how-to-repair-chronically-dry-natural-hair

If you happen to have kinky/curly/textured hair and you’ve just really begun digging into the facts of how to take care of it in its natural state, I’m sure you’ve probably come to the conclusion that our parents had no earthly idea of what they were actually dealing with on top of our heads.

Back when we were children, there were no natural hair blogs to read or YouTube videos to watch. Our parents just did to our hair what their parents did to theirs: snap a comb through it, slap some grease on the scalp, throw some cornrows in it, and call it a day.

The reality is that this technique does not make for a good long-term hair regimen. The only reason why we may have had “long” hair as a child is because our hair was most likely placed in a protective style (cornrows, braids, twists) for extended periods of time. Very little manipulation gave our hair the chance to retain moisture and length.

So, now you’re at a point where you’re realizing that the “comb, grease, cornrow” method just isn’t enough to maintain a healthy head of hair. Your child’s hair is chronically dry, broken, and damaged; and it seems like it’s getting shorter by the day. So what do you do?

The solution is actually quite simple; but it will take a little extra time and will also require a measure of consistency.

If your child’s hair is natural and it is damaged and broken, the most likely cause is a moisture deficiency.

The moisture deficiency could be because your child is sleeping on cotton bedding with hair unprotected; or your child may not be getting in enough water each day. It could also be that your child has low porosity hair. This essentially means that your child’s hair cuticles are so tight that it’s hard for moisture to penetrate the strand. (This is most common with coarser hair types.)

Realistically, the moisture deficiency could be happening for all of the reasons I’ve listed above. Whatever the case, there are steps you can take to correct it.

The author of The Science of Black Hair has conveniently broken down hair breakage into three different levels of severity. Find the level that your child fits in and follow the corresponding steps to fix it.
Use the steps as a guideline, not a rule. If you find that adding or modifying a step works better for your child or lifestyle, go for it! The natural hair journey is all about experimentation, trial and error.

Note: The repair regimen in the below graphic covers how to fix damage from moisture deficiency in natural hair only. I will cover in a future piece how to repair hair damaged from chemical processing or protein sensitivities.

levels-of-natural-hair-breakage

how-to-repair-damaged-natural-hair

The steps outlined above should help your child on their road to hair recovery; but doing them alone won’t get you results. You must also treat the hair properly: Have your child sleep on a satin pillowcase or wear a satin bonnet nightly, handle hair gently only detangling when hair is damp/wet and slick with conditioner, and make sure your child gets in enough water each day.

Combine all of these practices and you’ll see wonderful results in no time.

 

53 thoughts on “How to Repair Your Child’s Damaged, Chronically Dry Natural Hair

  1. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Keisha,

    So glad I found this site. I am a new mom to a 1 year old and her hair is very dry. I try to keep it moisturized daily but now it looks like it is getting severely damaged in the back. Her hair is kinky curly and just looks severely dry. She keeps a satin cap on at night. I have been using daily water and a Conditioner by Carol’s daughter along with Coconut Oil? I really need help what else can help her hair grow.

    Thanks,
    Jocelyn Mom of 1 year old Jordan

    • Tyi says:

      Hi,

      My daughter has the same issue as of late; breakage in the back. Her hair was really long especially in the back and now the back is so short and dry. A few stylist have shared with me that they can still shed hair at that age and it will grow back. I have used a a distilled water, coconut oil, and avocado juice mix as a moisture spray on her for a while as well– her hair absorbs everything instantly so this helps and then I use Jamaican Castor oil.

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz says:

      Hi Jocelyn,

      Are you doing any deep conditioning yet? That could be the solution to a lot of your problems. She’s old enough for deep conditioning to be a part of her regular wash day routine. Another thing to consider would be to co-wash (use conditioner only to wash her hair) instead of harsh shampoos. Shea Moisture has a great cleansing conditioner that you could try. Also, is she wearing regular protective styles? (Braids, twists, cornrows, etc.) Protective styles will help her hair to retain moisture longer which will ultimately help her to retain length. Just don’t forget to moisturize while her protective styles are in.

      • Jocelyn says:

        Hey Keisha,
        Thanks so much for responding I haven’t done a deep conditioner yet. She wears protective styles and her hair is covered at night. Currently I’m using Carols Daughter on her hair should I change it? And what products would you recommend for deep conditioning? Thanks again for your help with my Baby girl Jordan.

