After much coaxing, my 12-year-old sister has let me take care of and style her hair for the very first time! Her hair was previously in extension braids, so she took them out and I was left with hair that was pretty well stretched due to the braids.
After she had loosened her hair, my mom said she would comb it out later, but I offered to detangle her hair. My sister at first said no, that it would hurt if either of us did it. But I promised that detangling her hair would not hurt her, and she finally agreed to let me do it.
Here are the steps I took to detangle her hair. These steps can be used when detangling, combing, or brushing any young child's hair without hurting them or pulling on their scalp.
I first separated her hair into 6 sections. I wet her hair with my moisturizing spritz and finger detangled, separating the section of hair apart gently with my fingers. Then, I detangled her hair with a wide-toothed comb, starting from the ends of her hair and working my way up. Finally, I used my BASS brush to detangle and remove her shed hairs. Again, I started from the ends and worked my way up. As I was combing or brushing her hair, I firmly held onto the hair between the comb or brush and her scalp to keep the combing/brushing motion from pulling on her scalp. This prevents her from feeling any pain. I twisted each section as I finished detangling. My sister did not complain of any pain or discomfort at all!
My sister's hair, all detangled and ready to wash!
The real test came after she had washed her hair. After coming back from work, I found her hair damp and fully shrunken! She had shampooed and used no conditioner. None. So her hair was horribly stripped, shrunken, and tangled. Yes, I winced too!
I took a section of her hair (about 2 inches by 2 inches, roughly.) I had to gently pry it apart from the rest of the hair to make it a section. The above picture is a section of hair totally shrunken.
I then applied a generous amount of my moisturizing spritz and added some extra conditioner to the section and finger detangled her hair, separating the tangled section little by little. I then used the wide-toothed comb and the brush to detangle her hair. Again, I gripped the hair between the comb/brush and her scalp to keep from tugging her scalp. The spritz and the conditioner made it super easy to get the job done! Above is the same section of hair nicely detangled, and much more stretched than the shrunken section. Again, she did not experience ANY pain during this detangling session.
I then put the section into a two-strand twist. I used Blended Beauty Silkshake, Hair Oil, and Butter Me Up to moisturize and seal her hair (check out my reviews here and here.)
Because I planned to style her hair in a few days, I took two adjacent twisted sections and made them into one twist, for an extra good stretch.
All done! And this is how to detangle a child's hair without having it hurt them!
It was really funny, because the day she washed her hair (which was the day after I had first detangled her hair) she came to me and said, "I'm ready for you to do my hair!" Now, this child HATES getting her hair done by my mom (who does not follow my hair care tips.) It really surprised me that she wanted me to detangle her hair! I could tell that she was happy to not have to sit through a painful detangling session, and looked forward to getting her hair done. I'm happy and excited that she was able to experience an enjoyable detangling session. Now she knows that detangling naturally kinky hair doesn't have to hurt. It was eye-opening for the both of us!
Stay tuned for my sister's hairstyle!