair or use baking soda. Do not use dish washing liquid or soap powder in her hair. Do not comb out hair after a shampoo.


After shampooing hair, do not leave out the conditioning step. It is more important to have conditioner than shampoo around for curly hair. Use a deep conditioner for extremely dry hair; make sure you use a detangling, moisturizing conditioner. Try to comb out hair when it is freshly conditioned and damp or wet. The following recommendations work well for extremely dry kinky hair and other curly hair as well.


Stay far away from hair grease with the main ingredients being petroleum and mineral oil. They clog pores and dry out the hair. More women are realizing that these so called moisturizers are very bad for the hair. Use instead water based moisturizers. You can do your own–recipe here put it in a spray bottle and use on your girl’s hair as frequently as needed. Raw shea and mango butter is very good for sealing natural hair after a moisturizer and it has the added benefit of defining curls. Here are two examples of very good moisturizers for your little girl’s hair:

Combing Hair

Comb the hair with a large tooth comb and remember not to brush. After a thoroughly relaxing wash hair day you need to plan your style for the week. You can braid her hair or do a two plait twist. I wore my natural hair like that for years and retained all of my hair length. If you are going to be combing her hair every day or every other day remember to moisturize each time before the hair is combed out.

Have a happy washday and don’t give up on your daughter’s hair. Your attitude to her hair now will determine how she views her hair in the future.