  2. Sinead says:

    I have a 1 year old daughter and was told that the only thing I should do so get hair can grow is wash it daily and moisturize it with lotion. Obviously that isn’t working too well. Do you have any recommendations on the products I should be using in her hair?

  3. Tiffany says:

    Hey Keisha!!

    Gosh I hope you can help me. I’m so frustrated with my daughters hair. She is 2 yrs old and her hair is soooo fine, short and thin. She still has her bald spot in the back of her head!!!!! it seems like it just won’t grow or thicken up. She has that curly spiral hair. It stays dry and soo uneven. Could you please lead me in the right direction as far as products that I should try. I shampoo and condition her hair once every week and I use cocunut oil on it. Could you please please provide me with a regimen.
    Thank you in advance!

  4. Tiffany says:

    Gosh I hope you can help me. I’m so frustrated with my daughters hair. She is 2 yrs old and her hair is soooo fine, short and thin. She still has her bald spot in the back of her head!!!!! it seems like it just won’t grow or thicken up. She has that curly spiral hair. It stays dry and soo uneven. Could you please lead me in the right direction as far as products that I should try. I shampoo and condition her hair once every week and I use cocunut oil on it. Could you please please provide me with a regimen.
    Thank you in advance!

  5. tasha says:

    Hi Kesha,

    My daughter is older. She had very long hair (mid back length) and we had a texturizer put in her hair to help her begin to get use to taking care of her own hair. Long story short, within 6 months her hair fell out and the bottom back portion of her hair is so broken off that it barely comes to her shoulders. How can we get her hair growing again, she doesn’t listen when it comes to taking car of her hair and now I feel like I have to go back to taking care of it for her. I would really like to get this process started off on the right track, as we have been growing out the relaxed portion of her hair to return to natural. I need advice on what to do and how to teach her how to take care of her hair at the same time.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.

  6. Toya says:

    Hi. My daughter is 6 and when she was 2 I used a hot pressing comb on her hair and I beat myself up for that daily her hair has never gone back to its pretty soft pattern every since. Her hair is extra dry and itchy. What can I do to get my babies hair back to its normal state

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz says:

      Hi Toya,

      Have you trimmed since you did the hot comb? She may be holding on to a little heat damage. Once hair is damaged from heat, there’s really no coming back from that. If her scalp is itchy, try massaging a mixture of jojoba oil and extra virgin olive oil into her scalp daily. If her hair is chronically dry, you may want to start doing weekly deep conditioning treatments in order to get her hair back to the proper moisture levels. Here’s a article on some homemade deep conditioning treatments that you may want to take a look at: http://curlz.wegotkidz.com/4-homemade-deep-conditioning-treatment/

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  7. Stacy says:

    Hey Kesha!!!!
    So this website!!! I have 2 daughters 11 months a part. I have completely no experience in doing hair. Growing up my mom threw grease and water on mine and that’s it! My 1 year old hair is breaking out bad because I used oil with no water and jam on her hair. It’s getting a tiny bit better cause I stopped using them. She has very dry hair but its really curly and thick and it eats up the little moisturiser I use because it’s dry. Please help me because I have another daughter who is 3 months and I don’t know what to wash her hair with or anything. Im a first time mom and really need help Kesha!!

  8. Kadejah says:

    Please I need help with my 1 year olds hair. Her hair is really dry and brittle. I can comb it out and it seems to get puffy and like I never combed it. It is very short in the back and now the sides of her hair and front has came out. I am so sad about my child’s hair I don’t know what to do. Please somebody tell me what I should do I hate seeing my child’s hair like this. I thought of cutting it into a Afro but I really don’t won’t to do that

    • Leonie says:

      Hi Kadejah
      How are you getting on with your little ones hair? My 1 year old’s hair is the same and I have tried water, coconut oil and she’s butter but nothing seems to work.
      Have you found anything that works for you yet ?

      • Tyisha Edwards says:

        Hi Leonie,

        My daughter’s hair has always sucked up mositure and it took me a while to figure out what would work, but I finally figured it out!

        First, I only wash her hair every 4-6 weeks with actual shampoo. Within that time period, I will do 1 co-wash. Before any wash, I always pre-poo. Also, when its her wash day, I deep condition and make her sit with a heating cap for about 20 min. (If no heating cap, use a plastic bag twist it tight and put on a winter hat…maybe easier for younger kids). Also, use a leave in…MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Daily, I use a Distilled water and conditioner mix in a spray bottle. Spray this on every morning and night, just enough so her head is damp…this also when you should comb/brush the hair if it isnt in a protective style, such as the LOC method….the BEST! I use 100% coconut oil everyday in her hair! Along with a daily moisturizer. Evey couple days I will add another oil and my fave 100% Jamaican castor oil. You can do this at night as well.

        Products! There isn’t many I haven’t tried! But that’s how you learn what works best for your baby’s hair. Currently I am in love with Mielle Organics!! Before, I used Shea Moisture-both the kids and the adult lines. I’d suggest reading up on different brands and ask around.

        I would suggest braiding or twisting her hair and less ponytails. This will help with growth. Also, get a satin or silk pillow case. I also, got my daughter a bonnet.

        Hopes this helps!!

  9. Kashina says:

    I’m concerned about my child’s hair it came out from braids around her edges and I been searching and searching and I found your site can you help me.

  10. carleen says:

    Hi,
    my 3year old has very bad hair breakage on both side and under I really am lost when it comes to what products to use for her hair because it’s been relax before.
    my question was can you give me any tips to deal with her hair. I really need help

  11. Tamala says:

    Hi my child’s hair is textured and it is damaged how can I help her reach the length she what to have if her hair is always breaking every time we unbraid her box braids

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  13. Toya says:

    My daughter hair was growing really good and now that she is 2 it is falling out. I use cantu leave in but I dont wash her much. I am so upset its getting shorter.

  14. Tracy says:

    Hi. I have 3 bi-racial daughters who when they were younger loved there long bouncy curls then they turned into teenagers, one particular who is now 18 has used a hair stragtiner for a few years now and her hair is now short, and breaking off. I dont know what to do with her…..I told her to stop with the heat but i noticed in a previous post that you said once there is heat damage there is no coming back. I was about to take her to a salon to see if there was anything they would recommend or is it too late.

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Yes, once hair is damaged, there’s not much you can do. Intense, regular deep conditioning may buy you the time to gain some length before a trim but ultimately damaged hair needs to go.

  15. Colette says:

    Hi. I don’t know what to do. My one year old hair just started coming out especially in the front. Her hair feels really weak to touch and sheds not breaks like crazy. I think her hair is hydras fatigue and I’m thinking about doing a protein treatment. Should I do a protein treatment? If so, what do you recommend.

  16. Colette says:

    Hi. I don’t know what to do. My one year old hair just started coming out especially in the front. Her hair feels really weak to touch and sheds not breaks like crazy. I think her hair is hydras fatigue and I’m thinking about doing a protein treatment. Should I do a protein treatment? If so, what do you recommend. I have been looking at Aubreys organics GPB and DiY recipes. I’m so lost

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz says:

      Hi Colette,
      What makes you think that she has hygral fatigue? Are you washing it daily? Is she swimming regularly? Yes, a protein treatment would help, but you’ve got to get to the route of where the damage is happening so that you can correct it. I’m a huge advocate of natural DIY recipes, which are best for natural hair so definitely try that out. There’s no one protein treatment that I’m an advocate of personally. I just use the small packs that are sold individually at the hair store. ORC has a good one.

  17. Curly sue says:

    Great article! I just noticed that you mentioned high porosity was to do with closes cuticles. It’s actually the opposite. You might want to look at that again.

    Also can I ask if you think the small rubber/ elastic hair bands make things worse. I use them a lot on my four year old and thing it might be causing breakage.

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz says:

      You’re absolutely right. I get them mixed up constantly. lol. Thank you! As far as the rubberbands, I personally use them on my little one regularly and haven’t had any issues. I think the trick is to not wind them to tightly. I literally just wind the bands tight enough to secure the twist or braid. I also make sure to cut them out when the style is done as opposed to trying to unwind them from the hair. That has cut down on a lot of breakage for us. 🙂

  18. Chelsea says:

    Hello great advice . My daughter is 15 months & then middle part of her hair is VERY dry ! The other parts are pretty & curly .. I can put oil in her hair 5x a day & it will still be dry .. Should I do a DC ? I need help .. She use to get ponytails but the black rubberbands broke her hair off ALOT !! Help me please

  19. Jerrion Smith says:

    Hey Kesha…
    I am so glad I found your website. I am one distraught and sad mother right now. At a time when I was pregnant I put a teztutizer on my 4 year old daughters hair. Not knowing really what it was I allowed my beautician to do it because my hands were swollen from the pregnancy. My daughters hair was absolutely beautiful, vibrant, and thick. So thick I was unable to put it in one ponytail. After doing this back around Christmas, she is now bald around the edges, and her hair that was once to the middle of her back is now not even shoulder length. I’m starting to cry even as I type this. We have trimmed, tried all types of products etc and it seems to be just spreading from the back to the top now. She did have length still in the top but even that has fallen out. Its strange though because when I am combing it or washing it, I never see any hair shedding but the usual. I have some concerns:
    1: Will her hair return back to its natural wavy state?
    2: Why does it still feel so rough and wirey after I wash it?
    3: Why does it seem to still be falling out even when Im not seeing any breakage?
    4: Will it ever grow back and how long should it take if it does?

    Please help me restore her hair so it can get back to being healthy again.

    One Sad Mother

  20. Nikole says:

    I have 4 bi racial girls and my older two have more course hair like their fathers, while my younger two have finer texture closer to mine. The difference in the textures has caused a lot of product issues. What works for the older two tends to weigh down my younger two s hair and give it a dirty look. Like a white kid whose hair hasn’t been washed in weeks. I don’t shampoo regularly because I can’t afford good products designed for their hair. I tend to buy the cheapest shampoo I can. Wash once or twice a week. They had to get their hair cut short last summer due to bad lice infestation from school, so they mainly wear simple ponies, question I have is what’s the cheapest method I can use to regain moisture and bring back the curls in my eldest two and keep that silky ringlet look for my youngest. I’ve tried all kinds of store bought product and it doesn’t seem to do the job.

    • Jerrion Smith says:

      Hey Nikole, I don’t know if this shampoo.is too pricy or not but it is $8 dollars and you only have to use about a nikel size amount. Its for natural hair and is free of sulfate, parabens, etc. I use it on my daughter because I made a horrible choice which cost her the length and health of her hair. This product has been good so far for what I need. Its called Shea moisture …Jamaican black castor with apple cider vinegar shampoo.

  21. Tt says:

    My daughter is 2 she had beautiful haur since. Birth but she caught a hair fungus now its all choped an very thin in the back how can i get her hairback growing oh an i stop using the meds an shampoo the doc prescribed. Please helo me

  22. Renea says:

    Hello Kesha

    I’m so glad i found your webpage. I have an 11 year old daughter who has never had long, strong or even thick hair. I have tried everything. I do keep braids in her hair, i let people talk me into perming her hair because it was so bad and now she’s at the age that it’s effecting her confidence and its all my fault. her edges are completely gone and she has braids in right now and one of them just fell out and took the root of her hair with it. I’m going to try your LOC method and your weekly wash method. Can you help me with anything else. I really do need help.

  23. Charm says:

    I have a 2 year old and in the past few weeks her hair has been coming out on the sides and in the back. Her hair was so thick an pretty and now it’s starting to look thin and shorter. What should I do? Can the heat be causing the damage? Can dirt break her hair off because she loves to play in the dirt? I really need!

  24. Charm says:

    I have a 2 year old and in the past few weeks her hair has been coming out on the sides and in the back. Her hair was so thick an pretty and now it’s starting to look thin and shorter. What should I do? Can the heat be causing the damage? Can dirt break her hair off because she loves to play in the dirt? I really need help!

  25. patrice says:

    my oldest hair is damage and my 1 year old hair is a little damage too with oldest hair she got a relaxer in hair and trying to fine something for there to grow and straight there hair and I do not no what to do

  26. Jameshah says:

    HELP ME PLEASE! I have a 5 year old daughter and after deciding to bring her to a kids salon when she was 3 because I thought she needed her hair trimmed, it turned out to be the worst mistake I made. Not only did her hair texture change completely, her hair has also not grown at all since then, it actually got really short. She had long hair with a very nice curly and soft hair texture and now it is completely opposite. Her hair is dry and seems to be breaking. I regret it every day and I dont know what to do to get her hair back to normal! !

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